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The trust factor


#1

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"Converting pure gold into cash?"
http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/archive/200503/msg00227.htm

Hi All,

I changed the subject heading on this…

While I understand the point about not wanting a customer who
doesn’t trust you I must dissagree with rejecting them outright. The
store I currently work from will reject a customer that insists on
watching me work. Also customers must leave there jewelery when
getting an appraisal. (I really don’t understand that one )

A 1/2ct diamond might be the world to some people. To the next
customer a 4ct diamond may be an easy thing to part with while you
repair it. There’s a wide range of incomes and comfort levels out
there.

Trust is not earned because you have a nice store. It is earned
through a relationship made over time. That said, you also have the
extended problem that most people could not identify their diamond
using a loop. Just cleaning a ring makes it look different to most
customers.

Many feel like they are walking in blind and must trust you. That’s
the way I feel using refiners. I have gotten my worst yeilds for
polishing dust and scrap from refiners. I drop off my scraps & dust
to a man in NY because I get consistant results that are better than
the refiners…I have no choice but to trust that he is fair.

To compound these things…most stores have employees. When you
expect a customer to leave a piece with you you are also expecting
them to trust your employees. Over the years I have been in business
it has shocked me to find out that my co-workers were theives.
Sometimes office help actually embezzels. And stores do get robbed.
I have even heard of bench jewelers swapping big stones from
showcases with cz’s. (At a very large upscale NY store.) They
eventually got caught thank goodness.

Anyhow I’ve been a jeweler for 25 years now. My reputation is the
most important asset I have. That gets me in the door…The trust
that follows is earned with time.

Although I prefer to have the customer leave me their work I do
understand that some can be unwilling to do so and I don’t take it
personally. If there is no way to safely accomodate a customer then
I think that is a better reason to reject their request than insist
they trust you.

Best Regards,
Mark


#2

Mark,

I ran my own Jewelry store for 30 years and never did work for a
customer while they waited.

I also never asked a customer to trust me when they left a diamond
piece or important Colored Gemstone piece to have work down on it.

What I would do is show the stones to the client under a microscope.
I would look for identifying characteristics and point them out to
the client. I would then mark those items on a receipt I would give
the client as well as the one that stayed with the piece.

When the customer returned to pick the piece up I would show it to
them again under the microscope so they knew they where getting
their piece back and then I would have them sign the repair
envelope.

I had many people tell me they trusted me and this was not necessary
but I would explain to them that this is best for them as well as
me.

Yes this takes additional time but it puts the client at ease and
keeps everyone that works in the store honest.

Good Luck
Greg DeMark
Longmont, Colorado
email: greg@demarkjewelry.com
Website: www.demarkjewelry.com
Custom Jewelry - Handmade Jewelry - Antique Jewelry


#3
Trust is not earned because you have a nice store. It is earned
through a relationship made over time. 

Well perhaps it’s because I have been in business for over 20 years
in one location that I feel this way. I can understand someone not
wanting to trust a place they walk into blind, but most of my
customers come to me because they were referred by satisfied
customers or they have been seeing my ads for the last 15 years.
They know that I am not going anywhere. I also have a microscope on
the selling floor so that we can talk about how to identify their
diamond after it’s set and any customer is welcome to use it. I will
even do a quick plot on the diamond’s inclusions if that makes them
feel better. However, when the customer resists all of these ideas
and insists that I am a risky person for them to leave their stone
with then I feel much more comfortable having them go somewhere else
as it’s generally an indication that the job, as a whole, is going
to be a problem. Additionally, any jeweler who allows a customer
into their workshop so that they can “watch” the setting process is
leaving themselves open to being robbed (or worse) by the customer.
I’m not saying my way is the only way here but having the experience
I do has led me to believe pretty clearly that when the customer is
that convinced I’m going to rip them off they are going to have a
lot of other problems too and it’s better to let someone else handle
their issues.

 Also customers must leave there jewelery when getting an
appraisal.  (I really don't understand that one ) 

I also insist that customers leave their jewelry for an appraisal.
Why? Because an accurate, honest and legal appraisal cannot be
completed within a short period of time while the customer is
standing there. Any diamond .25 ct. and larger should have a full
detailed write up done (including plot), any colored stones need to
be accurately identified, and often it isn’t possible to get an
accurate idea of what is there without removing the stones from the
settings. Additionally, proper cleaning of some of the older pieces
people bring in can need up to an hour of cleaning time in the
ultrasonic before you can even begin to figure out what they have.
Plus if you are actually using true valuation methods (and not just
saying what does this sell for in my store) you need time to do
proper research. The idea that you can scribble a few notes on a
piece of paper you hand over to the customer as a legal appraisal
is antiquated, and will probably lead you into legal difficulties
later. Proper appraisals should include in a typewritten document
with accurate, detailed descriptions of the stones, the metal
content, a description of the piece itself, a value established
using proper valuation techniques accepted by most ethics and
appraisal organizations, a disclaimer, and a statement about the
type of appraisal and uses that can be made of it. Anything less is
cheating the customer.

Over the years I have been in business it has shocked me to find
out that my co-workers were theives. Sometimes office help actually
embezzels. And stores do get robbed. 

That’s why you should always have a good insurance policy. The
customer could also get robbed at home–and then it’s up to them to
have a good insurance policy.

Although I prefer to have the customer leave me their work I do
understand that some can be unwilling to do so and I don't take it
personally. 

I don’t ever take it personally when the customer doesn’t want to
leave the stone, any more than I take it personally when a customer
doesn’t like one of my designs. If I took everything customers said
personally I’d be an emotional wreck. I love my customers but there
are a lot of insensitive people out there no matter what and when
you are open to the public anyone can walk right in. However it’s
still my choice about whether working on the customer’s terms are
going to be better or worse for me.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-234-4392
www.spirerjewelers.com