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Tradeshop Charges

Well, I’ve spent a lot of time reading everyone’s advice about how
to make sure I get paid “what I’m worth” in this biz at the retail
end, but the ones I would like to hear from now are you guys in the
trenches, the ones who actually make a majority of the jewelry
retailers look good and manage to keep their customers happy - the
trade shop operators. I want to know if any of you have a shop
minimum for any/everything that passes over your bench that requires
your attention, no matter how trivial, your basic charges for sizing
(gold, plat., up, down, ladies, gents, etc.), chain repairs, charm
soldering (one charm to multiple charms), etc., and any other
charges you may feel may be of interest. In my 30+ years of working
both ends of this business (frequently at the same time) I have yet
to see what I would consider a reliable list of what the “trade” is
charging retailers for their skills. I realize region and specific
location play a large part as to “what the traffic will bear”, but I
would still be very interested in hearing from all who care to
reply. Either on or off list. Whichever is more appropriate.

Dear Aufin, two books I use very much and highly recommend, David
Geller’s “Repair and Design Price Book” and “Run Your Shop Without It
Running You” by Bradley Simon.I consider both these books foundations
to my store. I had for several years worked on an in store price book
for my own shop and stopped doing it the minute I found Geller’s
book. He had done all the work for me and the price was well worth
it. It is a professional book which we keep behind the counter and
take out in front of clients to price repairs. The pricing is not shy
and I have had one walk in leave with out leaving their work ( which
I was supremely happy about) in 2 years due to pricing. Brad Simon’s
book is a book I use to weed out inefficiency. It is all encompassing
in it’s scope, an approach I really appreciate and needed. Brad’s
book is the college course I should have taken in business when I
was too ‘busy’ being an artist ( too busy to manage money
efficiently, I guess) I have run a shop for years with out either of
these books ( many unprofitable years) and am now on what I consider
solid ground financially due to these two books. I feel I have turned
the corner on understanding my store in a way I never did and am
making profit from it. It’s very exciting. Sam Patania, Tucson

It has been my observation that much of the trade in my neck
o’thewoods is not charging the retail businesses what it costs to run
a real business. This makes things hard for operators that intend to
stay in business and play by all of the rules.

In the last couple of years, I have been using David Gellers pricing
guide for a baseline of what retailers should be getting for work. I
charge no more than 40% of the suggested prices.

Still, I find it difficult. A lot of my competition will do
anything. I am not an engraver or watchmaker and those trades don’t
give me any breaks as I don’t take in very much of that work. My
competition does, however offer those services, so I find myself
trying to fill those needs as well. I do a little faceting as well.

David monitors this list. Listen to him. He’s done everything wrong
and made all of the corrections.