I think sometimes (for me anyway) it has a lot to do with the
perception of getting a good deal. Regardless of whether it actually
is a good deal (in terms of price) or not, it's the feeling that
"hey, this was a good buy". One example might be when a customer
walks into a place of business that is really very finely decorated.
The first thing the customer might think is "Wow, this place is
really nice. Everything is probably very expensive. Maybe I can't
afford to buy anything". The customer looks around, however, and is
pleasantly surprised to find items that are in his/her budget. I
think, at this point, he/she is very likely to buy because there is
a perceived bargain.
When I was in 8th grade, we were taught (I don't remember why) a few
standard advertising models. One (I can't remember what it is
called) was to have a public figure (like a movie star) do
commercials for the product. The theory is that the average consumer
will see the star and think "wow, if it's good enough for so and so,
I have to have it". With jewelry, I have noticed a lot of the ladies
following current trends. If an item is featured in InStyle magazine
on a Pop Star or movie star, then the ladies in town have to have it.
If a jeweler can catch the current wave of style, then the customer
will be more likely to buy. This is possibly a hazardous road to go
down, however, because by the time jewelers and consumers see
anything in a magazine (I'm not talking about trade magazines), it's
already too late. By the time you make it, it's already out of style.
So, I think we come back to perceived value. I think little things
(like nice stationary and business cards, a nice booth set-up at a
trade show, nice decor in a store etc) increase the customers'
perception that they are buying something that has good value.
Good Luck with everything. This is a topic that many spend hours and
hours trying to tackle.