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Whoppers jewelers have told to make a sale


#1

Hi

needed to get a gold chain in a hurry. Went into a "reputable"
jeweller LOL.

Showed me 9 kt said no I want 18 kt as 9 kt is a lot of money for so
much copper.

“There is no copper in 9 kt yellow gold.” I was told.

“I said I am a goldsmith and go “expletive deleted” (learnt that
phrase from the Nixon tapes) yourself.”

Bought a quality 18 kt somewhere else. Explained I was a goldsmith
and was in a hurry so I was buying retail.

Got a discount.

Why did the first guy say something like "Most people here only want
9 kt. Wonderful you are after better quality and I can order you in
one.

I like customers who know quality. What design are you thinking of?"

Still would not have bought, because I can get them wholesale but
was in a hurry. Like I need it yesterday.

Made an enemy, I am good at that, and made a friend and got a
discount too.

When I need something I don’t make or can’t buy in guess which shop
I go too?

I am always polite to customers and give true descriptions of my
jewellery.

“I am often asked will this silver tarnish?” I look them in the eye
and tell them all silver will tarnish. And give them a piece of
professional polishing cloth with the sale. And say bring it back
will clean it no charge.

I was asked how much to clean a piece of jewellery, no charge if it
is not dirty. If it is filthy and full of gunk $50.

An old lady I knew who re-strung pearls, always told her customers
they were filthy and charged and extra $10 for cleaning.

I said those pearls look ok to me what’s the go. “I have a
reputation as a cranky old lady who does a great re-string and
clean.”

Asked my teacher if the customer is always right.

“No, but they are the customer.” AKA the one with the money!

Richard


#2

I take my car to a fellow down the road who is in business for
himself and employs a few people. He and I work out a time for me to
come in, I sit near his woodstove and keep warm while I wait for the
car and as yet I have never been there more than an hour. He takes
his time and he explains to me everything he did as well as get prior
approval before he does it.

There is another garage not too far away who doesn’t know where his
next customer is going to come from and is always on the verge of
closing shop.

If I took it to the dealer in town for service, I am told to bring
it in at 8 am and come and pick it up at 5. And they actively
discourage me from staying there as well as have a sign up saying I
am not allowed in the service area. Who do you think is going to get
my repeat business and who do you think I recommend to my friends?
It’s the same with jewelry.


#3

Just sent a message to a non-jeweler who was advertising that he has
cane heads made of “Alpaca Silver.” H then goes on to describe
"Alpaca Silver" As Sterling Silver with the addition of zinc, and of
nickle “to make it harder!”

Not quite a jeweler, but a whopper none the less!


#4

A few years back the director of the choir my husband and I sing
with asked me to repair his wedding band. It had taken some abuse and
was no longer round.

He’s a big guy so the (stamped 14k wg) simple white gold band was
very thick and heavy. Partway through the repair I had to anneal it
in order to continue working on it.

Imagine my horror when the white gold turned black as the torch
flame hit it. When I got it cleaned up, the white gold PLATING had
been removed from the YELLOW gold ring.

I explained the problem to him and offered to have it re-plated. He
was furious, but not with me. Apparently he and his wife had
specifically requested (and paid extra for) white gold rings, and he
had no idea that they’d gotten plated yellow gold instead.

I took the ring to a different local jeweler who has done some work
on my own wedding rings, and had him re-plate it. No problem. My
husband had to go pick up the ring for some reason.

While waiting for it to be rung up he began chatting with the sales
girl at the jewelry store, explaining about why it had to be
re-plated.

She assumed it was his ring, and advised him confidentially, "Well,
you know, white gold is really rare because the white gold mines are
running out of gold.

That’s why they just plate the white gold on these days–it’s too
expensive to actually make things out of solid white gold." She then
offered to show him some real white gold rings if he wanted to
upgrade.

My husband knows better, and he told her as much. He couldn’t tell
if the shocked look on her face was because she realized she’d been
caught in a lie, or if she really believed what she was saying. The
saddest part of this is, she’s the daughter of the jeweler who owns
the store.

(Oh, and the choir director reimbursed me for the plating charges,
and took the bill to his jeweler who received at least one new body
orifice that day in addition to being made to pay the plating
bill…)

Kathy Johnson
featheredgems.com


#5
Imagine my horror when the white gold turned black as the torch
flame hit it. When I got it cleaned up, the white gold PLATING had
been removed from the YELLOW gold ring. 

I had just the opposite problem. I had purchased a yellow gold man’s
bracelet from one of the usual national suppliers (that shall remain
nameless.) After a year or so it started to show white where it was
wearing through the plating. My customer, who fortunately was a good
friend and sometimes employee thought we had been swindled. Test
showed that it was 14K white gold. At first the rep from the supplier
said that was a normal practice. I told them I had been a jeweler for
thirty years and have never heard of such foolishness. Then they
tried to tell me that it was past the warranty period. They offered
to replace it giving credit only for scrap for the old one and
charging at the new higher price for a real yellow gold one. My
theory of how this happened was that their manufacturer might have
been a unit short on their order and some weasel thought it would be
OK to plate a white one yellow. Who is going to know?

I had to get more assertive than I like to to get this resolved. To
replace it with a real yellow gold bracelet at the time this was
happening would have set me back something like $400 after the scrap
credit. I had to argue my way up the chain of management and threaten
to cancel my account over this. Tens of thousands of dollars a year
over 25 years and you are going to loose a customer over something as
wrong as this? Eventually I got a manager that agreed that since the
bracelet was not made of the material it was supposed to be, it did
not matter how much time had passed.

My gut feeling is that it was mainly the ignorance and lack of
experience of lower level employees at both the supplier and
manufacturer that caused this problem in the first place. It was so
difficult to resolve because the lower level employees were lost with
an unusual situation beyond their depth. Once I got up to a
management level that had some expertise they had now trouble making
it right, although they were as amazed as I was that it had happened
in the first place. I used the story to emphasize to my own employees
why it is important to have professional standards and knowledge of
materials and practices.

Stephen Walker


#6

I wanted to buy a quick, cheap gold plated chain just to show off a
gold pendant I had just made, so I went to a local store to get one.
I noticed the 18k plated chains were cheaper than the 10k plated
(not solid) chains, soI asked the sales clerk why. She said it was
because the 10k would be much stronger, so that’s why they were more
expensive. But I don’t think she was BSing, I think she really
believed it.


#7

A store owner in my town in Alaska had a bunch of Cambodian blue
zircon to unload and decided to promote it as “Alaskan Glacier Ice”.
He even went so far as to trademark the name and print fliers that
went something like this: “Owner ____ was out searching for gems one
day and stumbled upon an amazing discovery, a stone with the same
incredible blue color as the iceof Alaska’s glaciers.” etc. After we
informed a lot of customers looking for “fossilized ice” that it was
not from Alaska nor from the glaciers of Cambodia I guess he finally
decided to give up the ruse. It gives the whole industry a bad name
when unscrupulous jewelers resort to deceptive tactics but eventually
their reputation catches up with them and people remember who did
them right and who did them wrong. It’s up to us all to be honest
representatives of our trade, when you give people afair deal they
will keep coming back and send their friends and family in as well.
Keep it real… :slight_smile:


#8
But I don't think she was BSing, I think she really believed it. 

I think this is often the case. People try to make sense of the
world and it’s inconsistencies. Sales people, if they are really
trying, will glom onto any tidbit or shred of that might
help their cause.

Thinking on their feet is a valuable skill for the salesman. It’s
not exactly the same as lying always, but it can be. If something a
sales-person says is wrong, it is better if they seem like they were
mistaken than if they just made it up and willfully lied.


#9

I always think of this story, funny, but so very serious in her
approach to make a sale.

A client asked her how is white gold made? She told her client it
isn’t ‘made’, white gold is mined like that. white. “Some mines have
yellow gold and some are mined white!” I wonder where she Googled
’that’ …duh???

Gerry Lewy


#10
But I don't think she was BSing, I think she really believed it. 

I think this is often the case. People try to make sense of the world
and it’s inconsistencies. Sales people, if they are really trying,
will glom onto any tidbit or shred of that might help
their cause.

Thinking on their feet is a valuable skill for the salesman. It’s not
exactly the same as lying always, but it can be. If something a
sales-person says is wrong, it is better if they seem like they were
mistaken than if they just made it up and willfully lied.

I would have understood that, but when I explained to her the why
her theory was wrong " in as gentle and non-condescending way as I
could " she got mad and told me I didn’t know what I was talking
about. She either realized she got caught in a lie, or was insulted
that she got caught not knowing her job.


#11

Many years ago on April Fool’s Day I managed to convince our office
manager in a busy trade shop to call Hoover and Strong to order an
ounce of 24kt white gold.

She was aware of Black Hills Gold multi colored gold jewelry. She
figured that red and green gold came from the Black Hills in South
Dakota.

“So where does white gold come from?” “Oh it comes from the white
gold mines in northern Idaho and eastern Russia.” She made the call.
Hoover and Strong gently told her that it was April 1st. Apparently I
wasn’t the first to do this to a fellow employee on April Fool’s Day.

I hope she has forgiven me by now.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer


#12

“Nickel-free sterling silver” Maybe it is a white lie. More likely
is has become folklore. The implication is that ours is good, pure,
nickel-free sterling silver while theirs is bad, toxic, nickel-laden
and who knows what else the conniving weasels put in their corrupt
junk, the capitalist pigs!

Nickel in a sterling alloy just isn’t done, is it? Nickel and silver
are not mutually soluble in a way that trying it would cause anything
but trouble. But I wonder if there isn’t a grain of truth there
somewhere. If rhodium on silver is done with a nickel pre-plate,
couldn’t that cause someone with a nickel allergy to have a genuine
reaction to a piece that is marked “sterling”?

And then there is the whole nickel-silver or German-silver issue
which is a consumer fraud going back more than a century. I had a rep
for a wholesale line tell me that the fashion stuff she was selling
was copper, brass and “alpaca”. When I asked her what alpaca is she
insisted it is a lower grade of silver. I suggested to her that it
was actually nickel-silver containing no actual Ag and she denied it
and acted insulted that I would doubt her.

Steve Walker


#13

Not really a whopper but once back in the 90s when crystal jewelry
was popular I had a woman ask me if the crystal in the pendant was
the kind fortune tellers used or just a regular crystal. I asked her
which she was looking for turns out she was very religious and
didn’t want any kind of occult related jewelry. Lucky for me it was
just an ordinary crystal.


#14

I have a reverse example- a boss of mine making up something because
she couldn’t sell something. I used to work for an engraving place–
one of the chain ones at the local mall. At the time, the main office
was sending all of our silver display jewelry already mounted onto
displays & rhodium-plated so they wouldn’t tarnish. We were out of a
particular pendant & a customer was arguing with my manager about
selling the one attached to the display, which was something we were
forbidden to do & which the computer POS system wouldn’t let us do
since we were showing zero stock. My manager kept trying to explain
that we could have one for her in a couple of days, even ship it to
her house so she didn’t have to come back but the woman kept
insisting. Finally, she told the woman that the piece was plated with
some kind of metal that you couldn’t wear on your skin because it
would cause a rash- not a good trait in a Christmas present, to say
the least & one she’d completely made up to get the woman to back
off.

After the customer finally left, I told my boss that actually,
rhodium could be worn, but it was really expensive as it was related
to Platinum.

That’s likely why we weren’t supposed to sell them, as the main
office didn’t want to have to keep replacing them-- particularly
since they’d be sold for the price of sterling.

Craziness.

Sharon


#15
I had a rep for a wholesale line tell me that the fashion stuff
she was selling was copper, brass and "alpaca". 

Am I missing something? “Alpaca” to me is a llama-like animal from
South America with wonderful fleece that makes fabulously soft and
warm knitwear and woven items.

Is there, then, another meaning to the word, or was it a Malapropism
on the part of the saleswoman?

Janet


#16
Am I missing something? "Alpaca" to me is a llama-like animal from
South America with wonderful fleece that makes fabulously soft and
warm knitwear and woven items. 

“Alpaca” as a word for a metal alloy is most commonly used to
describe nickel-silver or “German silver” in Mexican married metals.
I don’t know for sure the origins of the word, but it was used in the
metalsmithing colony in Taxco established by William Spratling in the
1930s. Los Castillo workshop was begun by Antonio Castillo Tern, one
of Spratling’s first apprentices. Los Castillios specialties included
"Metales Casados", Spanish for “married metals”. Documented by Oppi
Untrach in his seminal book METAL TECHNIQUES FOR CRAFTSMEN, 1968.
Alpaca or nickel silver makes a nice contrast with sterling silver in
married metals and it is also much cheaper for making larger pieces,
so it has that advantage for craftsmen who have limited money for
materials or who want to work for a lower price point.

Stephen Walker


#17

Hi Janet,

It’s German for german silver. (AKA nickel silver.) (Which is
actually white brass, not pure nickel metal.)

It gets used in English a bit, mostly by continental types, or those
who’ve been talking to them.

Regards,
Brian


#18

Here is the definition from wikipedia

Nickel silver, German silver, Argentan, new silver, nickel brass,
albata, alpacca, or electrum  is a copper alloy with nickel and
often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and
20% zinc. Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance, but
it contains no elemental silver unless plated. 

I see a lot more sites that advertising “Alpacca or Alpaca” silver.
I guess they think some people will think it is a substitute for
sterling, or some new silver. Sounds like the rep believes it is
something special.

Yes, alpacha fleece & fiber is used to make wonderful, warm apparel.
3 to 5 times warmer than wool. I have a friend who raises them (in
southwestern NY state). They are marvelous little creatures.

Wishing all a wonderful holiday season!

Debbie, from chilly northwestern PA


#19
I had a rep for a wholesale line tell me that the fashion stuff she
was selling was copper, brass and "alpaca". 

“Alpacca” is an old trade name for one of the nickel silver alloys.
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep810w

Elliot Nesterman


#20

For those of us that do a good deal of metal buying I see this stuff
pretty often. At least once a week I have to explain to a client
what this is. They all say this was sold to them as silver or Mexican
silver. Those that can see the stamp are told that this is the
designer or the companythat make the jewelry. The best was the
client that was told that the wordalpaca was Mexican for silver. LOL.
I did not realize alpaca was still being used. Most of my clients are
50 plus and have had the piece for a few years. Rodney Carroll