By DAVID GELLER
Warranty is a cost of business, and customers expect you to stand behind your work.
A jeweler will go out and buy a cell phone or other electronics and expect it to work flawlessly for one full year. If it has any problem you take it back to the retailer and let them know:
• It doesn’t work
• The lid doesn’t snap tight
• It didn’t have this scratch on it when I bought it
The store doesn’t quiz you to the nth degree:
• “Did you wear it in the shower?”
• “Did you bang it in a door?”
• “We only worked on the keyboard, we had nothing to do with the scratch on the bottom”
Nope, they just exchange or repair and keep the customer happy.
But nooooooo, size a ring for a customer and a month or so later a small diamond falls out and the typical jeweler’s hair is straight up on his back:
• “We only sized the ring and the diamonds were tight when it left the store.”
• “You must have pulled the prong back”
• “We only do fine work here. Be my guest; take it to the guy down the street!”
Boy, that sure is a good way to win friends and influence people! Think they’ll be back?
Why do jewelers treat customers this way? Because they take their work personally. They think it says they did a bad job.
The answer to this is this:
“It is what it is and you must do almost everything to make a customer happy.” It costs about $25-$50 to advertise and obtain a new customer. Repeat customers are almost free.
What if I personally paid you to make customers happy who came back with lost stones from work done in your store, and you’d make a profit on doing those repairs without any additional charge to the customer?
Do what everyone else does who warranties their work. Charge for it!
In April of 2000 I bought a new Lincoln LS car. Loved it. But every now and then it would just stop running. Luckily it didn’t happen on the highway, just city streets.
Three visits to the dealership and they just couldn’t fix it. Sent a letter to Detroit. They flew down a specialist; he looked at it and said, “Give the man a new engine! No charge.”
They did. It works and I didn’t pay a cent.
Or did I? It was included in the selling price. I have also paid up front when buying a laptop for the extended warranty. Two years later a $300 hard drive was at no charge and a friend who also paid $300 for his warranty got an $1800 cracked monitor on his laptop replaced. No charge.
We bought the warranty.
You should too. Here’s the place to start. Charge to check and tighten stones in jewelry you repair, especially ring sizing.
We don’t charge for checking/tightening and warranting stones loss if the ring has four or fewer stones.
But if the ring has five to 20 stones, we charge an additional $25 on top of the $39 to size the ring smaller.
The $25 charge is to
• Check each stone to see if they are loose when we finish the work.
• If they are loose, we charge to tighten them. If they aren’t loose, we still charge.
• In addition, guarantee that if they get loose in a year we’ll tighten them at no charge and if they fall out, replace them at no charge. There are some exceptions but for the most part this is covering all small stones (under 1/2 ct).
Let’s say you take in an anniversary band with seven 5-point round diamonds. You size the ring smaller and charge $39. Charge an additional $25 to check and tighten.
The speech to the customer goes like this:
“Mrs. Jones, for $39 our jeweler is going to size you ring to a 6½. He’ll make sure its round and you won’t see where it’s been sized. Our $25 ‘check and tighten’ gets the jewelers to make sure every stone is tight; if they get loose in a year we’ll tighten them at no charge, and if any of them fall out we’ll replace them at no charge. You don’t have to speak to the president; anyone here can have that done for you. Then our jeweler will refinish your ring like when it was new. We’ll have it ready next Thursday.”
That’s now a $64 charge.
Here are the numbers:
• If you take in 10 repairs, a day that’s 2,600 a year.
• Most stores tell me 50 percent to 75 percent of jewelry taken in has at least five stones in it. Out of 2,600 jobs, 1,300 to 1,950 jobs can have the sales speak given that I typed above.
• After telling the customer, easily 70 percent of them will say “Sure, go ahead, I want that service”.
• That means between 791 and 1,365 jobs will have the added $25 to it. That adds up to an additional $19,777 to $28,412 taken in without any effort. We collect the warranty money not because the stones are loose! We charge the customer even if the stones are tight because of our liability.
Cost of a Customer
So what’s it cost to replace two 5-point diamonds? Sixty dollars?
Don’t tick off a customer for $60. Make them happy and keep $19,777 to $28,412!
In addition to the repair charge, we charge to check, tighten and warranty stone loss based upon total stones:
0-4 stones No Charge
5-20 stones $25
21-35 stones $35
36-50 stones $50
What if the customer doesn’t want to pay the additional amount? On the envelope write “No guarantee on stone loss, customer didn’t want the service.” Charge without it, don’t tighten and don’t warranty. Seventy percent-plus of the customer will pay.
Two months later, two 5 point-diamonds fall out.
David Geller is the author of Geller’s Blue Book to Jewelry Repair & Design (a pricing book for making money in repairs and custom design for jewelers and pawnbrokers) and a consultant to jewelers on store management.
You may reach him at David@Jewelerprofit.com, 888.255.9848 or 404.255.9565, or through his website www.JewelersProfit.com.
Our repair pricing book is made for the counter at take-in. It’s put together to make it easy for the staff to use but we also have some free video training on our Web site you should use. There is training for each chapter of our book and I also train your staff how to sell repairs. Just go to our Web site: www.jewelerprofit.com/trainingvideos.html. The password is geller.