Disclosure: Discuss

August 1998

Gemstones & Pearls:News

Disclosure: Discuss

Retailers discuss treatments on Professional Jeweler'sWeb site

The "Brainstorm" forum on Professional Jeweler'sWorld Wide Web site (www.professionaljeweler.com) recently asked jewelers "How do you bring up gemstone enhancements in your sales pitch?" Some replies:

"[We] agree that a preprinted disclosure statement on the invoice is not enough. Clients are entitled to know before they make the decision to buy. However, [sales associates] did not want to deal with discussing the issues for every little $100 sale of the various semiprecious stones like blue topaz. They want to limit the discussions to ruby, sapphire and emerald. When I insisted that everybody inform potential consumers that our black 'Tin Cup' necklaces were not natural color, one associate told of the lady who huffed off in disgust when she did that. We need a good way to disseminate the information without scaring [customers] away. Of course, can you imagine the consequences if we hadn't told that client and she found out later?"

"This information may be more important to us than to our customers. We have to follow the customer's lead or we risk putting him to sleep. Certainly it is probably less important to talk about it with a $100 piece than a $100,000 piece."

"Is it really more important to disclose treatments on only the expensive goods? '20/20,' 'Nightline,' '60 Minutes,' etc., don't talk about how expensive the items were. They only talk about how the city's reputable jewelers failed to follow the law and violated the public's trust."

"Leaving it up to consumers to ask is not reasonable. If they were educated enough to ask the questions, chances are they would already know the answers."

"Each gemstone has a meaning or myth associated with it. If you can fit these into your conversation with the customer, it will lead to more information regarding the stone and how it enhances [a person's] beauty or coloring."

"We have a printed card that discusses our involvement in various ethics organizations (American Gem Trade Association, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, etc.) and then talk about how, unless the customer is informed otherwise, all gems are treated in today's marketplace. I particularly like to use the comparison of treating gems to putting on makeup in the morning."

"Very carefully."

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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