Take-In Tips, Part 5 Home Ask the Expert Brainstorm Stats Site of the Week Consumer Press Scan Your Business On-Line Calendar Staff Site Map

November 1999

For Your Staff: Repair Counter

Take-In Tips, Part 5

Clearly communicating ­ with your customer and your bench jeweler ­ is the final link in good take-in procedures

Clearly explaining each aspect of the take-in process to customers is critical in protecting your business. Communicate the importance of inspection, identification, valuation and liability verbally and by the way you handle the jewelry during take-in.

Does the customer understand the repair? Jewelers understand terms such as "half shank" and "retip," but customers may not. The level of explanation necessary will vary among customers, but at least offer the information. Draw a quick sketch or show the jewelry under magnification. Offering this type of information can avert a customer questioning later whether you approved unnecessary repairs.

Also be sure the customer fully understands risks associated with repairs. Gemstones, especially delicate ones, may be damaged even with careful handling. Patinas and textures on certain jewelry may not be duplicated easily. Previous repairs can make a seemingly routine repair a very risky procedure (see photograph). Explaining this to customers is your best defense against everything from bad referrals to legal action. Even if the customer seems uninterested, clearly communicate the risks and your liability policy.

Bench Communication

Communication with your bench jeweler is important also. This is especially true concerning repair options and risks because these can make or break a relationship with a customer.
If the jewelry requires special handling, a discussion with your bench jeweler can resolve certain problems and emphasize others.

Bench jewelers often have information that will help your customer decide how ­ or whether ­ they wish to proceed with the repair.

In fact, knowing when to communicate with your bench jeweler can be as important as communicating with the customer. Good inspection and identification habits will guide you.

by arthur Skuratowicz, G.J.G., N.J.A. & Julie Nash, G.J.G., A.M.

Arthur Skuratowicz and Julie Nash operate Anton Nash LLC, an independent jewelry appraisal and consulting company in Colorado Springs, CO.

This white gold, diamond and synthetic sapphire ring (circa 1935) has numerous cracks, some of which were repaired previously. Despite the serious nature of the cracks, they aren't eye-visible. The take-in process for this ring required pointing out the cracks under magnification and consulting a bench jeweler about the risks associated with repair. The store's liability policy also was a key part of the discussion with the customer at take-in.


Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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