Professional Jeweler Archive: OK, You've Made the Sale

October 2000


OK, You've Made the Sale

Will you respect them in the morning?

If buying jewelry is like sex – and who would deny the similarity? – the package represents the morning after. So, lover, what sort of image do you want?

“Putting jewelry in a good box is like sending flowers the next day,” says Larry Johnson, vice president of jewelry box manufacturer Presentation Box, Pawtucket, RI. “It can either confirm the purchase was the right decision or tell customers they’ve made a terrible mistake.”

And by “good,” Johnson says, he doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive box, rather one appropriate for the purchase. It’s perfectly OK to put a teenaged customer’s $39 charm in a paperboard box. It’s not OK to use the same-quality container for a 2-ct. emerald-cut diamond a heavyweight customer will give his wife for a major anniversary.

For most jewelers, a three-tiered packaging program is most effective, say Johnson and Shell Presenza, packaging products manager for Chippenhook, Flower Mound, TX. Such a program might include:

• A paperboard box for inexpensive merchandise. (At Chippenhook, these cost 50 cents each when ordered by the dozen.)

• A metal “shell” box, covered with fabric or leather-textured paper for most purchases. (Cost at Chippenhook: $1.70 each.)

• For major items, a box with a wood top and bottom whose sides are wrapped in a coordinating paper. It also features a push-button lock and, with a 500-piece order, the wood can be ordered to match your store’s fixtures. (Cost from Chippenhook: $3.85 each.)

Presenza says 99% of jewelry packaging is printed with the store’s name – a step she thinks is a good idea for all quality levels. “Everybody needs name recognition, and when you’re talking about 5 cents or 10 cents for an imprint, it really pays,” she says.

The downside of upscale packaging is control, says Johnson. Many jewelers cringe at the prospect of employees making a low-end sale and mistakenly grabbing a high-end box whose cost might represent 10% or more of the purchase. “Jewelers have to get their employees to think,” he says.

– by Mark E. Dixon

Chippenhook’s three-tiered box system includes (from bottom): a paperboard box for inexpensive purchases, a metal shell box covered with fabric for most purchases and a wood box for exceptional gifts.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications