Professional Jeweler Archive: Time to Evaluate

April 2002

Timepieces/Education & Repair


Time to Evaluate

Make your watch business more efficient for 2002


Before the latest introductions start to flood in from the Swiss shows, take time to evaluate your watch business and make any changes needed to enhance efficiency and profits. Here are some tips

Evaluate Repair Charges

When was the last time you raised your prices for basic services such as a battery replacement? If it’s been a few years, get out your calculator and do some simple math. If you charged $6 for something in 1997, should you continue to charge the same amount in 2002? Figuring an annual inflation rate of 4%, that item should now cost $7.20. Adjust prices yearly to keep them small and more palatable to customers.

Balance Inventory

Identify and move out any timepieces that haven’t sold after a year in your shop. Ask the watch company salesperson to stock-balance your inventory, exchanging unsold models for newer ones or models more suited to your customers.

If you’re unable to stock-balance, mark down these watches significantly. It’s far better to turn slow-movers into cash than to let them languish in a tired-looking display. A watchmaker friend, now retired, always carried a large watch inventory in his jewelry store. He complained he was unable to turn his inventory, so he was reluctant to buy new models. But the watches didn’t sell because he refused to lower the price. When he retired in the 1990s, he had a large inventory of mechanical and quartz watches from the 1970s and quartz watches from the 1980s. This cost him dearly when he sold them to a liquidator.

Clean House

Get rid of the display material you’ve accumulated for the past several years and ask your sales rep for new material. While you’re in a clean-up mood, evaluate other items you’ve stored and separate them into three piles:

  • One for items you will use very soon. Keep these in the shop.
  • One for things you’ll use within six to 12 months. Store these away from your shop.
  • One for items you haven’t used for over a year and don’t need immediately. Give them away, sell them or throw them in the trash to free up valuable space.

With your evaluation complete, it’s time get on with a more efficient business for the remainder of the year.

– Jack Kurdzionak, The Watchmaker, Stoneham, MA

©2002 Jack Kurdzionak

Jack Kurdzionak owns The Watchmaker, a watch retail and repair store in Stoneham, MA. He is a certified watchmaker, columnist for Horological Times and second vice president of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute. Please send suggestions and comments to Professional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102; timepieces@professionaljeweler.com.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications