Professional Jeweler Archive: Appraisals as an Add-On Sale

May 2004

Managing/Appraisals


Appraisals as an Add-On Sale

The reason to consider this service is simple: boosting profits


Selling fine jewelry or a prestigious wristwatch is arguably the best way to make a profit in a jewelry store. But what about appraisals? Can this customer service be a source of profit? The answer is yes, but you have to take a few steps to make it happen.

Many jewelers provide appraisal services for items they sell. So why not offer appraisals for items you repair? This makes an appraisal a potential add-on sale to every ring sizing and retipping that comes into your store. Add up the appraisal fees for a month and the value is significant, even if only a third of repair clients decide to have appraisals.

First, your staff must be trained in some basic appraisal principles. Sales associates need to ask repair customers whether their appraisals are up-to-date and be able to explain why this is important. For example, insurance companies usually require appraisals that are 2- to 5-years-old, but customers don’t often find this out until they have to file a claim. Also market values on jewelry change, especially for colored gems, and an outdated insurance appraisal can result in paying too much premium or having too little coverage. Giving a customer this knowledge is a service that can result in profit for your store.

We’re working with a woman who lost a 4-ct. diamond. Her insurance claim was denied because her appraisals were not current. She had the ring in and out of several jewelry stores for repairs and cleaning over the past two years. If any one of the jewelers had raised the issue of a current appraisal with her, she wouldn’t be in the aggravating situation of having a claim denied.

Charge an appropriate professional fee for each appraisal. Practically giving away the service won’t make appraisals a profit center. So prepare a professional appraisal layout and have a sample ready to show any potential customer. Allowing customers to see what they get for their money helps close the sale.

You’re probably wondering how you’ll ever find the time and staff to do the extra work appraisals require. Try promoting appraisal services in this way for two to three months and watch the numbers very carefully. It may become apparent that assigning one qualified employee the task is the best way to go. And, yes, you may need to hire this person from outside your current staff. Using a dependable independent is another great way to make the extra income with little to no overhead. The independent appraiser also will be happy to service this type of lucrative account in a timely manner.

– By Julie Nash, ASA, GJG, and Arthur Skuratowicz CGA, GJG

Julie Nash, ASA, GJG, and Arthur Skuratowicz, CGA, GJG, operate Anton Nash LLC, Independent Jewelry Appraisers and Consultants in Colorado Springs, CO; (888) 440-6274, www.AntonNash.com.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications