Professional Jeweler Archive: Lost!

March 2005

The Store | Managing Yourself


Lost!

Oh, where, oh, where has my jewelry gone? Oh, where, oh, where can it be?

By Susan Eisen


Surely you’ve sung this song while looking for a piece of jewelry or repair that seems to have been “misfiled!” It’s no joke, but here are some stories I’ve heard from fellow retailers.

Disappearance One

A customer comes to pick up a ring after sizing. A sales associate pulls the envelope out of the “ready” bin and, with envelope in hand, reaches into the invoice drawer for a pen. In front of the customer, he turns the envelope upside down, but no jewelry slides out. Everyone is assigned to find the jewelry, but to no avail. The customer is told the truth and is reimbursed.

Several months later, a conscientious manager straightens the invoice drawer and finds the wedding set! It had slid under papers when the salesperson reached in for the pen.

Disappearance Two

A bench jeweler is polishing a 0.75-ct. diamond stud earring when it goes flying. Every inch of the workshop is cleaned out, but no diamond. It’s now 6 p.m. and the studs are to be picked up the next day for a Christmas gift. A crew is assigned to night duty to find the stud. One experienced sales associate checks the showroom floor too and, there, he finds the stud. Apparently, it stuck to the sole of a sales associate’s shoe in the workshop and dislodged later in the showroom.

Disappearance Three

A store has a systematic way of putting its jewelry on trays for transport to the safe at night. One night, a staffer puts a display with six wedding bands onto a shelf in the safe when the display falls off the tray. Only five rings are found. The next day, everyone scours the safe room floor, but with no success.

Four months later, an associate reaches for her loupe and keys, hung on hooks on the safe door. She discovers the missing band has landed neatly on one of the hooks, camouflaged among the keys. Never a dull moment in this business!

Remember these hints when jewelry is temporarily “absent”:

1. Retrace every step, including watching video if available.

2. Check clothes, shoes and hair.

3. Sweep at least three times.

4. Keep all repair envelopes closed while in transit.

5. Persist. The chance of jewelry being lost forever is slim.

If you have any “lost!” stories, please e-mail them to me at lifetag@att.net. I’d also like to hear from you on another topic I plan to write about: Callers who’ve done research online and now want information from you. I find dealing with their requests a big time-waster. How do you deal with them? Please send me permission to print your comments on either issue.

Susan Eisen is CEO of Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches in El Paso, TX.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications