Internet diamond pricing
In the 1990s—before diamond prices were so readily available online—I worked for Creative Goldsmiths, a retail jewellery store in Vancouver that was known for its custom designs. (I was often called in to assist with engagement ring sales because I could sketch quickly.) My experience at the store taught me an extremely important lesson.
Most of the time, a groom-to-be is concerned with finding a specific diamond size, quality, and colour. However, to help create the perfect piece, it is always a good idea to get to know the client, his future fiancée’s taste in jewellery, and his ideas for the ring’s design.
So where am I going with this? Well, this scenario not only highlights the importance of the relationship-building process, it illustrates another opportunity to incorporate technology. Some suppliers’ websites show all their stones (or merchandise) with a retailer’s own markups. That way, you can do your own search with the client right next to you. This not only can add another layer of trust to the relationship, but the experience will likely appeal to your tech-savvy customers.
Which leads me to another point, this time, specifically about diamond e-tailers. I was speaking to Steve Agopian, owner of Vancouver’s Lugaro Jewellers, a few years ago. He told me his 20-something sales associates were taking the initiative to compare stones in stock with what they found online. I’m pleased to report they were getting the sale. How? The one thing the Internet cannot show is cut. Diamonds are all about the sparkle, and your ability to convey that information is exactly where you can shine, too.
Every time I speak to someone about CAD, there is always concern about how much time it takes to become proficient in its use. Christine and Paul Korsten of Korsten AM Jewellers in Orangeville, Ont., bought CAD software a few years ago, and Christine admits she is a little slow when it comes to using it. Yet, she says she would rather take an hour designing in CAD and giving the customer exactly what they want than spend the same amount of time on the phone with suppliers trying to find a similar design.
Besides the expense of long distance phone calls and shipping, you may be taking a bit of a risk your supplier has something in stock that is comparable to what the client is looking for. If it’s not, their next stop could be your competitor. Yes, learning to use CAD takes time, but consider the possibilities. Not only can it help give the customer what they want, but over time, you will amass a library of designs you can easily tweak for future jobs.