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Buying Your Engagement Ring: 10 Tips For Jewelers And Consumers |  May 11, 2016 (0 comments)


Miami, FL--Well, June is around the corner and I can’t believe the daughter of one of my best friends is getting married! When did she grow up? It seems like yesterday that we were worried about her beginning to drive! Knowing what they know about me, of course they called to ask, “Help! How do I shop for an engagement ring?”

My first answer is, “Breathe. And then start by finding a jeweler you trust. I tell them it’s not like buying a car, or a major appliance or like buying anything else. Precious stones, gems and diamonds and all fine jewelry comes with its own language. You have to embrace a few things before venturing out to start shopping. Think of quality and style, especially your style. Think about the way jewelry is marketed and sold. In my opinion it is next to impossible for an untrained eye to fully grasp the quality of a particular stone."

On top of all of this information, I will advise my friend’s child and fiance (who really want to do this on their own) that more than likely they will only dip into fine jewelry purchases a few times in their life. These are the moments filled with the most emotional significance, and as we always say in the jewelry business, “If you don’t know jewelry, know your jeweler,” so don’t leave any of this up to chance.

A bride-to-be has her personal relationship covered. Now let’s start with the couple’s relationship with the jeweler. Jewelers take note of what couples today are looking for when walking into your store. Jewelers and consumers should ask themselves these questions:

1. Does The Jeweler Listen to You? You, the jeweler, should:

2. Show you are an established jeweler. The bride may not have a jeweler. Her parents may not have purchased much jewelry in the past. So it’s up to you to develop a lasting relationship. She should see how long a jeweler has been in business; an established business is more likely to have great references. Plus she’ll want her jeweler around for service now and 10 years from now, when it’s time for that extra special anniversary gift.

3. Offer A Wide Array of Services. Do you offer an in-house gemologist to help her find the right stone for your style and budget? Do you have a bench jeweler, who can help repair or re-size her jewelry? (A little plug for Preferred Jewelers: If they are part of the Preferred Network and you are eligible for a Preferred warranty, there is never a charge for maintenance and repairs. If there is not a bench jeweler at that particular store, and you have connected with this jeweler, the Preferred Jeweler has a facilitator that will do most sizing and repairs free of charge under the Preferred Warranty program.) Can you custom design? Make sure this option is available to your customers. They should never be afraid to ask.

4. Do you have a wide selection? There’s something to be said for stocking only what turns but you also want to have plenty of rings to choose from. With your guidance customers should walk away feeling that they have many choices, but not be overwhelmed.

5. A customer expects the jeweler to be knowledgeable. No matter what; If the jeweler is knowledgeable and reputable, everyone on staff should be able to answer questions (training is key!). If an associate cannot answer a question they should be trained well enough to point the customer to someone else who can—aka turning over the sale. Customers should not hesitate to walk away if a salesperson refuses to answer a question, because everything they ask matters. For jewelers, once again: training, training, and more training! 

6. The matter at hand (no pun intended) is the ring. Of course, when choosing a jeweler for an engagement ring, customers will want to ask plenty of questions about the jewelry itself, and most questions should be centered on the gem. Once again, the jeweler needs to remember patience—you deal with it all day but the customer doesn’t!

7. How do you handle the diamond certification and appraisal? Like I said before, the customer wants to trust their jeweler. For customers who want a third party certificate, be ready to offer one from GIA, GCAL, I.G.I., G.S.I., HRD, or an AGS certification.

8. Don’t forget the metal. Most jewelers and customer focus on the engagement ring diamond, and rightly so. But the metal matters too, so show the stamp verifying the precious metal content. Well, I take it back--it can like buying a car—you may only care that the engine runs smoothly, but a salesperson who pops the hood and explains the engine to you helps build your confidence.

9. Make sure to clarify your policies around warranties and returns so the consumer can answer an unequivocal “yes!” to the question “Can you trust your jeweler”?

10. This is worth saying again. “Do I trust this jeweler?” Gaining trust can come from many places. A referral from a friend or family member, their reputation within the community and when you have done your research, and asked all the right questions and gotten all the right answers. A “great” jeweler won’t hesitate to answer all of the customer’s concerns.

So, after I give my friends’ children all of this information and my heartfelt advice, I feel they are now ready to shop. Better yet, I feel we must position all young shoppers on their way to be married with the ability and opportunity to establish a lifelong relationship with their jeweler.

In closing to them, I say, “It’s one thing to research online, but when it comes down to your final decision, can you really trust a computer with such an important choice? Plus, down the road if there is a situation, don’t you want to know the person who took care of you and guided you through this monumental decision? Purchasing a diamond is personal! The Internet? Not so much!”

In closing to you, I hope all jewelers can take this information from a consumer’s point of view and turn it into closing many sales and creating a multitude of happiness and pride for all of our June brides!  --Andie

Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry.  Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.

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