On May 6, famed billionaire Warren Buffett once again worked the jewelry counter at Borsheims—scoring big sales while seemingly relishing the attention.
“It does look like another record year,” says Adrienne Fay, Borsheims Fine Jewelry director of marketing. “We are still tallying the total.”
The “Oracle of Omaha” spent two hours selling gems at the noted jeweler, which is owned by his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett took five to 10 minutes with each customer—mostly Berkshire shareholders—and afterwards posed for pictures and signed receipts.
“Certainly his star power overrode everything else,” says Fay. “One woman was so excited to be standing next to him, she burst into tears.”
Another man told his girlfriend that if Buffett would sell her an engagement ring, he would propose to her. Buffett did—and they are now engaged.
Even so, Buffett, who worked as a salesman early in his career, laid on the charm at certain points, telling two customers, “You two go out with these [pieces], you’re going to be dangerous.” He told another couple to “celebrate being healthy and together.”
As owner of the store, Buffett was allowed to discount, and sold several items for what he called a “crazy Warren” price.
Still, Fay attributes his success to two main reasons.
“He is full of integrity,” she says. “He is a very credible man that people feel connected to. He is also very down-to-earth, very likable, and he makes people feel comfortable. He is one of the richest men in the world and will sit down and talk to anyone.”
As happened last year, Buffett’s stint behind the jewelry counter was part of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder weekend. Fay says he is invited back, any time.
“He said he had a great time,” she says. “We would love to have him do it next year.”
More details are available at the Borsheims blog.