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10 Tips for Selling Collectible Jewelry

By Tim Malone

Posted on April 16, 2012

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Any item can be perceived as collectible. Many jewelry customers will review their jewelry wardrobe and say that they keep certain pieces of jewelry because they feel each piece is part of their jewelry collection. What additional pieces might a sales associate offer to help entice shoppers to consider purchasing a collectible piece of jewelry? What special story comes along with the collectible piece of jewelry? Every piece of jewelry on display should be presented with a story and made to be perceived as being unique and collectible.

The key is to find customers who want to add to their jewelry wardrobe collection. Selling a collection of jewelry makes good senses as it can create an immediate sale and set the stage for future sales. Present collections of jewelry to help entice shoppers to make a first purchase into a jewelry collection and then strategize how to earn multiple repeat purchases within the same line.

Re-merchandise collectible jewelry. Reset collectible jewelry in different display cases to attract attention for different reasons. For example, displaying collectible pieces by color can add a new element of interest to each piece on display.

Selling collectible jewelry can help differentiate a store’s offerings. Sometimes jewelry shoppers look at so much jewelry in their search for the right piece that they become confused and all jewelry seems to blend together and look alike. Selling a collectible piece adds a new element of interest to help separate the piece from all the others that shoppers can be exposed to during their decision making processes.

Collections add value to each piece in the offering. This is due to collectibility of buying a complete set of jewelry. Collectibles are a great way to test a potential new line of jewelry. Why invest in the entire line until some key sellers suggested by the vendor become proven sellers?

Collectible jewelry is a means to expand the average ticket price. Some jewelers find higher priced collectible jewelry can be an easier sale than lower priced jewelry. Some jewelers are reporting they are finding lots of new opportunities to buy collectible jewelry as estate jewelry and finding buyers for resale. Some jewelry can be repaired and resold or broken down and reset into new pieces.  These new pieces add to the store’s inventory of collectible jewelry.

Here are ten tips to selling collectible jewelry:

  1. Sell one piece from a collection and then introduce a second piece. Sales associates may or may not get a second sale, but it never hurts to promote matching pieces. Plant the seed and expect some shoppers to return to buy additional pieces.
  2. Track sales to customers who purchase a piece within a collection and developing email campaigns to follow up with buyers to entice them to purchase an additional piece from a collection.
  3. Leverage the brand. Promote brands that enjoy name recognition with store customers. Find unique ways to draw more attention to a collection through visual merchandising.
  4. Don’t cherry pick the line. Develop an extensive selection of each brand. More selection entices shoppers to engage and offers more opportunities for shoppers to find just the right pieces
  5. Select items with outstanding eye value and display the piece twice. Once in the collection and once in a display that encourages more mix and match jewelry.
  6. Train sales associates to use collateral materials offered by each brand. Too often collateral materials are just placed in stacks at the end of a counter. Not only does that reduce eye appeal due to clutter, it does not make the professional presentation that many luxury shoppers expect.
  7. Use counter cards. Place counter cards inside display cases to help engage shoppers.
  8. Tout one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces as highly collectible. Turn an unsellable piece of jewelry into a piece with high demand with the right sales approach. What makes the piece unique and collectible?
  9. Promote events around collectible jewelry. Well-known designer lines can attract new customers and bring in more repeat customers. Finding new ways to bring more foot traffic into the store is always a win-win situation.
  10. Change your approach to displaying slow moving merchandise. Rather than grouping aged inventory together, find items with similar characteristics that are hot sellers. Sell the uniqueness of the item. Sell the collectibility of the individual piece. There is a customer out there for each piece of jewelry.

Collectible jewelry is very subjective. The collectibility of jewelry can be greatly enhanced by presenting a branded collection of pieces. The key is to leverage the brand name, brand image, and brand design motif to entice more shoppers. 

Dr. Tim Malone served on the faculty of GIA for several years. Well known for his presentations at industry conferences and events, he now consults jewelry companies on how to offer sustainable competitive advantages, more effective differentiation, and sales, marketing, and merchandising management performance improvement. He can be reached at 760-305-7977 or at netvalue@cox.net.

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