An Endangered Species: The Independent Sales Rep

Today, independent jewelry reps are leaving the road by the “caratful.” To earn income that covers our growing expenses, we either have to expand our territories or carry more merchandise. We have to juggle appointments and schedule appointments with overbooked store owners. Statistics gathered by Jewelers Security Alliance comparing 2005 to 2006 indicate that although criminal events against reps decreased by 14 percent, their dollar losses increased by approximately 3.5 percent. These numbers might indicate that road reps are carrying higher value to raise their bottom line. In my own case, this is true. It is fair to say that the road rep risks theft and assault around every corner. The U.S. marketplace has become more international. Even if there is civil unrest in a region, we leave an appointment dependent on that manufacturer shipping on time. More of our profit is eaten up by

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