Father’s Day Payday

Gold-plated cigars and golf balls. As some moms get gold-plated roses, gold-plated cigars seem fitting for dads. In fact, Pat Gilmore of Dunbar Jewelers, Yakima, Wash., was pleasantly surprised during a recent Father’s Day period when he sold four gold-plated cigars from stock and ordered six more at $50 each.

Product maker 24k Rose, Minneapolis, Minn., has other options, too. Consider two different kinds of gold-plated golf balls—one you can play a round with and one that’s just for show (that one is base metal). Dunbar says the golf balls were as successful as the cigars during the last Father’s Day period (he keeps a few of both in stock year-round). As to which type of ball—playable or not—was more popular, “It’s a toss up,” he says. “Most men would feel pretty bad if they lost a gold-plated one on the course, so they tend to keep the playable ones on shelves, too.”

According to the company, prices for these nifty Father’s Day gifts are reasonable. Gold-plated cigars and golf balls retail for $39.95 each, while the base-metal ball is just $14.95.

Tradition with a twist. Up-to-date versions of time-honored Father’s Day gifts can be strong sellers. Products made with metals like steel and titanium, for example, can have a special appeal for men.

Capitalize on crests. Oh-so-masculine family crest rings were a big hit with men in Plano, Texas, particularly customers of Elaine Vale, owner of Custom Color Fine Jewelers. Several years ago, Vale ran a successful Father’s Day promotion that involved selling 14k gold family crest rings with an enticing incentive—$100 off the usual price. Her results: “A 300% unit increase,” she says.

With a little help from the vendor—the Heraldry House jewelry line of Commemorative Brands Inc., a division of Artcarved Class Rings, in Austin, Texas—Vale was armed with promotional materials including postcards and posters, as well as 14k gold merchandise that was attractively priced. Shoppers were motivated to purchase by the deal offered. “Normally we only sell a handful of these rings [during the Father’s Day season],” observes Vale.

While Heraldry House isn’t currently offering the promotion, the jewelry maker still crafts lots of the “highly customized family heirlooms,” according to a spokesperson.

Sell Swiss watches. Some jewelers count on in-store watch events to boost Father’s Day sales. (See “Fair Game,” p. 50). Gause & Son Jewelers, Ocala, Fla., and Bove Jewelers, Kennett Square, Pa., both reported sales increases—25% and $70,000, respectively—from hosting Swiss watch fairs in-store.