Security for Sales Reps

I am a former national sales manager and currently a manufacturer’s representative in our industry. I have just finished reading your article in the November issue of JCK concerning security issues for jewelry sales representatives (Counterpoint, p. 26). I would like to commend you for your realistic and common-sense approach.

All too often, there is hand-wringing in concern for the safety of the sample line and the representative, but then unrealistic or vague guidelines are issued that are not only impossible to legally decipher, but also virtually useless in day-to-day situations. (My favorite is the one you mentioned: Is a vehicle unattended when you go to the cashier at a gas station or to a restroom?)

While most manufacturers profess to be concerned, the truth is that if a line is lost, the sales representative will usually owe the manufacturer a monetary sum. If that logic is extended, one could easily conclude that while losing a line is certainly not a positive experience for either the manufacturer or the representative, in the final analysis it is the representative who reimburses the manufacturer and thus is assuming the entire financial and physical risk for the sample line.

I am not talking about justification of careless habits and irresponsible actions. I am simply agreeing with you about the lack of concern for sales representatives who do everything in their power to take care of the line and then are held responsible because of the lack of definition of “an unattended vehicle” or other technicalities. I agree that the root problem is the lack of an organization to speak for all representatives. Unfortunately, the characteristics of a successful sales representative are the same personality traits that would preclude being part of a national organization.

Dale Hoffman, Chicago


In November’s Gem Notes (p. 40), an incorrect price was listed for The Complete Handbook for Weight Estimation by Charles Carmona. The correct price is $59.95 plus shipping.

An incorrect telephone number accompanied a description of Austrian crystal jewelry by Jenna Nicole Crystal (JCK, November 1998, p. 118). The correct number is (732) 780-0190.

A description of Vivian Alexander’s Imperial Collection (JCK, November 1998, p. 122) included a wrong telephone number. The correct number is (800) 898-0803.

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Jewelers’ Circular Keystone, 201 King of Prussia Rd., Radnor, PA 19089