A little over one year ago, you published a letter from a Sandra Wolfson from Ohio, as I recall, who complained bitterly about service from United Parcel Service (UPS). I responded by stating just the opposite, saying how good UPS is and how much I loved using them. You printed my letter.
Now one year later, there is “egg on my face” and I wish that I had never written that letter.
Why? For several reasons.
To begin with, we have had quite a few losses. But those losses were small, the merchandise easily replaced and the claims settled satisfactorily; other than some additional paper work to settle the claims, there really was no major harm. As we have many packages each day because of our add-a-pearl add-on program, I thought that the percentage of losses was minimal.
That is, until about two months ago. I was visiting a retail jeweler in southern Illinois who needed something that we had in the office &endash; and he needed it the next day. This merchandise was two beautiful diamond bracelets with a wholesale value of $16,900. I personally instructed my office to send these overnight UPS and insure them for $10,000. The merchandise never arrived and when we checked with UPS we were immediately informed that the package never left their facility here in Chicago. UPS also told us that one of their own employees evidently stole the merchandise and that they found the outer wrapping of the package as well as our memorandum documenting the contents to the jeweler.
In as much as UPS had admitted to internal theft, I contacted an attorney to see if he could collect the $6,900 difference between the $16,900 value of the two pieces, of which UPS has a record, and the $10,000 for which the parcel was insured. As of this date I have not heard anything, but I feel that UPS may pay us the full value for good will and public relations since they know this was internal theft.
But the big question for me is “How to send packages anyplace overnight that contain value exceeding $500?”
My insurance agency, an old agency in New York City which handles only jewelers block policies, informs me that FedEx is worse. He tells me that the dollar claims for FedEx losses are higher and they have more of them. After further consultation, he advised us to send packages overnight via the U.S. Postal Service, but to be sure to call in and insure the packages separately.
Our own people also feel that registered mail is safer, although, it is difficult to determine exactly when a package will arrive. Already this year we’ve had many instances where registered mail took one week and sometimes more, but it seems to incur fewer losses.
As of now, I believe this is something we will simply just have to learn how to live with.
Juergens & Andersen Co.
INSURANCE: ANOTHER VIEW
Re: “Sad story of a jeweler with an insurance dispute,” a letter in October JCK (page 31).
My deepest sympathy goes to Mr. Foster for what he has encountered, but it is also very unfair to criticize Jewelers Mutual for not speeding up or honoring Mr. Foster’s claim due to poor bookkeeping.
I think in all kinds of business, you need to keep all your records and receipts clear and straight, not just “in case” you need to file an insurance claim, but also for other purposes, such as taxation.
We had a robbery in our store in 1991. My experience with Jewelers Mutual was very satisfactory; everything was settled within the time frame.
Today, I’m still very thankful for their help and assistance in processing the claim smoothly. I’ll definitely recommend them to other jewelers.
Terry & Bess Jewelers
San Gabriel, Cal.
DELIVER MORE THAN A BOX
There are three kinds of people:
1. People who make it happen.
2. People waiting for things to happen.
3. People who wonder…what happened?
I wonder which of these three accurately describes most jewelry manufacturers.
At a recent Jewelers of America Jewelry Show, I interviewed over 100 jewelry manufacturers to determine how they deliver their products to their retail jewelers. By deliver, I didn’t mean the vehicle, mail, Federal Express or U.P.S. My question was, “How do you deliver/present the merchandise to your customer, retail jewelers?” To my amazement, the answer in far too many cases was “I deliver in a bag!”
Yes, jewelry is manufactured and shipped to dealers in a bag; the jewelers then can put the product in their display cases in whatever haphazard manner they wish. Doing so, they display the line in any manner that seems convenient &endash; sometimes poorly, or not at all!
When it comes to smart, attractive, pre-merchandised display, this industry is truly in the “horse and buggy stage” of effective merchandising.
If you want to prove or test this theory, walk into any department store and look at the cosmetics counter. Look at the beautifully pre-merchandised, pre-packaged, pre-priced displays. There’s drama, beauty, elegance &endash; a total sales presentation! Prices, sizes, concept, utilization are all in a display that needs almost no salesperson involvement.
It’s time that jewelry manufacturers start seriously thinking about how to prepare smart, creative, custom- made, pre-packaged, point-of-purchase displays for their lines that will attract, excite and sell the customer at the point of sales contact.
Manufacturers should be concerned about getting talented, creative, artistic stylists to develop point-of-purchase displays that will focus customer attention on their product line, rather than relying on the indifference of store sales personnel.
This sorely needed talent is out there; jewelry manufacturers need to seek it out. Our industry needs this special merchandising intelligence to make sales grow; increased sales will tell you that you made it happen.
The cost of point-of-purchase displays for exceptionally effective merchandising becomes insignificant when compared to the wholesale value of the smart product presentation.
You can make it happen by finding a display manufacturer that will create special point-of-purchase displays to fit your special product to your most important jeweler outlets.
Product Development Manager
Style-Bilt Jewelry Display Co.