Ten Tips for Selling Designer Jewelry

During a seminar at the recent JCK Show ~ Las Vegas, Cindy Edelstein, designer jewelry advocate and president of the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau, offered the following 10 tips for promoting and selling designer jewelry, even during tough times:

  1. Keep merchandise moving. Change displays often, redecorate your store, and rotate stock. You may even need to “retire” a piece of jewelry or a designer for a while and then “bring it out fresh” later on.

  2. Host public appearances and trunk shows. Appearances by designers are an effective way to draw customers into your store. Give customers a reason for coming, such as “Tea and scones with a new British designer.” Notify customers of events through invitations, advertising, and telephone calls. Success is in the preparation—phone calls are imperative.

  3. Offer pieces with meaning. Examples include jewelry with a message, such as heart motifs, sentimental tokens (i.e., memento jewelry), and charms. “Consumers want to connect their feelings with their jewelry,” Edelstein says.

  4. Seek out unique items. Offer one-of-a-kind items, specialized techniques, and unique designs that feature unusual gems. Also, understand how to sell “quick-trend items” whose appeal may be fleeting, such as last year’s craze, turquoise. Meanwhile, long-term trends, such as beads and metal colors, can give a retailer something to talk about other than the usual “18k gold, bezel set,” etc.

  5. Customize customers’ jewelry. Think charm bracelets and mothers’ jewelry, among other items. Consider hosting remount or redesign events, promoting your store’s custom design abilities, and inviting local designers to in-store design events to boost the creative factor.

  6. Stock affordable designs. Many designers now focus on the $2,500-and-under category.
    ” ‘Designer’ doesn’t mean expensive,” says Edelstein. New pendants from Aaron Henry and large colored-stone rings from Jane Wullbrandt are examples of designer jewelry in this price range.

  7. Make a commitment. Dedicate significant case space to one or two designers rather than dabbling in three or four. Also, “Go wide and deep in each price point” to give customers a good taste of collections, Edelstein says. Finally, to optimize sales, teach your staff about the jewelry and invite the designer to come in and rev up associates.

  8. Offer every price point. Partner with a designer who has a broad and deep inventory. “Choose a designer who has ‘pretty’ at every price point,” Edelstein suggests.

  9. Emphasize value. Remind customers that jewelry crafted by hand has inherent and sentimental value and explain that more skill and thought goes into designer pieces than into more common items.

  10. Exude fun. Jewelry sales are mainly about celebrating the happy occasions in people’s lives. “Selling designer jewelry is the fun part of our business,” Edelstein said.

For more information about selling designer jewelry or about the Jewelers Resource Bureau, contact Edelstein at (866) 252-8097 or visit www.jewelersresource.com.

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