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Jason Chandler Brings Estate Piece Back To Life

When is a repair more than a repair? 

Many jewelers measure it by the challenges involved. This can be particularly true when repairing antique jewelry. Lance Campbell, Lang’s Antiques jeweler, finds himself replacing 100- to 150-year-old design elements assuring that they blend seamlessly. Or the challenge can be sizing a diamond-accented heirloom ring from a size seven to a three and a half. 

Sometimes, the money earned from a repair can put it in a class by itself.  

jason chandler
Jason Chandler, Portland Jewelry Academy

And then you come across a repair with a strong emotional pull requiring skill and sensitivity. This was the case for Jason Chandler when a rare retail customer entered his trade shop. “The Portland Artisan’s Shop is in a retail location,” Jason says, “but it doesn’t look like a store because most of our work comes from jewelry stores. So we don’t see a lot of retail customers.” And when they do come in, they’re looking for a custom design more often than not. 

But on this particular day, a father came in with an unusual request. He brought a sterling silver hamsa pendant  — clearly not an expensive piece. Jason explains, “He and his wife had gone to India and bought the hamsa for their young daughter. It’s a symbol meant to protect the wearer from harm — something we would all wish for our children. It wasn’t exactly tourist jewelry,” Jason says. “I’d say it was a grade above that. But it was for a child and not expected to last forever.”  

hamsa pendant
Google Image

Here, the story takes a tragic turn. Perhaps a year after the little girl received her gift, she died. The grieving father wanted it repaired so he could wear it on a chain in his daughter’s memory. “It wasn’t easy for him to talk about her, so I spent some time with him, and gradually he opened up and shared the story. I have children, so this tugged at my heart, and I wanted to make the piece as worthy of her memory.” 

The challenge was to strengthen it for longevity while maintaining the elegance and beauty of the symbol. And so his work began. 

Most of the marcasite had fallen out, so Jason suggested replacing them with black diamonds. Additionally, Jason suggested replacing the three blue CZs (set in the center three fingers) with aquamarines. He would bezel-set all the tones for security and longevity.  

The silver wasn’t thick enough to support the bezels, so Jason reinforced the back of the hamsa beneath each bezel with a small jump ring, carefully arranging them in a precise pattern.  

Jump rings (JR16:65030) and bezels (20929) 

“When he arrived to get it,” Jason says, “tears came to his eyes. The repair cost much more than the original piece, but I would’ve done the work just to see the look on his face. That was the real reward.”   

Have any of you had a memorable repair? We’d love to hear about it and look for the chance to feature it. 


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Kickstart Your Jewelry Repair Business With 5 Easy Tips

Jewelry Repair Header Blog

Jewelry repair is an underlying revenue stream that pays the bills when things get slow. Did you know repair averages anywhere from 10% to 15% in monthly revenue?

Research shows the main difference between a $1 million shop and a $2 million shop is not the number of jewelry repairs performed. It is the pricing of those repairs. You may be leaving big money on the table by undercharging or overlooking great sales opportunities.

Here are five ways to maximize revenue through jewelry repair:

1. Promote on All Platforms

As an expert in the jewelry industry and a trusted member of your community, take every opportunity to promote your business. Television, radio, and print ads are all great opportunities to tout your repair services. But don’t limit yourself to traditional media. Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to spread the word to customers who spend lots of time on those platforms.

Check out our best social media tips here.

2. Offer Limited-Time Promotions

Your promotion should be something you can do quickly and inexpensively, like a complimentary battery change. Offer to replace watch batteries for just the cost of the battery. Or offer half price on a chain solder.

The idea is to reward your loyal customers while attracting new ones to your store without losing much time or expense. And, of course, a 15-minute turnaround time gives your customers 15 minutes to browse while they wait!

3. Don’t Discount Everything!

If you’re like many jewelers, you’re not charging everything you could be for repairs. How do you know what you should charge?

The industry standard is Geller’s Blue Book, which provides solid guidelines. Do some research to see how the recommended pricing in Geller’s Blue Book compares to your current rates. Then, adjust your pricing accordingly. Don’t be scared to raise your jewelry repair rates. After all, your time and workmanship are invaluable.

David Geller Blue Book Jewelry Repair Business
62-4388

4. Build Trusting Relationships

You’ve seen the customer who hesitantly hands over her engagement ring to have a prong re-tipped. When you tell her it will take 30 minutes, she offers to stick around while you do the work. And who can blame her for being so nervous? She’s entrusting you with what might be her most cherished possession.

Create a sense of trust with a standard, rigorous take-in process using a detailed repair form. You can never be too thorough:

  • Measure the stones
  • Describe their color in detail
  • Notate any damage to the piece and the condition of the stones
  • Weigh the item
  • Take pictures from all angles

By taking pictures of her ring and stapling it to the repair envelope, she’ll feel confident that she’s getting back exactly what she left. Plus, if details are not documented on intake, any jewelry repair discrepancies may come back to haunt you.

Kickstart Jewelry Repair 3 Part Jewelry Repair Forms Kickstart Jewelry Repair Grobet Repair Envelopes
61-1630 61-1510

5. Upsell, Upsell, Upsell

Use the take-in process to tell your customers about the other services you offer. Tell them you can remount an inherited heirloom piece or engrave the locket she got for her birthday. Or offer an appraisal for their engagement ring so that they can get it insured.

You can also charge more for premium services, like rush jobs. Customers who need their jewelry soon are generally willing to pay a higher price. And don’t forget to use your counter space for trendy, reasonably priced items near the take-in counter to make impulse purchases more likely.

       Kickstart Repair Business Best Built Engraver       Kickstart-Repair-Business-Jewelry-Selling-System
                           26-3928 Personalized Jewelry Selling System

Here are 10 simple steps to the perfect jewelry repair process

Jewelry repair ten tips


Editor’s Note:
 This post was originally published on January 22, 2018.  




5 Tips to Kickstart Your Jewelry Repair Business

jewelry repair blog header

Few can argue that jewelry repair is an underlying revenue stream that pays the bills when things get slow. In fact, repair averages anywhere from 10-15% in monthly revenue, peaking in January. That’s right, you know all too well about the post-Christmas sizing, modifications, engravings, and enhancements that waltz through your door after the big gift exchange. But ultimately, jewelry repair is a year-round business. What you might not know, though, is that research shows the main difference between a $1 million shop and a $2 million shop is not the number of jewelry repairs performed, but the pricing of those repairs. You may be leaving big money on the table by undercharging or overlooking great sales opportunities.

 

Here are five ways to maximize revenue through jewelry repair–

 

1. Promote Yourself Widely

As an expert in the jewelry industry and a trusted member of your community, take every opportunity to promote your business. Television, radio, and print ads are all great opportunities to tout your repair services. But you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional media these days. In fact, you shouldn’t! Get on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to spread the word. You’ll reach those youthful customers who spend much time on social media and are eager to shop locally. These social platforms are booming, and best of all, they’re free! So get online and spread the word about your jewelry repair services. Check out our best social media tips here.

2. Offer Limited-Time Promotions

Your promotion should be something you can do quickly and inexpensively – a complimentary battery change, for instance. Offer to replace watch batteries for just the cost of the battery. Or offer half price on a chain solder. The idea is to reward your loyal customers while attracting new ones to your store without losing much time or expense. And, of course, a fifteen-minute turn-around time gives your customers fifteen minutes to browse while they wait!

3. But Don’t Discount Everything!

If you’re like a lot of jewelers – maybe most – you’re not charging everything you could be for repairs. How do you know what you should charge? The industry standard, of course, is Geller’s Blue Book, which provides solid guidelines. Do some research to see how the recommended pricing in Geller’s Blue Book compares to your current rates. Then, adjust your pricing accordingly. Don’t be scared to raise your jewelry repair rates. After all, your time and workmanship are invaluable. Need more information on pricing or other business-related matters? Visit David Geller’s JewelerProfit.com for more.

4. Build Trust

You’ve seen the customer who hesitantly hands over her engagement ring to have a prong re-tipped. When you tell her it will take about 30 minutes, she offers to stick around while you do the work. And who can blame her for being so nervous? She’s entrusting you with what might be her most cherished possession. Create a sense of trust by using a standard, rigorous take-in process using this 3-part jewelry repair form. You can never be too thorough: measure the stones, describe their color in detail, notate any damage to the piece and the condition of the stones, weigh the item, and take pictures from all angles. By taking pictures of her ring and stapling it to the repair envelope, she’ll feel confident that she’s getting back exactly what she left. Plus, if details are not documented on intake, any jewelry repair discrepancies may come back to haunt you.

5. Upsell, Upsell, Upsell

Use the take-in process to tell your customer about all the other services you offer. Tell her you can remount the stone in that ring she inherited or engrave the locket she got for her birthday. You can also charge more for premium services like rush jobs. Customers who need their jewelry soon are generally willing to pay a higher price. Tell her you can appraise that engagement ring so she can get it insured. And don’t forget to use your counter space for trendy, reasonably priced items near the take-in counter to make impulse purchases more likely.

 

Here are 10 simple steps to the perfect jewelry repair process

Jewelry repair ten tips

Download and print this invaluable handout regarding tips on pricing by David Gellar

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 16, 2015 and has since been completely revamped for accuracy.