On polygon.net there was a discussion today of what others charge to rodium plate a ring. In short the store owner said:
Is $40.00 to $50.00 per ring is too much to charge to rhodium plate a ring? What do you charge? What’s the going rate? I just had a lady complain about our price for rhodium 2 white gold rings. Each ring had appx 2 years of wear. We sonic the rings and do a good steaming. Then we buff them including the crown and again sonic them with a good steam. Then we electro clean them with a good rinse. Then we rhodium them. We leave them in the bath about a minute to get a nice coating. When they are done they look like new rings. And in many cases we have to align prongs and tighten stones. We have other stores in our area that do a rhodium for 20.00 per ring. Sometimes I feel we do too good of a job. I just hate to see customers walk out.
In the mid ‘80s’ almost went out of business copying others prices and thinking no one would pay more and heaven forbid I robbed the poor customer my charging over everyone else. I have IRS scars to prove this story.
The jeweler didn’t mention how many repairs ACTUALLY walk. If you talk to 10 people and 1 walks (heaven forbid two) you can’t fret or lose money over 1 or 2 people. Most repairs have a 90% closing ratio. You should be more worried about the 10 people who look and 6 or 7 walk without buying. And leave you with hundreds of $100,000 of dollars of unsold (some unpaid for) inventory.
But I get on a high horse.
So let’s look at what you did. You thought you rhodium plated a ring.
Would you ultrasonic it, steam it and then rhodium it for $40 to $50?
Or Would you emery out scratches, checks stones for tightness, tighten some, polish the ring so it shines like the top of the Chrysler building, then ultrasonic it, steam it and then rhodium it for $20? Or $40 to $50?
If it was NOT white gold (yellow cocktail ring) , how much would you charge to emery out scratches, checks stones for tightness, tighten some, polish the ring so it shines like the top of the Chrysler building, then ultrasonic it, steam it and place it in a zip lock bag?
Whatever you charge to refinish a yellow gold ring ADD RHODIUM PLATING CHARGES TO IT.
In my price book (which you have, chapter 1200) we ultrasonic for free. No checking/tightening, zip. FREE
Want it buffed? No checking stones or tightening. If you want to use bees wax or tweeze to check them, fine but you cannot tighten and be responsible for stone loss for FRICK’N FREE!
Want it buffed? Can a sales person buff a ring? YES? Are they trained as a jeweler? NO. This is a 5th graders procedure (I polished rings in 5th grade, trust me, buffing with a soft muslin buff with red rouge is a no brainer.) Do you have to pay someone great pay to buff?
Therefore to buff, ultrasonic and steam a ring, no checking, rounding up and no plating is $8.00 EIGHT BUCKS.
OK, now lets’ talk about what you did.
1. Took in the ring, added history into a POS program
2. Hopefully if out of round, slipped the ring on a steel mandrel and made ir round.
3. Used emery paper to remove any obvious scratches.
4. Checked every stone for tightness
5. If loose you tightened them. Unknown to you the customer is going to hold you responsible for stones getting loose or falling out for a near future term. How long? One Year! Why? Because everything bought in America is guaranteed for a year. I can prove it.
6. After tightening if need be you rubber wheeled the prongs.
7. Used Tripoli to buff out emery and other scratches.
8. Polish to a shine the ring.
9. Ultrasonic and clean good
10. Rhodium plate (Costs $250 to $300 a bottle.)
11. Ultrasonic again and steam.
For $20? Are you kidding me?
Quick buff by anyone = $8
What I just described WITHOUT PLATING = $35 if it has stones to check & tighten. If it has NO stones we charge $15 to refinish. If refinish and has stones then it’s $35
This is yellow gold
To then Rhodium plate the ring (after it has been refinished of course) is another $35.
Therefore to do what you said in Yellow gold is $70.00
Repairs are not price driven but trust driven.
Can the customer shop this around? REALLY?
My daughter has Lasik eye surgery a few years ago. Price per EYE ranged from $999 to $2999. She chose the $1800 doctor. I shopped around (as your customers do). My daughter chose the $1800 doctor. Know why?
He did the Lasik eye surgery for the pitcher for the Atlanta Braves and 3 friends used him. There was no going to a less expensive opthomologist.
It’s a LASER machine for crying out loud!
Can the customer buy YOU at another store to do this, or your jeweler? Not at all.
Ask yourself or YOUR JEWELER these 3 questions:
1. How long have you done jewelry work?
2. How long have you worked here?
3. What’s the most expensive thing you ever worked on in your career?
When you had a customer complain about price remember you can’t sell everyone.
Remember these 3 questions from above?
These are MY ANSWERS incorporated in how I talk to a customer.
“Hey this sounds like a lot of money!”
This is what you’ll say:
“I know you think this is a quick job, it’s really not. Here’s what we’ll do to your ring. First we’ll make sure your ring is round using a ring mandrel. After making it round we’ll use emery paper, similar to you using a fingernail emery board to take out scratches. Then we’ll check all of the stones for tightness and if any are loose we’ll tighten them at no additional charge and guarantee the small stones for a year.
Then we’ll buff it similar to the buffing process of polishing your car. Then ultrasonically clean it, steam it and it will shine like the top of the Chrysler building.
After that we will coat your ring with “Rhodium”, it’s an expensive solution that makes the ring as white as it can be. By the way when you buy a pint of milk it’s a dollar, rhodium in the same size container costs us over $300.
Lastly we can’t hire just any old jeweler who walks in here. Marvin, the jeweler who will do you ring has been doing this for 18 years and worked here for 12 years. He has worked on jewelry valued easily over $100,000.00 for us. This is the person who will work on your ring and you do want that type of expertise, don’t you?”
Yeah sure, go shop this. I dare you. It’s worth the money you’ll charge.
David Geller, Director of Shop Profits