Tom Shane's World
On Buying Jewelry
Despite growing up in the jewelry industry, and perhaps partially due to it, I am painfully aware of the reasons why some people (more often men than women) try to steer clear of this purchase as often as possible. There are two main reasons really, one being the adverse feelings of going into a jewelry store to begin with, the other being the issue of trying to actually pick out a piece of jewelry to purchase.
A jewelry store can be an intimidating place to walk into for anyone due to a variety of reasons. Few people like ‘pushy’ people, even fewer like ‘sales people’, and fewer yet enjoy being around ‘pushy sales people’. Somehow, and I really don’t know the origin of this, jewelry stores and car dealerships have been tagged with the unfortunate reputation of filling their staff with these types of people. I’m not saying this reputation was wrongly earned, but what I will say is that customers are choosing the wrong retailers, because there is a choice. I purchased a car a few years back, and a used car at that, but was able to find a place that had a non-commissioned sales team, never ran ‘sales’, offered everyday low pricing, and wouldn’t haggle over anything. What you see is what you get. Their model was simple, low prices, all the time, and if you like it, you buy it, knowing you got the same deal as the person before and after you. In essence, it’s the exact same business model we run at Shane Co., and moreover, I was comfortable before, during, and after the purchase.
We relentlessly try to eliminate any of the typical negative feelings associated with buying jewelry. From never running a sale, offering everyday low pricing to everyone at all times, to not paying our sales teams a commission for ‘closing’ the customer.
Our theory is, if we offer the best prices, on high quality merchandise, and provide a top-class sales team to educate the customer on the product, we will win out on every sale, and everyone is happier at the end of the day.
The second reason I mentioned why jewelry stores can be very intimidating is the narrowing down to actually pick out one or two pieces of merchandise. With jewelry, unlike most things that people purchase, the item being selected is often being picked out as a gift for someone else. Meaning one often walks away with the feeling of ‘I have no idea if she’s going to like this’ versus the confidence of ‘I know she’s going to love this’. Unlike a television, or even an automobile, the gift-giver with jewelry typically derives no direct benefit from the product after it is gifted. To further complicate things, jewelry is considered a ‘blind’ item, meaning that whoever is purchasing jewelry (either for a self-purchase or as a gift for someone else) often knows nothing at all about the value of the piece they’re looking to purchase. They’re essentially putting their blind trust in the hands of the very person who’s looking to sell them an item to price the piece fairly. Combining these two facts, the ‘blindness’ of the item with the fact that it is often a gift for someone else, it is clear to see why some shy away from making this purchase.
We’ve built our business model to try and overcome all of the above concerns as best as possible. From a non-commissioned sales team to an industry leading return and lifetime guarantee program. The first step to overcoming customer’s fears is to understand them, which is something that I know we’ve strived to learn. Whether shopping for a car, jewelry, or anything else for that matter, I recommend trying to find a store that matches their business model to the way which you, the consumer, who is the ultimate boss in retail (as you are the one buying) feel most comfortable. After all, a retailer’s success or demise is a democratic vote that is made by their customers, and they’re constantly casting their votes, every time they decide to either reach into their wallets, or as the case may be, not to.