With all the daily intricacies of running a small business, it can be hard to anticipate some problems before they arise. Luckily, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - once you've dealt with a problem head on, you're equipped with the knowledge to develop a business policy for dealing with that problem when it happens again. After working with jewelers in the Diamond District for almost 30 years, we've seen many different ways jewelers run their businesses. Below is a list of questions and scenarios to consider when setting policies for your jewelry business. Hopefully, by making these considerations now, you won't be caught off-guard if you find yourself in a similar situation.
Returns: Most stores already have them figured out, but a fair return policy that makes customers comfortable without breaking your bottom line is a fundamental that can't be ignored. What do you feel is an adequate amount of time for customers to have pieces before you take them back? What if they have been poorly handled or worn? If the return is due to the quality of the craftsmanship, what can you do to retain the customer's goodwill? On the other hand, what if the flaw wasn't noticed until several months after purchase?
Ring Sizing: If a customer buys a ring in the wrong size, how will you adjust your pricing - free for the first re-sizing, a one-time fee, or something else? What if the ring can’t be re-sized?
Stone Setting Services: Handling a customer's gemstones comes with inherent risks you should be prepared for. What should happen if you lose the stone? Will you be liable if the customer’s stone breaks? What if the stone breaks because it was flawed?
Jewelry Repairs: Should you offer the option to buy repair services with each piece of jewelry you sell, or offer repairs for free? What if the jewelry is extremely damaged, or inadvertently caused by another jeweler who worked on the piece?
Start thinking of issues now so you can create policies to address them when they arise. But remember: they don't need to be iron clad. Certain customers or situations will require flexibility for the best outcome. If the policies you set don't seem to be the best fit for your business and your customers, consider revising them.