I try not to rant too hard on the jewelry trade.. It does feed my family after all.. But I was reading this interesting Time Magazine poll about retail jewelers.. It seems that the number one complaint of 2000 polled consumers is that their jeweler, or jewelry salesperson doesn’t always know as much as they could, or should, about the product that they are selling..
Did you notice the publication date on that page?? 1947.. Yup, 60 years ago people were complaining about the lack of knowledge in the retail jewelry trade.. Take a tour around any of the online jewelry forums.. A common complaint that runs through all of them is the overall lack of knowledge and skill of the people behind the counter.. The stories are nearly endless..
So why is this?? Why are we 60 years down the pipe from this first poll being published and still seeing the same complaints?? I have some guesses..
I think that a lot of it has to do with the traditional nature of the industry.. Information was passed from father to son without a lot of outside influence.. This causes bad information to become fact in a very short time.. I don’t know about you, but I still have trouble telling my dad he is wrong about something..
But, I think the larger problem is simply one of laziness.. There is so much good information out there, easily found, yet so many people in the trade would rather make up an answer and try to bullshit a customer than admit that they don’t know something and ask for help.. A piece of advice for those of you that do this.. our customer probably knows as much, or more, than you do.. And making up an answer on the spot will cost you the sale.. And even worse, that customer will most likely jump online and post their story about the idiot jeweler.. How is that for advertising??
The jewelry trade isn’t the only one that has this problem.. But it really isn’t that hard to learn the basics quickly, and gain more in depth knowledge with just a little effort on your part.. It’s been 60 years.. Get off your ass and learn something..