Let’s switch it up…
So now that you read my 25 pros of being a jewelry salesman (if not, do so, then come back), I’m going to switch it up a bit and look at the downside of this career.
It’s not always a walk in the park.
There are some aspects of working in a jewelry store that really are a pain. Granted, I’m not complaining or bitching here (even though it may come across as so), I’m just saying that there are some bad with the good. Just like everything in life, it has its strengths and weaknesses.
15 cons of being a salesman
Bear in mind that not all of these apply to every jeweler. Every store is different and will have different policies and procedures. Also keep in mind that these are in no particular order.
1) Working the holidays
You what? You want the holiday off? Ha Ha! You’ve got another thing coming.
Holidays generally are a jewelers busiest time of the year. Valentine’s day weekend is always booming. Sweetest day is busy, Mother’s day is crazy, and Christmas…
Well, pack your bags because at Christmastime you’ll practically live in the store.
Some years I’ve worked 12 hours a day from Thanksgiving to Christmas with barely 1 day off the whole entire time. Those are some long, hard, exhausting days (and Management gets no overtime).
At Christmastime jewelry stores have extended holiday hours, plus many will also work on Sundays as well. You’ll have no time to do your own shopping.
At Christmas, you’ll work so much you won’t even enjoy it. Sad, but true.
Customers can be so wishy-washy when it comes to jewelry. Jewelry is often a spontaneous purchase. When reality sets in, or something else comes up, the customer often returns it.
Stores that have 30 Day, 60 day or even 90 day return policies make it too easy for customers to get a refund. It’s great for the customer, but it can take a serious chunk out of your own pocket book. If you eat a $6,000 return, that’s $120 coming out of your salary. Ouch.
Some customers buy jewelry to wear for a weekend party then bring it back on Monday.
Some people are addicted to jewelry and buy and return, buy and return, over and over again. It’s enough to drive you nuts. It makes waiting on them a pain. You know it’s coming back… So why bother?
3) “I’m just looking!”
This is the only line that people know: “I’m just looking!”
I understand that people just want to “browse“. I get it. I understand that they don’t want to be pressured or forced into buying anything (like someone could do that anyway). But when I greet you and smile and say “Hi. How are you?” Don’t snap at me and say “I’m just looking!” That is not an appropriate or acceptable answer. It’s rude. Just say “Hi” back.
No need to be short or snotty.
4) Buying Jewelry
It’s so cool. You get to buy jewelry at cost.
What’s not cool?
The fact that half your paycheck will go to buying jewelry at cost.
If you can buy jewelry that cheap, you will buy a lot of jewelry. You’ll go broke working in a jewelry store. But at least you’ll have some awesome looking pieces. :)
Because there is always some new piece that comes in, something else you want, it gets very tempting. You always have to buy more.
5) Quality Jewelry
Not only do you have to buy jewelry, but that jewelry has to be expensive. Why is that? Because you’ll buy better quality items, which means more money to shell out.
Bigger pieces. Higher clarity. Higher color. Huge carat weights. Platinum… You have to buy the good stuff.
After all, you do work in a jewelry store.
6) Expensive Outfits
It goes with the territory. You can’t wear jeans and tennis shoes to work. You’ll always be spending good money on clothing; suits, ties, dresses, shoes… Whatever it is you wear, it won’t be cheap.
$20 flip-flops? I think not!
Dress clothes cost money. You may not have to spend a million bucks, but you should look like you did.
7) Commissions and loyalty
Customers don’t get it. They don’t. They don’t understand how salespeople work on commissions and make a living.
Customers come into a jewelry store. They get greeted by a salesperson. They hand that salesperson their jewelry so they can get them cleaned… Then that customer will turn around and have another salesperson wait on them. That’s not cool.
If you already have one person waiting on you, be loyal. Don’t let anyone else wait on you. You ruin people’s chances of making commissions.
Some customers have the entire store wait on them. It’s frustrating. Grrrr….
8) 1 hour sales presentations
Selling diamond engagement rings is not quick or easy. There is a lot of work involved. Teaching and training customers about the 4 C’s, diamonds and quality can take hours.
Showing them all the different clarities and colors under a microscope, going over certifications and settings and paperwork and policies… It can take a lot out of you.
You’ll be tired of talking after a couple of presentations. And guess what? You still have 6 hours left to work.
It’s a lot of energy. A lot of moving. It’s high paced. You have a lot of objections and rejections to overcome.
From start to finish, selling diamonds takes its toll.
Better get some coffee.
If you sell a diamond wedding set, the fun part has just begun: Paperwork.
Filling out credit applications is a pain. Then you have to run the report, ring up the sale, take the down payment, write up the repair slip for sizing, fill out the diamond warranties, service plans, jewelry appraisals… This paperwork could take you another half hour or so to process. And if you’re busy, that can be crazy and hectic.
Hope you weren’t planning on taking a lunch.
10) Stressful quotas
You have to sell $2,500 today. Saturday you’re up against a $19,000 day. You also need to sell 15 service plans by the weekend. You need 20 credit card applications in the next hour. There’s a remount show that you need to call 2000 people about…
Deadlines and quotas never stop. It’s sell, sell, sell.
Especially since you can’t control when people come into your store. You can’t make people buy. You can’t force them to spend $4,000 versus $400.
It’s always a roller coaster ride. You’ll have good days and bad. The stress and tension levels never cease.
11) Wipe the glass
Day in and day out. Wipe the glass. Every minute, every second, all day long.
It only takes one customer “I’m just looking” to fingerprint and touch every jewelry case in the entire store. Thanks.
And if they have kids…
Kids have sticky candy fingers. Little fingers that smear and smudge everything. They press their gooey lips to the cases… “I wanna see.”
Time to wipe the glass. AGAIN!
Every single item in the store needs to be wrote down. Every item, every piece, every cost, repairs, layaways, pieces in the safe, jewelry in the drawers, every item has to be inventoried.
And you have to do all this, in between waiting on customers. It’s always a process of starting and stopping….
“Wait! Did I inventory that piece yet?“
Employees show pieces and accidentally shift them around. Pieces get sold, returned… It’s enough to make you pull your hair out.
13) Case counts
Every morning you have to count every single item in the showroom. Every night you have to do the same.
Reason being, you have to keep track of all the jewelry inventory. What happens to it. Whether it be sold, returned, held, stolen (employee theft is huge)… You have to account for it all.
If you fail to count the cases right, you could get wrote up, accused or even fired.
Better count the pieces perfectly.
“65, 66, 67… crap, the phone just rang. Was I on 66 or 67? Rats!”
14) Packing the safe
Insurance policy states that every item, every ring, pendant, earring and bracelet in the entire store has to be pulled and packed away in the safe every night. Every single piece.
That way, if you were to get broken into in the middle of the night, the burglars would get nothing.
This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your store and the amount of employees working. I’ve had plenty of days where I was the only person opening or closing, so I had to put the whole store together.
Better set your alarm clock early, you’ve got plenty of work to do.
15) Watch batteries
Every customer wants a watch battery. And every watch is a pain in the butt to open and reseal. Why is it that the cheaper the watch the more difficult it is to work with?
You have tiny screwdrivers and microscopic screws. Springs that go flying. Gasket seals that break and stretch. Double layered watch guts with multiple watch batteries. Cases that are impossible to close (even with a watch press). Corrosion. Not to mention that gross, musty, unclean smelly straps… Yuck!
Sometimes you have to remove the links or band just to open the watch up. Sometimes you accidentally crack the crystal, or the hands pop off, or you’re out of that battery…
“Has anyone seen the watch battery conversion chart?”
Working in a jewelry store will give you a lot of watches and a lot of watch batteries to deal with.
Every time the door opens… “Do you do watch batteries?“
The point is, practice doesn’t always make perfect.
Watches are still a pain.
Jewelry store cons…
See, working in a jewelry store isn’t all fun and games like one would think, but it’s the truth! You have to hear it all. Good and bad.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are many more great reasons (pros) to working in a jewelry store, but there are also some crappy ones.
It’s all just a part of the job.
Welcome to my world.
“What? I have to vacuum the floor again?“
14k Wheat Chains
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