At a retail shop, when a customer enters, the salesperson’s first question is: “Are they going to buy?” Most retail outlets are geared towards the customer coming in and leaving with something from the shop. They do not want to deal with these ‘jewellery problems’. Moreover, the retail shop may not have their own factory or craftsmen to provide customised services. They are a store—they buy and sell goods; they serve a useful but different function.
A private jeweller’s first question is: “What is their dilemma/problem that needs to be solved?” For example, a client may have lost one side of an earring; or is looking for a 10th anniversary gift with little more of an idea than “I saw something years ago that I would like to see on my wife. I only have the vaguest idea of what it may look it… all I am clear about is it goes on her neck.”
The above is a true-life case. We explored different options—a necklace, a choker… At the end of the day, the client is not a jeweller and cannot be expected to have the language to describe jewellery properly. Hence the role of the private jeweller: To understand the client, to be superlative in personalised service.
The personal touch is the main difference between private jeweller and retail store. Our first question is: “What have you come here for?” Your answer leads the direction we follow. If you want to view our jewellery, we’ll show it. If you want to talk about something else, we will do that.
A private jeweller is there to service all jewellery-related needs, no matter what they are.
On the contrary, purchasing jewellery directly from a private jeweller is less expensive. A private jeweller does not have the carrying costs and overheads of a retailer, nor sales commissions to pay. Why then the impression that private jewellers are more expensive? Here, you have to make a distinction between higher pricing and more expensive. It is true that when you visit a private jeweller, you expect to spend more; however, comparing product for product (assuming this was possible because the private jeweller’s specialty is one-of-a-kind jewellery), the private jeweller would certainly be less expensive.
Many of the lower-priced items in a retail store are mass-produced, whereas at a private jeweller, each piece is individually crafted to a client’s personal requirements. When you want something unique rather than off-the-shelf, or a special solution, it makes far more sense to visit a private jeweller.
Governing the private jeweller’s approach to business is the relationship, one which is built on privacy and discretion. We are dealing one-to-one with a view to nurturing long-term relationships. When clients meet with us, they are meeting someone who probably knows their family and we also often know their personal histories. Thus, privacy is very much a cornerstone of our business. A husband can come in here and his wife (also a client) would not learn of it.
The private jeweller begins his first encounter with a client with the view to a long-term relationship, with the intent on solving all their jewellery-related needs based on an in-depth understanding of the client.