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Accepting Returns for Jewelry that Doesn’t Sell: Good or Bad Idea?

When planning the best business practices for your jewelry brand, there are a lot of things to consider. We have already spoken about SMART sales tactics, the best way to handle Celeb Freebies, and how to deal with Net Terms.

As your business begins to grow, you might find yourself dealing with other issues. Hopefully your collection sells through every time. However, what do you do when a buyer calls you up and wants to return or trade jewelry from past seasons that did not sell?

The question is loaded.

It really comes down to building a relationship with the buyer and achieving the long terms goals of both parties in the relationship.

A jewelry designer friend of mine received a call from a store a few days ago that she had worked with two or three years prior. The request was a common one in this economy:

“Can you exchange or trade out the pieces that did not sell for something new?”

Is exchanging jewelry that didn’t sell a good idea? Or is it a bad business practice?

This is where it comes down to the relationship. My friend did something that most designers might be fearful of when they are first starting out:

‘She clearly stated that they would need to reorder twice the dollar amount of the exchange in order to accept the trade in.’

Why is this wise?

  1. It creates a policy and a standard for your business. You have more negotiating ground in general when you have clear-cut policies.
  2. When you have clear policies, you can better form long term relationships with your clients. There is no guessing as to how to proceed.
  3. If a store wants to continue to be a partner with you, it’s a good idea to swap things out as long as they order. Usually the reorder will be more than the required amount.
  4. If they choose not to continue to partner with you, you have a firm ground to refuse the request, saving you a huge amount of hassle, time and money so you can focus on revenue streams that will help grow your jewelry business.

If your partner does decide to reorder when you trade, they have a stronger commitment to your jewelry brand and greatly appreciate your flexibility and the contribution to the relationship. When they don’t, they are demonstrating that they do not have a commitment to building a partnership with you.

You conversely don’t have much of a reason to sink money and energy into a relationship that is NOT working.

I hope this helps you out.

Have you had requests to return or trade in jewelry that doesn’t sell? If so, how did you handle the situation? We want to know so pop us a note in the comments below.

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  1. JEAN on August 24, 2012 at 4:41 am

    I choose to allow returns for my business. I believe that this allows both me and my partners to have a good and harmonious business relationship.

  2. James @ Virgins Saints And Angels Jewelry on August 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Hmm, I have the same policy as Jean’s. Your friend however will most likely succeed in business. Being firm and strict with policies is needed to get the most of your business and be more successful. I would probably inform them that the exchange is just for this time and the following or next could be a different matter.

  3. designer jewellery on October 10, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Investing in jewellery is much famous now.Today people are investing money in jewellery especially gold and they get a good return after selling it.therefore apart from shares it has become the best business to invest.

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