Last updateTue, 19 Mar 2019 7pm

The Retailer’s Perspective: Rang – (n) jury that goes on a fanger

Customer: “Do you repair high end watches?”

Me: “We do.”

Customer: “I had some crystals fall out of my Anne Klein watch.  Can you repair it?”

Me: “Why it just so happens that we repaired one just like that the other day. I believe it cost about $1,400 to do that repair.”

Customer: “Why does it cost so much, I only paid $39 for the watch?”

Me (shaking my head, remembering her first question): “Well, for that specific repair, we have to send those over to Switzerland, all the way to the Rolex factory, to have the work done. They are the only company in the world that repairs high end watches like your Anne Klein.”

Customer: “Well, I really do love this watch.”

Me (thinking she might actually say yes): “Oh, and just so you know, its $1,400 per stone. It looks like you’re missing about 12. Will that be cash, check or credit card?

Customer: “I’m going to have to think about it.”


Next Customer: “Do you size rangs?”

Me: “We do.”

Customer: “I got these 10 rangs willed to me from when my momma went to see the Lord. Momma got the cancer and I got the ‘jury’ (and yes, she really said that). I want them all sized to fit my middle fanger. I’m a 6! And, I want you to fix ‘em up and make ‘em all look just like new again.

Me (looking at the 4 rings she’s already got shoved on her middle fanger and wondering where these 10 new ones are gonna go): “Let me see what you’ve got.”

She plunks her huge purse down on my counter and starts digging. Of course she can’t find what she’s looking for, so she just dumps her purse out, sending her keys skidding across my glass countertop. And, joy of joys, she finds the rings and dumps them out on my glass as well. Oh lookie, it’s my favorite thing to see; momma was addicted to the Home Shopping Network.

Me: “Why don’t you take off the 4 rings you currently have on your middle finger so we can get an accurate size.”

Customer (while licking her finger and struggling to remove the rings): “I’m a 6, I already know. I’ve always been a 6”

Me (after sizing her fanger): “It appears that you are actually a 10 ½, and your momma was a 4 ½.  You’re looking at about $1,400 to size these rangs…err, I mean rings.”

Customer: “Wow, that’s a lot, but momma really wanted me to have her good jury.”

Me (suddenly realizing I’d priced it too cheap because she said yes):  “Each. That’s $1,400 each. Will that be cash, check, or credit card?”

Customer: “I’m going to have to think about it.”  


Next Customer (with her brand new engagement ring that he bought for her on Pinterest): “I just got this ring and I think I can hear the center Morgadishinite rattling. Can you tighten it? Also, it’s missing one of the Gogeshenite side stones. Can you replace that too? I’ve only had it a week, but I can see where the black plating is rubbing off on the bottom. Can you re-plate that too? And, it’s catching on all of my sweaters. Can you fix that? Also, does the top of this ring look crooked? Can you fix that while you’re at it?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Why not? I just love this ring. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Why can’t it be fixed?”

Me (because everyone knows you can’t fix stupid): “Just return it and have them send you a new one.”

Customer: “I’ve already done that twice. This is the third one. I just want it to be perfect.”

Me: “Let me send it to my jeweler and see what he says.” (HAH!  Just kidding, I’d never say that)

Me (really): “I’m sorry; I’m just not able to help you. This ring can only be repaired by the company that made it. They have the original molds and gemstones that I don’t have access to.”

Customer: “What can I do? I love it and just want it to be perfect.”

Me: “Well, we could probably make you one from scratch and actually do it correctly. You’d probably spend $1,400, err, I mean $14,000. Will that be cash, check, or charge?”

Customer: “Gosh, I think this ring only costs $169 on Pinterest. Maybe I should just return it and have them send me another one?”

Me: “Good idea.”


Whenever I have customers like these, I have a long standing policy about getting payment up-front; especially when the cost of the repair exceeds the cost of the piece. There is a strange phenomenon that sweeps over people when they get that phone call from you that their $69 piece of jewelry is finished and they need to come in and pay you the $1,400 they agreed to. We’ve all heard, “Just fix it. I don’t care what it costs.” Hah! Those are the people that always care the most when it comes time to come in to pay for their repair.

But, this time of year, there is another horrible phrase that we all hear over and over again. If you hear it, you need to run. You need to run fast and far.

“Can I just pay when I pick it up? I’m expecting my income tax check any day now.”

Chuck is the owner of Anthony Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Chuck also owns CMK Co., a wholesale trade shop that specializes in custom jewelry and repair services to the jewelry industry nationwide. If you would like to contact Chuck or need a speaker or instructor for your next conference/event he can be reached at 615-354-6361, www.CMKcompany.com or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.