Columnists

Squirrel Spotting: Don’t Sell Spoiled Milk in December

ColumnistsOct 22, 2019

Squirrel Spotting: Don’t Sell Spoiled Milk in December

Jewelers should not treat the holiday season as the most wonderful time of the year for moving old merchandise, Peter Smith writes.

Peter Smith is president of Memoire and author of two books, “Hiring Squirrels,” and “Sell Something.” Connect with Smith on LinkedIn or at dublinsmith@yahoo.com.
There has long existed a truism in our business that if we have products that are long past their sell-by date, we ought to just hang in there until Christmas in the hope those pieces will benefit from the holiday euphoria and find a willing buyer.


We’ll often comfort ourselves with the thought that we don’t need to stress over dated products as we believe that this Christmas, this holiday season will be the one when customers finally wake to the reality of how great those products really are.
I mean, you bought them, or made them, so why wouldn’t customers share your excitement about how great those goods are?
Alas, there are a few flies in that soup.
First of all, even though the Christmas season remains a time for optimism, we must now contend with the reality that less and less of the business happens in the post-Thanksgiving period.
Sales are now spread throughout the year, with fewer customers waiting until December to make their purchases.
With less traffic during the November/December period, there are far fewer opportunities for customers to respond to your slower-moving products. The controlled madness that used to define the season has now given way to a new normal, with more measured traffic counts and fewer certainties.
Sell your best during the holiday 
Secondly, the need to give the customers who are coming into your store a great experience has never been more important. Expecting that to happen by exposing them to your worst-performing jewelry is optimistic at best, and perhaps even misguided.
Surely you would prefer your precious customers to experience the best of what you have.
The safest way to ensure that customers return to your store is to mitigate friction for them, and there is no greater friction than buying the wrong products. Don’t we want our customers to feel great about their decision to visit us, and the choice he or she made?
Save your dated inventory for a blowout sale during your slowest time of the year.
Building an event around inventory reduction can be effective if it is a departure from your normal business practice, and provided it is legitimate with the product and discounts as advertised. Transparency and authenticity are no less important for closeouts as for non-discounted sales.  
Sell your best during the holiday season and save the off-price for off-season.
If you want to try and sell an iPhone 4 in the age of iPhone 11, be clear about what it is and let the customer decide if they want that deal.
Don’t try to sell them spoiled milk and tell them it’s cheese.
Peter Smith is president of Memoire and author of two books, “Hiring Squirrels: 12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent,” and “Sell Something: Principles and Perspectives for Engaged Retail Salespeople.” Both books are available in print or Kindle at Amazon.com. Connect with Smith on LinkedIn or at dublinsmith@yahoo.com.
Peter Smithis an industry consultant, speaker, and sales trainer, and author of three books, “Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something,” and “The Sales Minute.”

The Latest

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

Weekly QuizJan 26, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.

CollectionsJan 26, 2023
NDC and Lorraine Schwartz Announce New ‘EDDI’ Class

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.

IndependentsJan 26, 2023
Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry Set to Open 10th Store

It will be located in San Antonio’s Alamo Quarry Market and will be Lee Michaels’ third location in the city.

Policies & IssuesJan 26, 2023
Diamonds Do Good Names 10 to Board of Directors

Stephanie Gottlieb, Jewelers Mutual’s Mike Alexander, and Craig Rottenberg of Long’s Jewelers are among the new board members.

WatchesJan 25, 2023
These Were 2022’s Top-Selling Watch Brands, Chrono24 Says

Rolex remained No. 1 while a brand known for its pilot watches slipped into the No. 5 spot.

MajorsJan 25, 2023
John Hardy Names New CEO

Luxury retail executive Frédéric Levy has taken on the role.

Events & AwardsJan 25, 2023
Couture DAC Accepting Applications for Mentorship Program

Jewelry designers have until early February to apply to take part in Couture's Diversity Action Council program.

CollectionsJan 25, 2023
Stephanie Gottlieb Announces First President, CCO Hire

Morgan P. Richardson joins from La Perla.

Policies & IssuesJan 25, 2023
PGI’s New Portal Wants to Teach You About Platinum

The new portal will share information on responsible platinum sourcing and how it’s used beyond jewelry.

SourcingJan 24, 2023
Tiffany Buys 35 of the Last Diamonds Recovered From Argyle

Purchased directly from Rio Tinto, the collection consists of pinks, purples and one red, none larger than 1.52 carats.

GradingJan 24, 2023
GIA and AGS Launch Diamond Light Performance Supplement Report

The AGS Ideal Report by GIA is a digital-only addition to GIA diamond reports.

MajorsJan 24, 2023
WJA Announces New International Board Members

The seven newcomers include executives from David Yurman, De Beers, and GIA.

EditorsJan 23, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Aurelia Demark

The designer finds the modernity in classic motifs and family heirloom jewels.

Policies & IssuesJan 23, 2023
Melanie Grant Named Executive Director of RJC

She has more than 20 years’ experience in watches and jewelry, and says sustainability is the “greatest single issue” facing the industry.

Policies & IssuesJan 23, 2023
AGTA Forms Committee to Standardize Industry ‘Sustainability’ Terms

Its focus are words like “sustainability,” “ethics,” and “responsible sourcing.”

IndependentsJan 23, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

Another “Designer to Watch” and Kim Kardashian’s auction purchase were among our most-read stories.

MajorsJan 20, 2023
Quality Gold Acquires Herco

Herco President Reuven Itelman is retiring and selling the company, which will relocate to Ohio from California.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy