Key Insights for Buying & Selling Estate Jewelry
Jewelers who buy and sell estate jewelry provide relationship-building customer service, as well as an additional profit center for their business.
Offering estate jewelry services can attract both existing and new customers. They can sell unwanted items they don’t know what to do with, support recycling, shop styles from different eras; and take advantage of price savings, sometimes 30% to 40% less than new products.
In addition to offering value to consumers, buying and selling estate jewelry can be profitable for jewelers, establishing them as the full-service jewelry expert in their community.
Partner with Trusted Suppliers
There are several ways jewelers can provide estate jewelry services to their customers. Experts in the field advocate that those interested in getting into or expanding their business in this category to partner with a finite group of suppliers who have deep knowledge of and buying expertise in the diamond and jewelry resale market.
Strong relationships with key suppliers can provide superior customer service, including the ability to flip products for immediate cash for the customer and commission for the jeweler who does not wish to resell the piece.
Leading suppliers of estate jewelry and recycled diamonds like White Pine Wholesale do that and more for jewelers, including intake evaluation and price negotiations, jewelry appraisals, and diamond testing. The company also provides estate/pre-owned jewelry on memo, special events and trunk shows, and marketing to jewelry partners.
Stocking estate and antique jewelry year-round requires a great deal of knowledge. Developing strategic partnerships can provide jewelers with the education, expertise, and stock they can lean on to keep offerings fresh and customers engaged to visit often.
Estate Jewelry Intake Tips
Whether the jeweler decides to flip the product to a vendor partner for immediate sell through or resell the piece in their own estate jewelry case, here are several considerations when taking in pre-owned jewelry:
> Examine the piece with a jeweler’s loupe and penlight from all angles, front and back. Inspect the workmanship, hallmarking, check findings and prongs, and look for chips in gemstones and cracks in enamel that can be difficult to repair. Use a synthetic diamond detector.
> Determine whether the piece is authentic or a reproduction. Telltale signs to look for include: perfect patina that lacks signs of wear, a backside that’s not well finished, and a piece that looks heavy but is hollow. Old pieces have a softness of workmanship, as it has been handled for many years, with no hard edges as new production would.
> When determining value, consider the condition of the piece, including its integrity (whether or not it has been repaired or altered), design, provenance (origin), and marketability. Bear in mind maximum value, and what kind of return you can expect.
> An unbiased third party appraisal helps to ensure the quality of a piece.
> It’s important to have, if available, any paperwork/certification/packaging from prestige brands.
> Jewelry from well-known brands like Tiffany have greater market value and excellent sell through potential. However the appraised value does not equal the selling price.
> It’s not worth consumers investing in repairs if necessary, and may not be for jewelers either, who can choose to flip it with a partner.
Promote the Category
Experts encourage jewelers selling estate jewelry to merchandise it as a separate and distinct category in their store.
Promote the estate category in store and online. Talking up the category gets customers assessing their own jewelry collections for repairs, replacements, redesigns, or cashing in toward something entirely new, says Benjamin Burne, CEO and founder of White Pine Wholesale.
Having an estate jewelry case brings in new customers attracted to products offering recycled and sustainable solutions, as well as a price savings over newly manufactured goods.
There also is a tremendous wealth of stories to tell around the diverse pieces and periods in jewelry design over the years, and the heirloom and talismanic qualities jewelry has conveyed throughout time and cultures that make the estate jewelry category compelling to incorporate in a jeweler’s business strategy.