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Deal or No Deal: Travel Edition

posted Jun 23, 2014, 8:08 AM by Larc J.   [ updated Jun 24, 2014, 7:40 AM ]
Hello Larc fans!!

I've just returned from a little well needed get away in the beautiful country of Mexico.
I can certainly tell you that there are far better times of the year to visit than in June.
It's HOT, not "sotra" hot, but really really HOT in June. Maybe a "turn the hair dryer on high and
hold it in your face" hot. That being said, I still saw some amazing places, and enjoyed some
outstanding food. 
Although my travels this time were mostly for pleasure, 
I'm always on the look out for some good deals on silver, opal, or amber jewelry, which
prompted the subject for this month’s blog.

 I frequently get asked by customers who are preparing for their
own world wide travel adventures.............
"I'm going to SanJewelryplaceamento, and they are known for producing the finest
whatchagemstoneamahoozits and I wanted to buy one from the source while I'm there.
“Can I get a good deal, and how do I know if I'm not getting ripped off?”

The simple answer is "maybe" and "you don't".

The truth...........Sure, you can get a good deal, if you really know what you're buying, and 
if you are buying it from the lowest common denominator. 
While you might have some knowledge of what you are buying, it is
unlikely that you are buying from anything below the retail level.
As far as "being ripped off" that depends on your definition. It is unlikely that most vendors
are dishonest in reference to selling you a real whatchagemstoneamahoozit. I would be less concerned
about outright fraud, and more concerned about the value of the item against the price being asked.

I completely understand the idea of having a memory or keepsake from an important vacation.
But as I was just reminded from my most recent journey, the "deals" are few and far between. 
I really expected to come home with a few new fun pieces for the store, and I had to take a total pass.

As an example; I looked at a ring that I liked, which was optimistically tagged at $12,000. 
I spoke with the manager, and explained that I own a retail jewelry store and that I would be
interested if he could give me a fair realistic price and asked for his best price.
He returned a few minutes later with a quote of $4,800. That sounds like a great price, but the reality
is I could probably have sold the piece here at Larc conservatively for around $3,500. I obviously passed,
but my guess is a regular customer who liked the ring might pull the trigger on a "deal" such as this 
because the "discount" seems quite significant. Was it a rip off?? No. Was it a good deal? No.

I guess the bottom line for those who have ever had this question is this. If you have to have it, by all means
take it home with you. If you are thinking you can get a better deal buying it from the source, rather than
from your trusted local jeweler (I highly recommend Larc!!!), there's a good chance that's just not the case.
You will also miss out on the customer service aspect of buying local and the availability of recourse
if for some reason something isn't quite right: like sizing or a loose stone. 

I have always worked very hard at buying as well as I possibly can. Whether it's traveling to the source myself,
or working directly with the vendors that do. This allows me to sell to my customers
as reasonably as possible while still offering top quality and service for the best price. 
So as the travel season shifts into high gear, just remember that the best values in jewelry are right here at home!