Out with the New, In with the Old
by Angie Ash, EVP
The pre-owned market is hot if you weren’t aware of this already. It’s evidenced by the droves of people shopping on online clothing sites such as ThredUp and Poshmark. But more importantly, it’s equally hot when it comes to high-end, designer clothing brands on sites such as The Real Real, Material World, and Snob Swap (love that name!)
On the jewelry spectrum, if you didn’t see the October 17th Centurion Jewelry E-News, it featured a great article on the pre-owned jewelry market. If you haven’t considered creating a pre-owned section of jewelry to your store, here are some reasons why it makes sense.
1. It’s a win-win for you and the customer. When people clean out their jewelry box, they know their good jewelry is worth money and they don’t necessarily want to take it to a pawn shop. You have the opportunity to discuss applying the value of the jewelry they bring to you to a new purchase, but if they’re not interested, you can consign it for them or buy it and re-sell it yourself. Some retail jewelers are also getting into re-selling high-end handbags, like Store5a.
2. Vintage and antique jewelry is hot. With antique jewelry, you have the opportunity to tell a story behind the piece. Even if you don’t have the history of ownership, you can identify when the item would have been popular to wear and tell the customer about the intricacies of the design, why the design was popular at the time, and other things of interest about the piece. Vintage and antique jewelry also provide the customer a chance to own something nobody else they know has, and at a much more affordable price.
3. You can distinguish yourself from the competition. Almost every retail jewelry store wants to sell bridal and general diamond jewelry but having a vintage and antique estate department is a category you can own in your market. However, it is important to note that chain jewelry stores such as Helzberg and Jared are starting to cash in on the trend quickly.
4. Not buying new is an environmentally conscious decision, which is a big selling point today. More so with clothes than jewelry, there is a huge expenditure of energy to manufacture, and landfills are bulging with disposable fashion. And, of course, buying pre-owned gives the customer a chance to get a deal, probably the biggest motivator for those on the hunt for finding something they love at a less expensive price.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to get into the pre-owned jewelry business, natural diamonds themselves are the oldest thing you can promote, the oldest thing your customers will ever own. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the newest campaign by Diamond Producers Association. Their videos will be ready for you to run on your YouTube channel or in your local market within the next few weeks. Diamonds are like people and relationships. They have flaws and imperfections but are nonetheless beautiful and valuable. Perhaps this is the best selling point diamonds can have, which is relatable to everyone.