I’m going to tell you a secret, a secret truth that none of the big box stores want you to know. It is simply this – you cannot stay in business by having a “sale” or selling your items at a “discount” all the time. It is economically impossible.

Every store knows how much money they need to make in order to stay in business. You have fixed costs (overhead) that you must meet monthly as well as the costs to pay for your inventory and all other supplies. It’s simple Business 101. And that is how we determine our prices – it’s call our mark up – and when you shop with us you help us to stay in business and support you local community.
Now, your big chain stores do the same thing but with one startling difference. They over-inflate their prices compared to their cost and then hook you into thinking you are getting a bargain because it is “on sale”. I am going to share two real world examples that happened in our own jewelry store a few years ago that drove this lesson home to me.

Example #1. A client comes in with a single earring. She had lost its mate and wanted to know if we could get a replacement. It just so happened that the earring in her hand was a common style and probably every jewelry store around had them in inventory. So I showed her a pair from our stock and she was flabbergasted. Our retail ticket price was $29.00. She pulled the box our of her purse and showed me the pricing from the chain store: Regular retail was $110, and at 70% off she paid $33.00 and though she was getting a deal!!

Example #2. We ordered gold chains for stock at a jewelry store conference and they were to come pre-ticketed with our markup. When we got the order in the mail and I started checking them in, I could not believe how much they were and couldn’t believe that we had spent that kind of money on inventory! Then I looked at the invoice. They were marked (at retail) 3 times what we would have charged and the company had inadvertently used a chain store’s markup instead of our own. That was a real eye opener for me!

So go to someone you know when you are buying jewelry to make sure you are actually getting what you are paying for; and I’ll share more to this story tomorrow.