8 Tips for surviving an economic downturn

Once again the jewellery industry is faced with a diminished market due to an economic downturn.  As money gets tight, jewellery buying is one of the first things consumers abandon.  After all, jewellery is a luxury and not a necessity.  Here are a few tips to help you stay afloat during a recession


1.  Take steps now.

The biggest mistake you can make is to sit back and wait for things to get back to normal.  It may take longer than you think for the economy to recover.  There is also a very good chance that the business landscape may be radically different after the recovery.  Make changes now while you still have strength.  Waiting until later may be fatal.

2. Turn dead inventory into cash.

Now is the time to get rid of any non-performing items.  In difficult times cash-flow is more important than profit.  Be brutal. Gather up your dead inventory and sell it at a deep discount.  Don’t be afraid to take a loss.  Pull stones and send the gold to a refiner if necessary. Potential profit that never leaves the case can drag you down but ready cash can save the day.

3. Trade goods with other jewellers.

Items that are old to you can be new to another store and their stale goods might sell in your store.  It is a way to freshen your inventory without a cash outlay.

4. Buy over the counter

Think of buying scrap from the public as a way to mine gold and diamonds in your store.  Broken chains and mangled rings are still as good as cash to you.  Buy at a price low enough so you can send the gold to the refiner for an easy profit.  Harvest diamonds before going to melt.  Offer little or nothing for melee.  Know what your diamond supplier is willing to pay for larger centre stones and buy accordingly.  You are not looking for a long profit, just a fast flip.  You will find some well-made, beautiful goods in the scrap.  Keep them if you have a market for them, but don’t be afraid to send them to melt if you need to cover some bills.

5. Focus on repair services

While some customers may not be buying new jewellery, they will have goods that are in need of repair or refurbishing.  This is a good way to bring in cash with minimal cost.  It keeps your customers coming into your store.  You want your customer to stay in the habit of visiting you.

6. Don’t run out of active inventory

Don’t forget to keep buying your steady movers.  If you let your “bread and butter” goods fall below critical inventory levels you will lose your customers and your business.

7.  Adjust price-points

This may be a time to look to lower price-points to keep your customers buying.  If you don’t carry silver jewellery, give it a try.  It is very profitable and moves well in any economy

8.  Never give up

Always remember to keep your attitude positive.  Things will eventually get better.  If you are proactive in taking steps to keep your business alive, you will survive.

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