The Most Difficult Customer

          Mark of trouble


Dinesh Gulati, Owner, Aar Kay Jewellers, Karnal (Haryana)
Customers always ask for hallmarked jewellery. When we show it to them, they say the price is too high. They won't accept that hallmarked jewellery can cost more. When we then show them non-hallmarked jewellery of the same design, they won't buy it because they are determined to buy only certified jewellery. This double bind is a real challenge for us. We try to educate our customers about certified and non-certified jewellery, wishing to offer them the best, but they feel we are cheating them. All too often, customers come to us with the current gold price as seen in the newspaper or on TV, without realising that a piece of jewellery is not just about the raw material. A number of hidden costs are involved, including making charges, stone charges and taxes. It becomes difficult for us to work our way out of this situation without offending our customers.
          Hue and cry


Gurcharan Singh, Owner, New Modern Jewellers, Kotkapura (District Faridkot)


A family visited our showroom to buy gold jewellery for their two daughters-in-law. They ordered identical pieces for both. Everything from selecting to making and final delivery went well. A few days later, however, the clients returned to the showroom. Angrily they told us that one daughter-in-law's skin was turning black because of our jewellery. We were completely taken aback. None of the staff could comprehend this strange accusation. We asked the customers if the young woman in question had any skin allergies, but this only made matters worse. After much back and forth I consulted our doctor. The doctor heard me out, then told me to ask the family whether the young woman was expecting a child. To our relief, this was the case. After checking with their own gynaecologist, the clients finally realised that this was not a case of faulty jewellery but a result of the hormonal imbalances that are typical of pregnancy.



     Trust and awareness


Krishna Kumar Verma, Owner, Soni Jewellers, Dhubri, Assam
In our city the average purchasing power of consumers is low. Even for brides the maximum weight of gold purchased is 10–12gm. Some 70 per cent of our clientele is in this category. One can imagine how difficult it is in such a market to sell hallmarked jewellery. Consumers feel that we seek to cheat them by placing our own stamp on the jewellery to earn greater profit. We urge the government to publicise the importance of hallmarking, and to make sure that the information reaches the bottom of the pyramid. Without consumer awareness, jewellers face a lot of trouble. People don't trust us easily, and this takes a toll on our sales.