The January edition of From the Bench offered you a few tips on how to price your repairs. Here you'll find a few more ideas for maximizing your repair income.

You know from experience that January is where it’s at for repair work. All the post-Christmas sizing, modifications, engravings, and enhancements waltz through your door after the big gift exchange. What you might not know, though, is that you could be leaving big money on the table by under-charging and/or overlooking great sales opportunities. Here are five ways to maximize the revenue you generate from repairs.

1. Promote yourself widely
As an expert in the jewelry industry and a trusted member of your community, you should take every opportunity to promote your business. Television, radio, and print ads are all great opportunities to promote repair services. But you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional media these days. In fact, you shouldn’t! Get on Facebook and Twitter to get the word out. You’ll reach a new customer base – Millennials, those 20-somethings who spend a lot of time on social media and are eager to shop local. These social media outlets are booming and, best of all, they’re free! So get online and let them know all the services you provide.

2. Offer a limited-time discount
Your promotion should be something you can do quickly and inexpensively – a battery change, for instance. Offer to replace watch batteries for just the cost of the battery. Or offer half price on a chain solder. The idea is to reward your loyal customers and to get new ones in your store without losing much by way of time or expense. And, of course, a fifteen-minute turn-around time gives your customers fifteen minutes to browse while they wait!

3. But don’t discount everything!
If you’re like a lot of jewelers – maybe most – you’re not charging everything you could be for repairs. How do you know what you should charge? The industry standard, of course, is Geller’s Blue Book, which provides a good guideline. Do some research to see how the recommended pricing in Geller’s Blue Book compares to what other jewelers in your area charge, and adjust your pricing accordingly. Need more information on pricing or other business-related matters? Visit David Geller’s for great resources.

4. Build trust
You know this customer – the new one who hesitantly hands over her engagement ring to have a prong re-tipped. When you tell her it will take about 30 minutes, she offers to stick around while you do the work. And who can blame her for being nervous? She’s entrusting you with what might be her most cherished possession. Create a sense of trust by using a standard, thorough take-in process. Start by putting the ring in an Image Dome Micro. With close-up five-axis positioning, you can show her every angle of interest. By taking a picture of her ring and stapling it to the repair envelope, she’ll feel confident that she’s getting back exactly what she left. You can also use the Image Dome Micro to show her any other opportunities for repair, like rhodium-plating or other prongs that need re-tipping. Telling her she needs additional services is one thing; showing her is quite another, and that’s where the magnification can help seal the deal. And speaking of selling more services…

5. Upsell, upsell, upsell
Use the take-in process to tell your customer about all the other services you offer. Tell her you can remount the stone in that ring she inherited or engrave the locket she got for Christmas. You can also charge more for premium services like rush jobs. Customers who need their jewelry soon are generally willing to pay a higher price. Tell her you can appraise that engagement ring so she can get it insured. And don’t forget to use your counter space for trendy, reasonably priced items near the take-in counter to improve the chances of an impulse purchase.

What is your take-in process like? Do you have a formal procedure that everyone uses? Are you charging what you should be? Share your thoughts and experiences with us.