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Discounts on making charges have degraded the jewellery sector: Dinesh Banthia,Owner, Bhikamchand Premchand Banthia Jewellers

If we look back at the reasons behind the change in consumer behaviour, we will find only ourselves at fault. We have given consumers the leeway to question the making charges, says Banthia.

Where do Tier-1 and Tier 2 face their biggest issues? It is the discount schemes that prop up on making charges of gold jewellery. Nowadays, I get a lot of buyers who come in and enquire about the making charges before they get to the gold rates. However, if we go back half a decade, the situation was completely different. The customer put all their faith in a jeweller and would only be concerned about the quality of the product, and not about the making charges. The last two years have been different.

If we look back at the reasons behind the change in consumer behaviour, we will find only ourselves at fault. We have given consumers the leeway to question the making charges. In their bid to attract a few customers, many jewellers, especially chain stores, started announcing attractive discounts on making charges. Some even went to the extent of cutting the charge off completely.

With time, the customers also become a part of the race, which is unfortunate. This has only degraded the image of the industry. In my opinion, rather than fighting over low making charges, we should all focus on improving the quality of our jewellery.

Unlike other industries, gold and diamonds are precious commodities, but the customer seems to have forgotten that it is an asset because they have shifted their focus to making charges. This also results in retailers taking a significant amount of time to close deals. Clients who would earlier take 20-25 minutes for a purchase are now taking 40-45 minutes. The staff also spends time convincing them. Customers hop from store to store enquiring about making charges. I don’t think this is a healthy practice. People should buy great designs for their exquisite workmanship, and not because of labour charges.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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