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Say ‘no’ to impractical discounts, defend product at all costs: Pawan Gupta, Director, PP Jewellers



Say ‘no’ to impractical discounts, defend product at all costs

The discount war is bringing retailers down to their knees. Worsening the already prevalent discount precedent is the demand for discount on metal price. I strongly believe that customers won’t buy from showrooms without discounts. But the right to fix a discount rate should reside with the retailer. We have seen that customers remain content with fixed discount rates at showrooms of corporate jewellery chains, but bargain aggressively with independent and small retailers. In my opinion, this dangerous precedent has to be stopped. Entertaining such customers sets a bad example for others in the market.

Today, no jeweller can claim that he gives a discount on gold because he simply cannot. A jeweller does not decide the price rate of gold. If he gives a discount on that, he stands to lose. Desperate situations may force a jeweller to adjust purity levels of the gold jewellery in the name of discount. Again, practicing this for a long time increases his risk of getting caught.

So, instead of entertaining impractical demands, the jeweller must stand his ground. Indian consumers are deal hunters. But random discounting at the time of closing transactions also discounts the brand. The jeweller should confidently speak about products and other service and policy related matters that build value for the customer.

In the process, the jeweller may lose a few customers. So, an ideal jeweller should be ready to lose a few customers in order to first build its reputation as a non-bargain shop. If the jeweller succeeds in the process, then I strongly believe that many such customers will start valuing the fundamental ideology leading such policies and come back to the stores. This long term and fail-safe approach will build trust in these potential buyers to be converted to future loyal customers. 

Thus, the jeweller must believe in himself. But I don’t see that happening as many jewellers yield to random customer demands, unfortunately.

The solution, as my personal experience suggests, is to apply standard discounts on the making charges. Making charge is where jewellers earn their profit from. If a jeweller adjusts with his profit share, he’ll create a win-win situation for the customer as well. This process should again be applicable for loyal customers only. I also make sure that I extend this facility to those customers who visit through reference from a friend or a relative. This builds trust from the jeweller’s perspective as well.

As told to Manoj Chakraborty

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