Ramble On Ron

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Jewelry Market Report 2014

Posted on | December 22, 2014 | No Comments


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Each year I give a Diamond Market Report where I explain what’s happening in the diamond world and where I think market trends and prices will be. As I read over my report for 2013 it seems that 2014 was a very similar year with all trends continuing on the same path. Colored and larger diamonds are strong, average diamonds are moving, and small diamonds (melee) are relatively weak. CLICK HERE TO READ MY 2013 DIAMOND MARKET REPORT.

So this year, I decided to give a report on the state of the JEWELRY industry. Not necessarily on fashion – like what’s hot and whats not, but more on what business decisions need to be made for jewelers and diamond dealers. This year was a pretty difficult year, and 2015 will be just as challenging for jewelers on the retail and wholesale level.

What’s changed in the past 10 years? Why can’t the average jeweler compete these days?

THE INTERNET

Yes the net has taken the jewelry industry for a big spin. It took a little while, but retailers and now wholesalers are having a hell of a time figuring out how to add value. First, it was “you can’t buy a diamond online” – it worked a little. Now, it just doesn’t fly as well. Sure people want to touch and feel their jewelry, but a 25-30 year old guy who can get a good value in one click and return it if it’s not right? That’s a hard one to compete with in 2014. So what’s the key? RELATIONSHIPS. You can’t get that at Blue Nile. You’re just a number and then you go into a marketing funnel at that place. So jewelers have to provide some value beyond a good price, and it can be done. Samuelson’s Diamonds is coming out with a new website in the first quarter of 2015 that will really tap into what local buyers are looking for.

CASH FLOW AND INVENTORY LEVELS

This is an especially tough one for jewelers and maybe even more so for diamond wholesalers. What do you do with all of the goods you bought that are sitting? What does a wholesaler do with a large amount of diamonds that a bank won’t lend them money on? The problem is that banks don’t understand what jewelry is worth, so they can’t lend aggressively on goods. I believe this problem can be solved, but I will say that TURN is going to be a key to survival this year. Don’t stock items you can’t sell.

METALS AND COMMODITY PRICES

Gold and silver have taken a big hit in the past couple years. In April 2011 gold hit a high of $1923 per ounce. Silver hit almost $50 per ounce. Now they are at around $1180 and $15.60 respectively. That’s a huge loss. How did this affect jewelers? For that 2008-2012 run, there were a lot of jewelers who survived on gold buying. Remember CASH4GOLD and all of the other companies? How about gold parties? Well, they are all gone or very small now, and so are the sellers. So the easy money just isn’t there for a single jewelry store. Now, it’s back to the basics and the basics have really changed!

CONCLUSION

I think 2015 will be the year to BUY. Because of what I listed above, coupled with fear, the deals are there. For a consumer and for a diamond dealer (like me). It may even be a great time to buy metals.

I think Warren Buffet sums it up best:

“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

It’s gonna be a good year to buy

 

 

 

 

 

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