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Should Price Tags Be Visible

It is quite intriguing and sometimes a little frustrating when the majority of jewellers chose not to display their product prices in a way that is completely visible to potential customers.

Based on this observation, there are two interesting views to consider. One probably points to the ever present feelings that most customers tend to distrust jewellers in general. The other is the importance of complete transparency, which is a prerequisite for the retail industry.

A NPR reporter Stacey Vanek Smith decided to find out more by visiting The Clay Pot in Brooklyn, New York, where she had the opportunity to spend some time with the owner Tara Silberberg. The idea was to find out just why jewellers find the need to “hide” their price tags.

Through the course of the interview, it was pointed out that others in the retail industry to not follow such ambiguity, thus the question still remains as to why don’t the jewellers follow suit.

Normal price tag displays examples were given, such as booking airline tickets on line which is completely based on clearly visible prices. Although these prices are always clearly displayed, there is still some caution that needs to be exercised to ensure all needs are covered during the use of the airline’s facilities.

Likewise when dealing with clothing retails stores, all prices are clearly displayed in accordance with the laws that govern this area of business. There is no difficulty in immediately knowing just how much a piece of garment or accessory would cost because each has a clearly tagged price. Most people would not imagine walking into a retail outlet only to have to “guess” the prices of the clothes. It is simply not done!

Which brings us back to the question of why jewellers don’t display their prices?

The owner of The Clay Pot, bravely ventured to shed some light on the price tag “question”. According to Tara Silberberg, displaying prices could frighten customers away from venturing into a jewellery shop as they are under the impression that every item sold in the shop, would probably be out of their budget range. This would be detrimental to business as then a majority of the customers would simply walk on by and successful sales would never be closed. Tara went on to explain how most jewellers who like to have the opportunity to “sell” the merits of their product, and they can’t do this, if the customers won’t even venture into the shop because of the first price tag they see.

Fortunately, there are some jewellers such as Bhindi Jewellers who have absolutely no problems with displaying their prices clearly and attractively. Because their products are compatibly priced and their quality is unmatched, Bhindi Jewellers are happy to give customers a bird’s eye view of anything they have to sell.

Although it was never specifically mentioned in the interview, displaying price tags might make the jewellery display a little messy, less attractive and less artful. This could be one of the contributing reasons for the reluctance to display price tags. In all honesty, this is not completely unreasonable if looked at from an artistic point of view. People are generally drawn to beautiful and flawless displays, thus the omitting of price tags could conveniently present an eye catching attraction.

The question that begs to be answered is, with the emergence of shopping online and the convenience of accessing information at the push of a button or at the click of a mouse, is “hiding” price tags really going to be an effective way of garnering business?

At Bhindi Jewellery, this realisation has encouraged them to go in a different direction, and against the norm. By providing customers with “at a glance” price information, they hope to encourage interest rather than lose customers to purchase luxury Rolex watches.

At some point The Clay Pot, might consider displaying price tags for some items, specifically ones where the pricing is viewed as quite moderate and even cheap. This could be a new and bold move for The Clay Pot, but one that is being recognised as necessary, if the current shopping trend is any indication to go by.

The numerous comments in the NPR story clearly reflects the general sentiments of customers who truly believe that price tags in jewellery shops are not visible because the items a hugely overpriced to start with. Most customers rather walk away without enquiring about prices because they don’t want to be tagged as cheap.

As a jewellery retail owner, would you continue to “hide” your price tags or would you take a lesson from Bhindi Jewellers and proudly display your prices.

Sarah Jones – Considers herself a jewelry geek that writes any topic related to anything that shines, blings, or looks pretty.

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