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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SHERMAN JEWELRY: TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY?

I never cease to be amazed both by what buyers will pay for Sherman jewelry, and conversely, what sellers think they should get for Sherman jewelry. Sometimes the two are miles apart!

Take that magnificent cuff bracelet shown here. This one was listed as a "BUY IT NOW or Make and Offer"on Ebay for $3500. To my shock, it sold less than 2 days to that buyer who's buying up all the rare Shermans on ebay for an offer of $2700. Now granted, if you have no holds on your budget, I guess you can spend that much on one piece of Sherman and yes, Sherman cuff bracelets are the be all and end all for savvy investors in Sherman. But gee, $2700?! I'd baulk at paying that for a 22k gold 2 carat diamond necklace! Come to think of it, I could probably buy that fine jewelry for less!

Getting prices like this for Sherman, on ebay yet, is unquestionably pushing the prices of Sherman higher and higher. Honestly, Sherman should be spelled $herman these days! I can't help but wonder if what's happening here could possibly go the way Oil and other things went last year i.e. it caused a balloon and suddenly it burst. Personally, I'd be rather cautious of possibly paying too much. "What goes up, must come down" as the song says.

But now, to return to my opening statements i.e. what buyers will pay and what sellers ask can be miles apart. Take this example: shown on the left is one very lovely Sherman set that failed to sell on ebay last week. It's gorgeous. What happened?

I thought it was exquisite: beautiful, unique design; a 3-piece parure yet and the bidding got to $271 USD and stopped dead. The seller had a reserve on it, which does often stop buyers. But I think buyers only stop if they can't see paying more for the piece than the most they feel it's worth. It's just like selling a house: you might think it's worth far more than the market does. So it sits there forever with the vendor sticking to his price and no-one buying. This sure can happen with Sherman too. I've watched one on ebay that I've mentioned elsewhere in this blog. It's been listed 3 times now and hasn't sold yet. It's lovely; the colours are desirable; the design is different and the condition superb. Why hasn't anyone bought it yet? Obviously what the seller thinks it's worth and what the buyer is prepared to pay are miles apart.

So, of course, as both a buyer and a seller, I'm always battling the dilemma of "to buy or not to buy". If I come across a piece that I know is a steal, I don't hesitate. But when the dollar is way up there, I have to weigh up that decision pretty carefully. If I spend $250 buying a piece of Sherman, will someone else pay me more ... or heaven forbid ... less when it's time to sell it? I often waffle back and forth, looking at piece, reading the description over and over if it's online, and being so hesitant to make the decision that I've walked away more often than I've bought. Actually when I think of it, that's a bit for a rule for me: if I take 48 hours to decide and still can't decide, I walk away.

I'm the same with buying a dress: if there's something that just isn't making me feel "I've got to have this", I walk away. Most of the time, I'm glad I made that decision. But it's different with a dress or anything you can buy in a retail outlet where you can try it on, touch it, turn it and see if it feels right all the way. Buying online can be very difficult. All you have is photos and a description and the hope that the seller is being honest and accurate. And unfortunately, not many sellers are honest and accurate about what they're selling.

Well time to wrap this up but not without quoting what one of my regular Sherman buyers once wrote to me. She said the reasons she buys so much Sherman from me are:

1) fabulously good photos showing all sides of the item 2) my willingness to disclose the exact condition of the item even if it's not the best ie. wear to the plate backing, damaged or cloudy stones, accurate details re lengths etc 3) my prices are in line with the desirability of the piece ie. rare or common color? signed or not signed? excellent or mediocre condition; single piece, demi or parure?

All of those factors are important when buying Sherman or any designer vintage jewelry, especially if you're buying online. She who hesitates too long might lose out but conversely, jumping in when you're not sure isn't wise either. The adage is true: asking questions is a sign of intelligence. So ask questions, clarify details, and make sure the item is within your budget before you invest in your next piece of Sherman.

We are always adding "new" affordable Shermans to our shelves in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE, and our site at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE. So bookmark those sites and check them often. Coming to our shop soon ... the gorgeous set shown below in citrine and topaz!

Monday, April 13, 2009

THINK BEFORE YOU LEAP! CONSIDER BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

This blog is a departure from my usual. I'm not going to talk about Sherman jewelry tonight. I'm going to write about something far more personal. I'm doing this as a way of apologizing to someone I care about. I'm doing it to make myself feel better, though I'm not sure that'll work. But here goes anyway.

Have you ever said anything you really regretted saying, especially when someone was hurt by your words? Of course you have. We all do it, and sometimes we do it to those we love and value the most, don't we. There's truth in that song that went "you always hurt the one you love".

Well when you write a blog, it's even worse if you say something that ends up hurting someone because now it's in print and everyone can read it. And that's what happened to me last night. I wrote a piece in this blog about how hard it can be to make the decision to buy. Some folks decide quickly. Others take time. Some agonize over a decision. Others leap and think later. Leap and think later ... that's what I did and in the process I hurt someone dear to me with my words.

You might have seen that piece. Maybe you read it. Maybe you thought I was talking about you as it's an experience many would identify with. To make my point about how you can take too long deciding to buy, I used a recent experience with a customer. That customer read the blog and took offense. And so I hurt someone I really care about.

I deleted that post, but I cannot delete the damage that's been done to a friendship I value. Can it be repaired? That's not for me to decide. But I do want to say that if you, like me, write a blog, please think before you leap. Consider the consequences of your words. So often I've read we need to be careful about what we say online. Well I've just learned the hard way how true that is. I also know that the word "sorry" is hopelessly inadequate when you hurt someone.

My friend thought I made her look stupid. No, dear friend. The only one looking ... and feeling very stupid here is me.