It’s been said that an estimated £143 million worth of unwanted Christmas gifts are often returned within the few days of exchanging in the month of December and with loved ones getting hard to buy for, this comes as no surprise. With the rise of fine jewellery buying often being one of the easiest go-to for those looking to impress with an investment for the future, Jeweller, Robinson Pelham has us all covered.
This week the British brand has launched its Jewellery Concierge Service that’s available via a one-to-one meeting in its Chelsea boutique and even remotely via ‘phone or Zoom which makes buying for a loved one, significant other or even a mistress this winter season a lot easier.
We sat down with co-founder Zoe Benyon to found out who will be buying for who, while sharing her top tips on how to avoid the black hole of jewellery buying.
One of your regular male customers says you are his very own jewellery whisperer. Can you elaborate?
A whisperer is someone who knows so much more than another (in this case, the customer). What they do, and how quickly they do it, seems as if it is a trick or magic. The team at Robinson Pelham has pretty much spent their life in jewellery, their whole life understanding the role jewellery can play in someone’s life and, by virtue, they understand what women want and can help guide the men in their life accordingly without making terrible mistakes at special times and especially at Christmas. Listening is key, understanding reactions, finding out about lifestyle, character, and priorities and what’s important to the gift buyer and also wearer is all part of the service. We do it year in, year out, and especially during gifting moments. While it’s lovely to be described as a jewellery whisperer, we think what we offer is more like a jewellery concierge service.
Why do some men get it so wrong?
A lot of men just have a different perception of what jewellery SHOULD be. They believe that if it is not diamond and platinum/white gold then it is not the real deal and might be perceived as a secondary present, a bit mean. The world of colour is just a series of unanswerable questions to them, if not diamond then what? If asked what jewellery their partner wears they will probably be able to remember what they have given them rather than what they actually wear.
What’s their typical go to piece of jewellery?
Diamond and white gold/platinum earrings or pendant.
What percentage comes back as men don’t know how to buy jewellery their partner will like?
Not a vast percentage, maybe five per cent. We don’t have huge returns in January as we really aim to get it right first time.
How do you help them in-store to avoid going down a jewellery black hole?
By asking questions about their partner and, if they are a returning customer, looking at what they already have, and any previous returns. By asking about whether they want to give something for everyday or for high days and holidays, by asking about skin and hair colour, anything really to help us imagine the recipient. We also show them other things if we think they are playing too safe, allow them to see other options and we are trained to pick up on their instincts if they see something new, if they like it then why do they like it etc. If they are still stricken with indecision we tell them about stone meanings, we ask about birthstones and we suggest certain wish charms that represent different things, so then there is a whole other language that they might be able to relate to. Our EarWishes all have meanings and that can be a great guide for the customer to choose.
You are introducing Robinson Pelham’s Jewellery Concierge Service this season, what does it actually entail? Is it virtual or in real life?
It can be either but it can involve an infinitesimal bit of homework, what jewellery does their partner wear every day, are they creatures of habit or do they change their jewellery on a regular basis. Once we have established if they change or keep on their jewellery then we know whether someone will delight in something different or prefer something along the same lines that they can just put on and continually wear with what they already have. We can do this over the ‘phone, on Zoom or as a 121 in store.
Do you have any top tips for men?
Plenty! Notice things about your partner, what do they wear already? Is there something you have already given their partner that they never wear, don’t repeat that mistake. Do they have multiple piercings? Remember the more expensive option is not necessarily the right one.
We specialise in having collections that range from diamond, through each individual colour to rainbow so almost every collection will have something to suit everyone. And that is what we are about, having the right piece to suit the recipient rather than some random piece at the right price point. We never rush the customer unless we can see they need help with a decision. We actively do not want to sell them the wrong piece as it will come back.
Any anecdotes you can share?
The worst shopping: a phone call with a budget and no interest as to what the present is “I don’t care what it looks like just bike it to me”. The best shopping: “Yes sure I can send you a picture of my wife/husband/partner, let me know what you think will suit them”. One husband brought two bangles from stock in diamond/white gold and diamond/rose gold, for a very pale skinned wife who came back in January and returned them. She then chose (from the same collection so her husband wasn’t offended) a diamond and yellow gold bangle and a rainbow sapphire and yellow gold bangle. He now buys every colour for her, all in yellow gold, with total confidence, infinitely more enjoyable for him. He is now verging on a collector. It is much more fun shopping for someone when you know you are going to get it right, we have men in here who’s eyes shine with confidence when they say “it has s got to be green, I know she loves green”.
Discover the website and service here www.robinsonpelham.com