Ask the Watch Guy: Living Up to Your Add-On Potential

Ask the Watch Guy: Living Up to Your Add-On Potential

If you are like most retail jewelers, you do quite a few watch batteries in your daily life. Why not try out some add-on sales? Virtually every watch you see for a watch battery has potential for an upsell.

Some of the items you can upsell with watch repairs/batteries are:
Watch bands;
Crystals;
Five-year battery;
Lifetime battery;
Service contract;
Water resistance inspection; and
Trade-in credit.

Begin by filling in a job ticket. This is known as an order blank or Ben Franklin close.

People are conditioned to answer questions and be compliant in these types of situations. Then take a close look at the watch. This is very important because the process is a visual experience for the customer as well as yourself.

Crystal: Take a close look at the crystal. Are there any scratches? Is it cracked? Be sure to mark down the shortcomings to create an entry on your repair envelope to add up at the point-of-sale as well as to cover your bases. If the crystal has a crack or chip in it, the water resistance can be compromised.

Crown: Is it worn? Is the plating coming off? If the crown is in bad shape the O-ring gaskets in the crown and case will also be worn, also compromising water resistance.

Case: How is the plating? Are there gouges and scratches on the case or back? Better to make note of these discrepancies than to be blamed for them later.

Watch band: Most leather watch bands that are more than two years old are in serious need of replacement. In the case of metal watch bands, also look to see if the band still looks good. Let’s say you repair the watch complete with a new crystal, cleaned and polished case, everything looking good … except the watch band. Now, the customer’s expectations are not met because of a simple band. Just offer a new band and you will be surprised how many people accept. All you need to do is ask!

Water resistance inspection: You will want to check the gaskets and silicone the case tube, crown and caseback. If you are not familiar with how to perform this service, get our free video on Timeworks.biz. Make it a condition of the service that the customer must bring the watch in yearly for inspection. This will get them back in to your store on a regular basis.

Also, check to make sure the watch is running and let the customer know. This is not as silly as it might sound.

Imagine the customer brings a watch in for repair, let’s say it’s for a watch band repair. We might have the inclination to solely focus on the watch band problem and the customer might not even know the watch is not running. So check. The customer expects the watch to be running correctly when the get it back from you, so make sure you check and, even if it is running, be sure to ask how the watch is running.

Now, tally up the shortcomings like this.

Crystal needs replaced, $50
Crown is worn, $30
Leather watch band is worn, $30
Lifetime watch battery, $69
Total: $179

Better to offer complete, professional watch repairs than offer repairs ad hoc. Yes, there are customers who will not opt for complete service, but by offering complete services you are also reducing the amount of repair comebacks by making sure the repair is as complete as you can offer.

In the end, this will make both you and your customer happy. I guarantee you will be stunned at how many people opt for some or even all of the extra services.

The way it breaks down is generally:
30 percent will go for whatever is cheapest;
40 percent will go for whatever is your mid-priced offering; and
30 percent will go for whatever is your highest-priced offering.

Using this breakdown, let’s look at another example. Say you have a:
Low-priced offering: Just a battery in a fashion watch, $9.95;
Mid-priced offering: Five-year battery, $39.95; and a
Lifetime watch battery: $99.95.

If you sell 50 watch batteries per week (the average nationally) and 15 opt for “just a battery” and 20 opt for the five-year battery and 15 opt for the lifetime battery that works out to $2,447.50, compared with just $497.50 for just 50 batteries under the low-priced offering.

We received a comment on one of our earlier columns in which the commenter said that she does 17,000 watch batteries per year. This is not by accident. We’ll discuss this in our next article, “Making Your Competitors Your Compatriots.”

Jess Gendron is a seventh-generation watchmaker, having learned by his father Dan’s side since childhood. He is now the owner of Colorado Timeworks, a watch repair service center in Colorado Springs. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and his website is Timeworks.biz.

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