How does Valentine’s compare to Christmas or Mother’s Day, for your business?
Christmas is the most powerful holiday we’ve got for my business. Valentine’s and Mother’s Day are probably equal.
What are your most popular items for Valentine’s?
Something that shows affection. Pearls are very popular as are rubies. Heartshaped anything is popular. Things they can show off to their friends. Usually necklaces. Normally guys will stay away from rings, unless they are getting engaged.
I’ve read that Christmas, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s, and the bride-to-be’s birthday are the most popular times to get engaged. Do you sell more engagement rings around Valentine's?
Rookies get engaged on Valentine’s Day. It’s a cliché. I would say the percentage goes up quite a bit of men buying engagement rings during this time of year. Usually, it is the smaller engagement rings: the half carats to one carats. Wealthier clients usually pick a day other than Valentine’s.
At what point in a relationship should you start giving jewelry for Valentine's Day?
The first year of the relationship, maybe it is chocolate. Second time is flowers. Third time, maybe a diamond heart. Fourth time, maybe all three. Flowers can die, chocolates can melt, but diamonds and jewelry last forever.
For Valentine's, is it mainly guys coming in to buy gifts for their significant others?
Yes, but we’ve seen a spike in women buying for men. They buy watches. The average man has five watches. It is an easy pick. Guys normally collect watches.
What proportion of your Valentine’s shoppers come in with their significant other as opposed to shopping alone?
Normally for Valentine’s Day, the guys come alone. They may have walked through, or been by the window, but then they will come back, saying "My girlfriend saw this," or, "How much is that?"
How far in advance do guys come in? Do most come in the day before?
Yeah. We’re talking about guys. You can quote me on that. We are a last minute item. I would say the last two days we get a big spike.
Do you have any memorable Valentine's clients?
A woman came in with her mother and picked out a diamond ring she wanted her guy to buy for her. His budget was $5,000. The ring was $7,000. I couldn’t get the price any closer. He was adamant, so she secretly gave me $2,000 to put on this heart-shaped diamond ring. He picks up the ring thinking he got it for $5,000, and he tells me he is going to give it to her on Valentine's Day. Well, Valentine’s comes and goes. She doesn’t get the ring. She comes to see me, and I don’t know what I can do because he walked out with the ring. Well, he sold it to his best friend for $5,000. I guess the moral of the story is, be honest. She is still a customer and he sends me all of his friends because he thinks my prices are great.
Visit Bernie's & Son at 154 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, or online at BerniesAndSon.net