By Michelle Graff
New York--The Jewelers Security Alliance already has reviewed the seven most common mistakes jewelers make in their stores when it gets crowded with shoppers in November and December.

Now, here are three tips from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company that retailers can follow and share with customers to help keep them safe when they are shopping in stores and/or traveling during the holiday season.

Passing along these few extra precautions can “make a world of difference with customer satisfaction and loyalty,” said David Sexton, Jewelers Mutual’s vice president of loss prevention.

1. (Big) bag it up for customers. Jewelers Mutual recommends retailers offer a large, possibly unmarked bag to customers who are struggling with several small bags or packages. This reduces the risk of dropping or leaving behind a bag, and unmarked bags are less likely to be stolen by thieves who are looking for tell-tale smaller bags with jewelry store logos.

Sexton said jewelers also need to make sure their checkout area is secure, with the station where customers enter their PIN number or electronic signature “shielded from roving eyes.”
2. Keep gifts hidden. For customers who are purchasing jewelry as a holiday gift, retailers should advise them not to put it under the Christmas tree until just before they are ready to give it.

Beautifully wrapped packages are a “magnet” for thieves looking to break into a home, especially when the tree is in front of a big window in plain view.

3. Travel safe. If customers are heading out of town for the holiday season, jewelers should advise them to have their jewelry appraised before they go and make a list of pieces they’re taking with them.

When traveling by plane, they should always put their jewelry in their carry-on luggage, never in their checked baggage.

Jewelers also should advise customers to leave their most expensive pieces at home, preferably in a safe deposit box. If that is not an option or not something they are willing to do, they should be aware of the areas to which they are traveling, as wearing expensive jewelry out and about could make them a target for thieves.

When not being worn, jewelry taken on a trip should be kept in the hotel safe.

There’s also insurance coverage for personal jewelry, which is available for consumers from a number of companies including Jewelers Mutual, which rebranded its Perfect Circle line of personal jewelry insurance earlier this year.

Though jewelers are not licensed agents and cannot sell or offer advice about insurance coverage, they can mention to customers the importance of a comprehensive jewelry policy.

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