Transporting Jewelry: Tips for Everyone in the Jewelry Business
It’s busy at George’s Fine Jewelry, so George sends his part-time goldsmith, Alice, to the post office to ship memo items back to suppliers. Alice packages up the items and heads out. No one told her the do’s and don’ts of transporting jewelry.
On her way to the post office, Alice decides to stop at a sandwich shop for a carry out. When she returns to the car, the packages on the passenger seat are gone; the window shattered.
Some people travel with jewelry for a living. Others – from jewelry retailers to bench jewelers and designers – transport jewelry to the post office, the repair shop or trade events. All face the same threats with the same need to follow practical, consistent procedures to safeguard their security and the merchandise they transport.
Your personal security comes first, of course. That’s why proper insurance is so important. Merchandise can be replaced; your life cannot.
What should Alice have done differently?
- She should have surveyed the parking lot for suspicious cars or individuals before she left the store. Chances are the thieves were casing the store when Alice conveniently walked out with an armful of boxes.
- Next, she should have placed the boxes in the trunk of the car, closed the trunk, and promptly left.
- Someone in the store should have watched her leave and called her cell phone if they noted anything peculiar.
- Alice should have gone directly to the post office, rather than leave jewelry in an unattended car.
Chances are that George’s Jewelers Block policy provides no coverage for jewelry taken from an unattended vehicle. This small, but costly mistake could have been prevented.
A Few General Precautions
- Never leave merchandise in an unattended vehicle.
- Don’t store jewelry merchandise at home. You don’t want to invite thieves to your residence.
- Keep your car in excellent condition. Use run-flat tires.
- Equip your car with an alarm system approved by your insurance company.
- If you are a traveling jewelry salesperson, make arrangements to store your line with the last jeweler you visit each day. That gives you a needed break from the security routine.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Plan your trip carefully, whether it’s across the country to exhibit at a trade show or across town to deliver items for repair. Assume every major city has gangs. Be aware that they are always looking for their next hit. Don’t let it be you.
- Inform only a trusted colleague or family member about your trip.
- Create an inventory of what you are transporting. Store one copy of the inventory in a safe place in your office; the other copy should accompany the merchandise.
- Package carefully.
- Take a charged cell phone with you.
- Plan your route.
- As you arrive at your destination, call your contact and ask that person to observe the area as you park, leave your car and walk to the door.
Imagine that a thief is casing your business. Would that change how you walk to your car?
- Observe the parking area for anything out of place.
- Ask a colleague to watch you walk to your car and depart. If your colleague sees anything suspicious, such as a car following you, he or she should contact you immediately so you can take evasive steps and call police.
- Put merchandise in the trunk, never on the front or back seat.
- Drive to your destination … no stops at the dry cleaner, restaurant or shopping mall.
- Park as close to the front door of your destination as possible.
- Enter and transfer your package(s). Ask the recipient to verify that all items are accounted for and sign the receipt transferring responsibility. At the post office or UPS store, this would be the shipping receipt.
Be proactive! Develop a plan and execute!