You are a target for potential thieves! This is true for the entire jewelry industry especially for those who sell at art shows.
G&S Metals and Refiners has compiled the following security tips from National Jeweler, the MJSA, Jewelers Mutual, the Michigan Silversmiths Guild, and our experienced customers. Take a few minutes to read these tips, and share your tips.
1) Read and understand your insurance policies.
Contact your personal insurance company: 1) for their recommendations, 2) that your policy is in compliance with their recommendations, 3) to ensure your policy is up to date. Ask your insurance company about supplemental insurance policies available to art show vendors.
2) Maintain vigilance when traveling.
• Have a full tank of gas
• Check your tires for tampering
• Observe your surroundings
• Change your route routinely
• Avoid vanity plates or other obvious markings
3) Prepare a list of merchandise.
If a theft occurs, you will want to have:
• A documented list of your entire inventory
• A documented list of your inventory at the show
• An monetary valuation of each
• Pictures of each item, with a corresponding identification number
• A copy of each of the above safely stored off site
4) Keep a low profile.
Don’t make appointments to show jewelry privately after hours. Don’t wear any ID badges or name tags after hours. Avoid telling people the reason you’re in town. It’s prudent to avoid advertising the possibilities of valuables in your car or on your person.
5) Don’t show more than one piece at a time.
When you have multiple high value pieces out of a display case, you increase the potential for theft. Keep showcases locked and remove the key when they’re not in use.
6) Never leave your merchandise unattended.
It is imperative to keep your merchandise on or near your person and out of plain sight when it’s not being displayed. Never leave your merchandise in the booth overnight, plan to take your jewelry with you every time you leave the booth. Many thieves wait to strike during set up or tear down when your attention will be divided. Once your jewelry is in a vehicle, keep the jewelry in a locked strong box.
7) Don’t do it alone.
Have a friend, relative or employee travel with you to fairs and shows. This allows you to better secure your booth; reduces set up and tear down time and makes it harder for a distraction theft to occur. If you can’t have a second person present with you, at least make sure somebody is aware of your itinerary that you can check in with.
8) Maintain lines of sight.
While eye-catching raised displays and lots of signage draw customers to your booth, vendors should be aware that they might be blocking their view of merchandise which could make “five fingered discounts” easier. This also applies to customers setting items on your displays; purses, jackets, and umbrellas can block enough of your line of sight that someone could abscond with your jewelry.
9) Be a good neighbor.
Make sure your booth is set up early and any packing materials are disposed of properly. Be friendly to your booth neighbors, report any suspicious behavior you see to them, and ask them to return the favor. If you have cause, contact event organizers/security to report suspicious people or activities.
10) Secure display items to stands.
Jewelry is meant to be worn, and your customers being able to put a bangle or bracelet on is a high powered sales strategy, however with pins and ties you can secure your jewelry so it can be tried on, but not walked away with.
11) Greet everyone who walks into your booth.
Criminals that are casing your booth don’t like to be acknowledged or remembered. A courteous smile, greeting, and eye contact will help deter criminals and will make a better impression on your customers. This is especially true for anyone who looks like they might be watching what’s going on inside the booth instead of looking at the merchandise.
G&S Metals and Refiners hopes these tips help keep you and your booth safe and secure. If you have any additional tips, please post them in a comment below!