Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Princess Cut

Thursday, 7 May 2009 @ 2.08pm

I tried on my engagement ring yesterday. It was the seventh jewellery store that I visited. But when I slipped it on, it fit right. It was the one.

As an advertising Account Executive, there are many things that we have to do besides ‘servicing’ clients (whore, whore, whore). We also get to do market research – mostly to see how well our client’s brand is doing in the market, or to see how well their competitors were.
One of our clients is quite prominent in the jewellery line. And they’re aiming to launch a new collection but weren’t exactly sure who their rivals were yet. That’s where I come in :) Yesterday, I started work at 10.30am. And that was only because that’s the time rival jewellery stores open :)

Eddie insisted on tagging along because it was his day off and it’s quite rare for us to be able to spend time together during the day. Our first stop was Ampang Point. There were two prominent stores outside the shopping mall. One boasted huge posters at the side of their building. Once inside, I wasn’t all too impressed. The glass was all scratched, making the jewellery look cheap. My MO was to walk in, and ask them to show me their collection of engagement rings. Then only would I ease the matter of price range, seasonal and promotional items and guest profiles into the conversation. And I figured I’m looking for an engagement ring anyway…might as well kill two birds with one stone.

After hitting the second store, we went to Pavilion. My first thought was Tiffany & Co. Eddie didn’t want to follow me in there. He said he looks shabby and would rather hang out at Dome. Fine by me. I pulled my act together, put it in my head that I could afford anything in the store and walked in with an air of elegance and slight arrogance. They bought it. Not long after I started looking at their engagement rings, the sales assistant motioned to the security guard, who proceeded to close the door and stand guard. They didn’t let anybody else in and I was given VIP treatment. I spent a good half hour in there, looking at everything and questioning everything.

The next couple of stores were not as daunting to walk into as Tiffany & Co. And in every store, I would spend a good half hour trying on rings, talking about price range and what their most popular items were. There was one however, which was situated at the very corner of Pavilion and was extremely secluded. The only reason you would be walking around the area is if you were actually going to buy something. This time, I had to play that arrogant and rich card, with my nose held just high enough. They bought it.

I requested to see a princess cut engagement ring. She tells me she has a three-carat one. I, playing the rich and arrogant customer, say, “yeah sure, let me have a look.” She proceeds to the back of the store while I drool over the other rings. She comes back with a ring the size of a standard eraser. Inside I was freaking out, but outside, I portrayed a face that said, ‘ah, not too bad.’ I play along and even try it on! But unfortunately, didn’t fit, to which she immediately says that they can alter the size for me. I ask her how much. Her answer? “RM183,000.” I’m screaming in my head. But I just looked at her and say, “Not too bad. But it’s too big for my taste. Do you have other princess cut rings?”

Having played the rich snob for a few more stores, Eddie and I then decided to go to Lot 10 to see what my client’s store was like. Big disappointment. There was another jewellery store right next door. It was the seventh store that we walked in. I played the customer again, this time with Eddie by my side. I didn’t really expect much since I’d been told in the last six stores that princess cut was limited since there wasn’t a popular demand in this country.

I only asked for princess cut because it was a part of my starting line as undercover customer. But lit up when he showed me their range. This time, there wasn't just one that was yellow, or one the had four small diamonds put together. This time, they actually had a range of rings that I'd always dreamed of having for my engagement. Eddie was to my left, looking for wedding bands. I was eagerly trying on all their princess cut rings.

At almost the same time, Eddie had chosen our wedding bands just as I’d chosen my engagement ring. We were sold.

No comments: