Consider this: The standard selling price for jewelry is 2.3 times the wholesale price, according to the Jewelry Information Center, a trade association. In other words, if the price tag says $500, the jeweler probably paid about $217 for it.
Try this: “Don’t just say, ‘What’s the best price you can give me?’” says Philip Weisner, president of Kestenbaum & Weisner, a jeweler in New York City. “Say, ‘Oh, that’s more than I am looking to spend.’ Then tell him what your budget is. The jeweler may be able to give you the piece you want for your number or direct you to a similar piece you want that’s in your price range.” Finally, offer to pay with a check. The jeweler may agree to pass along the percentage he would otherwise have been charged by a credit-card company for the transaction.