Fri, 04 Nov 2005

Getting information: In-stock diamonds versus diamonds located with suppliers

Getting Diamond Information
shopping online there are two possibilities for diamonds you find
listed in the Pricescope search or in diamond searches on different
vendor websites.

  1. The diamond you have found is owned and
    stocked by the vendor listing it. In this case that diamond will not
    be listed by any other vendors.
  2. The diamond you have
    found is located with a diamond supplier/manufacturer. That single
    diamond may appear in the lists of many vendors, any of whom may act as
    a broker for it.

[More information on “Why are there
several dealers offering the exact same stone” may be found in this
article in the PS journal:

Getting Information

requesting information on a diamond, the amount of quickly available
documents and images may vary, depending on where it is located. If it
is stocked by the listing vendor the data will likely be instantly
accessible. If it is located with a separate diamond supplier the
availability and timeliness can vary:

Scenario 1: The vendor owns the diamond, has it in-house and has all lab reports and photos done and online. Done.

Scenario 2: The vendor owns the diamond, has it in-house and does not provide all online, but will by request. Done.

Scenario 3: A supplier owns the diamond and will provide the vendor with lab report, Sarin and photos by request. Almost done.

4: A supplier owns the diamond and will provide the vendor with the
lab report and Sarin, but no photos. This could take a little time and
may require bringing the diamond in if the customer wants photos (see
scenario 5).

Scenario 5: A supplier owns the diamond, and will
provide the lab report – but no Sarin and no photos…The vendor is
willing to bring the diamond in by request to analyze it and take
photos, etc (a charge may apply depending on policies)…This does take

Scenario 6: A supplier owns the diamond, and will not
provide anything beyond specs…The vendor is willing to bring the
diamond in by request to get the lab report, analyze it, take photos,
etc (again, a charge may apply)…This could take time and there is more
risk that the diamond will not meet exact expectations of the vendor or

Scenario 7: A supplier owns the diamond but the vendor
is a drop-ship only vendor and cannot provide anything further than
what the supplier is willing to provide. This is risky to the buyer
and the vendor, as the vendor will never see the diamond he/she is

Internet vendors who base their business model on
drop-shipping a diamond from a supplier sight-unseen to the purchaser
are especially handicapped by suppliers who don’t provide ready
documents and photos.

Why don’t all suppliers provide these things?

the macro, internet sales are still not a significant enough percentage
of total sales to drive change yet. It’s a twofold problem. Those who
encourage suppliers to provide more information are fighting decades of
‘how it was done’ as well as a fundamental resistance to the movement
that is calling for the shift (no matter how sound that decision will
ultimately be).

Many long-of-tooth suppliers have
traditionally done business with B&M stores who have never had a
need for photos, reflectors, etc., and only recently are asking for
Sarin reports. The fact that the tried and true retail vendors have
operated for a generation or three without these needs, coupled with
the air of resistance from influential factions within the trade to
internet sales in general, causes a ‘dig in the heels’ mentality.

internet sales increase some suppliers are coming to understand the
need to provide more information digitally to internet vendors, but
there are others who still do business without even owning a Sarin
machine (much less photos or reflectors). What any given supplier will
provide varies depending on how ‘it’s been done’ juxtaposed with
current policies. Combine these unknowns with the many different
vendor policies of drop-shipping sight unseen versus bringing it in for
inspection and you have an alphabet soup of different scenarios.

for customers: If you’re looking at a diamond from the virtual
database, how do you know what is available from the supplier and
vendor combo-platter you have chosen? In most cases you don’t. For
purchase of a commonly found diamond it may not be worth your time to
wait days for information, but if you’re chasing that ideal 2ct E VS
with a spot-on 55% table and FL (for your mother Emily Von-Strange’s 55th
birthday at the nightclub) and nothing else will do, it may be worth
patience and understanding of the process if that diamond is located
with a supplier who moves slowly.

There is no harm in asking if
the diamond you are interested in is stocked by the vendor or by a
supplier, and how timely your desired information will be. Vendors
often will tell you without being asked, and don’t mind answering
further questions about the expected time frame. Knowing how fast you
may expect to get information, and how much information is possible,
will allow you to set appropriate expectations.