Posting to Polygon members about Pricescope 11/11/04

I know there is an atmosphere of fear concerning Pricescope apparent in some of the postings on Polygon. Now, this is not universal, as occasionally someone will post that they have decided to participate with Pricescope. Many diamond vendors on Polygon do list their merchandise in many places on the Internet anyway. They just remain mum on the issue. What can they say that would be welcomed? They can’t win in this. They need to turn goods rapidly, as the profits are so short.

Pricescope is offering a new way for consumers, those who shop the Internet, to interact with B&M retail stores. These stores may not like the profit structure, but they need to compete for these sales to Internet savvy consumers, if they want to make those sales and if they want to make as many new relationships as possible with their future, potentially loyal customers.

In the automobile business people flock to the Internet to shop for cars and compares prices. They tend to still buy cars from dealers, but a few now opt for an Internet purchase. Car dealers do not boycott the web, but make the best use of it they can. They try as hard as they can to make a customer once they get you into their dealership. My car dealer treats me like a prince since they realize I could go to any dealer to buy the car, but I Choose to come to them. It is their attitude and their service which makes me a loyal customer, but the price competition derived via the Internet makes me a smarter customer, too. If the dealership resents the Internet, they do a superb job of not showing their dislike, but instead, do all they can to create business. Is this what you are doing? Or, are you doing the opposite? What taste are you leaving in the mouth of your customers, or future customers? Its up to you do make the right impression.

Like it or hate it, Pricescope is creating web information about one of your prime products, diamonds. A diamond can readily be bought without going to a B&M store and nothing can be done to prevent it. Now Pricescope has come upon a way to offer a degree of participation to B&M retailers, those with excellent credit, who may get diamonds from certain selected vendors, and make sales in their stores. Those who choose to participate will not get rich quick, but they can make new customers and create many future, direct sales. If you opt out, it will not hurt Pricescope, but if you opt in, you have an increased chance to meet young, smart customers. You won’t be able to charge crazy prices, but you will prepare yourself for doing future business in a tough business climate.

What’s my stake in this, you might ask? Nothing at all. I am not an owner or partner in Pricescope, whatsoever. I am not a retailer and only sell old cut diamonds to the trade, not to consumers. My other firm, AGA, does many appraisals for Internet consumers, but we also do an equal or greater number for local consumers, B&M retailers and regional diamond dealers. I have no axe to grind or an agenda. My goal is to give a different point of view to this “discussion”. Everyone is entitled to make their own decision on this, but it seems wrong that Polygon members get one point of view and no other to create balance. It still is your decision, not mine.

by David S. Atlas, GG(GIA) Sr Mbr(NAJA) ASG(AGA)

D. Atlas & Co.

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