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Appointment-Only Jewelers

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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I was just looking at some jewelry online and noticed it was appointment-only. Same thing in the past when looking at Diamonds By Lauren and Israel Rose.

I'm unlikely to make an appointment. I want to browse unseen. If I had to make an appointment, it would be just me in the place and they'd have spent time looking out various items, and I imagine you'd feel a ton of pressure to buy. I think of appointment-only shopping as a time when you're definitely going to spend a ton of money, and that's not usually how I buy jewelry. It's more casual for me, and I don't think of myself as having appointment-only kinda money.

Thing is, I don't have the confidence but I do have a certain amount of money to spend, which the appointment-only jewelers will never see because I'm just too self-conscious to shop by appointment-only.

Maybe I just don't understand the business model, but aren't these guys missing out on a ton of sales? Most of my purchases are made unexpectedly, and I'm not going to make an appointment to go shopping, I'm just going to go to a place where I can browse in peace.

It's my opinion that they surely must miss out on many sales. But I don't know. Is that true? Do you think they miss out? Or are they aimed at such high-end shoppers that it doesn't matter if they miss out on the "shyer buyers?"
 

ennui

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I have felt intimidated by jewelry stores where you had to ring the bell to be admitted. I realize it's all about security, so that no one wanders in unnoticed, but still.

I think both mechanisms are to weed out the riff-raff, and people who are only looking. It's like selling a house; the lookie-loo's are a waste of time, and they only want serious buyers. I can understand.
 

marymm

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Well, DBL doesn't have a storefront - they're on the 9th floor I believe - so an appointment makes sense to get through security to get to the elevator, and so they know to expect you.

As I recall, Israel Rose has a stall/counter/spot in a jewelry-mart-type space, with a lot of other vendors in other stalls... I don't think they have all of their inventory out, so if you wanted to see something in particular, or a certain style of setting, by making an appointment you can be assured they'll have pulled out and made available what you want to look at.

Honestly, as long as you are upfront when making your appointment that you're still researching settings (or whatever) and may not be ready to make a purchase at this time, I think any vendor would be happy to have you come in.

I visited Adam at Old World Diamonds a couple of times (sometime back I lived a couple years in NYC), two times by appointment and a 3rd time he knew I'd be coming by in the afternoon during a certain week... I ended up not purchasing from him but there was no pressure and no sense that I was wasting either of our time.

Anyway, I hope you reconsider and perhaps check out one of the by-appointment vendors - for sure it is rewarding talking diamonds with vendors who you know to be knowledgeable and reputable and to have wonderful diamond/jewelry inventories.
 

baby monster

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It's completely different sales models. Nobody drops serious money while browsing or window shopping. You're right on that when you're spending a few hundred appt only places aren't the right vendor. You need a small jeweler or a store like TJMaxx or Macy's that stock inexpensive pieces. There's usually a big variety of jewelry to see and you have to find a salesperson to show items so very little service is built into the selling model. Salespeople have very little idea, i.e. stones, treatments, cuts, setting, about jewelry they're selling.

Appt only places don't miss out on customers. They work with a different market. Last time I visited IDJ by appt to upgrade my studs, Yekutiel and team were super busy. They had appt after appt but I got undivided attention while I was there. Plus they really know their stuff when it comes to diamonds and settings. Btw, there's no pressure to buy if you don't see what you like. I wouldn't spend my money at a spur of a moment with a clueless salesperson so appt places work for me.
 

LLJsmom

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Yes they may miss out on some sales. They know that. But their time is better spent with the appointment only clients. Even if they don't spend money. history has probably shown them that this approach is a better use of their time from a client relationship and revenue standpoint. It doesn't intimidate me.
 

kenny

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I also am not of fan of appointment shopping.
I like to feel free to come and go and lookie-loo to my heart's content.

I often go to pawn shops where they have to buzz you in.
For some reason I don't mind that.
I never said I make any sense. :mrgreen:

Now if I was looking for a specialty-cut at a place like GOG, expected them to call in stones with my specs, and wanted to deal directly with Jonathan himself then of course an appointment would be appropriate.
 

Jambalaya

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baby monster|1443275241|3932061 said:
It's completely different sales models. Nobody drops serious money while browsing or window shopping. You're right on that when you're spending a few hundred appt only places aren't the right vendor. You need a small jeweler or a store like TJMaxx or Macy's that stock inexpensive pieces. There's usually a big variety of jewelry to see and you have to find a salesperson to show items so very little service is built into the selling model. Salespeople have very little idea, i.e. stones, treatments, cuts, setting, about jewelry they're selling.

Appt only places don't miss out on customers. They work with a different market. Last time I visited IDJ by appt to upgrade my studs, Yekutiel and team were super busy. They had appt after appt but I got undivided attention while I was there. Plus they really know their stuff when it comes to diamonds and settings. Btw, there's no pressure to buy if you don't see what you like. I wouldn't spend my money at a spur of a moment with a clueless salesperson so appt places work for me.

There's a lot of ground between appointment-only and TKMaxx!! I buy from well-respected retailers like Whiteflash, Brian Gavin, Tiffany, Kiki McDonough, Pearl Paradise, Maison Birks in Canada, and a few long-established independent local jewelers that have beautiful antique pieces like my Faberge egg pendant. Some of it is on Pricescope but I'm planing to put more up this winter. The SAs aren't totally useless at those places, either.

I'm way too shy to do appointment-only. Jewelry shopping online has been a boon for me, as I can access their stock that way, but I'm more likely to buy something if it's in front of me since the photos often aren't that great, like the saturation on Israel Rose's photos, and also he has a re-stock fee. I've spent tens of thousands on jewelry in my lifetime and I know that the appointment-only people have missed out on my money at least, so I do wonder how much other money has flowed into alternatives. I'd be surprised if my dislike of appointment-only is rare. For me personally, the reasons are that I'm shy and I like to browse free-range, and also I don't like high-pressure sales environments. The last thing is actually why I dislike the Diamond District in New York. People gesturing at you when you're looking in the window, people posted outside to draw you into conversation about the jewelry you're wearing...I'm trying to concentrate on browsing and I find it interrupts me - I can't think straight with all those people pressuring me.

About the doorbell thing, when I was younger I was intimidated by the doorbells but they haven't bothered me in years. But I definitely haven't got to grips with appointment-only, and probably never will as I've got much of the jewelry I'll ever have now.

I was just wondering how others felt about appointment-only. I find it very off-putting but I'm probably in a minority around here! :D
 

Jambalaya

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kenny|1443285382|3932098 said:
I also am not of fan of appointment shopping.
I like to feel free to come and go and lookie-loo to my heart's content.

I often go to pawn shops where they have to buzz you in.
For some reason I don't mind that.
I never said I make any sense. :mrgreen:

Now if I was looking for a specialty-cut at a place like GOG, expected them to call in stones with my specs, and wanted to deal directly with Jonathan himself then of course an appointment would be appropriate.


Yes!! Exactly!!!

Since my dream stone is a three-carat Signature Round from Brian Gavin, I wouldn't even need an appointment for that!
 

Madam Bijoux

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I never felt the need to go to an appointment-only jeweler. There are plenty of spectacular things to get at the famous walk-in stores. I might go to an appointment-only jeweler like Leon Mege if I needed a non-T& Co loose stone set, but that would be the only reason.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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I know for a fact that David at DBL does not have a "retail space". It's really just a small and secure office in a building, hence the appointment only.

FWIW I've never spent anything over a few thousand at DBL (my budget) and David has always let me play with the "big boys" when I've visited. He's happily let me try on anything he's had in stock and even some special juicy stones he was only considering for stock. I've gotten to play up close and personal with some near 10 carat stones! How often do you get the chance to do that?
 

Jambalaya

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Sounds great, Asscherhalolover! I can also see that it must be great to talk to and get to know some of these jewelers in a private setting. I'm just too shy to actually do it.

Also, I like to choose from a large range of stock, and in my imagination, with appointment-only places you'd only see a limited selection. I like walking into a store and seeing the whole Aladdin's cave spread out before me! That way I know I'm not missing out on anything better. I do love to window-shop and see all the sparkling arrays. I wish it was possible to do more of that in the Diamond District with a little less hard sell on the street.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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Gotta say though someone like David, everything on that website is in the office. It's amazing! I go in with a list of stock numbers and he pulls out a little box where it all lives and starts taking it out. It's a whole lot of fun! I also prefer it because they can narrow things down before you shop, if they don't have it in stock they have time to send someone out and find it for you before you even go. It's one thing if you're not sure what at all you want BUT if you have a good idea and a budget it can really save you a lot of time and heartache since they won't show you something you can't afford (unless you want to see it anyway of course).

I've always found it to be a much more personal and enjoyable experience.
 

MollyMalone

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Jambalaya|1443294643|3932150 said:
* * * I do love to window-shop and see all the sparkling arrays. I wish it was possible to do more of that in the Diamond District with a little less hard sell on the street.
I was about to say, right before I read your latest post, that you will get helluva lot more pressure-hard sell from the "steerers" on the sidewalks of NYC's Diamond District than you seem to be fearing you'd experience with DBL, Adam of Old World Diamonds or, e.g., Brilliantly Engaged, Eternity by Yoni, and ID Jewelry (other PS sponsors who are in the Diamond District).

DBL and Adam, for example, are not just retailers; they are suppliers to the trade as well, e.g., you may have read here how GOG calls in vintage stones from Adam. The vast majority of Diamond District businesses are to the trade only. But regardless of whether they are strictly wholesalers or not, they almost always are solo proprietorships or very small businesses in non-spacious quarters. So even if they do host retail customers, they typically have little-no room & don't have a staff ready and waiting to serve you, nor do they have their own private security guard(s).

There's also the fact that, unless the vendor is in one of the DD's retail bazaar clusters, they are office building neighbors with lots of wholesalers, who do not want to be bothered with retail customers showing up at their door. And security is, understandably enough, a huge concern for DD businesses. The nature of a DD building's security system (electronic and personnel) is a primary reason for leasing space in the Diamond District. These tenants would not be pleased to have throngs of the general public wandering the hallways. Heck, I don't know of any apartment buildings where outsiders don't have to be buzzed in by a resident, if not greeted by a doorman who checks to see if you are expected by a resident before giving you access to the premises.

Since you value in-person viewing, I think it's too bad that you are put off by appointment shopping. But you obviously feel strongly about it.

Although you aren't reconsidering your perspective, I did want to provide some explanatory context of the DD & reassure others who might be mistakenly thinking that a retail appointment with a DD dealer/merchant inevitably means you will be subjected to the kind of sales pressure-tactics attributed to the stereotype of the worst, used car salesman. As has already been said , it can be a uniquely rewarding experience :))
 

Jambalaya

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Molly, I just realized I hadn't replied to you, and I wanted to do so, after you took the trouble to write such an interesting and informative post. Since I have so much jewelry already, I'm not planning any major purchases - however, I have seen some of Israel Rose's pieces that I might be interested in, and someday I might be in the market for a DBL ring. There are several on his site that I like. I was just going to order from the website, if I ever wanted to get something, but in light of what you've said, I would be more amenable to going in to see either of those vendors. Thank you! :wavey:
 

iLander

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If you really want to be snubbed, go to Van Cleef & Arpels in NYC. They don't require an appointment, but if you walk through the doors, all the salespeople come out and stare at you until you go away. Literally. No one says hello or greets you, they just come forward, stand in front of the counters and stare at you. At the time, I was dressed nicely and carrying a Chanel purse, but apparently that wasn't enough to impress them. I scurried out in under 5 minutes. I guess they cater to a few customers they already know, and are not interested in anyone else. Ridiculous! :rolleyes:
 

azstonie

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iLander|1443537321|3933139 said:
If you really want to be snubbed, go to Van Cleef & Arpels in NYC. They don't require an appointment, but if you walk through the doors, all the salespeople come out and stare at you until you go away. Literally. No one says hello or greets you, they just come forward, stand in front of the counters and stare at you. At the time, I was dressed nicely and carrying a Chanel purse, but apparently that wasn't enough to impress them. I scurried out in under 5 minutes. I guess they cater to a few customers they already know, and are not interested in anyone else. Ridiculous! :rolleyes:

Can you imagine how they train their staff: VCA probably takes the Nordstrom handbook on Customer Service and tells their staff to simply go in the opposite direction, :lol: :rolleyes: I would never give them a penny of my business.

Re appointment shopping, I'd feel a little odd when it would come to time to pull the trigger and buy. I've learned to look, wait and THEN go back to buy on big purchases. I'm always ready to jump on a good deal if I see one, but in my experience in jewels and stones over the past 10 years, the screamin' deal is rare, so why not view, cogitate, view some more, think some more, etc. I'd be too conscious of the other person's time and expectations.
 

Dancing Fire

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iLander|1443537321|3933139 said:
If you really want to be snubbed, go to Van Cleef & Arpels in NYC. They don't require an appointment, but if you walk through the doors, all the salespeople come out and stare at you until you go away. Literally. No one says hello or greets you, they just come forward, stand in front of the counters and stare at you. At the time, I was dressed nicely and carrying a Chanel purse, but apparently that wasn't enough to impress them. I scurried out in under 5 minutes. I guess they cater to a few customers they already know, and are not interested in anyone else. Ridiculous! :rolleyes:
Real or a fake??.. :Up_to_something: :bigsmile: I was walk by their store last month but didn't go in.
 

Jambalaya

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azstonie|1443550036|3933191 said:
iLander|1443537321|3933139 said:
If you really want to be snubbed, go to Van Cleef & Arpels in NYC. They don't require an appointment, but if you walk through the doors, all the salespeople come out and stare at you until you go away. Literally. No one says hello or greets you, they just come forward, stand in front of the counters and stare at you. At the time, I was dressed nicely and carrying a Chanel purse, but apparently that wasn't enough to impress them. I scurried out in under 5 minutes. I guess they cater to a few customers they already know, and are not interested in anyone else. Ridiculous! :rolleyes:

Can you imagine how they train their staff: VCA probably takes the Nordstrom handbook on Customer Service and tells their staff to simply go in the opposite direction, :lol: :rolleyes: I would never give them a penny of my business.

Re appointment shopping, I'd feel a little odd when it would come to time to pull the trigger and buy. I've learned to look, wait and THEN go back to buy on big purchases. I'm always ready to jump on a good deal if I see one, but in my experience in jewels and stones over the past 10 years, the screamin' deal is rare, so why not view, cogitate, view some more, think some more, etc. I'd be too conscious of the other person's time and expectations.

Yup, I could have written that myself. I tend to visit the piece of jewelry a few times, wait, think, cogitate - exactly as you wrote. I wonder if such an exact, formal shopping method like appointment-only simply doesn't suit the psychologies of some shoppers. I'd love to know how many people that applies to, bc it does seem to me like they must miss out on sales. On Pricescope people seem pretty comfy with appointment-only, but we are, um, a pretty biased sample!
 

Jambalaya

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iLander|1443537321|3933139 said:
If you really want to be snubbed, go to Van Cleef & Arpels in NYC. They don't require an appointment, but if you walk through the doors, all the salespeople come out and stare at you until you go away. Literally. No one says hello or greets you, they just come forward, stand in front of the counters and stare at you. At the time, I was dressed nicely and carrying a Chanel purse, but apparently that wasn't enough to impress them. I scurried out in under 5 minutes. I guess they cater to a few customers they already know, and are not interested in anyone else. Ridiculous! :rolleyes:

How awful! I'm going to NYC next month. I'd go in just to see if my experience matched yours, except it sounds so off-putting who would want to!
 
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