shape
carat
color
clarity

B&M vs E-tailer

Discussion in 'FAQ' started by Garry H (Cut Nut), May 3, 2001.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
  1. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,537
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » May 3, 2001
    OK vendors
    Why would a consumer by in a store?
    Why should a consumer buy on-line?Shoppers why did you buy from who you did. What are the strengths and weaknesses?Garry H
     
    


    


  2. StevL
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by StevL » May 3, 2001
    >>OK vendors
    >>Why would a consumer by in a store?
    1. You can view many diamonds of different brands and even unbranded.
    2. You may see them with your own eyes, and not have to put one dime up to do so.
    3. You can see the grading and testing done, and use the gem equipment so you may see with your own eyes.
    4. You will have a much wider selection of settings, and explanations about different types of settings and the metals used.
    5. You can try the settings on, see how they fit and if it looks like what you visioned.
    6. You can look in the jewelers eyes, and have a store to return to should any problems ever arise.
    7. Most diamonds can be set while you eat lunch or the next day, with no shipping cost or problems of shipping.
    8. You will build a relationship with a jeweler so you get that special cleaning and polishing right before your special night out.
    9.Other repairs may be done at no charge, or at a price reduction.
    10. You will have someone to check the prongs, and that the stone is tight when ever you have the time.
    11. Some jewelers also re-size the rings for life as long as they were purchased from them.
    12. You keep your money in your own town, which in return comes back to you at some point (providing you have a job).
    13. I know I have helped many people over the years settle insurance claims on jewelry, and looked after their best interest.
    14. Your local jeweler will also help you in finding insurance should you have a problem. Maybe you were canceled, or you rent, or still live at home, etc.
    15. This list can get very long..............>>Why should a consumer buy on-line?
    1. Price (well maybe, some jewelers will compete nicely with web pricing)
    2. You think you got the deal of a lifetime (price)
    3. You were sold with all the toys and gadgets the online jewelers use to dazzle you (but you didn't compare several diamonds with your own eyes).
    4. This list can get longer too.........Okay, yes I have sold my share of diamonds online, but that is not my main business and never will be. I actually enjoy sitting down and talking face to face, offer an education, and a selection of merchandise. I also cherish the friendships I have made over the years of talking with people who visit my store. I also make it a point to shop and do business with people that shop with me.My 2 cents, and can't wait to read other opinions.------------------
    StevL
    www.demsjewelers.com
    www.eightstar.com
     
  3. pricescope
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    8,266
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by pricescope » May 3, 2001
    Great post StevL!Thanks [​IMG]
     
  4. lawmax
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,317
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by lawmax » May 3, 2001
    Thanks Steve-care to put that in paragraph form? [​IMG]
     
    


    


  5. StevL
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
  6. lawmax
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,317
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by lawmax » May 4, 2001
    I know!
     
  7. StevL
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by StevL » May 5, 2001
    Great Point James!A sale isn't a sale if its a year long sale. Wow, double talk from the South! We are very straight forward, its the price on the ticket for everyone that walks in. We price things *very fairly* and you may have a *very small* discount for cash or check, but its *the same for everyone*.When we run a sale, its a real sale, no gimmicks or tricks.------------------
    StevL
    www.demsjewelers.com
    www.eightstar.com
     
  8. StevL
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by StevL » May 5, 2001
    Garry,Very good points. I can only speak for my own local, but condidering most mall stores a no no (which I agree), our local independents do a very good job. We have a couple that aren't up to speed, but out of about 30 independents I would only shy away from about 5 knowing what I know.The consumer still needs to find a *good* independent, but you haven't an idea about who and what your dealing with online. It all boils down to typed words, reports, photos, and promises.The net is here to stay, but the prices seem to slowly be trending up, and it still only accounts for a *very small* amount of the diamonds being sold today.To give you an idea, we just ended a three day sale that we *only do once a year*. We had over 350 pieces move out in less than 24 hours of being open. The large majority was not diamond engagement rings, but over 50 diamond pieces were sold which averages just over two an hour. Each of these customers will receive the same quality service for years to come, its just the way we do things.------------------
    StevL
    www.demsjewelers.com
    www.eightstar.com
     
  9. jamesd
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2001
    by jamesd » May 5, 2001
    Glad to hear you aren't one of the sale a week crowd. Or the continuous sale silliness.Saw the ideal cut CZs DL has from you a couple of weekends ago. Very nice.
     
  10. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,537
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » May 5, 2001
    Steve wrote
    >>>>>
    OK Steve knowing what we know what would be a good rule or way for a consumer to find the best local independant?
    1. A web prescence?
    2. Call a few from phone book???
    3. Ask freinds
    4.
    5.Thinking about this
    >>>I did a search on the name of a baddy - the diamond guy Fred Cuellar - and this is what I found
    4. Diamond deception - 1998-06-08 - Houston Business Journal
    sponsored by: sponsored by: Home Contents Search/Archives Extra Edge Solutions & Services Contact Us bizjournals.com bCentral.com Subscribe to the Business Journal Buy a Book of Lists Get Hot Leads! Go to other Business Journals Home : Houston : Arc www.bizjournals.com www.houston.bcentral.com/houston/stories/1998/06/08/story3.html What other ways can people check the bonafides of web dealers?
     
    


    


  11. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,537
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » May 5, 2001
    Taht was a great list of + and - Steve.
    Can I ask is there a generalisation about stand alone versus mall stores in USA?
    In general we find here in Oz, the supermarket mall stores have less expertise and usually no equipment at all!I have intended the HCA to assist people narrow down web selections to the point they are sent off to an appraiser for an opinion. What is difficult to expalin to a consumer is the difference between a BIC with a bigger spread and a great look in office and daylit environ's - and FIC's that look fantastic (and some people think better) in spot lights and sutle sexy lighting. It is so easy to show people a few stones in the real store world.The problem with this thread from a consumers point of view is they will get this service at your store and Jonathons and winks etc, but at 90% of other stores they have not a hope of any real understanding of anything but Carat, Color and maybe Clarity. Poor old cut!After crusading* relentlessly for 2 years there are probably less than 100 people in the world (outside 15 in my own 2 stores)who really understand this commonsense and simple principal. The chance of a consumer actually talking to anyone in a selling situation with this type of new knowledge is really quite remote.What is amazing is 'we' have probably educated 100 times more consumers via this site and others like it, than the total number of trinket floggers with any real idea about cut.a few rambling thoughts from the car park cafe on a pre work Sat morning [​IMG]
    Garry Holloway*2 years ago Rap published my letter to the editor naming the link between crown and pavilion angles.
     
  12. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,537
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » May 9, 2001
    We agree Steve
    Education, visit good stores, leave if BS or answers that don't make sense, preffered lab reports GIA and AGS, deal with the owner if possible and ask freinds, but remember they may have been mislead. Use the net to get an idea of the no frills possible problem stone rock bottom price.
    What is a BBB? An additional thought - I notice a difference between street clients and web enquiries. The later are far more informed and ask tough / good questions. Even my best people (eg my guy Sean who buys a million dollars worth of diamonds) sometimes get stuck and they ask me (hehe - as you say Steve - the owner) for some help.Any consumers want to add their personal experiances and impressions?
    Garry
     
  13. pricescope
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    8,266
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
  14. StevL
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by StevL » May 9, 2001
    In my opinion:
    First get a little education, this could be from the web or your local library.Second, visit several stores, listen to the pitchs and leave when you encounter BS or answers that don't make sense and they can't explain in detail.Third, look for lab reports and I do prefer GIA or AGS.Forth, call your BBB to see what problems they have had (if any), and find out how long they have been in business.Fifth, deal with the owner if possible.Six, ask friends, but don't count on their advice as all truths, they may not reallyt know what they bought.Seven, you can shop price on the net if you wish. This will let you at least have a general idea of where you need to be. Be Sure To Understand that the local jeweler should be a little higher, but also provide you services and selection. Use the web just to keep them in line with pricing.Okay, this are a few thoughts this morning and I may have some to add later.Garry, what are your thoughts?------------------
    StevL
    www.demsjewelers.com
    www.eightstar.com
     
  15. infosponge
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    by infosponge » Jan 24, 2004
    Hi Gary,

    As you know I am only one day old at this and trying to educate myself so that I can be considered one of the better educated buyers out there. I am very seriously in the market and not a tyre kicker, but recognise that this is going to be an expensive purchase and I want to be sure that I have received "value for money".

    Steve writes that the internet purchasers’ focus is on price, but what I think is at the heart of the buyers quest is simply value for money, not "the buy of the year". Most consumers recognise that the seller has equal needs around price and I for one do not begrudge paying a fair price for any product/service if my perception of value has been satisfied. What I do not want to pay for, however, is expensive inner city floor space, saturation advertising, endless marketing campaigns, unnecessary additional staff and inflated prices to give the perception of prestige - aka Hardy's, Tiffany's, etc. A good stone is a good stone regardless of who sells it. And by the way I have very little comprehension of what constitutes a "good vs. very good vs. excellent vs. ideal" stone is, but fully intend to know before I part with any hard earned cash so will avail myself of all the helpful and useful data I can get my hands on.

    Additionally Gary, I have found that the retailers in Australia do not satisfy the following needs which have brought me to Pricescope.

    1. I agree with you, most retailers staff themselves up with the prettiest high school drop out with very little knowledge of diamonds beyond the 4C's.
    2. I have had difficulty finding any retailer in Australia that sells loose stones direct to the public (hence my first enquiry about wholesalers)
    3. The strength of the Oz dollar has not been passed onto the consumer. Now I know FX can be argued against, but let me say this, I know the retailer will say he/she has had the stock for a period of time and therefore would have paid the FX at the higher rate. My argument against this is that when the Oz FX falls, prices will summarily increase even on existing stock where the retailer will cite the FX as their reason - a bit like what we experience will fuel prices where we pay tomorrow's prices for today's tank.

    I trust this gives you some insight into the mind of one purchaser.

    And Steve - it's not all about price!
     
    


    


  16. infosponge
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    by infosponge » Jan 24, 2004
    Oh...and one last reason for using on-line. Variety and choice

    I have yet to walk into an Australian store and ask about asscher stones without receiving blank stares. Even when simplifying it to "square emerald cuts" they seem bamboozled!
     
  17. aljdewey
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    9,143
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    by aljdewey » Jan 27, 2004

    StevL, your post is very informative in showing me what *you* perceive the B&M world is. Now allow me, as a consumer, to share some insight with you as to how *I* perceive the retail jewelry business. I know you'll find it hard to believe, but price is not the only advantage (or even the most important) to buying online. Here are reasons I didn't buy at the B&M store:



    1) The salespeople at many of them didn't know the basic minimum about diamonds. When I asked one what the make of a stone was, she replied "Huh?". When I clarified that I was asking about the cut quality, she said, "OH. It's a round cut." Thanks...very informative.



    2) The staff didn't want to hear what I was looking for--instead, they were more interested in telling me what THEY should thought I SHOULD be looking for.



    3) Many of them had a "canned" approach. Ready to tell me: how DANGEROUS it is to buy on the net and cautioning on fake certificates...how the stones on the internet are nothing more than second-hand rejects that don't meet the B&M store's quality standards......how nearly impossible it will be for me to find a stone that falls within the parameters I want (which were AGS0). Perhaps they don't realize that imparting fear isn't selling.....or that instead of filling me with fear, they are *showing* me theirs.



    4) The pathetic tactics used to push us into a higher-priced diamond: What will your friends think? Don't you want your diamond to be as nice as your fiance's friends' diamonds? A diamond's quality shows HOW MUCH you love her....blah, blah, blah.



    5) The tendency to treat consumers like idiots. Believe it or not, I don't really believe that the B&M store is selling me a diamond that's truly worth $16,400 for only $6400.



    6) The lack of availability of well-cut stones. Almost no AGS stones in stock, barely a few GIA stones.



    StevL, I'm sure you're in the minority of B&Ms that really service customers, and that's commendable. But I think that sometimes, the retail segment overstates their strengths....things that they think are "strengths" really aren't.



    A few among your list, for example: "you can view many stones, both branded and unbranded". No, I really can't because most of the retailers don't have the array of makes in stock. Yes, I can see a bunch of stones, but if none of them are the types I want to see, it doesn't matter. Another: "You can come get your prongs checked or get your ring cleaned for a special night out". Honestly, I can do that now. I can go into any store and ask them to check the prongs and clean it because there is a possible repair job at stake. That's not really the benefit you think it is.



    You mentioned a few strengths that I agreed with - the ability to try on settings and see them on the hand....I see that as a BIG plus for retail. Also, the possible help with insurance.



    You folks do tend to underestimate the online shopping experience. My vendor (Whiteflash) had MANY top-cut stones, which is what I was looking for in my e-ring. He called me at home on a Sunday in December--the busiest time of the year--to speak with me about the stones I inquired about. He pulled them out and compared them; he spent two hours on the phone with me and told me what he saw in each. When I subsequently changed my budget, he graciously gave another 45 minutes of his time to compare two other stones. He took the time to explain to me what I was seeing and why. Compare that to the clerk at the B&M who handed me the ring and said "it's a 1.02 G, VS2"....and sat quietly looking disinterested while I viewed it through the loupe.



    I could have easily seen any stone from the reputable internet vendors without putting up a dime - all of them would have shipped to a local appraiser for me to view pre-purchase. I have a lifetime trade-up policy with them, and I can return to them should problems ever arise...the B&M world doesn't have a lock on that. There's no more guarantee that a B&M store will be there next year than an online store.....it's like anything else. You need to do your homework and buy from someone REPUTABLE.



    Yes, it's true I might get a reduced rate on repairs from the B&M store, and yes, I do have to pay shipping charges with an online purchase, but let's not forget how those are offset by not having to pay sales tax.



    I'm not against the B&M segment at all. I'd like to see them get better at identifying what customers want. Here's a novel idea.....why not ask them? "What would incent you to do business with me? What things are important to you?" I think that too many B&M shops are blaming their loss of business on the "evil internet dealers and their pricing" because it lets them continue to delude themselves that it couldn't be their poor selling skills or their failure to identify what *I* want for service.



    Everyone thinks it's the almighty internet dollar that's the culprit....and don't get me wrong, getting a fair price is important to any consumer who wants value. But I don't always choose the least expensive option. A restaurant we eat at locally here is a bit higher priced than some of the others, but I never had to repeat my order to the waitstaff. They get it right the first time. I never have to send my steak back because it isn't done right. I never have to flag down the waitress because I'm out of coffee. I don't feel like we get rushed out the door the minute we've finished eating. Not only do we pay a bit MORE to eat there, we tip like no tomorrow. They are emphasizing the things *I* want...not what they think I should want. Hey, free peanuts are nice, but not if they mean I have to send my steak back three times to get it right.



    Diamonds are not the only commodity whose business model is changing. The successful vendors are those who won't resist/bitch about the change and instead find a way to make it work to their own advantage without being dishonest to the consumer.



     
  18. fire&ice
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    7,828
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    by fire&ice » Jan 29, 2004
    Al, it finally dawned on me in something SteveL casually said. Deal with the owner. I never deal with anyone but. Maybe that's the disconnect. In this senario, I've never been talked down to. I've always been given good service - and guidance. And, the price is more than competitive to the Internet. My jeweler was perfectly fine & even recommended that I buy my setting elsewhere. He made no secret that he was buying off of polygon when his regular supplier didn't have what I wanted.

    But, go to a regular jewelry store - even the fancy one's - and I have received the service Al described.

    If one wants to deal w/ a B&M, I would deal w/ the mom's & pops - sometimes in the most unassuming of shops. In any case that I have had a successful B&M transaction, the owner was a sole proprietor & always there. If not there, the 'fill in' was knowledgable - but always defered to the owner to answer more in depth questions. Another place to look would be to "craftsman". They often can source stones to create a ring.

    Maybe this is my experience, but I have had more intelligent conversations about diamonds & cut with Estate Jewelers (one's who also handle/buy estate (used) dimaonds. So, this may be a source as well. My jeweler's primary focus is estate pieces.
     
  19. Rand_alThor
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    by Rand_alThor » Feb 11, 2004
    Ahh the B&M vs the e-tailer debate.




    I chose to go the B&M route for several reasons. First, none of the e tailors carried the "orginal" radiant cut (Henry Grossbard). Before agreeing to go with the "original" radiant cut my gf and I looked at various generic cut radiants. I narrowed our choices down to about 16 quality diamonds within my price range and specifications. Several B&M's and etailers advertised the same stone. In all cases the etailers discounted the price of the same stone by at least 1-2K. Theoretically speaking the etailers sound like modern day Amazon right. Herein lies the problem. My persona dictates that I must see and feel what I pay for and this is especially true for larger purchases like diamonds where every stone is unique.




    Out of that list of 16 generic radiant cut diamonds there was a diamond that I was especially interested in (it was cut as a 2B) and this diamond was only advertised by 2 etailers. I contacted one of them and inquired about seeing one of them. I was told that I could see it at a local appraiser who was charging a good deal of money for a one hour session. I took the risk and decided to go see it anyway. It turned out that the stone had a significant bow tie. I decided not to go with it and also lost $240 to take a peek at the stone. I would recommend etailers change this way of doing business. If anything they should negotiate a smaller viewing fee $15-$25, which lets the consumer look at the stone without the appraiser's opinion. If they like it, they can get a full appraisal at full price charged by the appraiser or just decide to buy it without using the appraiser. Everyone benefits here.




    Etailers also give consumers the option to buy a stone and have it shipped to them and if the consumer doesn't like the stone then they can return it back. Most etailers have decent money back and return policies in place. I'm a stoic believer that money if invested wisely makes money. Any sum of money tied in for however short a period of time in a non interest bearing third party account is not an optimal solution for me. Plus I''m just not comfortable with the net risk involved.
     
  20. PlatinumDiamond
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    by PlatinumDiamond » Feb 11, 2004
    I'm only a consumer, but I would like to say that
    I have done both - in store and on-line.

    I have found that on-line I can find better quality jewelry, but not neccessarily saying I can all the time.

    In store you see the item up front and personal.
    On-line you usually do not.

    In store most of the time the quality just isn't there that I look for in jewelry.
    On-line I can research till I find it.

    My preference is on-line shopping, but I have done in store shopping because of being at the right place at the right time an item may impress me.
     
  21. propheticstones
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    by propheticstones » Feb 11, 2004
    After hearing all the hype and sales pitches...here is the truth. The clicks and bricks jewelers seem to be doing fine. They are selling online and in their establishments. If you the consumer are buying a GIA certified diamond...then you do not have to worry about what you are buying as long as the diamond matches the certificate! If jewelers would stick together and stop trying to kill each others sales, then the public would have a better view of jewelers. The GIA certified diamond report will stand up in a court of law. It is designed expecially for the person who wants to know beyond the shadow of a doubt exactly what he or she is buying. Diamond dealers can buy and sell diamonds based upon the certificate. I hope this helps you. It does not matter if the person selling the stone is in a store or in his office selling online as long as there is the 3rd party validation of the diamond. I have been wholesaling diamonds for 15 years and have never had a problem with a GIA certified diamond. Sometimes it is worth a little extra effort to get what you really want.
     
  22. propheticstones
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    by propheticstones » Feb 11, 2004
    Once again, about the diamond prices...you can only get what you pay for. You cannot buy a one hundred dollar bill for seventy five dollars. There is an inherent cost for everything. As long as the diamond you are purchasing is a GIA certified diamond and the make (or cut) is good, then you can rest easy when buying the stone either online or in a storefront. Make sure the vendor has a return policy and that you have time to match the diamond to the certificate.
    Blessings in your search.
    Estate Jewelry Liquidators, Inc.
    www.kennethmcdonald.com
    .
     
  23. Rand_alThor
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    by Rand_alThor » Feb 12, 2004
    I beg to differ. The GIA report is certainly useful information and is without doubt essential in the diamond buying process. However my advice to the everyday consumer is "Go and phsyically inspect the stone prior to purchasing it". It must look appealing to the eye. This is the critical in the decision making process. Every diamond is unique and must be inspected in person. Its not like going to Amazon and buying an Ipod, They are all built to the same specs.




    BTW; It is possible to buy a $100 bill for $75. Buy Zero Coupon Bonds [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  24. propheticstones
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    by propheticstones » Feb 12, 2004
    I agree that the customer should examine the stone in person. But, hang on a second....don't you think that the person will inspect the diamond to the max if he buys it on the internet? I suppose he/she will be "extra careful" in identifying the diamond as one that matches the certificate, and will exercise the right to a refund if it is not "beautiful" in their eyes. Sure, we would like them to come into our store and buy so we can spend more time making a direct impression on them and hopefully build a relationship. But, there are those consumers who are only interested in "What is it?" and "How much is it?" While they are rare, they do exist. They deserve to be respected in their desire to save money...and the diamond should look as good in the sunlight as it does in our stores with all the spotlights. Chances are the customer does not live in our city and it is another sale that we would not have otherwise made. And by the way....what is an ipod? Good day!
     
  25. Iceman
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,374
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2000
    by Iceman » Feb 18, 2004
    propheticstones

    I was just down by Ashville, I loved it down there, the people the woods the mountains [​IMG] I recieved a $120 ticket for going around a road closed sign on Mt. Mitchell, I knew better but my H2 didnt [​IMG]

    I like the people that buy on line or even better buy overseas and bring back the artical of jewelry and ask, "Did I get ripped off "?

    I said why ask after the fact ?

    Who is going to service the ring ?

    Few will want to set a diamond that is not their own.

    Plus do you as a consumer really know what your looking at ? Most Jewelers dont! You would be surprised at how many sell diamonds on the internet and dont know any more about it then your paperboy next door.


    There are good ones too. Just choose wisely.
     
  26. StevL
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by StevL » Mar 3, 2004
    Sorry I missed this thread for so long [​IMG]

    aljdewey,
    I understand what you are saying but I also think you found the wrong store(s). Sure there are diamonds I do not have in inventory, but say something common like a 1 carat round I have about 40. Yes, many different makes (cuts) and color clarity combinations.

    When we talk about checking prongs I'm speaking of doing the repair of tightening, refinishing, plating if needed at no charge while you wait. I may have to tell more in detail, but the service is much more than a casual look at the ring.

    I have met with people as late as 11pm, on Sundays, Holidays, what ever it takes so the consumer isn't put out of their way. A Sunday phone call is very good. I have in many cases provided my home phone, cell phone, dealt with customers while on vacation, it is simply customer service.

    There is a story on another forum where a woman caught her platinum/diamond ring in the door of her car. I offered to either repair it or replace it at no charge and it was over a year later! This wasn't my fault, just another service I would provide in this case. Now don't think I would replace a fancy ring with other stones at no cost if it wasn't my fault, but i would consider doing it for my cost if they were a customer of mine.

    The big problem is finding a good B&M store. One that provides service, education, selection, and will compete near internet pricing. We do that and I'm sure there are many other stores too if you look in the right places.
     
  27. aljdewey
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    9,143
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    by aljdewey » Apr 13, 2004
    StevL.....great discussion.




    I found the wrong stores, huh? There were about 12 of them. How much indulgence am I supposed to have to place my business with a local person? What I mean is this: I can either spend HOURS visiting every jeweler within a 30-mile radius of my house looking for the stray few who are knowledgable and don't spread misinformation as a substitute for lack of sales skills......or I can invest half that time in finding a great online vendor. Which would you do?


    Maybe you would spend the five hours, but I can't see why I should when there is an easier (and often more satisfactory) way to find an online provider.




    You say you carry 40 stones of varying makes, colors, etc. How many of them are AGS 0 proportions and bear an AGS/GIA report? I locate about 25 such stones in a few minutes doing it online. Can I do that with you?




    I understand your point about replating, etc while I wait at no extra charge, but that doesn't mean it hasn't cost me anything. Remember, my time is worth something, and going to all those jewelers and spending the five hours just to get free prong tightening? I'd rather pay the $25 to my local jeweler (which is what I did when my ring needed to be sized)....and he did do it while I waited.



    You said "The big problem is finding a good B&M store. One that provides service, education, selection, and will compete near internet pricing. We do that and I'm sure there are many other stores too if you look in the right places."




    You're right, of course.....and that's my point too. I shouldn't have to search high/low and to all the yonderlands just to find that.....B&M jewelers should all make it a priority to provide all of those things to their customers. And when more of them do, I'm sure the buying public will respond.
    ----------------
     
  28. strmrdr
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    23,295
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    by strmrdr » Apr 14, 2004
    My biggest draw for buying stuff online is that after dealing with people all day at work in a business invirement Id just rather talk to people over the net taking my time while relaxing in my computer chair and sipping 7up.

    Besides being a computer geek i tend to dress down and have a hard time getting
    taken seriously at a lot of b&m's.
    I hit the majority of the b&m's in my area with $2000 cash in my pocket and they were either rude or didnt have what I wanted.
    A lot of them pulled the artificial sale on me ie:
    I have this one here for $600 and this setting for $175
    Then when I say Iv got to think about it they would say I can let you have the diamond for $545 because its on sale today. Pure BS and I was out the door.
    So I hit the pawn shops and saved 50%+ on the diamond then had it set into a new setting at a b&m and kept a very large part of the 2 grand for other uses.
    The pawn shops had a better selection than most of the b&m's I picked the diamond I bought from a group of 11 in the size range I wanted.
    If I was doing it again I would likely just buy from GOG, niceice, or whiteflash in that order depending on who had what I wanted and save myself the hassle.
     
  29. StevL
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1999
    by StevL » Apr 19, 2004

    Read that again [​IMG] 40 stones that vary, not all ideal, but many are, not all GIA or AGS but over 1/2 of them are, there is also EGL and even EGL Ideals. The point is you can see them and compare. You can see AGS Ideals next to non-ideals, with or without GIA's, G colors next to I colors, VS1's next to SI1's, and then drop them into any one of a hundred mountings or more.

    You see more than paper or a computer screen, you see product and if I don't have it I'll get it to throw into the mix at no charge to you.

    Online is fine, I have sold many diamonds online and have made many new friends in doing so. But the majority of people still like the hands on approach. How many online jewelers buy diamonds sight unseen for inventory?

    None that I know of but I'm sure I missed a couple, watch the replies [​IMG]
     
  30. niceice
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,792
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    by niceice » Apr 21, 2004
    We never expected to sell diamonds on-line! We built our web site as an educational tool for our local clientele and over time it exploded beyond our wildest dreams. We told a jeweler in another town who asked this same question of us that we believed that the only reason that a person would risk buying a diamond over the internet was because the person's local jeweler had failed them by either failing to provide them with accurate, honest, in-depth information; or worse had been caught in a lie when answering a question asked by the customer and thus had lost their trust to the extent that the customer would rather send thousands of dollars into cyberspace than do business with them; or that they had tried to charge an exorbitant amount of profit on a stone (often the same stone that a person has found on an on-line listing) without being able to justify the additional profit to the customer; or sometimes, the person had just been treated rudely by a store clerk and thought that was enough of that... The jeweler didn't seem to believe us, but a few weeks later he called to tell us that one of our stones was sitting in his store and that had his staff sold the diamond to the client, it would have been the fourth generation of diamond engagement rings that his family store had provided for that family... He asked us to tell his staff the same thing we explained to him previously because he had just finished lunch with the client and essentially the client had told him that all of these reasons were the exact reasons why he had purchased from us... We happened to be a three hour drive from the client and this particular jeweler at the time, so we provided the customer with the best of both worlds, a retail store front and in-store internet pricing, but that is beside the point, the customer made a concious choice to buy three hours outside of his home area...

    Not a day goes by where we are not surprised at how many diamonds per day we sell on-line, we are thankful for the business and certainly enjoy it, but we do not understand it. Why don't local jewelers take better care of their clients? They certainly can... We don't know SteveL but it sounds like he's got the program... We run a store and a high volume internet diamond site... So does Jonathan at GOG... Certainly it can be done, our success is proof of that. It's a choice to be educational, friendly and competitive, nothing more.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

Share This Page