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Bad e-ring shopping experience

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decodelighted

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Date: 3/24/2009 3:33:51 PM
Author: Gypsy
a scrupulous vendor will know your request cannot be accommodated at your budget and must risk losing your business by telling you so, and an unscrupulous dealer will tell you whatever you want to hear and give you nothing more than shoddy goods anyway.
SO TRUE!!!!!! Agree 100% Sweet talk ain''t often the truth.
 

mrscushion

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Date: 3/24/2009 3:09:02 PM
Author: Bimbi
Hello All,
I finally heard back from Mark today. We went over what I want and I emailed him pictures of the settings I like. He asked me for my budget and I told him that we would like to spend between 5 and 6 thousand for everything, stone and setting combined. He did not sound excited at all about the budget. I think he was actually a little annoyed that my budget is very limited. I think 5000 is a lot of money, especially in this economy. Maybe I am wrong. Regardless of how much I spend, I think any good jewelrer would know that if I am happy with my e-ring I would most likely go back there for the wedding bands. I guess that''s not in incentive for them.
Is 5k really that little, I have gotten that same feeling from a few jewlerers. How much do you think I should expect my boyfriend to spend on my ring. I don''t know if I would be able to justify spending 5k on him if tables were turned.
Bimbi, $5K is doubtlessly a lot of money and a great budget for an e-ring. I don''t know why Mark would have sounded unexcited. I have only met Gary at ERD, but from everything I hear that sounds pretty unusual. I am sorry you did not have the experience you had wished for. Does your ring have to be 1 carat or would you consider going down slightly in size to get a fabulous stone for your budget?
 

Gypsy

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http://www.highperformancediamonds.com/index.php?page=view-id-diamond-infinity&id=590 soemthing like this will give you 3 K to play with and get the setting of your dreams (in gold, and with the right vendor).

http://www.highperformancediamonds.com/index.php?page=view-id-diamond-infinity&id=606 alternately this in a simple four prong white gold solitare will give you a larger diamond now, and plenty of time to find your dream setting for when you have the buget to reset.

This is a demonstation of what is really your only two choices (short of buying a used pre-set diamond from someone in the market to sell to you at a loss) anyone who tells you different is pretty much blowing smoke up your skirt.
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decodelighted

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Are you still open to Ovals (for a bigger bang for the buck, face-up appearance wise)?? Still open to estate pieces? What about colored stones in ornate settings?

There are other ways to get a "big", unique e-ring look for 5K.
 

Bimbi

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Thank you all. Mark''s words were that the average budget for an e-ring should be around 8k but he did say he will try to see what he can do to help me find what I am looking for. I do appreciate his honesty that in his opinion my budget is low. It''s just hard to accept that even 5k cannot buy a lot these days. Hopefully he will get back to me with something soon. In the meantime, I contacted Josh at white flash. I had contacted him in the very beginning of my search and just sent him an email to ask him what he could find for me for under 4,500. These are the three stones he came up with. Do any of you have an opinion on those:

1) Diamond DetailsItem Number: 1227443
Shape: Round
Carat weight: 0.90
Cut: Ideal
Color: E
Clarity: SI1
Certificate: GIA

Depth: 61.7%
Table: 57.0%
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent
Girdle: Medium to slightly thick
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Faint
Measurements: 6.18*6.21*3.82

2) Diamond DetailsItem Number: 1227447
Shape: Round
Carat weight: 0.90
Cut: Ideal
Color: F
Clarity: VS2
Certificate: GIA

Depth: 61.8%
Table: 56.0%
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent
Girdle: Thin to medium
Culet: None
Fluorescence: None
Measurements: 6.17*6.26*3.84

3) Diamond DetailsItem Number: 1227448
Shape: Round
Carat weight: 0.90
Cut: Ideal
Color: F
Clarity: VS2
Certificate: GIA

Depth: 61.6%
Table: 55.0%
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent
Girdle: Thin to medium
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Faint
Measurements: 6.20*6.24*3.83

A guy from Weiser jewelry in the NYC diamond distruct offered me a G color 1.03 stone. All things being equal, is a G color 1.03 better than an E/F color 0.9?

A jeweler a friend knows quoted me $950 for a replica of a Simon G setting that I like. Any of these diamonds will bring me a little over 5k. What do you think.


 

Bimbi

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I am open to ovals but the ones that I have seen in person looked smaller than RBs and I think an oval might be harder to buy online if I decide to go with james allen.

I looked at some estate pieces but they were also pricey, almost as expensive as "new" ones, and harder to appraise so my boyfriend thought it''s not worth the trouble.

I was waiting for Mark to get back to me with a diamond, but I may mention that I am open to a colored stone. Diamond would be my first choice. I do not want to be pressured into buying a colored stone so that would be my last option.
 

decodelighted

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There''s another option but I hesitate to suggest it ... what if you offered to match your BF''s 5K, making your budget 10K? Or ... offer to purchase the setting yourself so his whole budget goes for the stone. Just random ideas. I think its more & more common these days, as so many women are working & even sometimes earning *more* than their fiances. But not every guy is open to this, as some are very traditional.

Just thinking outside of the box ...
 

neatfreak

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My guess is that Mark thought it was a bit low for everything you wanted not that you are a subpar customer because your budget is small. Our budget was smaller than that and we had fabulous treatment from Mark the whole way.

But he WILL be honest about whether he thinks you can get what you want with your budget KWIM?
 

decodelighted

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:12:19 PM
Author: neatfreak
My guess is that Mark thought it was a bit low for everything you wanted not that you are a subpar customer because your budget is small.
Right ... that makes much more sense. I couldn''t imagine him saying that 8K was average for engagement rings. But it makes sense that 8K is the average price for what she was asking for ...ie high color, one carat RB, ideal cut, ornate pave setting similar to Scott Kay
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:21:02 PM
Author: decodelighted



Date: 3/24/2009 5:12:19 PM
Author: neatfreak
My guess is that Mark thought it was a bit low for everything you wanted not that you are a subpar customer because your budget is small.
Right ... that makes much more sense. I couldn't imagine him saying that 8K was average for engagement rings. But it makes sense that 8K is the average price for what she was asking for ...ie high color, one carat RB, ideal cut, ornate pave setting similar to Scott Kay
Ditto Deco and NF. We should all be aware that narrarators can, at times, be unrealiable. Short of posting an actual transcript of the conversation it's hard to tell what went on with either the appraiser or with Mark.
 

neatfreak

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:21:02 PM
Author: decodelighted
Date: 3/24/2009 5:12:19 PM

Author: neatfreak

My guess is that Mark thought it was a bit low for everything you wanted not that you are a subpar customer because your budget is small.

Right ... that makes much more sense. I couldn't imagine him saying that 8K was average for engagement rings. But it makes sense that 8K is the average price for what she was asking for ...ie high color, one carat RB, ideal cut, ornate pave setting similar to Scott Kay

Exactly. Mark certainly has no qualms telling someone that he doesn't think their budget is big enough for what they want, but in my experience he treats everyone well regardless of how much they are spending.

He drove 1.5 hours each way out of his way, when he was on vacation, to show me my diamond when I was at my parents' house for one weekend. And my diamond was less than $3k. And that was when the economy was good!
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Bimbi

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Actually, his exact words were that 8k is the average for an e-ring, not an e-ring like the one that I want. In any case, I expect that when you are paying someone 5k for something that most likely costs them 50% less, they would be very enthusiastic or at least try to sound enthusiastic to make you feel confident you are spending your money as wisely as possible. I do not expect jewelers to pass judgement. Maybe that''s just my standard and the way I do business with my clients.
 

neatfreak

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:45:29 PM
Author: Bimbi
Actually, his exact words were that 8k is the average for an e-ring, not an e-ring like the one that I want. In any case, I expect that when you are paying someone 5k for something that most likely costs them 50% less, they would be very enthusiastic or at least try to sound enthusiastic to make you feel confident you are spending your money as wisely as possible. I do not expect jewelers to pass judgement. Maybe that''s just my standard and the way I do business with my clients.

I guess I am confused then. Why does it matter if the average was $8K? And did he tell you your budget was too small before or after you told him what you wanted? Sounds like there might be some miscommunication here possibly.
 

MaggieB

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:45:29 PM
Author: Bimbi
Actually, his exact words were that 8k is the average for an e-ring, not an e-ring like the one that I want. In any case, I expect that when you are paying someone 5k for something that most likely costs them 50% less, they would be very enthusiastic or at least try to sound enthusiastic to make you feel confident you are spending your money as wisely as possible. I do not expect jewelers to pass judgement. Maybe that''s just my standard and the way I do business with my clients.
Mark is a jeweler, not a cheerleader. I also think that it''s not particularly fair to make a judgment about the worth of his service when you have not used his service.

It sounds as if you are not very excited about your own $5,000 budget. I''ve seen some incredible rings on here in that price range, and am sure that you will be able to find one also.
 

decodelighted

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:45:29 PM
Author: Bimbi
I expect that when you are paying someone 5k for something that most likely costs them 50% less, they would be very enthusiastic or at least try to sound enthusiastic to make you feel confident you are spending your money as wisely as possible. I do not expect jewelers to pass judgement. Maybe that''s just my standard and the way I do business with my clients.
See Gypsy''s point on the previous page. If you''re so easily fooled into feeling "confident" by someone feigning "enthusiasm" well ... good luck.
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cara

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:45:29 PM
Author: Bimbi
Actually, his exact words were that 8k is the average for an e-ring, not an e-ring like the one that I want. In any case, I expect that when you are paying someone 5k for something that most likely costs them 50% less, they would be very enthusiastic or at least try to sound enthusiastic to make you feel confident you are spending your money as wisely as possible. I do not expect jewelers to pass judgement. Maybe that's just my standard and the way I do business with my clients.
I think you are mistaken on your assumptions about 100% markup. If you buy crappy, fuzzily graded, mass produced stuff at the maul without checking what you are getting, you *might* be subsidizing that kind of markup. But not with a diamond/ring purchase from a competitive internet vendor. Especially the diamond, margins are much thinner than you imagine.

Mark shouldn't have made you feel judged for your budget and you don't have to work with him if he rubs you the wrong way, but he does have a long ps history of giving excellent customer service. Maybe he was having an off day. Its up to you to decide if you want to work with him or anyone local or if you prefer someone else. But he does do nice, reasonable custom pieces if you decide to put your money there.
 

Sharon101

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:45:29 PM
Author: Bimbi
Actually, his exact words were that 8k is the average for an e-ring, not an e-ring like the one that I want. In any case, I expect that when you are paying someone 5k for something that most likely costs them 50% less, they would be very enthusiastic or at least try to sound enthusiastic to make you feel confident you are spending your money as wisely as possible. I do not expect jewelers to pass judgement. Maybe that''s just my standard and the way I do business with my clients.
I think you have the wrong idea about how this industry works. It seems to me that you are really quick to trash someone`s reputation who is likely helping you. You seem to have some baseless conceptions about the profit involved also.

Im sure if he wasnt as enthusiastic as you say there might be another explaination other than he thought your budget was sub par. It seems from others here he goes out of his way even for much lower budgets than yours. Maybe you presented in a way that made him cautious about doing business with you as you might have been unrealistic about what you expect.
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:59:43 PM
Author: Sharon101





Date: 3/24/2009 5:45:29 PM
Author: Bimbi
Actually, his exact words were that 8k is the average for an e-ring, not an e-ring like the one that I want. In any case, I expect that when you are paying someone 5k for something that most likely costs them 50% less, they would be very enthusiastic or at least try to sound enthusiastic to make you feel confident you are spending your money as wisely as possible. I do not expect jewelers to pass judgement. Maybe that's just my standard and the way I do business with my clients.
I think you have the wrong idea about how this industry works. It seems to me that you are really quick to trash someone`s reputation who is likely helping you. You seem to have some baseless conceptions about the profit involved also.

Im sure if he wasnt as enthusiastic as you say there might be another explaination other than he thought your budget was sub par. It seems from others here he goes out of his way even for much lower budgets than yours. Maybe you presented in a way that made him cautious about doing business with you as you might have been unrealistic about what you expect.
Yeah. Gotta say, Sharon to me, you hit the nail on the head.

ETA: It occurs to me that I have never had a reputable vendor VOLUNTEER to tell me what average rings cost. It's a stupid thing to do. Either your budget is LOWER whichis alienating you, or it's higher in which he might lose out on some $$. It seems much more likely that this information was imparted to you in response to a query of yours like... "Hi Mark, what's the average cost on an e-ring." Or... "My budget is 5K, that's about average right?" In which case, you really are just taking exception to him being honest with you... and assuming that by being honest he is 'judging' you.
 

cara

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Bimbi, you can posting here for advice so here is my honest advice:

You need to adjust your expectations.

$5k is a perfectly nice ering budget, but it will not buy you the moon. Its like me saying I have $15k to go buy a car. You can get a very nice car for $15k, but if I want a nicer car or a luxury model it will probably have to be a few years old. But if I want a NEW car from a name brand company with X,Y,Z other requirements, $15k is not really going to be enough. I can walk into a dealership and try to get a car with a sticker price of $30k walked down to my budget, but it will likely be a long, unsuccessful road and the chances of this approach working are not great.

Long way of saying, just because $5k is a nice engagement ring budget and the economy sucks doesn't mean that you can actually get what you currently say you want in an engagement ring for $5k. Maybe you can, but it will have to be an unusual road like Craigslist or ebay or estate sale, which all present certain risks. And people in the more mainstream jewelry industry are probably not going to want to waste their time trying to meet your unrealistic expectations unless you are paying them by the hour. Which you are not willing to do, and you even thought your appraiser's hourly rates were unfair.

So... do some research on your own. Educate yourself. It will be rewarded. You need to figure out what things cost and what you want and you have this wonderful free tool (pricescope) to help you. Gypsy has pretty much broken down the options in the diamond-center stone world (1 ct stone + plain setting OR smaller stone + fancier setting), but you did mention colored stones being an option. You could head over to the colored stones forum to do some browsing to see if it interests you. Of course, colored stones are in many ways even more difficult than diamonds, so you will need to be willing to invest some time in the process, but it may be a path to getting your dream ring, if you can make it work for you.

Good luck to you!
 

CharmyPoo

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Perhaps the 8K is average for his customers. I know Mark helped out a friend with the same budget as you and my friend was very satisfied. Mark is all about getting the most for your dollar. I know my boyfriend and I have been treated the same no matter what our budget was - our budget varied a lot through out the year.
 

elle_chris

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Whatever was said, misunderstood or whatnot doesn''t even matter. If you feel uncomfortable working with Mark, then don''t. There are a ton of other vendors that you can choose from.

Read the tutorials here, learn as much as you can and them you''ll be armed with enough knowledge to get a good product. Good luck :)
 

phoenixgirl

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It''s very difficult to gauge a person''s tone without meeting face to face. Visiting the ERD website, you see that the pre-entered range of price is $1500 to $10,000 (so the median is exactly your budget), and I checked, they do indeed sell diamonds that cost less than $2k. I find it difficult to believe that he would appear hesitant to take a $5-$6k job based on the final cost of the ring. *If* indeed he was indicating an unwillingness to work with you, I''d look for another cause.

He''s a businessman, and with a poor reputation he won''t make any money. I just am not buying that he goes around scoffing at people''s engagement ring budgets and telling them the budget "should" be $3k more.

I don''t know the guy, and I have never shopped at or even really pretend internet shopped at ERD. But I just don''t buy your story. How could you get all this insinuation and attitude from an email?

My guess:

You said you wanted a, let''s say, 1 carat E-F, VS2-SI1 H&A diamond set in an expensive setting for $5-$6k. He said, sorry, that will cost more like $8k. If he used the word "should," it was as in, "your budget for that ring should be $8k, not $5k."
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/24/2009 6:55:10 PM
Author: phoenixgirl
It's very difficult to gauge a person's tone without meeting face to face. Visiting the ERD website, you see that the pre-entered range of price is $1500 to $10,000 (so the median is exactly your budget), and I checked, they do indeed sell diamonds that cost less than $2k. I find it difficult to believe that he would appear hesitant to take a $5-$6k job based on the final cost of the ring. *If* indeed he was indicating an unwillingness to work with you, I'd look for another cause.

He's a businessman, and with a poor reputation he won't make any money. I just am not buying that he goes around scoffing at people's engagement ring budgets and telling them the budget 'should' be $3k more.

I don't know the guy, and I have never shopped at or even really pretend internet shopped at ERD. But I just don't buy your story. How could you get all this insinuation and attitude from an email?

My guess:

You said you wanted a, let's say, 1 carat E-F, VS2-SI1 H&A diamond set in an expensive setting for $5-$6k. He said, sorry, that will cost more like $8k. If he used the word 'should,' it was as in, 'your budget for that ring should be $8k, not $5k.'
Or she just asked him: "What does the average e-ring cost" and he said 8K. And she decided that was somehow judgemental.

Hard to say as she hasn't come back yet. But personally I'm betting money that's what happened.


And elle, with all due respect (and I mean that genuinely) it does matter. Because you can't go around trashing vendors without real and true cause. This is their livlihood, and PS is a valueable source of referrals for them. While I am all for airing reasonable grievances, and have myself and truly do believe in customer education and truth regarding vendor interactions. I have never insinuated that ANY vendor on here (regardless of my personal feelings about them) has acted less than honorably unless I have proof. Especially, for me, a vendor like Mark who DOES NOT post on here. And no, I have never bought from Mark. But I have inquired about settings from him (and every other PS vendor ad naseaum) and consider myself a fair judge of character.
 

Loves Vintage

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I didn't get the impression that Bimbi was out to trash anyone's reputation. She's been having a hard time finding a ring, which is why she posted here. She contacted a jeweler who was recommended here and mentioned an aspect of their conversation. Yes, it's possible that Bimbi misinterpreted Mark's intent, which is not such an unusual occurrence, really, that people misunderstand one another.
 

mrscushion

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Date: 3/24/2009 8:03:37 PM
Author: Loves Vintage
I didn''t get the impression that Bimbi was out to trash anyone''s reputation. She''s been having a hard time finding a ring, which is why she posted here. She contacted a jeweler who was recommended here and mentioned an aspect of their conversation. Yes, it''s possible that Bimbi misinterpreted Mark''s intent, which is not such an unusual occurrence, really, that people misunderstand one another.
Yeah, I also didn''t think Bimbi was trashing anyone''s reputation. Her e-ring shopping experience should be delightful and it hasn''t been thus far. Yes, she may have misunderstood Mark. I think many of us have spoken up to say that it would be highly, highly unusual for him to be anything but completely courteous. As far as I''m concerned, that''s that. Now hopefully she comes back so this board can be helpful to her in finding the perfect e-ring for her in her budget.
 

elle_chris

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Date: 3/24/2009 7:02:32 PM
Author: Gypsy

Date: 3/24/2009 6:55:10 PM
Author: phoenixgirl
It''s very difficult to gauge a person''s tone without meeting face to face. Visiting the ERD website, you see that the pre-entered range of price is $1500 to $10,000 (so the median is exactly your budget), and I checked, they do indeed sell diamonds that cost less than $2k. I find it difficult to believe that he would appear hesitant to take a $5-$6k job based on the final cost of the ring. *If* indeed he was indicating an unwillingness to work with you, I''d look for another cause.

He''s a businessman, and with a poor reputation he won''t make any money. I just am not buying that he goes around scoffing at people''s engagement ring budgets and telling them the budget ''should'' be $3k more.

I don''t know the guy, and I have never shopped at or even really pretend internet shopped at ERD. But I just don''t buy your story. How could you get all this insinuation and attitude from an email?

My guess:

You said you wanted a, let''s say, 1 carat E-F, VS2-SI1 H&A diamond set in an expensive setting for $5-$6k. He said, sorry, that will cost more like $8k. If he used the word ''should,'' it was as in, ''your budget for that ring should be $8k, not $5k.''
Or she just asked him: ''What does the average e-ring cost'' and he said 8K. And she decided that was somehow judgemental.

Hard to say as she hasn''t come back yet. But personally I''m betting money that''s what happened.


And elle, with all due respect (and I mean that genuinely) it does matter. Because you can''t go around trashing vendors without real and true cause. This is their livlihood, and PS is a valueable source of referrals for them. While I am all for airing reasonable grievances, and have myself and truly do believe in customer education and truth regarding vendor interactions. I have never insinuated that ANY vendor on here (regardless of my personal feelings about them) has acted less than honorably unless I have proof. Especially, for me, a vendor like Mark who DOES NOT post on here. And no, I have never bought from Mark. But I have inquired about settings from him (and every other PS vendor ad naseaum) and consider myself a fair judge of character.
Gyspy, I understand what you''re saying but i don''t think she was trashing him. At least I know she didn''t put me off from working with him if I was in the market for a cushion.

I got the impression that for whatever reason, they''re just not clicking. Whether it was a misunderstanding or not, if she''s not comfortable why bother? Lots of vendors to choose from. Why not find one that doesn''t rub you the wrong way.
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:45:29 PM
Author: Bimbi
Actually, his exact words were that 8k is the average for an e-ring, not an e-ring like the one that I want. In any case, I expect that when you are paying someone 5k for something that most likely costs them 50% less, they would be very enthusiastic or at least try to sound enthusiastic to make you feel confident you are spending your money as wisely as possible. I do not expect jewelers to pass judgement. Maybe that's just my standard and the way I do business with my clients.

Elle, I considered the above trashing-- I think it would put newbies off, and people who expect reasonable and good customer service. Up until then, I was responding to her (and linking her to other vendors, like HPD) because I agree with you 100%. If there is no click don't go for it. But I guess I feel like from the above Bimbi is not going to be satisfied with any vendor until she understands the industry better, and also stops to consider the fact that conversations and interactions involve two people. And it's not always the other person who is 100% at fault. Sometimes you have to look to yourself and your own expectations and knowledge and wonder if the source of 'communication difficulties' is you.
 

phoenixgirl

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What do you guys think the chances that he really dissed, for lack of a better word, her budget? That would be like me telling a size 12 she should really be a size 6, or a person driving a Toyota that he should really drive a Lexus, or even like telling a person of average intelligence that she should really be smarter. Maybe a small portion of the population would say that kind of thing to a friend, but in a business setting? It doesn''t make logical sense to me. I believe her dissatisfaction is genuine but she has misinterpreted his response to her, and as a result she has painted somebody in a negative light who was probably only informing her that her budget did not match her wish list.
 

elle_chris

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Gypsy- you may be totally right in that Bimi doesn't have a true grasp on what she's able to get for her budget. In fact, I don't think she does either, but i do think Mark said something. How she took it is another matter.




Pheonix, I've worked with WF, GOG, Pearlmans and most recently got a stone from JA. A sales person at one of these companies did make a comment to me.
Now, I'm hard to p!ss off. Things usually roll right off of me and i'm pretty laid back.
but the comment that was made angered me soo much, and it was so off the wall that I decided, never again. So yeah, it happens. A vendor may not even think they've insulted a customer. Could say something in an off handed manner and not think twice. The customer though, sees it differently.

That's why I won't stick up for a vendor. I'll never know the tone or context a comment was made in and since this is a consumers forum, I'll side with the consumer unless it's "proven' they're wrong.



 

LD

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Bimbi - buying a diamond (especially if you''re unfamiliar with what makes a great cut, the difference in colour, clarity grades) is not something for the fainthearted. IMVHO you''ve had an excellent service from both the appraiser and Mark. They''ve both been honest with you. I''m wondering what you expected from them though? It may be that your expectations of the service you''ll receive is different from what will actually be the case.

Please take everybody''s advice on here - read the tutorials, spend a good deal of time looking at different colours and clarity of diamonds. You will soon learn what you like and whether it''s in your budget. If it''s not then you''ll have to reconsider. Shopping using numbers (ie. I only want an E/F or I only want an SI1 etc) considerably narrows your options. Some people on this board have bought fabulous I1 grade diamonds.

You''ve mentioned that you saw 3 diamonds and couldn''t tell the difference between the 3. That suggests that you could perhaps go for a lesser colour or clarity or both and be happy, so pick something you like the look of and don''t get hung up on numbers. Why don''t you ask to see diamonds in your budget and see if one jumps out at you rather than trying to find something that fits within your budget?

I would think that buying online is probably not the best option for you and that you need to see the diamond to see if it''s something you''ll be happy with.
 
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