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Best way to approach a jeweler

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soonerice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
24
Hello again,
I am planning on buying a diamond online and a setting at a B&M. The reason for this is I want a particular designer setting that only one jeweler in my state has. It is a custom made piece and the jeweler sends the diamond to have the ring custom made. The price on the setting is stiff, $3600. I want to try and negotiate down on the price but I need to know the best way to approach this. I have got some quotes on the setting with one of the jeweler''s diamonds but never just the setting. My fear is the jeweler will hammer me on the setting because I bought my diamond elsewhere. Any suggestions?
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
The straight up approach might be best in this case.

"Look, I'm very interested in the custom mounting, but the price has got me roadblocked. What's the absolute least you'll take for it?"

After he gives you that, hem & haw, look down and shuffle your feet.

"I was really hoping for more of a discount than that. What additional service or discount can you give me so I can justify the cost in my own mind?

After that, determine if it's a price you think is justified. There's plenty of other mountings out there. If in your opinion the design quality, workmanship and materials do not command the price the jeweler is asking, tell him so politely, and thank him for his time.

Sometimes you will get a final discount at this point, when you're about to walk. If you do, great. If you don't, you can always find another mounting, or come back for this one later, telling the jeweler that you've thought it over and you're willing to "bite the bullet".
 

mdx

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
570
Great strategy Richard,
I will have to work out a counter if someone tries it on us

Wayne
Melbourne Diamond Exchange ltd.
 

Iceman

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2000
Messages
1,374
Bring in the diamond you bought in a tissue paper and tell him it was from your Grandmas estate. If you dont like the straight up approach
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 6/18/2003 7:57:19 AM Richard Sherwood wrote:

The straight up approach might be best in this case.

"Look, I'm very interested in the custom mounting, but the price has got me roadblocked. What's the absolute least you'll take for it?"

----------------
As an amendment "What is your very best price on this?" I never mind when people ask me. I agree w/ Rich - but this is just a more postitive spin.

Good luck.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
Sometimes I find it better if you as a consumer make an offer first. But be reasonable and not lowball the merchant.

In your example, if the asking price is $3600, and you want 20% off that price, you might offer 25% off and see if they bite. So, you would offer $2700 and work up from there. But the seller might be offended at your price and you'll be SOL since you said that's the only place that sells it in your area.

On the other hand, if you ask the seller first, what if the seller says he or she can knock off $100. Now you would be embarassed to ask for $2700 price and you might re-consider and assume a 10% discount, ask for $3240. Then the seller might say, ok, final price, and murmurs at loss, another $50 off and you'll end up paying $3450 which amounts to 5% discount.

If you buy cars enough, you'll know this is exactly what happens regardless of whether you give the price or the dealer gives his price first. But then again, finding an honest car salesman is rare.

But when you have choices, I find asking them to give you the best price works the best. When I was choosing my diamond, I had 3 vendors and rather than telling them this is what I want to pay, I ask them to give me their best prices.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 6/18/2003 9
7:18 AM jlim wrote:

Sometimes I find it better if you as a consumer make an offer first. But be reasonable and not lowball the merchant.

----------------
I disagree with that as the best approach. Now why does that surprise me?


That said, sometimes money is left on the table on the *consumer's* end. In other words, *I* might be willing to sell the item for less than their offer.

In your defense, you did say a "reasonable" offer. Sometimes I'm alright with this. But, from the retailer's point of view, most of the time I cringe when someone says "I will give you x for this?". I automatically shut down. The only time I will sell at offered price is when I really want to get rid of it & would have taken less than the offer. On the flip side, if someone says "what's your very best price?". Then sheepishly says, could you do x? Sometimes I will accomodate them as long as it's within reason. Most of the time, my best price is my best price.

Buying in a business notorious for subjective pricing really hones negotiating skills. Everyone is happy when the price negotiated is enough to make a profit for the retailer (as well as being able to replace the item) & a fair price for the consumer. Above all, respect for the retailer's item is paramount. I don't take kindly to a consumer pointing out imagined defects to talk down the merch. If it's not what you want, don't buy it. Simple.

ABOVE ALL - IT IS INSULTING TO OFFER A PRICE & NOT BUY THE ITEM. I even wonder if offering a price & subsequent accepting of price could be a verbal agreement of sale (stretching it a bit). If you want to use that tactic, say "I'm going to have to think about this - but would you consider (not say take) x for the item?" "I'm debating between two items."

Negotiating always needs to be done with dignity for both parties to walk away happy.
 

soonerice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
24
Here is the deal;
I have been to this jeweler a couple of times previously, and the first time I went in I told the salesperson I was interested in the setting. I cringed a little when she told me the price but when she gave me her business card she wrote down the specs of the setting and put down a cost of $3258 (as opposed to the $3600 pricetag) for the setting. I asked her about this and she said it was the "standard discount". I have also been told "by the jeweler" that it is more difficult for them to come down in price on a designer piece because the cost to them is higher. Is this true? I agree that the honest approach sounds best, but I am concerned that I won't get the best price because I am no longer looking for a diamond with the setting. Anyone have any idea what the markup on a designer setting is? Thanks again for all your help.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
----------------
On 6/18/2003 4:42:30 PM fire&ice wrote:
I disagree with that as the best approach. Now why does that surprise me?
----------------
Well, I did say "sometimes". And that's true. When you have choices, I find it best if I tell them the price I want to pay. If they don't sell it for that price, I'll just walk away and go to my next choice.

In soonerice's case, he has only 1 option. As consumers, we are often intimidated by the seller. If I really want to pay $2500 for the ring but the retail price is $3600, and if you think $2500 is a resonable price and the seller is still making 5-10%, I would make the offer first. The reason is simple. If I didn't, the seller will usually go down a $100 and you will feel like you are taking advantage of the seller if you now ask for a price of $2500. The seller might even be offended. So, you'll probably go a few hundred less than their offer. So, maybe you offer $3300 and you'll probably end up at $3500.

But all of this depend on how sure are you of the actual cost of the ring and can the seller actually sell less than the retail price. But in your case, looks like they automatically lowered the price to $3258. Looking at this situation, I'm pretty sure you can get at least another 5% off.

This reminds me of my jewelry shopping experience in Thailand years ago. From the retail price, it was automatically discounted 50%. Since I went there with relatives, we got an additional 10 or 15% off.

Also you did not say what designer setting you are looking at. And even if you tell us the exact style, I don't think you'll find an authorized retailer who will disclose his or her actual cost to the ring. Even if you know the actual cost, they would be prohibited from selling it to you at their cost.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Soonerice, the fact that the setting is a designer could be problematic for you & the jeweler. Many jewelers are under agreement w/ the designer/manufacturer that they do not sell a setting under a certain mark *regardless* of wholesale cost. They could be in jepordy of losing their "dealership". Some designers insist that their items be sold at keystone (twice wholesale).

Good luck - you could always ask how much it would cost to have the setting made by a benchman.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
----------------
Well, I did say "sometimes". And that's true. When you have choices, I find it best if I tell them the price I want to pay.
----------------
Well, there are definitely ways to do it that would never insult the jeweler. Such as a sheepish duck of the head accompanied by a "Oh, I'm afraid I can only spend about $xxxx." If the jeweler says that's impossible, so be it. Or, if it becomes obvious that that's the best price you can get, you can just pretend to dig up the money somewhere or decide it will just have to take you longer to pay off your credit card.

If you're not completely wedded to that setting and *do* have a strict budget, this approach may also then make them show you items that they think *are* within your price range.

Oh, and about buying the diamond elsewhere. Just don't tell them where you bought it and negotiate the setting separately without mention of the diamond. When I got a quote for our setting I purely asked about the setting.
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
534
I'm a little confused but help me clear things up . . .

You want to buy the setting for the local B&M because it's a designer piece and it's only sold locally through them. I understand it's not made by them because you commented the ring and stone will get sent back to the designer for setting. Are you sure you can't purchase the designer's setting online. Doyou know the name of the designer?

I will be buying my setting online for the same reason, there is only one vendor here and I don't find their price reasonable so I'll be buying it online.
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
534
I don't know where my post went but I don't see it so if this is a dup. -sorry.

My PC is acting so strange today!

Okay, you want to buy the setting at the local B&M because they are the only local vendor for this designer-are you sure you can't purchase a setting from this designer from one of the online vendors? Do you know the designer name? Or do you have a pic or description?

Editted to add: I see my post now.
 

soonerice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
24
Clarification:
The designer name is Jack Kelege. The problem with attempting to purchase this setting online is I cannot find the EXACT setting, only those very close made by Jack Kelege. It seems odd to me I cannot find it, nor a picture of it online. Another jeweler, (I believe Cornell jewelers) out of NY/NJ (I am in Oklahoma) has a very very similiar setting by JK. They want $3500 for it I believe.
I am not limiting myself to just this one option. I have been inquiring about another (trusted) jeweler making the setting but I don't think they can duplicate it well without a good picture. Regardless, they said it would cost between $2000-$2500 for them to make it. I figure if I can get the actual piece in this range it would be worth it. Please offer any other suggestions. Thanks again!!!
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Have you contacted on-line vendors that carry the line? Just because they don't list is on their site doesn't mean they can't get it.

Worth a shot - and again, *every* jeweler may have a bottom line they are able to sell it at without the designer/manu pulling the line from them.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
Have you tried contacting Jack Kelege and tried to get the catalogue name/number of the setting plus a list of authorized distributors? They should be able to help you figure out the ring you're looking for and who can order it for you. They have a phone number on their website.
http://www.jackkelege.com/index2.htm
 

soonerice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
24
Yes, I have attempted to contact Jack Kelege and they are pretty much worthless. They have an operator that basically can just tell me who in my state, and surrounding states carries this setting. Within my "region", only Samuel Gordons (OKC) and Eiseman (Dallas, very high end jeweler) carry the designer.
 

soonerice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
24
Question:
Should I avoid telling them (Jeweler) that I have a relative that is an independent jeweler that was able to get my diamond at cost? I thought this may be a good way to tell them, "well I would have bought everything from you BUT I can't pass up that deal". Good idea?
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
I would just not mention where you got it at all. If they ask, just say you already have the stone. If they push, then they're...uh...not really pleasant people.
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
534
I think you should start another thread: Who here sells Jack Kelege settings?

That should get some attention. What does this setting look like?
 
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