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Business Ethics Question

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Kismet

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/11/2007 10:18:46 AM
Author: DBM

Now i think everyone would agree that relatively quickly within say 10 yrs everything would be gone, no? all the online, all the B&M, probably alot of sightholders.. NOW the questions I''m asking (and these are THE ONLY QUESTIONS I''m ASKING): My choosing to spend all my money in this idiotic fashion and simulataneously destroy the industry: how would you look at me as a person? a good person? bad person? or neither, i have the right but i''m just stupid (which i think is the answer most of you are positioned at, which is what makes me sad).
I can''t agree that everything would be gone. Diamonds aren''t consumables, they''d still be around just owned by someone different. Either jewelers would be buying up all these really cheap stones and sitting on them until the guy used up all his money or the diamond supply dried up and then sell them at a decent profit. If they guy wasn''t selling to jewelers, then they''d shift their focus to really detailed craftmanship and charge through the nose to set the diamonds.

In any case, I think to destroy something just because you can is a bad thing.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Date: 1/11/2007 10:18:46 AM
Author: DBM
I''m a multi-billiionaire. I have enough money to buy diamonds at cost and sell them from a range of $1- $100 (so as to give some differentiation for the various 4 Cs) and i can do this indefinitely. Why am i doing this?
Hmmmm

Because your Debeers trying to controll the market and the dealers for your own gain?

Not even they get by with that in todays market but at one time they did just that.
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Date: 1/11/2007 12:46:06 AM
Author: DBM
In all honesty, i don't have the energy to type out and explain the entire philosophical, ideological and yes mathematical logic (it's related to game theory in that a large sudden upheaval in the standard B&M stores would ultimately hurt everyone collectively) of the way i see it.
If you don't "have the energy" to fully explain your position, then how can you expect people to empathize with your argument? You do, though, have the energy to comment that our lack of understanding your point "saddens" you.
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Date: 1/11/2007 12:46:06 AM
Author: DBM

beyond the interest of the consumers and beyond the interests of the vendors is a thing called 'us'. and 'us' should think in terms of 'us'. that means that if i can enter the market and start selling diamonds at cost price indefinitely (say i'm a billionaire and i've got nothing better to do than to ruin the livelihoods of everyone in the industry) it is still a wrong thing to do because while the consumer buying a diamond may benefit, the thousands of vendors in the industry-- who have mortages and families and employees and a million other things that set their standard of living at a certain level and they in turn recycle their expenditures on a million other industries that are out there-- will have their lives rudely awakened in a very short time not allowing them a proper time to 'readjust' to the situation. I'm not against change but in needs to be transitioned smoothly. Fast, sudden, unnatural spikes in the market ultimately hurt the 'us'. Not just the vendors but ultimately the consumers too (this is where even from a mathematical standpoint of game theory it's wrong i feel)


While every man has a duty to shoulder some responsibility for the societal good and make some fair contribution to the societal good, no one is required to subsidize others' standard of living! Anyone operating a business needs to be savvy enough to know what the market bears, what it wants, where it's going, and to be prepared to evolve with the changes. If he doesn't want to adapt, then he needs to get out of the business.

Do you think you're the only one to be affected by such things? OF COURSE NOT.

In the days before supermarkets, there were separate butcher shops, bread shops, candy shops, etc. Those industries were changed by someone had the ability to offer a feature that consumers wanted - ability to shop for multiple staples in ONE place.



Drug stores are another example....I was growing up, there were little Rxs all over my town. Nearly all of the disappeared when the chain drug stores (CVS, RiteAid, Brooks, et. al) provided better pricing because they bought in high enough quantities to secure a lower wholesale cost.



Change comes when someone recognizes an opportunity in the market, what to offer to maximize that opportunity, and the market responds because they WANT it.



Date: 1/11/2007 12:46:06 AM
Author: DBM

of course this only makes sense if you feel we should care about other people but of course if you're talking in terms of pure capitalism and darwinian evolution there's nothing wrong at all. Every man for himself and let the last man standing win. That's a worldview minus the 'us'. Minus a sense of Love. Minus a sense of care.

also for the record i'm not sore. If i wanted to undercut I could very easily. Part of what prompted this issue was losing a customer to a vendor who sold near his cost and made his profit on the mounting. I refused to lower the price out of principle even though had i matched the price my profit margin would have still been double the other vendor's ( i happen to know what his cost was).

There's something missing in your "pure capitalism" argument, and that's perceived VALUE. Capitalism isn't just about who has the best/lowest price......and until you understand that, you'll continue to find yourself in the same situation.

If you feel strongly about not matching the price, then it's up to YOU to demonstrate why your offerings warrant a higher price. It's up to YOU to sell the value in what you offer and to point out what you provide that your competitor doesn't.....whether it's convenience, being treated as a personal customer instead of "customer #234", taking advantage of customer appreciation programs you might offer.....you get the idea.

If you're approach is simply to say "well, I won't price match" and you don't give the customer any reason to pay a premium for what you offer, then you're going to lose.....probably every time.

I use a local butcher in my town. His price for the the cut of beef that I purchase is a full dollar per pound higher than the price at my supermarket. Why do I pay more to use him? Because he will hand trim a roast and tie it for me if I need it. Because he often has little handouts that explain how to best cook various cuts. Because when I buy from the supermarket, the meat doens't last as long in the fridge as what I get from the butcher.....the butcher product is fresher.

I also take my car to the Toyota dealership for servicing. Their price is higher than a non-dealer shop. However, the dealership will provide transport to work when my car is in for repair or service during a weekday, or they will give me a free loaner for the day. They keep track of recalls on the car because they are a direct source to the manufacturer, and they often tell ME about recalls before I even know about them.....and they offer to fix them when I'm in.

If you're answer to the customer is "it's against my principle", that's not good enough. I'd suggest you find a more customer-centric response, and you'll lose fewer opportunities.
 

Adylon

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
232
I think what the general theme here from everyone is that change is inevitable. And that in order to survive you must have a niche. A unique way of packaging value, service and quality. In your hypothetical situation of dumping billions of dollars of diamonds onto the market with almost zero markup, there would be lots of change yes and the laziest merchants would go out of business. I say lazy because they don''t change their business model or even their selection of goods, instead they keep trying to compete on price and they lose. Even if you sold trillions of diamonds $1/ct, Tiffany would be selling their diamonds at 3-4x markup. They''ve built a very strong brand and they''re not going to be undercut by anyone.

I think you know that DeBeer''s is in the process of settling all their outstanding anti-trust lawsuits in the US so they can do their mega expansion into this market. They recently opened a few flagship stores, one in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive, one in NY on Fifth Avenue, etc, etc. They could easily run the type of operation you''re talking about. Open a thousand stores and dump billions of diamonds on the market, and even undercut the world''s largest wholesalers down at the retail level. But if you look to see what they''re doing, they''re building a brand like Tiffany. Now that they are in the clear legally, they''re going to expand who knows how many stores in the US market. But they will not compete on price even though they could easily. They are going to compete on quality and service (their brand and reputation). If you look at their website they have some unique products and sales pitches as well. Their "Talisman" product line is very interesting -- they set unpolished stones in very "earthy" looking jewelry to give you that ancient look and at the same time stress the beauty and desire of natural diamonds, unique products, good marketing, strong brand. That''s all it takes.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 1/10/2007 11:29:12 PM
Author: RockDoc

When you go to buy things as a consumer, don''t you look for the most advageous deal or price?
no.... walmart has the best prices and I won''t buy there. In fact there are numerous times where I choose a criteria other than best price or best deal when shopping. Some of the vendors here charge a little more but they offer services... I would rather sell 1 for $5000 than 5 for $1000 and different people have different models. That''s why there''s whiteflash ACA and zales botom of the barrel.
 

yellowsparkles

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
312
This is such a weird topic. On the DBM website - about us link....(doesn''t sound like a billionaire giving away diamonds).

We do not engage in predatory sales tactics such as selling diamonds at near cost (thereby significantly undercutting and pressuring other vendors) and inflating profit margins on the setting/mounting. Not only do we find this to be deceptive to our customers but equally, if not more importantly, we feel it unethical practice towards our common associates in the industry trying to make an honest living. We believe in having proper business ethics for both consumers and vendors in the market. [Don''t get scared. Our prices are pretty good :) ]
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,147
Date: 1/11/2007 10:18:46 AM
Author: DBM

NOW the questions I'm asking (and these are THE ONLY QUESTIONS I'm ASKING): My choosing to spend all my money in this idiotic fashion and simulataneously destroy the industry: how would you look at me as a person? a good person? bad person? or neither, i have the right but i'm just stupid (which i think is the answer most of you are positioned at, which is what makes me sad).
Daniel, "good" or "bad" behavior is defined more by intent than action.

If someone isn't TRYING to destroy an industry (even if that's the net result), I can't call him a bad person. I can call him foolish or oblivious....but not bad.

If someone is expressly trying to cause harm to others, and that's his primary objective, then perhaps I'd consider him a bad person.
 

yellowsparkles

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
312
Date: 1/11/2007 11:31:25 AM
Author: Cehrabehra

Date: 1/10/2007 11:29:12 PM
Author: RockDoc

When you go to buy things as a consumer, don''t you look for the most advageous deal or price?
no.... walmart has the best prices and I won''t buy there. In fact there are numerous times where I choose a criteria other than best price or best deal when shopping. Some of the vendors here charge a little more but they offer services... I would rather sell 1 for $5000 than 5 for $1000 and different people have different models. That''s why there''s whiteflash ACA and zales botom of the barrel.
I agree with Cehra,
Just because it is the cheapest, doesn''t mean it is the best deal. I hate going into walmart - just because of the crowds and poor service (at my location). I would rather pay a little more and have a more pleasant shopping experience. Just like buying a ring or other major purchase. I would rather pay a little more knowing I am buying from a trusted vendor. If someone is selling a 2 carat diamond for $100---- I would defintately think something is wrong... it must be fake.
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Pricescope admind and aldje -- I''m honestly sorry for snuffing you off. You''re absolutely right. If i started the thread I should have the energy to explain my position, I should have the energy to continue.But honestly.. i dont know how much more explicit i can be with what i''m asking. I honestly don''t know how better to phrase.... i''ll go through everyone''s response one by one because you''re absolutely right i should respect them.


dhog-- i started this thread to vent a little, to philosophize a little, and to gain perspective a little. you''re welcome to call me tell me what problem you have with me. I''d psot the number but its probably against policy.

Kismet -- your first part again is what i said to forget about but thank you. you gave me an answer. you didn''t mentio if it would ultimately benefit the whole or be detrimental though? should i assume for that too you feel it would be bad?

Strm-- that''s not the question i asked and you haven''t answered my question. (maybe you''re not trying to but i''m doing penance and responding to everyones reply)

aljd-- the only part of what you said that relates to my question is the first part ""While every man has a duty to shoulder some responsibility for the societal good and make some fair contribution to the societal good, no one is required to subsidize others'' standard of living!

everything else is what i''ve tried saying already i''m not asking about.

adylon-- again it''s not answering my question. (and i disagree with you about Tiffany going out of business if i were to sell diamonds for a $1)

cehrabehra -- you would not buy an ACA diamond for $5000 if i were selling it for $1. and that still doesn''t relate to my question. humor me. make believe i could destroy the entire market.
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Date: 1/11/2007 11:56:59 AM
Author: aljdewey

Date: 1/11/2007 10:18:46 AM
Author: DBM

NOW the questions I''m asking (and these are THE ONLY QUESTIONS I''m ASKING): My choosing to spend all my money in this idiotic fashion and simulataneously destroy the industry: how would you look at me as a person? a good person? bad person? or neither, i have the right but i''m just stupid (which i think is the answer most of you are positioned at, which is what makes me sad).
Daniel, ''good'' or ''bad'' behavior is defined more by intent than action.

If someone isn''t TRYING to destroy an industry (even if that''s the net result), I can''t call him a bad person. I can call him foolish or oblivious....but not bad.

If someone is expressly trying to cause harm to others, and that''s his primary objective, then perhaps I''d consider him a bad person.

i was regretttin after typing not saying "a socially responsible person" as opposed to good or bad. Is there a concept in that scenario of being socially responsible.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
ok I tried being nice and tried to help you out but I''m getting tired of banging my head on a brick wall so your going to get strmrdr classic response.

Stop crying , grow up and find a niche and grow your business or don''t I don''t really care.
Coming on a consumer forum and crying that all the dealers should get together and raise prices just like in the old days isn''t going to fly.
Then you wonder why no one agrees with you.
 

hikerchick

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
804
Date: 1/11/2007 11:56:37 AM
Author: yellowsparkles
This is such a weird topic. On the DBM website - about us link....(doesn''t sound like a billionaire giving away diamonds).


We do not engage in predatory sales tactics such as selling diamonds at near cost (thereby significantly undercutting and pressuring other vendors) and inflating profit margins on the setting/mounting. Not only do we find this to be deceptive to our customers but equally, if not more importantly, we feel it unethical practice towards our common associates in the industry trying to make an honest living. We believe in having proper business ethics for both consumers and vendors in the market. [Don''t get scared. Our prices are pretty good :) ]

I believe THIS statement above is DBM''s marketing ploy . . . I just don''t believe it will work with an educated consumer . . .
BTW, guilt only goes so far (I get enough of it from my mother to be immune to it from a sales person)
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kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
30,495
DBM
All your words are a smoke screen.
You are really just coming across as a cry baby.

Business is business.

Get out there and compete and quit your whining.
Sheesh!
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,147
Date: 1/11/2007 12:06:39 PM
Author: DBM

Date: 1/11/2007 11:56:59 AM
Author: aljdewey


Date: 1/11/2007 10:18:46 AM
Author: DBM

NOW the questions I''m asking (and these are THE ONLY QUESTIONS I''m ASKING): My choosing to spend all my money in this idiotic fashion and simulataneously destroy the industry: how would you look at me as a person? a good person? bad person? or neither, i have the right but i''m just stupid (which i think is the answer most of you are positioned at, which is what makes me sad).
Daniel, ''good'' or ''bad'' behavior is defined more by intent than action.

If someone isn''t TRYING to destroy an industry (even if that''s the net result), I can''t call him a bad person. I can call him foolish or oblivious....but not bad.

If someone is expressly trying to cause harm to others, and that''s his primary objective, then perhaps I''d consider him a bad person.

i was regretttin after typing not saying ''a socially responsible person'' as opposed to good or bad. Is there a concept in that scenario of being socially responsible.
Daniel, of course people can understand the concept of being "socially responsible".

The disconnect for you, I think, comes from the fact that you obviously have a different definition of what "socially responsible" means.

Unless society as a whole agrees to a uniform definition, you won''t get consensus.

Further, you''d have a hard time doing that at least with me, because I personally look at the issue as a combination of elements....not just the action, but the awareness (or lack thereof) and intent of the individual involved.

If the hypothetical millionaire didn''t grasp the extent of harm that would result from his actions in pricing, and his genuine intent wasn''t to decimate multiple livelihoods, then I''d have a hard time branding him "socially irresponsible". I may think him to be "unenlightened", but not necessarily willfully irresponsible.
 

hikerchick

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
804
Date: 1/11/2007 12:21:48 PM
Author: strmrdr
Coming on a consumer forum and crying that all the dealers should get together and raise prices just like in the old days isn''t going to fly.

And is UNETHICAL . . . and THAT saddens me
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aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,147
Date: 1/11/2007 12:21:48 PM
Author: strmrdr
ok I tried being nice and tried to help you out but I''m getting tired of banging my head on a brick wall so your going to get strmrdr classic response.

Stop crying , grow up and find a niche and grow your business or don''t I don''t really care.
Coming on a consumer forum and crying that all the dealers should get together and raise prices just like in the old days isn''t going to fly.
Then you wonder why no one agrees with you.

LMAO!!!!!!!!!

Nevermind, Daniel.......let me just point to everything Storm just said above and say "yeah....what HE said".... and call it a day.

Well put, Storm.
 

dhog

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Messages
159
Date: 1/11/2007 12:04:46 PM
Author: DBM


dhog-- i started this thread to vent a little, to philosophize a little, and to gain perspective a little. you''re welcome to call me tell me what problem you have with me. I''d psot the number but its probably against policy.
only you can be comfortable with your own ethics and only you know what I was talking about

maybe you should state your intentions and how you made your billions !!!

did you make your fortunes in diamond distribution or is that your master plan for the future ?

folks on this sight are pretty savy and I learned it the hard way
 

colorkitty

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
220
Stop crying , grow up and find a niche and grow your business or don't I don't really care.

Coming on a consumer forum and crying that all the dealers should get together and raise prices just like in the old days isn't going to fly.

Then you wonder why no one agrees with you.

LOL... you do have a way of putting things!

It is just an enormous mystery why we consumers don't respond well to the "ethics" of charging us higher prices to finance rusty business operations. Really, I can't figure it out.

I own a very small business and if someone puts me out of business because they can offer better services at a better price, that is my fault... not their fault.

Edited to add: I thought the billionaire thing was a hypothetical.
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
Date: 1/11/2007 10:18:46 AM
Author: DBM
My choosing to spend all my money in this idiotic fashion and simulataneously destroy the industry: how would you look at me as a person? a good person? bad person? or neither, i have the right but i''m just stupid (which i think is the answer most of you are positioned at, which is what makes me sad). FURTHERMORE, would you say what i did is ultimately beneficial to the collective whole, detrimental to the collective whole or neither (which i don''t think is really a plausible argument to say neither)?
Why, that "crazy, multi-billionaire" ABC is giving away re-built houses at an alarming rate on a little series called "Extreme Home Makeover". Do you think this is the reason the housing market bubble is bursting across the nation? Sure they''re giving the unfortunate a fresh start on life ... but gosh darn it ... THE BOTTOM LINE!!???
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DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Date: 1/11/2007 12:21:48 PM
Author: strmrdr
ok I tried being nice and tried to help you out but I''m getting tired of banging my head on a brick wall so your going to get strmrdr classic response.

Stop crying , grow up and find a niche and grow your business or don''t I don''t really care.
Coming on a consumer forum and crying that all the dealers should get together and raise prices just like in the old days isn''t going to fly.
Then you wonder why no one agrees with you.

????? don''t you get it yet.... i never asked you for advice on how to market or grow a business..... and i never put forth anything in the question of my opinion... i thought to ask a somewhat philosophical somewhat interesting topic among friends but i guess not.

I think the only way to use this forum without being attacked is to remove my link and remove my logo - so i''ll do that. just leave me alone frankly.
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
Date: 1/11/2007 12:21:48 PM
Author: strmrdr
Coming on a consumer forum and crying that all the dealers should get together and raise prices just like in the old days isn''t going to fly.

Well said!!

(whispers) now if we could just trick him into listing those "preditory" selling-diamonds-at-cost dealers BY NAME!!!
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