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Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&M??

DanMgy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
39
After doing a lot of research I decided it was time to see some actual stones, I went and talked with a number of stores. After the third store didn't have anything within the specs I wanted, I was getting ready to go the guy said let's look online and see what we can find. With my right over his shoulder he went to Rapnet.com, logged in and had me put in the parameters I wanted. I was told that I would have to pay whatever price was there plus $500 for his expense.

I was truly surprised by what he pulled up, the prices were MUCH lower than what I have been seeing from both B&M and online. He said that they diamonds listed are from wholesalers and will only sell to jewelers and people part of rapnet (hence the $500 fee). After a bit of looking, he left me alone at the computer to mess around and look, I found 2 stones that looked like real good deals. All the specs, cuts, cert and numbers looked what I wanted. I also noticed that there was a way to "make an offer" so the listed price still had room to move.

Has this happened to anybody else? Does anybody know how much room typically they will move? :?: :?: :?:

What really surprised me was that some of the diamonds with higher carat and specs were less than others with lower size and specs. So I am now waiting for the guy to contact the wholesalers and get the diamonds shipped, he can get any of the diamonds in for me to look at and no commitment on my part. Right now I narrowed the search to the following:

2.17, VS1, I (AGS 000)
2.23, VS2, I (AGS 000)

Seems like a pretty good deal to me or am I missing something here?? :confused:
 

rhr75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
26
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

According to the website it's $60 a month to join the trading network - doesn't seem like a high fee, are actual sales limited to just jewelers and how is that "vetted" so to speak?
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,840
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

Cost plus $500 is certainly an unusual way to price things in this industry but there's nothing wrong with it and it's certainly not unheard of. Where he's getting it (and indeed, what he's paying) is academically interesting but you are STILL doing a deal with that particular jeweler on one particular stone and all the usual questions about the stone and/or the deal still apply. What happens if you don't like it? Who's going to set it? What happens in the case of difficulties? What additional fees, if any, can you expect? What perks OTHER THAN PRICE is the dealer suggesting as the reason to buy from them rather than their competitors?

Rapnet subscriptions are only open to members of the trade and yes, Rap does make an attempt to restrict subscribers using references and the like but there are undoubtably non-jewelers who get in (I'm a subscriber for example) :)). More importantly, merely being listed does not mean that you can buy a particular stone. Rapnet is no more or less than an advertising medium and the advertiser can and will refuse to sell to someone on whom they can't find an acceptable credit history. Most don't take credit cards, most don't take returns, most aren't prepared or at least interested in setting it into a ring, and most aren't interested in answering questions about 'eye clean', idealscopes or much of anything else. That's why they chose to advertise there rather than here. :)
 

DanMgy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
39
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

denverappraiser said:
Cost plus $500 is certainly an unusual way to price things in this industry but there's nothing wrong with it and it's certainly not unheard of.
Would you say that is a reasonable price/mark-up for this approach? From the prices I have seen and been quoted it seems like they are bit more aggressive on rapnet.com.

denverappraiser said:
What happens if you don't like it? Who's going to set it? What happens in the case of difficulties? What additional fees, if any, can you expect? What perks OTHER THAN PRICE is the dealer suggesting as the reason to buy from them rather than their competitors?
I was told that it would be just as if I was buying a diamond from him, that is why he is bringing the stones in so I can view them and if I don't like them he will send them back. So all of the policies, returns, upgrades and practices the store has would apply to the purchase and I only would be paying 5% over what price is negotiated with the wholesaler. I was told that the store would just not be making as much from the sale of the diamond. I can take it to anybody I want to have it set, the store can do it and actually learned that the place that it is coming from will set the stone if I want them to.

The interesting thing is this jewler (and a few others in the area) are very against AGS graded stones, was told if compared to a GIA stone that I should expect at least one grade lower, but the cut grade might be on par with GIA. So if I get a 2.5ct, I, VS2 with an AGS cert, I should expect the stone to be 2.5ct J, SI1 with a GIA cert. But everything I read on here and what everybody says is AGS is better cut but the coloring might be softer, so will see when the stones come in.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,840
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

Each jeweler sets their own prices and what is reasonable and what’s not depends on what services he/she is offering along with what costs they have and what you consider to be important. Most of the Internet dealers are Rapnet members and can, at the least, probably get the stone you’re considering and they might even already have it listed on their sites. This makes it a fairly easy process to price shop that very stone as well as other similar ones that may be available. It’s a highly competitive business. Ask.

The jeweler is welcome to offer whatever policies they want but you are NOT buying directly from some ‘wholesaler’, they are. You are buying from them. Any quality concerns, sales taxes, setting fees and risks, warranties, additional fees, payment options and the like are going to be between you and the jeweler. If they want to offer a lesser bundle of benefits for their cost plus program, that's their call, but you should be aware of the terms and conditions of the deal at hand and evaluate it accordingly.

My experiences with AGS laboratory has been very positive but if you aren't comfortable with their work, by all means avoid them. GIA graded stones are considerably easier to find and often less expensive after all. Deciding whose advice you value is an important decision in this process. Far more than people expect. There are LOTS of jewelers, lots of labs, lots of appraisers, lots of prosumers, and lots of Internet tutorials that all have slightly different advice for you. It's a mistake to assume that the most oft repeated is the one that's 'right'. Look at the source and evaluate THEM. Pay attention to the ones you find reliable and ignore the others.
 

rhr75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
26
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

The one thing I will add, if I remember my UCC correctly, is that sales on RAPNET are considered to be a wholesale market between merchants. What that means is that the same warranties a consumer would expect are not necessarily in place because the the buyers in this market are considered to be merchants and thus more knowledgeable about the goods being exchanged. Furthermore, with respect to tax, most of these vendors are likely not collecting sales tax because they're selling wholesale / raw material that has to go through further steps until it is sold retail. A potential consumer who slips into the system and tries to make a purchase would have to, if the dealer had a presence in their state, indicate that the transaction was in fact 'retail' which should signal to the seller that this is not a legitimate merchant.

Perfect example is a car auction that is closed to the public. It's not that dealers are necessarily preventing the public from getting good deals to protect their business (though, that is some of it), but rather their merchant status and presumed knowledge of the goods makes it possible to conduct an as-is / all sales final / full payment required auction. If consumers were allowed in, traditional consumer protection (e.g. things like lemon laws, mandatory 24-72hr return periods) would make that impossible.

While we'd all like wholesale prices, the fact is even the lowest value add dealers are still doing more than merely taking receipt of a package, marking it up, and selling it. The transaction itself has a "cost" to them in terms of various warranty requirements imposed on them by law, risk assumed that what they're acquiring will be in sale-able condition, etc.
 

Sizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,304
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

Hmm intesting to say the least, but it's a tough world out there and sometimes people need to just make a litlte money.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,840
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

It's a tough world, and if their sales pitch is based on offering lower prices than everyone else with little or no value added service to sweeten the deal, they should expect some stiff competition. If they're not prepared to defend their prices based on their goods or services, they should also expect price resistance from the customers. There are a lot of people out there willing to do less, and do it for less money, and a lot more who are willing to just lie about it to make a sale. Retailing is not easy these days. They should be glad they're not in the business of computer parts or airline tickets.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

Seems like he is just trying to compete with online, where markups can be as little as 5%. See what you think when the stones come in. Make sure you have *in writing* a no questions asked 100% refund policy with the jeweler that allows at least a 7 day inspection period for you from the time you pay for and take possession of the diamond or the ring (if you set it with the jeweler). Cover your bases. Cost is not the only thing to consider in this equation.

His opinion about GIA vs AGS is harsh, and not suprising. Seems most B&M stores hold that opinion. Based on my time on PS I would say they are roughly equivalent and both highly reputable. AGS is absolutely more strict in cut grading. Rumor is GIA *might* be *sometimes* stricter with color, but I have not seen a proper experiment to show this. Clarity has never been mentioned to be stricter with GIA.

AGS stones cost more than GOA stones in general, and since the industry tends to devalue reports that are not considered accurate (e.g., EGL), then this suggests your jewelers opinion is not widely held.
 

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

Do you mind if I inquire what prices Rapnet was offering you on these diamonds? How did these diamonds compare in price relative to online dealers like BN, JA, WF, and GOG? Were they 5% below online retail price, 10% below their price? I just wanted to gauge how much I am really paying for the diamond and what % of my purchase went to the retail/warranty.
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,479
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

Be extremely cautious. Unless the diamond you select is the incorrect stone, there may be no return possible once the deal is agreed to on-line. If the stone comes in for your approval on a memo, that's fine, but you'll need to decide pretty much on the spot and there is likely no time later to return it. This is how dealers sell to one another and once you are inside the dealer world, the rules change. The price may be beneficial to you, but it comes at a reduction in safeguards available to normal consumers.
 

suzettesdiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
10
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

Ummm... if it seems like it is too good to be true.....Rapanet is an industry tool. There is not much negotiation between the rapnet.com price and what the diamond is sold for. Diamond wholesalers have a very small margin of profit, and when they have a gem quality diamond, they know what they have got and what it is worth. If a wholesaler is sending a stone out as a cash memo with 24 to 48 hours for a decision, then there may be a tiny bit of wiggle room- we are talking a couple of bucks here and there- not all that much. With a memo stone, there can be as much as an additional 3% added to the overall price to the jeweler. Everyone is entitled to making a living. Jewelers go through a lot of training and acquire a lot of experience in order to become reputable and stay in business. Jewelry stores are usually family-run from generations down. I say this because every time a diamond changes hands, from the mine rough right up to that stone in a setting on your finger, some one gets their cut. By the time the stone gets to the wholesale and retail jewelry level, there is not as much profit available on their stones as you might think. Especially in these tight times. $500 bucks? Well, there is alot of competition out there nowadays. :wink2:
 

suzettesdiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
10
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

One has to be in the jewelry industry for one full year, and belong to several trade affiliations for rapaport to allow them to subscribe to rapnet.com. One can indeed join, pay an annual fee , and receive the rapaport price lists, but these lists are a range for the diamond industry's trade prices, and do not mean a whole lot to the average consumer who may purchase one diamond in their life time. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it may have been described in some of these posts. Rapaport does a pretty good job of keeping non-trade out of the biz. It is pretty much on the up and up. Also, industry folks are required to agree when they join, to keep industry prices confidential as part of the deal. Now, I ask you, would you buy from this jewelry person described in the original post? :wavey:
 

rhr75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
26
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

suzettesdiamonds|1304537954|2912271 said:
Also, industry folks are required to agree when they join, to keep industry prices confidential as part of the deal. Now, I ask you, would you buy from this jewelry person described in the original post? :wavey:
They probably can't republish prices, but rapnet's own site says that jewelers can configure how prices are displayed so that if they want to show the price to a customer with markup already added in, that's how it will display. So, there is probably no issue with just showing the consumer the screen with the prices.
 

starfish1970

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
1
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

I am looking for purchasing a loose diamond. Could you please let me know the name of the jeweler? i like that $500 deal.
Thanks
 

diamond-enthusiast

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
85
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

This thread is more than 2 years old. The deal might probably not be valid anymore.
 

heididdl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Messages
2,341
Re: Ever been offered to buy Directly off Rapnet.com at a B&

I see alot of trade posters sweating on this one lol.........I didn't see my B&M flinch selling EGL international stones for GIA certified prices so if one gal gets a deal good for her......
 
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