shape
carat
color
clarity

Frustration with Online Vendors

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by kaigun02, Aug 15, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
  1. kaigun02
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    by kaigun02 » Aug 15, 2009
    Hi Everyone,

    I thought this would be much easier... I'm hoping to propose in less than a month. After lurking for months on PS doing lots of reading and posting a few questions here and there, I was ready to make my choice. I thought I had the right diamond picked out at BN. However, realizing that I still know next to nothing about diamonds, I wanted an independent verification of the diamond before it was set. I did the research, picked out an appraiser, and asked BN if they could ship the diamond to him first, then set it after I was satisfied with the appraisal.

    I was told that it was against company policy to ship directly to an appraiser. I'd have to purchase the stone, get it appraised, then return it to BN to be set. Well, here's the problem: I'm in the US Navy and stationed in Japan. It takes about 10 days on average for mail from the States to reach me. Also, last time I checked, there are no "PS recommended" appraisers in the Far East. If you add up the shipping time for a diamond to get to me, get back to the States to be appraised, get back to me, get back to BN to be set, then back to me... now I'm proposing around Christmas if I'm lucky. That's not an option. So it seems I have my back up against the wall and am stuck with either blindly trusting BN and the GIA or starting from scratch with a vendor who doesn't have such rigid policies against second opinions.

    Realistically, I'm sure the diamond would be just fine and I'd be happy with it even if it weren't exactly as advertised. But I'm just a little perturbed that the "company policy" can't be stretched slightly to help someone in my unique circumstance. What would you folks do? Buy the BN diamond? Start over with a company that would be willing to have my diamond appraised first? Something else I haven't thought of?

    Starting over is a bit of a monumental task for me since I'm on a ship at the moment with little time to spare and an internet connection that takes forever and a day to load one page. If anyone voted "start over" and wants to help, I'm looking for an F or better IF in the 0.9-ct range and my budget is $8000 max including the setting (simple platinum 6-prong similar to the BN "classic"). Anyone have a good recommendation?

    Thanks!

    -J
     
    


    


  2. MaineVette
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    by MaineVette » Aug 15, 2009
    Would paying for express shipping be an option? You may be able to get it delivered in much less time that way. It would cost more but may be able to preserve your schedule. Not sure if that would work if you're stationed with the military though.

    Good luck either way!
     
  3. D&T
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    12,467
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    by D&T » Aug 15, 2009
    sorry for your frustration. I would vote to start over there are a few well respected vendors on here that would certainly have no issue to ship it to an appraser. Can I ask you why it is you are searching for an IF clarity diamond? I''m just curious as to whether you have researched enough on clarity and if this is just a Mind clean "perfect" idea you have or if you are just comfortable with IF as opposed to VS clarity which may open up more diamond choices in the VS clarity. Not sure if this makes sense. There are so many here that will love to help you out and find you that perfect diamond.
     
  4. D&T
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    12,467
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    by D&T » Aug 15, 2009
    Here are just a few:

    http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/F-IF-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1253692.asp?b=16&a=12&c=77&cid=131

    this is a D but VS1 and below budget:

    http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/D-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1230960.asp?b=16&a=12&c=77&cid=131

    http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/D-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1230960.asp?b=16&a=12&c=77&cid=131


    sorry I could keep listing, but there are just so many even larger diamond size in your price range with IDEAL cut if you are able to go down in clarity the color would still be in the DEF range.
     
    


    


  5. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    7,314
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    by Wink » Aug 15, 2009
    Just curious why you are frustrated with online vendors when you are only being frustrated by one?

    Most of us here bend over backwards to help people, it is really unfair to paint us with the brush from one vendor.

    Just my thoughts, cranky at working when I should be playing this Sat afternoon...

    Wink
     
  6. swl
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    by swl » Aug 15, 2009
    Hi J, I am sorry to hear your frustration. I think the reason why BN is not as flexible as we wanted them to be is unlike high-end boutiques or smaller regional jewelry stores, BN sells tons of diamonds a day at low prices, it's hard to bend the rules for everyone when they are dealing with so many orders.

    If you are looking for a more personalized shopping experience, i would suggest you go for smaller online vendors. They are more flexible on shipping and other similar sort of matters. But you probably need to pay more for their diamonds and their personalized service.

    Higher price, more personalized service. Lower price, less service. Since BN has a very good reputation on their product quality, and you have picked out a diamond that you really like, I wouldn't stress too much about not having it apprised right now right this moment.

    but what do you mean by "I'd be happy with it even if it weren't exactly as advertised"? like the diamond doesn't match up with its cert?
     
  7. strmrdr
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    23,295
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    by strmrdr » Aug 15, 2009
    Many of the pricescope vendors are very supportive of service members.
    Jon at www.goodoldgold.com is ex-Navy and Wink www.highperformancediamond.com was a Marine.
    Whiteflash has worked hard for service members also:
    www.whiteflash.com Bob is ex-military and you can ask for him.

    Ja will treat you right also: www.jamesallen.com
    If they don't have what you need in stock any of them can get it quickly.
    They may even be able to get the exact diamond your looking at in for inspection.

    Any particular reason for an IF? that will make the hunt a little harder in a rare size.
     
  8. Moh 10
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,004
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    by Moh 10 » Aug 15, 2009
    Just curious; is your girlfriend Japanese?

    I hear in Japan they cherish really IF diamonds.

    Personally I'd trust BN.
    I have bought from them and the diamonds was were BN said they were per independent evaluation.
     
  9. Lula
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    4,535
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    by Lula » Aug 15, 2009
    Thank you for your service to our country, Kaigun!

    I agree with Storm -- there are many other online vendors who are vets who would be happy to help you find a lovely ring for your future fiancee.
     
  10. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    8,638
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    by denverappraiser » Aug 15, 2009
    Thank you for your service.

    Blue Nile will ship directly to an appraiser, even if they don't particularly care for it. They’ve shipped to me dozens of times and have done so as recently as last week. I'm confident this is the case with other appraisers as well. Talk to your sales person and explain your situation. If that doesn’t work, talk to a supervisor and if that doesn’t work, talk to a different vendor. It's not out of the question that they will be able to get you the exact same stone that you chose from the BN database.

    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
    Professional Appraisals in Denver
     
    


    


  11. liquidh2o
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    by liquidh2o » Aug 15, 2009
    Kaigun, I''m in the military and currently deployed to the Middle East, but it didn''t stop me from getting an E-Ring. I enlisted the help of both White Flash and High Performance diamonds to help find the perfect engagement ring for my future fiance Both vendors were amazing at making the process as painless as possible. The staff for both is extremely knowledgable and are great at answering any questions you may have and giving you a good eye to evaluate the diamond up close. They also carry ASET, IS, Sarin and the GIA/AGS certs online which helps to make you feel like you''re as close as possible to being there in person. My only regret was in the end I did not go through either one of them (though now I wish i had).

    I hope it''s not too much info to divulage, but there is a former marine that works at HP Diamonds. Being in the military and having worked w/ marines, that gave me an extra piece of mind and really made me feel comfortable with the whole process (having never done it before).

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  12. kaigun02
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    by kaigun02 » Aug 15, 2009
    Neil,

    Thanks, I''ll try one last time and see if they''ll bend before I start looking elsewhere. Can you just clarify, though, that they''ve also sent you loose diamonds prior to being set or completed e-rings only?

    Wink,

    Sorry to offend. I should have thrown in a "non-PS vendor" caveat. I''d actually tried with two other vendors before now and run into a similar brick wall, which is why I''m now almost out of time to shop. I may start a thread along the same lines as the "maul store clerk" one from a few weeks back with some of my experiences, but at the time I wrote the original post, I was just trying to lay out my "frustration of the hour." Also, it was 3am and I''d been up over 24-hours, so I didn''t want to belabor it. And it wouldn''t be to much of a reach to say I was cranky, too.

    swl,

    I''d definitely be disappointed if the diamond didn''t match the report, but I''m also pretty sure I''m not experienced enough to ever tell the difference on my own. Hence the appraiser. Again, I''ll throw out the "up for 24 hours" excuse as to why I didn''t make total sense.

    For everyone,

    I have done some homework on clarity and know I''m very much limiting my options, but I just really need to be able to tell my FF that the diamond is "internally flawless, just like her." (And I know it won''t be perfect at 50X, but I have to do my best). I should have explained in the original post that I''m a ridiculous OCD-type perfectionist who just can''t handle any inclusions on the AGS/GIA report. That''s one of the things my FF loves about me, so why propose out of character? To use the proper PS-slang, yes, it''s a mind clean thing.

    Thanks a lot for all the support! I''ll let you all know how things turn out.

    -J
     
  13. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    7,314
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    by Wink » Aug 15, 2009
    No sweat man! I was going so fast I failed to read you were in the service or I would have cut you some slack. Semper Fi and all that!

    You may want to work with one of the vendors here to have a cutter locate a poorly cut IF diamond and have it cut to top cut specifications. It is not cheap, but it is probably the only way to get a truly ideal cut (AGS 0 cut grade) Internally Flawless diamond.

    Wink
     
  14. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    7,314
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    by Wink » Aug 15, 2009
    Thanks for the shout out man! It is nice to see you again.

    No problem with the devulging, I am proud of my service and much happier with the way the current generation of servicemen and women are being treated than we Vietnam era vets were. We all appreciate what you guys are doing for us!

    Wink
     
  15. decodelighted
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,534
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    by decodelighted » Aug 15, 2009
    Here''s advice you didn''t ask for: Don''t tell her she''s internally flawless. EVERYONE has flaws. You may see her as perfect but if she feels like she has to *stay* perfect it''ll make for a very long, tedious life together. It was such a relief to me personally to find someone who loved me *despite* my flaws. Maybe that''s a message you''d actually rather send? Maybe? Think about it. [​IMG]
     
    


    


  16. glitterata
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    3,533
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
  17. arjunajane
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    9,758
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    by arjunajane » Aug 15, 2009
    I have to agree with this..even though you didn''t ask..
    *runs and hides*
    [​IMG]
     
  18. tap02150
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    by tap02150 » Aug 15, 2009
    i thought about looking for a diamond that is close to IF or really high up there when i first started my search. After my pricescope experience i learned that most diamonds VS2 inclusions cant be seen by the naked eye. I figured what the hell.. how often is the diamond going to be looked at through a loupe or most cases something more magnified? not like people carry them around in their pocket.. Ooh let me check that diamond out! *pulling out the loupe*


    Cut >clarity any day of the week for me

    But from what i learned, preference is yours only.
     
  19. CharmyPoo
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    7,007
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    by CharmyPoo » Aug 15, 2009
    Like others have mentioned, your title is misleading. I have worked with several online vendors and all of them gladly shipped to appraisals for me. They really do bend over backwards to keep the customers happy. Many of their clients are highly educated and much more difficult to sell to. As a result, their customer service is typically top knotch.

    I hope you are able to work it out with bluenile. Maybe you can use one of the appraisers that have actually received stones from BN.
     
  20. neatfreak
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    14,164
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    by neatfreak » Aug 15, 2009
    What other companies won''t ship to appraisers directly? I thought most of the PS vendors would...and most stones BN can get (except for their signature stones) the other vendors can get too.
     
  21. coda72
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,525
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
  22. ChunkyCushionLover
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    2,463
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    by ChunkyCushionLover » Aug 15, 2009
    Bluenile SUXX period.

    1) They are a drop shipper, they have never seen the diamond and can't give you an opinon on it unless it is one of their signature line.
    2) They have a price monopoly online on their stones (they are big enough they push the cutters guarantee that anything on bluenile cannot be advertised by another online vendor) Want to know why they insist on doing this? So that they can charge a higher price!
    3) If you want a particular BN stone (Save the GIA certificate to send to your favourite PS vendor) and then you can have a pricescope vendor like Whiteflash or ERD call in the stone for you, give you an opinion and pictures and an ASET and still give you a better price than bluenile with tradeup and buyback policies. PS vendors cannot openly advertise BN stones but in most cases they can call them in for you with better service and cheaper prices.

    Conclusion:

    Down With Bluenile!
    Up with PS Vendors
    Hurrah!

    P.S.

    I found my stone from a BN search and then bought it through a PS vendor. They have a great search engine and stock not found elsewhere but thats about it!
     
  23. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    8,638
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    by denverappraiser » Aug 16, 2009
    Blue Nile has sent me loose stones on behalf of clients who have requested it. I have done this many times. Basically, they’ll ship to wherever you tell them to ship and if you want to send something back to them for whatever reason (to be mounted, refund, exchange or whatever), the 'ship from' address is completely beyond their control.

    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
    Professional Appraisals in Denver
     
  24. Todd Gray
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    1,294
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    by Todd Gray » Aug 16, 2009
    Hi J-

    I''m glad to see that your disappointment revolves an issue with Blue Nile and not all online vendors - initially I clicked on your thread to see what the collective "we" of online diamond vendors had done to warrant a negative general review. I think that Blue Nile actually does ship diamonds to approved independent appraisers, perhaps the customer service person you spoke with is misinformed. If the diamond you are interested in is not part of their signature collection, the odds are that other vendors might be able to source the diamond for you.

    As Wink and others have stated, I think you''ll find that most online vendors make a very conscious effort to take care of their clients. Vendors are prohibited from making specific references to diamonds on the forum, but I''m sure that they will be happy to work with you directly if you drop them an email.

    My 23 year old son Corey is currently serving in the U.S. Marines - you guys are in our thoughts more than you might imagine. Thank you for serving!
     
  25. Black Jade
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,242
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    by Black Jade » Aug 17, 2009
    Yes, thank you for your service and best to you and your new bride.
    (P.S. I think a lot of women out there would appreciate your romantic reasons for wanting to give her an IF. You sound like a sweet and romantic guy).
     
  26. Rockdiamond
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    7,637
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    by Rockdiamond » Aug 17, 2009
    HI All!
    kaigun02- I would also welcome the opportunity to express my gratitude at your service to the United States!

    Here''s a different take on this:
    There are certain aspects of involving a third party, during a sale, that might not make sense, if you look at them objectively.
    In no way am I defending BN- but there are certain intrinsic problems sending a diamond to an appraiser.
    Without question Neil knows exactly how to receive, safeguard, and deliver a diamond.
    However not every person hanging out an appraiser''s shingle is so qualified.
    That means the seller would have to approve the appraiser, which in itself implies a conflict.

    But the larger issue ( to me) is this: What difference does it make if the appraiser loves the diamond, if you do not?
    If we remove the aspect of making sure it''s the correct diamond- which is quite important- but can be done locally- adding a third party adds complications that may not be necessary.

    Say you did some research, and found a seller you were comfortable with. You could "vet" the seller by asking questions here. If you chose a seller that had the diamond in hand, and could personally evaluate it, that might be just as good as a third party''s opinion to assist you in making the purchase.

    If you had the diamond shipped directly to you, along with a GIA report, I feel quite sure someone local could verify the purchase.

    Again- not to take anything away from folks like Neil- who do an amazing job....but maybe you can simplify this for yourself.
     
  27. Allison D.
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    2,282
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    by Allison D. » Aug 17, 2009
    David,

    With respect to your comment highlighted in yellow above, I can''t see that it makes any more difference if the vendor loves the diamond, either. Neither party (appraiser or vendor) can state with certainty that the client will agree with his preferences, right?

    With respect to the second sentence I highlighted, I don''t think most consumers would agree that the opinion of a vested party is as good as the opinion of a non-vested party. While both may be respected, they aren''t necessarily equivalent.

    I don''t think the point for most people is to have an appraiser tell them what they should like or not like. I think in most instances what a consumer wants is peace of mind in knowing he paid a fair price for his diamond. For that purpose, an appraiser''s expertise is an invaluable resource.
     
  28. Kaleigh
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    29,570
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    by Kaleigh » Aug 17, 2009
    +1
     
  29. ChunkyCushionLover
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    2,463
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    by ChunkyCushionLover » Aug 17, 2009
     
  30. Rockdiamond
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    7,637
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    by Rockdiamond » Aug 17, 2009
    Hi guys!
    Allison, you make some great points.
    NO question, the vested interest part is important. We can all relate to some sellers that offer no advice- or worse, advice like the "trust me" type of thing....where you want to do the opposite of what the pushy seller is suggesting.

    However part of what makes some vendors special is precisely that they can demonstrate what they like- their preference.
    Whiteflash certainly has a signature look- as do sites like GOG, Brian Gavin, and many others. This is a very good thing IMO.
    That''s why many people trust different companies- and their opinions. Many consumers value that aspect enough to not need an appraiser to "approve" a purchase.


    Also a great point about making sure the value is there.


    Still, in a case like this- I think we all agree that the op might be better served developing a relationship with a vendor who will be more sensitive to his needs.

    ccl- yes, we''d be happy to send an item to any PS approved appraiser.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

Share This Page