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How long does it take for GOG to find AVC?

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by diamondweasel, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 7, 2018
    Okay, there are a few things that I know are factual.

    1) I doubt that GOG has updated their site regarding AV stones on every line since Jonathan left. All I do know is that Jonathan is the originator and creator of August Vintage diamonds, and the patent for them is rightly in his name.

    2) Regarding upgrades: I watched the AVR inventory at GOG from the time they started having them and it took a long time for me to find a stone that I wanted because none were in the color range I preferred (G-H and VS clarity) in the size I wanted (1.8cts+). Long story short, I ended up with my 2.29 I VS1 which I love. However, the size jump, and color somewhat, really bothered me for awhile and I thought about upgrading to a slightly smaller G-H VS, but nothing ever came in that was more expensive than my stone in near colorless. There were a couple of 3+ct K and L stones, but I was not interested in dropping in color. So I am just saying, there was never an option to upgrade because they were stocking almost no stones in near colorless above 2 cts period. That remained true until now, and eventually they weren't adding more large AVCs, either. If you watched, most of the 2+ ct AVC's the last year or two before Jon left were all custom cuts. There was even a time I considered upgrading to a H&A stone, but their selection of above 2 ct H&A stones has been dismal for a few years, too. I asked Jon about please stocking more 2+ ct stones, and he said he wasn't the sole decision maker and the company wouldn't order more larger AV stones. So really, he basically had to form his own company to be able to produce more AV stones with hopes of wider distribution.

    ***PERSONAL OPINION: Good Old Gold's conscious choice has been to not stock larger stones probably so that those of us who bought when prices were higher cannot upgrade as it wouldn't be financially advantageous to them. This makes upgrade polices WORTHLESS to consumers!!!!

    3) Jon's intent is to sell wholesale. He is working on finding the best retailers to market his stones. That may take a little time. In the meanwhile, he is happy to sell direct and I know he enjoys the interaction with customers, so (*opinion alert), I think he's happy to be able to sell some direct and some wholesale at this moment. But he is in no way able to offer an upgrade policy when it is likely that he will not be stocking stones and selling them himself long term!!! So keep that in mind, as his primary intent with AV is not to be a retail jeweler.

    4) I know nothing about why GOG thinks they own rights to AV. But I do know one thing, (*opinion alert), I think it is absolutely horrible that they went behind Jon's back (I confirmed that he didn't know) and had an AVC cut which they intend to sell themselves cutting him out of the loop!!!! I used to promote GOG as a nice family owned jewelry store, but how is that nice to go behind the back of a family member and copy their work rather than ordering AV stone through him???? I just can't believe that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
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  2. Lorelei
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    by Lorelei » Apr 7, 2018
    ^
    Well said DS and thank you for that clarification.:wavey:
     
  3. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 7, 2018
    So who actually owns GOG now because I also thought Jon just sold his shares to other family members, or semi retired from the business, so the fact the policies are transient seems ridiculous to me unless it's a new owner with no family connections to Jon in any way.
     
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  4. bright ice
    Ideal_Rock

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    by bright ice » Apr 7, 2018
    ^ you hit the nail on the head DS!
     
    


    


  5. Starfacet
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    by Starfacet » Apr 7, 2018
    YAY!!! So glad you got it!!! :appl::appl::appl:
     
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  6. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 7, 2018
    I don't think all that is settled yet since Jon's departure, but I do know Jon, his mother and sisters are still the owners.

    I don't really see that the policies have changed, but the upgrade opportunities are restricted just due to what I said in my post above.
     
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  7. sarahb
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    by sarahb » Apr 7, 2018
    Woah...this is disingenuous--at the very least.
     
  8. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 7, 2018
    My understanding the last few years was that if you bought a 2+ carat AVR, AVC or an Octavia like DF did then they came with the ability to go back to GOG trade in the stones for what they paid to upgrade, provided they were inspected and not damaged in anyway and if you wanted if there was nothing in stock they would cut you a larger stone, just like they did with DF's Octavia in the first place. Saying, oh well we still own the store, but actually now we don't stock this or that, or no we really don't custom cut stones for people at GOG any more seems still seems like changing the rules to screw the consumer and suit themselves, using this BS excuse of change of ownership to me. Just my 10cents.
     
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  9. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 7, 2018
    So basically for the people that do own larger than 2 carat AVCs, AVRs, or DF with his Octavia, Jon had some type of disagreement with his family and left or didn't want to work with them any more and left? And now they are cutting AV stones for themselves and are not honouring the original upgrade policies? It would seem the only way someone would do that to me is if they are no longer on good terms, or Jon is telling people these things to cover his own [email protected]*.

    GOG has had (at least while Jon was still there) a long tradition of taking care of its customers especially the ones that spend a lot on larger stones so if that has changed I'm sure everyone wants to hear about it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
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  10. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 7, 2018
    @arkieb1 I tried to explain this above, but they ARE honoring their upgrade policies as far as I know. The issue is, the policy is that you have to upgrade to an in-house stone (owned by GOG), and for a few years, they haven't been stocking a large number of stones above 2 cts. So, if you bought a $30k stone like I did, for example, there have been almost no AVRs for me to upgrade to. There are only 14 stones in the entire inventory (all shapes) that are above 2 cts and $20k. Well, make that 13 because one is a duplicate. A few are very high priced, a couple are not well cut, so you can see the picture of why it's almost impossible if you need to upgrade above 2 cts. For their H&A stones, the largest is 1.81 cts at $13k, except for a $76k 3.85 G. So if you bought a H&A above $13k, you're out of luck.

    I don't think the family dynamics are really our business, and obviously from this thread we can see they have some things to work out from a business standpoint. But aside from that, Jonathan wanted to expand the August Vintage line and apparently he was overruled at GOG. They clearly wouldn't add stock as I personally observed just looking at the site often and asking when he'd get more stones in, etc. So the only way he could do that was leave and form his own company to produce and sell more AV stones. The upgrade policy is not the issue here, it's just a complaint about GOG. Jonathan had vision that he couldn't pursue where he was. I don't think this is very complicated. When there's a difference in vision in a business with multiple owners, sometimes someone decides to leave and follow their own dream.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
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  11. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 7, 2018
    @diamondseeker, I'm using the case of @DancingFire, but I'm sure he can speak for himself - I was under the misguided impression that when DF bought his Octavia he assumed could perhaps one day take it back to GOG and in good faith trade it in for a larger stone if he so desired, not one in their inventory, another stone that was custom cut specifically for him purchased from Jon. In fact, he wrote a post a few weeks ago lamenting the fact he couldn't upgrade his stone now, because Jon was no longer at GOG.

    If I went back diligently through PS posts on here I'd guess I could find a number of posts where people who bought 2+ carat AVCs and AVRs, (perhaps not yourself but everyone else) the assumption was out there and at times during the past GOG marketed themselves on what I can now see as seemingly fluid upgrade policies, that they could also order new stones that were cut to larger sizes. And I myself recommended GOG to people on here because they could "custom cut" such stones (I assumed with upgrade policies) specifically for clients that wanted stones larger than in their inventory.

    So Jon left GOG and now he isn't honouring lets call it the "assumed upgrade policy" that GOG used to heavily promote and GOG is now claiming that was never their upgrade policy. Jon is claiming he no longer owns GOG so he doesn't make those decisions, and GOG is claiming they never made those decisions it was Jon.

    Family dynamics are only everyone's business when customers are being told Jon no longer owns GOG or is no longer involved in any of their decision making and clearly that isn't the case.

    I dunno - I just call that a convenient mess for the people that purchased stones with the mistaken belief that someone was going to allow them to upgrade to bigger better stones. I'd guess if someone wanted to legally challenge what the old upgrade policies at GOG used to be and what was promised and or understood at the time those stones were purchased, it would be very interesting to watch.
     
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  12. MissGotRocks
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    by MissGotRocks » Apr 7, 2018
    It is all very unfortunate but you could see this playing out from their limited supply as time went by - and I'm talking about over the course of a few years. I have always looked at diamond vendor websites and saw the lack of inventory there. I remember in the early days of AV stones when they cut a lot of them from higher color rough. I guess you could have upgraded color and size eventually but there must have come a point when even that would have been difficult. The stones are beautiful but don't know how they would trade on the open market since they are a proprietary cut.

    I wish Jon all the best in his new venture - he has a vision and I hope it plays out well for him!
     
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  13. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 7, 2018
    Yes, for most of us on here that look at stone vendors and understand them that is true, but for everyone else, the people that came here for help from us, I seem to remember a period when competing with Victor C and Brilliantly Engaged who both have stocked similar cuts at cheaper prices the marketing point of differentiation in the new, perfectly cut Antique stone market, was the allegedly wonderful upgrade policies that GOG had. I might be old, but at one point I clearly remember them touting they could cut anything for clients, including stones that were upgrades. Clearly now that wasn't and isn't the case and the fact it all seems too hard, or too expensive for anyone to bother honouring that seems like it speaks volumes to the business practises of those involved.
     
  14. aljdewey
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    by aljdewey » Apr 8, 2018
    HUGE DISCLAIMER to begin with: this is the very first I'm reading that Jon has left GOG, so I know nothing of particulars on either side. Never bought from GOG, no horse in the race, yada, yada.

    On a quick search of the USPTO database, I do see a patent application listing him as the inventor of a Round Gemstone with a specific optical pattern (presumably the AVR) here: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.html&r=68&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&s1=weingarten-$.IN.&p=2&OS=IN/weingarten-$&RS=IN/weingarten-$

    That may or may not be indicative of ownership, though. I recall hearing years ago that his mom was the actual owner, but it was anecdotal hearsay only and may or may not be correct, and the devil probably lies in that detail. Owner, co-owner, or employee all could have varying implications.

    Generally speaking, when an employee of a company develops a product while under employ of that company, it's normally the company who owns rights to any product developed while under their employ. Of course, there can be exceptions, depending on negotiated terms among the parties, etc, but those cases are normally exceptions and not the norm.

    ETA: I think most of the discussion on who owns AVR is immaterial to upgrade policies. As with most companies, upgrade policies seldom guarantee specific product availability....I can't think of any who do this, so I don't see it as a change in policy. Most business modify their inventory selections based on what moves/sells, and I can't think of a single one who has ever guaranteed that a product available at present will always be available at future.

    As for the rest of the storytelling.....I'm disappointed that it's happening, and telling stories out of school about the backchannel occurrences diminishes my respect for all involved. And DS....you know I adore you, but if you really felt family happenings weren't our business (which I agree with), then why contribute to them by introducing a story about family backstabbing?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  15. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 8, 2018
    If that were true I'd leave it alone, the problem is for years a number of companies on here compete with each other marketing their "upgrade" policies many of them lifetime ones some with conditions like you have to spend over a certain amount to upgrade, or you have to do x or y in order to upgrade. So for years when I have recommended to people on here, newcomers not the regulars that might somehow by osmosis know better, to buy one stone over another from GOG or anywhere for that matter based on these glorious promised lifetime "upgrade policies" which lets face it most of them market heavily as a point of why you should shop with them, and not their rival vendors, do I now feel bad for anyone I told, hey buy that stone from GOG, or where ever because if you don't like it or you want a different shaped stone or when you are finished college and you want to get that 2.00+ stone or that 2.50 or whatever that you couldn't afford at first but really wanted one day, I then misled everyone.

    So that means effectively, every single upgrade policy by all the "trusted" vendors on here are worth jack? Because I've seen people on here literally buy stones over one company compared to the next because of their so called "upgrade" policies.
     
    


    


  16. aljdewey
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    by aljdewey » Apr 8, 2018
    No company....be it GOG or anyone else....has to honor an 'assumed' anything.

    Every company offering an upgrade policy lays out the language of that policy, and that written language is the sum of the commitment.

    When you say "they" said "they" could custom cut larger stones, don't you really mean Jon? When I was more active here, Jon was largely the only representation for GOG, but that may have changed since I was here and if so, I'll happily stand corrected.

    But here's the thing - even if it was Jon, there's still no foul. If Jon said "we can custom order larger stones" while he was the GOG agent/representative here, and it was true when he said it (which I presume it was), it was an accurate representation at that moment, but it didn't constitute a promise that it would never change. The upgrade policy commitment lives in the written language of the policy, and not beyond. Whatever their practices may be from month to month or year to year, the covenant they need to worry about is what their written policy is at the time of sale.

    To my recollection, none of the vendors' upgrade policies promise availability of any product by brand, carat weight, or any other marker. Most simply say "if you spend X amount on upgrade, you can upgrade with us." That's pretty much it.

    If anyone has assumed that an ability to do something at any point and time guarantees that ability will always be available in the future, that's their (faulty) assumption.
     
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  17. aljdewey
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    by aljdewey » Apr 8, 2018
    No, it doesn't mean their upgrade policies are worth jack. It means it's not what you thought and claimed it was, based on a faulty assumption some of you made (which you acknowledged), albeit it with the best of intentions.

    The upgrade policy is what it is, and its relative value varies from customer to customer depending on what their projected needs will be. If I'm the client buying at the more expensive end of the deal up front, then yes, it's possible the upgrade policy will have less value to me since it's more likely it will be harder to meet upgrade eligibility ($x more) based on inventory selections. But for someone buying at the more average consumer's range (i.e. not a doorknocker), that upgrade policy may very well be able to work for them throughout their lifetime.

    What no upgrade policies does is guarantee that specific stock will be available at any given future point. It's up to each buyer to assess how impactful that limitation may be on their ability to utilize any offered upgrade policy.
     
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  18. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 8, 2018
    @aljdewey - I guess that would be fine and dandy if it was just "assumed" this has been taken directly (cut and pasted) from GOG's website which is clearly in writing as an outline of their policies specifically for "custom cuts" I assume because it is in writing set out for all customers to clearly read, copy and see, it is a "legally binding document/statement", I took a photo with my Iphone too in case they now delete it;

    "Exclusive; Rock Solid Policies: Our branded and signature cuts are all backed with Lifetime Policies which are arguably the best policies you will find from a store or internet site. In brief this includes a 30 day refund period no questions asked as well as lifetime trade up and buy back policies. If you don’t like it you’re not stuck with it. Simple as that. We’ll provide you with more data than any website to help you but even after you receive our products, if you’re not happy we’ll gladly refund your purchase price. Your only cost is what it is to ship. While other websites offer trade up policies, most have a time limit on the policy or certain stipulations with the amount you can trade up to (ie. 40%, 50% or even 100% more!) while ours has none PLUS the fact that we can offer you the best selection of diamonds cut for Light Performance."

    No where have they ever stated in writing real or implied that they only had limited inventories or that people who bought certain stones would one day be impacted by a lack of availability of said stones. Nowhere does it mention size limitations of such stones. I personally know people who bought stones from them because of this specific upgrade policy.

    And the thing I remember is that years ago they touted themselves over other vendors for these amazing buy back and upgrade policies, "come and buy from us folks because you can always upgrade any stone with us" so irrespective of who does or doesn't own GOG or what Jon or GOG did or did not promise certain customers, why market yourself on that for years, and have that as your clearly stated written policy if you are not clearly misleading your customers.
     
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  19. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 8, 2018
    I think the issue is, for all the customers that don't have a personal relationship with Jon as you clearly do, that was never implicitly stated when they bought their stones. Read their upgrade policy that I just cut and pasted from their website, at the time of this post it doesn't have any terms and conditions about the size of the diamond you buy or that you have to buy something that is only in the current inventory. So, what I find irksome is for all the customers that put some faith in that policy that didn't know it had secret terms and conditions that were never written anywhere that unlike you, they were never told about, if they want to upgrade basically neither company the new one owned by Jon or GOG is stepping up and going yes we will buy back any stone.

    https://www.goodoldgold.com/why-gog

    If they suddenly will buy back and trade up ALL diamond purchased from GOG in the past, then it's a win for the consumer and I stand corrected, because at this point in time your own posts clearly reflect that is currently not the case.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  20. aljdewey
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    by aljdewey » Apr 8, 2018
    Arkie, what you quoted from above is the "Why GOG" page. It's akin to "why we think we're the greatest choice", but it's in NO WAY their actual policy. If you're representing any vendors' policies without truly understanding how they work, that's a disservice even as I know you are well-meaning and trying to help.

    Here is the page for their actual policies: https://www.goodoldgold.com/store-policies. A few things are notable here; first, diamonds' eligibility for various policies (trade-in, lifetime, etc.) are reflected on their individual pages (which means not all are eligible.) Something else especially important:
    * Trade back the diamond that you purchased from Good Old Gold for a credit of the full purchase price paid (less shipping) toward another diamond of equal to or greater in value from your past diamond purchase. The new diamond must be a Good Old Gold stock diamond. (That's called out twice, by the way). If the new diamond has our trade up policies, it too can be traded up again in the future. You must use the same payment type as used to make the original purchase when trading your diamond in for the new purchase. Once you trade up there is no return period or refunds. [And also....] 'Virtual or non stock diamonds are not included and can not be traded up to with this policy.'

    Also, the language you pointed to from the "Why GOG" page isn't about custom cut diamonds, either....they have one specifically for that, and it's here: https://www.goodoldgold.com/custom-cut-your-diamond. Please note on this page the following:

    Q: Will my custom cut diamond have Good Old Gold's Lifetime Polices?
    A: Custom cut diamonds are not automatically covered under our Lifetime Policies. Lifetime polices are given at Good Old Gold discretion.


    Expecting any vendor to make an express statement about their inventories is honestly unreasonable. Of course a vendor's inventory is limited - *every* vendor's inventory is limited all the time! None of them can carry everything on the planet, and I don't think most clients expect that. Any rational consumer can get a sense for what types of stock a given retailer carries by looking at their existing inventories at time of purchase. Even then, a reasonable customer also understands that there is no guarantee from anyone about what will happen re inventories in the future. To say "you should have told me that your business practices could change at any time" is just unreasonable, because it should be a given that any business may modify, alter, or fine tune their practices to suit their businesses. They don't have to implicitly state every single random thought a client might have. They have to state what their policies are, and anything they don't state isn't warranted.
     
  21. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 8, 2018
    @aljdeway - O.K point taken, obviously that policy has been changed somewhere along the line, because I clearly remember it being different in the past. Message to customers - don't buy any diamond with a lifetime upgrade/buyback policy from any vendor unless you read the fine print. Even then don't expect that to be a binding agreement, because clearly at any time they can change or update those terms, so if you do get a copy of it at the time of sale from them in writing. And if they tell you something different verbally make sure you have a copy of it.

    In fact the conclusion I can draw from this is if you buy a larger stone, particularly a custom cut, don't in fact assume you will have any type of upgrade/lifetime policy with that stone. It would be interesting to go around every vendor that markets themselves as having such policies and find out which ones actually honour them regardless of stone size and existing inventory and which ones do not.

    @diamondseeker2006 - O.K I get it now the GOG "upgrade" policy obviously got changed along the way. So we should not be recommending the company in future to anyone that knows they want to upgrade. And for anyone that bought a stone before the rules "evolved" tough luck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  22. pyramid
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    by pyramid » Apr 8, 2018
    Hmm, it was only in the past month or two I read a post here where people were breaking down and comparing the cost of a diamond, and a WF stone was $4000 more which was being attributed as to the upgrade scheme. Therefore if that was true a customer would have paid this amount for upgrading years before expecting to use this scheme.
     
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  23. pyramid
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    by pyramid » Apr 8, 2018
    I don't think I believe that GOG went behind Jonathan's back and ordered an AVC without him knowing.

    I have thought before that people in this group seem to take things too much on face value, maybe it is the fact that I am not from USA and it is a cultural difference but I just am more careful before I believe things vendors say. I am not suggesting vendors are dishonest, just that this is how I see businesses as operating, i.e. customer's are not told true facts but it is more what is not said that gives us clues about things and how they are. I just feel that I am a bit unsure about what I actually believe on a forum where people volunteer their time for free in order to give vendors customers and also close the sale for them too and all the customer has to do is order their diamond now. I know I have said it before and I did not believe it, but I do believe NOW that some forum members are working for free for vendors and also can't wait to promote them and give glowing referrals to them and yet they don't get a salary at the end of the month. This is not the vendors fault it is people being in the dark I feel or else they hope they will get preferential treatment.
     
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  24. pyramid
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    by pyramid » Apr 8, 2018
    I am not surprised about upgrade policies being changed when vendors change, this is how business works. It is all in the small print as someone said. Wasn't there something about Old World Diamonds about a year or so ago that their policy had changed, so it is not like people have not read this. I like Jonathan and Good Old Gold and Whiteflash and all the vendors here, they are just doing business it is the customers who are not getting educated enough in how it works. I had to learn that color is not queen when I started reading this board as in other countries it is far more important than size. It seems we are all at different beliefs of what it takes to buy a diamond and also how we read into business policies. We are just more sceptical in the UK I think.
     
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  25. pyramid
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    by pyramid » Apr 8, 2018
    Sceptical of both diamonds and THE INTERNET BUYING.
     
  26. pyramid
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    by pyramid » Apr 8, 2018
    I would say this makes good business sense. If you sold something to someone would you take it back at a very much lower price and let them upgrade to something a lot more expensive, I have written about this before and I remember Wink said, yes but customers get the better deal when prices go up. Well we can see they don't the plug just gets pulled. Good business sense I cannot expect a business to do it any other way, how can they profit and survive otherwise. I think people need to wise up. I feel like I am writing 'I told you so' but I don't mean it to come across like this. I do still think diamond choice if far better on the internet but this is the downside. As the saying goes 'go big or go home' - well this needs to be done at the point of buying not years later as it may never happen. Therefore if you can go big, you do but lots cannot, it is reality, not for credit cards to be included in the equation just plain and simple what you can afford at the time. Lots of older people are proud of what they could or COULD NOT afford at the time. Like it didn't happen in the past without saving and being careful about purchases and putting in time to upgrade, decades of time, instead of upgrading every year or so. Young engaged people take note. A 2 carat is for a 50 year old not a 22 year old unless you want it to be low color. (Unless ofcourse you are rich). Again my opinion which could be wrong. Just be sure that your opinions could also be wrong and check out everything online before going with upgrade policies blindly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  27. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » Apr 8, 2018
    Yes exactly the point I was making above, day in day out new people come here and make purchasing decisions based upon vendors we recommend and relying heavily on things like "upgrading and buyback" schemes. To be blunt they pay more for a diamond with them.

    The thing I still don't get, is if Jon is about to start mass producing more AVCs, AVR's and other custom cuts, which I believe is the case then that logically says to me that GOG and other places that stock his stones should have access to a wider inventory of larger stones not a smaller one. So really they should be implementing better, more flexible customer friendly policies, not worse ones. Perhaps it's just a kink in the road so to speak until it all gets sorted out.
     
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  28. pyramid
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    by pyramid » Apr 8, 2018
    I think this is a bit naïve. Business is business and GOG and Jonathan, may not be in business together but they are not enemies as people here seem to be implying. We should not make assumptions, myself too, I know, but there is no animosity I think between them.


     
  29. pyramid
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
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    by pyramid » Apr 8, 2018
    Possibly being a wholesaler is more lucrative, perhaps. Remember this is business, not friends, which this board seems to think when they promote people to vendors they like.

     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
    arkieb1 likes this.
  30. pyramid
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    4,607
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    by pyramid » Apr 8, 2018
    Possibly the cutter of AVC's does not give GOG the deal they were giving Jonathan over the years, him also having a cut in the price as he is the designer, would have got it cheaper than the new GOG can. Therefore they are now left having to get stock for upgrading customers on their own wallet. It's business!!!!!!!!!
     

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