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Internet Diamond Buying Procedure

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baloo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Messages
39
Hi, I'm looking to buy an e-ring over the internet. It's against my better judgement as when I'm investing over $10K my mind tells me I really need to see it first.

Regardless, I have been working with what seems to be one of the more reputable online vendors that I found from this site. We are very close to making a decision but I'm wondering how this should be done.

Re:independant appraisal. Should I ask the vendor to send it to an appraiser for me ? Or should I wait till it's paid for, in my hand, and set ? I imagine it would best for me to source my own appraiser and ask the vendor to send it there. Is there right ?

Payment, is it reasonable for me to ask to make a part payment. Further payment after the appraiser has given his report then final payment once I have the ring in my hand ? What would be fair for both me and the vendor ?

Is there anything else I have forgotten to consider ?

This is all compounded by the fact that I live very far way (read: other side of the planet) from the vendor. So any advice here from vendors or other people that have bought online would be much appreciated.
 

69gm

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
287
many of the reputable vendors are willing to send the diamond to an independant appraiser prior to purchasing it. you just need to pay the cost of shipping and of course the appraisal.

it's always nice to be able to see the diamond in person, i agree. but if that's not possible, you just have to trust that the vendor, if endorsed by this forum, is a very reliable one who has worked very hard to earn the stamp of approval of this forum.

some vendors that come to mind include, but not limited to are:

goodoldgold.com, niceice.com, whiteflash.com, superbcert.com, abazias.com. i have read only good things about all these vendors. of course there are other great vendors that escape me at the moment (my apologies to them). but if you are considering one of those i mentioned, you won't go wrong. you can go ahead and do a search on the forum for any of them and you'll see what i mean.

good luck in your search!
 

diane5006

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
652
Hi Baloo...if you are dealing with the vendor I think you are...then they will send your stone to an appraisor (of your choice) for you...BEFORE you have paid for it in full...a small deposit will most likely be needed :). You should check with them...and they will clear it up...
 

elmo

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
1,160
As has been stated, most vendors will ship to a mutually agreeable appraiser without charging you for the stone. Before the appraiser forwards the stone to you, the seller verifies to the appraiser that he has received payment.

What works best for the consumer however is not actual payment or a deposit, but instead an electronic authorization on a credit card for the amount. After about 7-10 days, the credit card company expects to see the paperwork. But by that time you will have decided whether to keep the stone and wire funds, or to return it and for the stone to make its way home. The advantage of this to both parties is that there is no cost for the authorization; once the charge is processed, though, the credit card company charges 2.25% (or more) in fees, which you typically would be responsible for since many vendors here are working on relatively low (10-20%) margins.

Not every seller will do this, but I expect most of the folks listed on this thread will.

One more thing - should you decide to not keep the stone, you are responsible for all shipping and insurance costs unless the appraiser determines that the stone is not as represented. If the seller advertises (or if you negotiate) that shipping is included, they will cover the overnight service from the seller to the appraiser - typically not the shipping from the appraiser to you.
 

Rockabye

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Messages
8

Hi Baloo


Like you, I was initially very sceptical about purchasing a diamond on-line. However, lurking around pricescope and other diamond forums for a long while (>1.5 years) has proven to be very helpful and several names (as mentioned by 69gm) kept cropping up.


I finally went with Robin & Todd of niceice, who were extremely nice when I spoke with them over the phone and felt very comfortable with them. I decided to go with them because I needed the diamond by a certain date and they had a stone close to what I was looking for. They are not pushy and had an unusual (quirky) sense of humour (as reflected on their website and in their posts). However, they do know their stuff and have strong views which I discovered in my long conversations with them on diamonds and the industry in general, including why they did not provide brilliant scope results. Still working with them for an upgrade.


I also contacted Jonathan at goodoldgold.com. I could sort of imagine Jonathan rolling his eyes upwards when I mentioned my requirements over the phone - I have only seen 2/3 in the last 6 months. As many have mentioned, if you know what you want and see it, grab it because it can be a long while before a similar one comes along. Jonathan tried his best to get me a shortlist but sometimes, the stones are just not there to be found.


I found that it helps to speak to vendors over the phone for, despite, the amount of information available on-line, the personal factor counts for a lot.


On a practical note, if you are bringing in the diamond for inspection and are not certain yet if you are going to keep it, you should speak to the Singapore office of the courier company to arrange/apply for an export permit with Singapore customs. The export permit allows you to have the diamond brought into Singapore on a temporary import basis.


If you subsequently decide to return the diamond, you would be able to claim a refund on any GST paid less any fees charged by the courier company. Mind you, the Goods & Services Tax (at 4% of the cost of goods plus insurance + freight) can amount to a lot, depending on the value of the diamond. If you did not apply for the export permit, getting a refund is near impossible - I did speak to Singapore customs about it.


Shipping took two working days and went without a hitch. Only shock was the amount of GST I had to pay


On appraisals, it really depends on your comfort level. You could have it sent to Singapore and engage a local appraiser - I have no experience with them and my friends in Singapore have bought based on the paper and the reputation of the jeweller. You could also have the vendor send it to an independent appraiser in the States and wire the money over once you are happy with the appraisal and that the diamond matches the paper.

Good luck with your search
 

niceice

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
1,792
Greetings Baloo, if you live on the other side of the planet as you've indicated, then we implore you to invest in the services of an independent GIA Graduate Gemologist before having the diamond sent to you simply so that you have the opinion of a neutral third party prior to paying the expense of having the diamond imported into your country... Most countries impose a diamond import / excise tax which can be pretty steep and while it is refundable in the event that you decide to return the item, the paperwork is a bit of a hassle... The cost of third party evaluation is minimal and you'll want to obtain an independent appraisal anyway so why not do so before having the diamond sent to you... Add to this the peace of mind you'll have by involving a neautral third party who will be taking possession of the diamond before you pay for the diamond and you might sleep a little better tonight
 

baloo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Messages
39
Thanks for the all the responses. It's made me feel a bit better about purchasing online. I have made contact with one of the appraisers from this site and I'll have the ring sent to him before it reaches me.

Again, thanks for all the useful advice!
 

elmo

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
1,160
Sorry I missed the comment about Singapore, that certainly adds a few challenges! I do agree 100% with Rockabye's comments about talking with prospective vendors...I've spoken with many of these folks (Todd gets high marks in my book), and it's great when you can make a connection with someone. Who says that internet shoppers have to be one-time customers?

Just curious, what's the penalty in Singapore for returning from a vacation in the states without declaring a diamond you purchased here?
 

baloo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Messages
39
Elmo, I've been thinking along the same lines. If the import duty is 4% it might just be worth a trip to the states. Still doing the calculations.

I'm sure if you walk through wearing the ring then no customs person will even think to ask.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Ooooooo La La! What a proposal trip!
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,363
We offer a thrid party verification service to consumers who need distant advice on an important purchase. There is a large list publised on Pricescope so that you may find an apraiser that is possibly nearby where you reside. In those cases you can see the diamond as well as get impartial advice.

Many Internet vendors will agree to ship a diamond to an inedpendent appraiser that has shown themselvfes to be reliable before you have even paid for the diamond. This sort of service depends on the location of the diamond, how valuable it is and how rapidly you can obtain the required informaion.

Don't be afraid to ask for independent verification. It is a relatively easy and reliable way to increase the chance you'll love your purchase.
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,143
Dave, what brought you to this thread? It's quite outdated.
 
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