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My Engagement Ring Buying Experience

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pinion170

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
2
Hello All,

This is a copy of the thank you letter I wrote to Wink at Winfield's after going through the engagement ring buying process. I have decided to submit this to Pricescope's Forums for two reasons: First, I found Pricescope to be an unbelieveably supportive resource, largely in part to the personal experiences shared by its users, and would like to "give back" in whatever small way I can. Second, working with Winfield's turned a previously confusing/frustrating/terrifying experience into a true pleasure. I would encourage any others who might read this post to see if Wink can make them as happy as he has made my fiancee and I.

Dear Wink,


My purchase from Winfield’s was an AGS 0 Princess Cut, 1.3 carat, VS2, F diamond set in a custom trellis/lucida platinum setting.




As an engineer, I’ve always been more comfortable with facts and quantifiable information as opposed to generalities or subjective comments.




Because of this, I found my initial experiences while shopping for an engagement ring very frustrating. The typical retail stores and mall jewelers seemed to have sales staff that didn’t want to, or were unable to, talk about the details of the 4 C’s (especially Cut). They pushed the product they had in the store at that time, and twisted their sales pitch accordingly. Their willingness to cut 15% or more off the sticker price made me feel that their pricing methods were not honest.




My frustrations with the “brick and mortar” shops led me to the Internet, where I have a firm belief that competition allows Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” to bring out fair prices and reliable vendors. The sheer number of competitors and consumers ensures that a diligent buyer will be able to leverage the experience of others to their own advantage.




I was looking for a source that was happy to discuss the 4 C’s in whatever level of detail that I required, offer pricing in line with other online vendors, and dealt in diamonds with AGS certifications. Winfield’s was one of very few stores I found that fit these basic requirements after more than 6 months of searching. In fact, Winfield’s seemed to prefer an educated customer, or at least ones that try to be informed.




The complexity of the 4 C’s, their inter-related affect on price, and the ways in which personal taste differ had actually overwhelmed me at one point. How could I, a novice attempting to navigate the incredibly complex world of diamonds, be sure that the one I chose was up to my expectations and priced fairly? How could I trust that what I received was in fact what I paid for? A consumer advocacy website, Pricescope, had a wealth of information to help others like me make an informed decision on what to buy and how to buy it.




Winfield’s website and their list of AGS-certified diamonds immediately attracted me. Finally I had found a store which emphasized both customer education and service, while at the same time dealing in the highest quality, certified diamonds. The AGS 0 rating on Princess cuts was something which I felt very confident in relying on to guarantee me a beautiful diamond when combined with personally acceptable grades of Clarity and Color. Winfield’s selection of these was great! Furthermore, I was able to view a massive amount of detail on these diamonds over the web (AGS Certificate, Idealscope Image, Engraving, Magnified Picture, and Sarin Plugin). At this point, I had made my decision to deal with Winfield’s.
Your honesty about the recently lowered price on the diamond I was interested in during our first phone conversation was a breath of fresh air. It was also a great comfort to have you explain the various ways in which we could handle the financial side of the deal (wire, personal check, credit card). For a first time buyer, letting go of that amount of cash before having anything in hand is a huge leap of faith, especially in today’s world of online scams and identity theft.


Our frequent communication over email and phone allowed me to sleep at night while Winfield’s took the necessary time to prepare the ring so that it met my expectations and hopes when it arrived several weeks later. Thank you so much for your patience with my numerous emails and calls. More than anything, the customer service you demonstrated during this time will lead me to recommend you to all my friends, relatives and co-workers.




Needless to say, I was thrilled when the final product arrived via Certified Mail. I was trembling with a combination of nervousness, anticipation and excitement when I opened the package after rushing home from the post office. I actually took the morning off from work so I could pick it up as soon as they opened! Winfield’s care and preparation was evident as I reviewed the documentation that accompanied the ring. It gave me a wonderful sense of satisfaction that I had made the right decision about who to work with after months of research. For the next two weeks until I proposed, I started my mornings and ended my evenings by opening the beautiful wooden box and thinking about how excited my fiancée would be when I took a knee.




Working with you has been my pleasure. Winfield’s made buying our engagement ring a truly enjoyable experience.




Very Best Regards,


Matthew




PS - I encourage you to maintain your relationship with Pricescope. Discerning consumers in my generation rely on these types of resources to guide us in the right direction so that we are comfortable with our online purchases even if we can’t see/touch/feel/smell/taste a product on our own before making the decision to buy.

 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,324
Congrats, p!

Hip, hip, hooray for Wink.

Pics!
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
10,285
glad you had a great experience
 

Mochaboy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
3
Pinion,

Thank you very much for sharing your buying experiences.

I''m in precisely the same spot as you and I''m coming from the same angle as you (engineer/architect/internet freak). I need information, I need numbers, I need pictures, and I need assurances. If I''d have told anyone 5 years ago that I considered spending $8,000 on something based solely on a picture and some numbers that the seller claimed as authentic...I would have been branded a lunatic (and rightly so).

People like you and I need advocacy groups like this one that empower us to become educated and de-mystify an already convoluted and incredibly daunting process.

Imagine what a breath of fresh air it was when I logged in a week ago and searched for all the silly little questions that I had and found more answers with more detail than I know what to do with :)

The only downside to educating myself this intensely is that now I WANT to spend more money, *but* at least I know I''m spending wisely :)

In any event - congratulations on your purchase, and the best of luck to you and your future FI. Again thank you for sharing your buying experience.
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,472
Date: 3/8/2007 2:47:48 PM
Author:pinion170

Your honesty about the recently lowered price on the diamond I was interested in during our first phone conversation was a breath of fresh air.
Thank you for your wonderfully kind letter, it made us all very happy here to receive it.

Matthew''s comment is about the pricing of the diamond. Infinity Paul had called me from Antwerp just a few days before and told me he was lowering the price of the AGS 0 cut grade princess cuts, and although Matthew called and offered the higher price, I was pleased to be able to tell him that as of two or three days before his call the price had been lowered on that stone. As usual it had not hit the website yet, as there are just too many things to do sometimes.

Some things we just do without thinking as it is the right thing to do, it was nice to hear months later that it meant something to Matthew.

Thank you Matthew for the kind letter, and don''t worry, I have every intention of maintaining my relationship with Pricescope, the people here are very much like a huge extended family and it is always one of the highlights of my day when I can come visit.

Wink in a warm fuzzy mood
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
Awesome, glad to hear a happy ending! Please come back with some pictures!!!
 

Finding_Neverland

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
412
Paul Slegers/Infinity has a fabulous princess cut diamond. I thoroughly enjoyed his Webinar the other day with views thru an H&A viewer.

And, Wink is GREAT as well.

How can you miss with such a fabulous combo??!!

Date: 3/8/2007 4:07:03 PM
Author: kcoursolle
Awesome, glad to hear a happy ending! Please come back with some pictures!!!
Ditto!! We need pics!!
 

Paul-Antwerp

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
2,852
Hi Matthew,

May I thank you for one of the warmest thank-you-letters I have ever read. It is as heart-warming for me, as it is for Wink.

Do enjoy your purchase, and may I join the crowd in asking for pics?

Live long,
 

pinion170

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
2
Hello Again All!

Thank you very much for the great feedback and kind words. Wonderful to hear from Paul from Antwerp; we do enjoy our purchase, more than you can imagine.

Good luck to Mochaboy with his purchase as well.

I have attached a picture of my fiancee and I (before the proposal, but one of my favorite pictures of the two of us). Unfortunately, I could not get my camera to take a picture worthy of Infinity''s and Winfield''s workmanship. Wink, do you happen to have any? Otherwise, I can provide the AGS # so that Paul can see if he has pictures from when it was posted on his site, but I''m not sure if that is wise to do. Any suggestions?

Take Care,

Matthew

Pinion170 Couple Picture.JPG
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
so glad you had such a wonderful experience. wink is a class act all they way so I''m not a bit surprised..
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,549
HI:

Congrats on your engagement--you make a beautiful couple!

I also understand your deep level of satisfaction, recently having purchased an AGS 0, Cut by Infinity (an RB)--thru Winfields. It''s all good!

cheers--Sharon
 
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