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.
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, 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,
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.