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Old World Diamonds - Trade up Policy

Boom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
369
I made a purchase a few years ago from Adam at OWD and at that time he indicated that I could trade up in the future.

I contacted him recently and he is now saying that they no longer do trade-ins due to "ever changing prices in the diamond markets"

In this recent thread, https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/ps-game.225340/page-4#post-4074026#p4074026, Missy posted (in September) that OWD has a great trade up policy, so I am confused.

I have emailed for clarification, but has anyone heard of the change in policy?

When I made my initial purchase, the trade up policy was an important consideration so I am quite shocked that it is no longer there.
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
4,607
With all the old diamonds bought from here I am surprised no one has replied to you. Maybe no one intends to upgrade :tongue:
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
33,914
I don't know anything about this change in policy and the last time I saw Adam was with LLJsmom (in June I think but not sure of the exact date) and he didn't mention a thing and we were talking about possible upgrades in the future.

I imagine many here would be disappointed if this is true. Knowing Adam though I am guessing he would work with you as best he could to make an upgrade happen if you fell in love with another of his old cut stones.

Did you speak with him directly about this change in policy Boom? Could you add the details here as you hear them please? Thanks.
 

Boom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
369
Thanks for bumping up my post, Pyramid.

Adam confirmed that they stopped offering an upgrade policy "much earlier this year".

Missy,
I am not sure what is going on if he didn't advise you of the policy change if you saw him in June. I would assume much earlier to mean closer to the beginning of the year.

He did say he would try to help me sell the stones but advised me that I would get much more money if I tried selling privately.

He is going to get back to me on what he can offer me but I feel it isn't right that the upgrade policy was taken away when the cost of that would have been built into the original price I paid earlier.

I am very disappointed as this is the second time a vendor has changed their upgrade policy on me.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,620
Whoa, many people bought from OWD specifically because of the upgrade policy. I can see stopping upgrades for any new purchases, but I don't see how it is right or fair to take away a benefit that was in effect at the time of earlier sales. I think there are going to be some upset people when they find out.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,495
Yeah it doesn't seem fair to stop it for past purchases that were made with an upgrade policy. That seems like changing the terms of the contract after it's been agreed on. I imagine it's financially tough to honor upgrades for full value (if that was their policy) when the market has turned down, but presumably that should have been factored in to the offer in the first place.
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
3,758
Diamond prices have been dropping, so I'm guessing that is the problem with upgrade policies. I've looked hard at Adam's prices, compared them to other vendors, and I still plan to buy from him in the future--->He is not gouging or adding in $ which then are 'deducted' as a 'sale' or upgrade price. So not only do I appreciate the honesty of that, but I also feel better buying from a jeweler with his long term relationships in the diamond world. He has an enormous inventory which is a big incentive for me. The other old cut vendors we read about here aren't financially able to hold good-sized inventories (underfunded, if you will).

I've spoken with him on the phone and he is polite and respectful, which is unusual for a lot of the PS-loved jewelers.
 

oldworlddiamonds

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
20
Hello everyone, I would like to say that I very rarely visit PS and this is my first actual post. I do like PriceScope very much and think it is a wonderful resource for the diamond community. The reason for my posting is to speak about the OWD upgrade policy and this thread that was started regarding it. At Old World Diamonds we have tried extremely hard to earn a flawless reputation by handling each and every inquiry or actual sale with professionalism, knowledge and honesty. Our clients are the most important asset to us and without loyal customers we would not be in business today. Whether it is a half carat diamond or a five carat diamond each email or phone call is answered with the same attention and importance. When a client comes back to us asking for an upgrade we try very hard to offer the highest amount to credit them back for their existing diamond. As most of you know, the diamond industry pricing is reflected and guided by Rap diamond price sheets. When the price of a diamond goes down (sometimes by thousands and thousands of dollars) it becomes impossible to honor exact trade in pricing. As an example, if a client comes to OWD four or five years after purchasing a diamond and the stone is worth $4000 less then it was five years prior, it is not possible for the vendor to take that loss, they would simply go out of business. We have always made an huge effort to offer the client the same amount they paid towards their upgrade. Due to changes in diamond industry pricing we have to look at each and every situation individually. Not only does Old World Diamonds have the world's largest inventory of genuine antique diamonds but our prices have always been extremely fair and beyond competitive, and in most cases, lower than anyone else. We never built up our prices to "cover ourselves" for a trade-in - we don't play games and never have. Thank you to all of our past, present and future clients. We look forward to helping you find the most incredible antique diamond.

P.S. Thank you azstonie for your kind and understanding words :)
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
33,914
I didn't know about this change in policy Boom and Adam didn't discuss it with us in June. That is disappointing and yes I am sure there will be some unhappy people. However, as I wrote before, Adam is a fair person (who is also very nice) and I still think he will do what he can to make an upgrade work for someone even if he cannot honor the original trade up agreement.

I wouldn't expect any vendor to take a loss but I also cannot imagine that he would not honor helping one of his clients upgrade even if it is not exactly the same original trade up agreement. Maybe a happy compromise can be reached with those who bought from him before he changed the policy without him having to take a financial loss and still making the client happy.

+1 to Aztonie's post.


ETA: Hi Adam, thank you for clarifying and posting here and I think that is fair.
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,171
I understand that it sucks for the past customers.
However, I think it is relatively fair as long as upgrade policy "mark-up" was not baked into the original price of the stone.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,083
Just as a general fyi: InnaR said in February of 2012 that she'd decided to make her next vintage/antique diamond purchase from the now defunct partnership of Jewels by Erica Grace because Adam (Old World Diamonds) -- whom she had always found "very easy to work with" & from whom she had made a previous purchase -- did not have a trade-up policy whereas JbEG "do have one [which] makes me want to give my business to them."
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/oec-or-transitional-m-or-n-o.171467/#p3119869']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/oec-or-transitional-m-or-n-o.171467/#p3119869[/URL]

P.S. You'll also see that InnaR thought it "kind of odd, that every time i picked a stone based on the picture and numbers on his website [Adam] suggested on a different one that was not listed." Had I seen her comment at the time, I would have alerted her to the fact that Adam is not solely a retail vendor (I actually think a much higher proportion of his transactions are with those "in the trade", not consumers). So if he's sent out stones "on memo"/for approval to a jeweler or another diamond dealer, that means he doesn't have the stone in hand to sell to anyone else at that particular point in time, but he doesn't also remove the listing from the web site because he can't be sure that the trade colleague is going to pay for and keep the stone.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,620
I definitely understand that the diamond market is volatile (and my own stone is worth less now than I paid for it), however, all diamond vendors that offer a trade-in policy take this risk. When prices are higher, the diamond vendor benefits because the customer is trading in a stone that actually is worth more than the trade-in value they are allowed (the original purchase price). So in those cases, the vendor makes extra profit which balances out with these times where diamond prices are down. From what I have seen, I believe over many years diamond prices more often are rising than declining, so the diamond sellers are generally at the advantage.

I will just say that I am certain that Whiteflash has honored their upgrade policy through ups and downs in pricing. I believe GOG has also honored their policies, as well.
 

Boom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
369
Azstonie
I agree OWD has a great inventory of antique stones, that's why I bought from him in the first place.
I have not done extensive searches, but I thought his pricing was similar to other smaller operations.
I don't know if Adam remembers but I've actually been to his office (huge operation) and he was patient, helpful and overall a really nice person.

Adam
Thank you for coming here to clarify OWD's stand. You have always been helpful and respectful and I really appreciate that.

Missy
I am sure Adam will try his very best to give me a fair price but I certainly don't want to realize a huge loss at this point in time.
I'll just have to enjoy what I have!

MollyMalone
Thank you for finding that thread.
Now I understand that OWD never had an official trade up policy (nothing stated on the website).
When Adam told me I could trade up in the future when I made my first purchase, it meant he would work with me when the time came.

Diamondseeker2006
I agree diamond dealers benefitted greatly when prices were rising. In fact, another vendor did very well when he took in my stone for upgrading at the old price and sold me another for the new price.
I'm guessing in this case that when the market greatly discounted EGL stones, this practice became untenable for OWD.
As for WF and GOG, I am in the market for an MRB as well and that is the first thought that crossed my mind after this happened.
I've been searching everywhere for months now (being picky about the specs), but I'm going to narrow it down to the few vendors that have trade-up polices clearly stated on their website and have a good track record.

It has been stated over and over on PS that OWD has a great trade up policy but it should be clarified that in fact they do not have one where they offer a 100% trade-in under all situations. I think potential buyers should be aware so that there is no misunderstanding.

Thank you everyone for your input.
I'm disappointed that the OEC upgrade became harder but there will always be other jewelry projects to look forward to!
 

cchloe

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
180
I'm sorry but that's not a trade up policy. You can't just offer it when diamond prices are high and it benefits you. You can't suddenly not honor it when diamond prices are not to your likings. You either have a trade up policy or you don't!
 

cchloe

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
180
I also want to stop paying my mortgage when interest rates become lower than the one I signed at.
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
621
I guess I'm confused by this.

The consumer has absolutely no way of knowing whether upgrade values were "baked into" the original sale or not. Whiteflash, for example, has a great upgrade policy and their diamonds are consistently priced less than other branded superideal lines.

So saying that this is fair if the price wasn't baked into the original sale doesn't really work, because how do we know that? Especially in the case of antique stones, where there's often very little pricing information available to the buyer due to lack of like comparables on the market.

I do think it's important that we discuss the mention that the diamond seller cannot just "absorb that loss" and stay in business. Realistically, many of the PS vendors do exactly that and are not destitute. Just a comment as this has been discussed on the boards many times before.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,084
FWIW I don't think OWD's website has ever posted policies regarding purchases other than a 10-day return policy; I do know for certain for at least the last year nothing other than the return policy has been posted on their site.

I also don't know if OWD purchase receipts include any written text about policies relating to purchases.

Regardless of vendor, if a policy isn't in writing, personally I wouldn't count on being able to utilize it, or it being valid, at an unknown future time.

I do understand the frustration however of believing a policy is connected to a purchased item but then discovering you cannot utilize it, and I'm sorry Boom you are having this experience now.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,521
oldworlddiamonds|1476305129|4086335 said:
Hello everyone, I would like to say that I very rarely visit PS and this is my first actual post. I do like PriceScope very much and think it is a wonderful resource for the diamond community. The reason for my posting is to speak about the OWD upgrade policy and this thread that was started regarding it. At Old World Diamonds we have tried extremely hard to earn a flawless reputation by handling each and every inquiry or actual sale with professionalism, knowledge and honesty. Our clients are the most important asset to us and without loyal customers we would not be in business today. Whether it is a half carat diamond or a five carat diamond each email or phone call is answered with the same attention and importance. When a client comes back to us asking for an upgrade we try very hard to offer the highest amount to credit them back for their existing diamond. As most of you know, the diamond industry pricing is reflected and guided by Rap diamond price sheets. When the price of a diamond goes down (sometimes by thousands and thousands of dollars) it becomes impossible to honor exact trade in pricing. As an example, if a client comes to OWD four or five years after purchasing a diamond and the stone is worth $4000 less then it was five years prior, it is not possible for the vendor to take that loss, they would simply go out of business. We have always made an huge effort to offer the client the same amount they paid towards their upgrade. Due to changes in diamond industry pricing we have to look at each and every situation individually. Not only does Old World Diamonds have the world's largest inventory of genuine antique diamonds but our prices have always been extremely fair and beyond competitive, and in most cases, lower than anyone else. We never built up our prices to "cover ourselves" for a trade-in - we don't play games and never have. Thank you to all of our past, present and future clients. We look forward to helping you find the most incredible antique diamond.

P.S. Thank you azstonie for your kind and understanding words :)

Despite attempting to parse through the blatant self-promotion and marketing mumbo jumbo twice now... I'm still unclear on precisely what is being said here.

Is OWD refusing to honour a policy that a stone was originally sold with? That's certainly what it sounds like to me, but I would appreciate explicit clarification. If so, telling a customer that policies will only be honoured when it's convenient for the vendor to do so is appalling business ethic - I was disgusted to hear of BE doing this to another PSer a few months ago as I'd had high regard for them. If I'm incorrect and OWD is simply stating that they stopped offering upgrade/trade-in policies some time ago, but will continue to honour all guarantees older sales were made with, well, whilst I'm confident it will affect buyers' decisions it's IMO an understandable stance in a volatile market.

Vendors, this is so very simple: if you don't plan to honour policies offered as part of the contract of purchase, don't offer them, or offer them with clear stipulations. No problem.
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
621
Yssie|1476368914|4086640 said:
I was disgusted to hear of BE doing this to another PSer a few months ago as I'd had high regard for them.
Was this discussed on the boards? If so, I'd appreciate the link to the thread, as I am considering a stone from them.
 

bright ice

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
4,017
This policy has to my knowledge never been in writing on their site nor on my receipts but has been verbally (from Adam) part of my past purchases with OWD. I have utilized the trade-in/upgrade policy once and had no problem. We all understand that the diamond market has it's swings, the sellers surely do as well and should be prepared to encounter this with trade-in/upgrade policies. Not honoring them when the market turns downward is unfair!
 

Boom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
369
I went through my emails when I made my initial purchase and Adam did indeed confirm that there was a trade-up policy.
This is what he wrote to me.
"We have a lifetime upgrade policy. We will credit you what you paid towards an upgrade at any time."
There was no other qualifications.

I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't just basing my upgrade request on what I read on PS or hearsay.
I wrote earlier that I understood now that there wasn't an official upgrade policy but after going through my emails, official or not, the upgrade policy was communicated to me before my purchase.
 

bright ice

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
4,017
Boom|1476378030|4086706 said:
I went through my emails when I made my initial purchase and Adam did indeed confirm that there was a trade-up policy.
This is what he wrote to me.
"We have a lifetime upgrade policy. We will credit you what you paid towards an upgrade at any time."
There was no other qualifications.

I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't just basing my upgrade request on what I read on PS or hearsay.
I wrote earlier that I understood now that there wasn't an official upgrade policy but after going through my emails, official or not, the upgrade policy was communicated to me before my purchase.
I have that in my email communications as well Boom.
 

Boom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
369
bright ice said:
I have that in my email communications as well Boom.
Bright Ice,
Thank you for confirming that. For a while I was starting to wonder if I was making an unreasonable request.
I'm glad you were able to utilize the policy.

m-2-b
I believe that is the right thread.
ERD changed their policy on me too as market conditions changed.
Fortunately? my new diamond crossed the new upgrade minimum.
If not, I might have started my own thread years ago.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,776
Yssie|1476368914|4086640 said:
Despite attempting to parse through the blatant self-promotion and marketing mumbo jumbo twice now... I'm still unclear on precisely what is being said here.

Is OWD refusing to honour a policy that a stone was originally sold with? That's certainly what it sounds like to me, but I would appreciate explicit clarification. If so, telling a customer that policies will only be honoured when it's convenient for the vendor to do so is appalling business ethic - I was disgusted to hear of BE doing this to another PSer a few months ago as I'd had high regard for them. If I'm incorrect and OWD is simply stating that they stopped offering upgrade/trade-in policies some time ago, but will continue to honour all guarantees older sales were made with, well, whilst I'm confident it will affect buyers' decisions it's IMO an understandable stance in a volatile market.

Vendors, this is so very simple: if you don't plan to honour policies offered as part of the contract of purchase, don't offer them, or offer them with clear stipulations. No problem.
I agree 100% with Yssie and DS... those who purchased prior to when OWD stopped the upgrade policy should be grandfathered in. Not offering an upgrade policy when it may not benefit your business is one thing -- refusal to honor an existing upgrade policy is very unethical and just plain wrong!

If there is documentation of agreement for an upgrade policy (even via email), then OWD should have to honor it. It seems that would be a legal agreement, no?
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
621
Boom|1476378929|4086718 said:
m-2-b
I believe that is the right thread.
ERD changed their policy on me too as market conditions changed.
Fortunately? my new diamond crossed the new upgrade minimum.
If not, I might have started my own thread years ago.
You know, I had kind of an iffy experience last year with BE, and I passed on working with them at the time - I was going to consider it again, but I think this is a fool me once, fool me twice situation and I'm going to continue with my original plan (which does not involve them).
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,495
Yssie|1476368914|4086640 said:
Vendors, this is so very simple: if you don't plan to honour policies offered as part of the contract of purchase, don't offer them, or offer them with clear stipulations. No problem.
Yeah, this is what bothers me. It has always seemed to me that an upgrade policy is part of the purchase contract, and so you shouldn't be able to just unilaterally discontinue it without voiding the original contract. I agree that it seems... legally questionable... to not honor it on already-sold diamonds. I'm not a lawyer but it seems like that is something that might not hold up, if it is considered part of the purchase contract.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,521
Thank you for the extra info Boom - I'm very sorry you're in this position :(sad

I feel this is completely unethical :nono:
OWD has lost my respect, my consideration, & my recommendation. The consumer is not responsible for market conditions and should not be penalised for volatility that the vendor failed to make allowances for.

I'll admit that I'm always surprised when we hear about this sort of thing from PS vendors in particular: giving a well-educated, world-wide, vocal, influential audience excellent reason to distrust you and question your integrity is a terrible way to maintain business - and especially at a time like this, the industry isn't exactly booming right now... many vendors can and do uphold their ends of contractual sales agreements with customers, and - since this was brought up specifically - I feel very confident asserting that for most people the allure of larger inventory and slightly lower prices pales in comparison to knowing with absolute certainty that your vendor will respect all terms of sale.
 

Boom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
369
I agree that the onus is on the company/seller to come up with a sustainable business model as they have first hand knowledge of the market they are in.

That said, Adam is willing to work with me towards an amicable solution, which I appreciate very much.

I started this thread to seek clarification since OWD's upgrade policy has been posted many times on PS.
I was and still am willing to walk away if it doesn't make financial sense for me to proceed.

OWD still has the best inventory of antique cuts around and Adam is good person who will work with you the best he can.
The buyer's choices would be severely limited if we do not consider their stones.

With regards to their upgrade policy, it is best for the customer to clarify with them directly if it's available and how it would be applied if it is. I am sure OWD will state any such policy and its terms and conditions very clearly from now on.
 
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