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kizor

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
41
I am quickly finding out that the diamond buying process can be quite complex. My knowledge of diamonds is limited to what I have been able to read on the internet. the basics for diamond grading seem to be consistent with each site visited. my concern is with the credibility of each site. Please share some experiences (positive and negative) with purchasing a diamond online. the sites vary in price and sometimes fluctuate between a couple thousand for what appears to be the same diamond.
is this possible? I am skeptical about buying online. don’t want to be taken advantage of... i''m looking for some feedback from someone with previous online buying experience.
 

job

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2003
Messages
12
kizor,

Just bought my first diamond online and was quite happy with the process and quality of the stone. My advice would be to make sure and have them give you as many details as possible about the stone in advance, and ensure that they have a 100% refund policy so that when the stone is shipped to you, you can take it to your own appraiser and make sure you are getting what you paid for. My experience with both www.whiteflash.com and www.goodoldgold.com has been wonderful and their experts here on pricescope have provided a great deal of insight to my purchasing decision

Job
 

Caratz

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
222
----------------
On 4/28/2003 4
6:50 PM kizor wrote:



I am quickly finding out that the diamond buying process can be quite complex. My knowledge of diamonds is limited to what I have been able to read on the internet. the basics for diamond grading seem to be consistent with each site visited. my concern is with the credibility of each site. Please share some experiences (positive and negative) with purchasing a diamond online. the sites vary in price and sometimes fluctuate between a couple thousand for what appears to be the same diamond.
is this possible? I am skeptical about buying online. don’t want to be taken advantage of... i'm looking for some feedback from someone with previous online buying experience.
----------------
Personally, after all I have read and learned, I would be more wary of buying a stone in a B&M than I would of buying online.

Yes, the vendors on Pricescope will quote different prices for the exact same stones. The stones are not located in thier inventories -- they are still at the cutters. The vendors act more like brokers than a typical retail store.

Personally, I have not had any bad experiences buying online, and on the rare occasion when someone posts a bad experience in this forum, it seems that the vendor always makes an effort to right the situation to the customer's satisfaction. The online vendors linked to pricescope are all determined to protect their reputations.

If you still feel wary about buying online, you might want to check out some of the larger online companies like Blue Nile and Mondera. They are more expensive, but they tend to have more liberal return policies (for example, a 30 day return period vs 7 days). On the other hand, some of the vendors here offer a lifetime upgrade policy, which is a nice bonus . . .
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
I bought from White Flash for several reasons.

#1-Lesley. No high pressure sales tactics. Extremely knowledgeable. A very friendly person who makes conversation easy and fun. Lesley worked with my price point and carat size, and made my whole experience with White Flash fantastic.

#2-Brian Gavin. He was great to deal with as well. He described my diamond to me in such great detail that I knew what to expect when I received it. He was accurate and honest in his assessment.

#3-The rest of the support staff was great as well. White Flash has a system where each person you speak with records copious notes of the conversation. Immediately after I talked to Brian, Lesley already knew what we had discussed. If Lesley was busy with another customer or out of the office, I would just ask the person answering the phone my question. I either got an answer from that person or a response from Lesley. White Flash is very thorough in every respect and every department from cutting to sales to shipping.

#4-Return, refund, lifetime upgrade, and the rest of the common sense brass tacks you consider when making any major purchase. White Flash will also ship directly to Dave Atlas for evaluation without you having to pay for the diamond and/or set until you approve the appraisal. I did not use Mr. Atlas' services personally, but his work is heralded throughout PS forum threads.

The return, refund, lifetime upgrade, and shipping to Dave Atlas prior to payment are services offered by several, but not all, Price Scope vendors.

White Flash got me a diamond beyond anything I'd hoped for in my wildest dreams, within my price point, I was treated extremely well by everyone I spoke with, and I can upgrade anytime for full purchase price credit. What more could a girl, or anyone for that matter, ask??!!
 

Egon

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
18
Couple of things. One, if you're concerned about a particular vendors credibility, most
have records with the Better Business Bureau. In fact several here even point you there
to check out their history. Two, chances are you will find better prices online, BUT you do lose the ability to sit down and compare stones side by side, take them outside, etc. A lot of that can be overcome by what the vendors tell you, as well as the additional information many of them have available. Not to mention return policy. Three, when you compare two stones and say they are very different in price, check beyond the 4 C's. I found an example on another web-page that showed two stones with the same C's and were ~3000 different in price legitimately. Check out the tutorials and ask questions to help you further along.
 

niceice

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
1,792
We recommend contacting the Jewelers Vigilance Committee before purchasing a diamond from any jeweler... Brick & Mortar or on-line. Think of the JVC as the Better Business Bureau with TEETH and they are specific to our industry... Unlike the BBB, the JVC is familiar with our industry and has access to a wider range of information to vendors than the BBB and the JVC can be your best friend in the event that something goes wrong with the transaction.

As far as the wide variance in pricing for diamonds of the same description, very few on-line vendors actually ever see the inventory which they offer for sale... Most on-line diamond dealers are merely "mirroring" the inventory posted on the various multiple listing services reserved for the trade and hoping to resell them at a variety of price points... A few of us insist on seeing and personally evaluating the diamonds we offer for sale and we believe that the odds of success buying a diamond on-line increase dramatically by buying from a vendor like ourselves because of that fact... After all, we become your first line of defense by rejecting diamonds that don't meet our selection criteria for a variety of reasons, at present our rate of rejection falls between 30 - 40% for the diamonds we bring in "off paper" for further evaluation... Other vendors who tend to be in physical control of their inventory are GoodOldGold.com; Whiteflash.com and SuperbCert.com these vendors should be able to provide you with the detailed full page Sarin or OGI computerized proportions analysis, color scans of the lab report (this is important because inclusions will be pictured in red and external characteristics will be marked in green), and in-depth clarity photographs of the diamond you are considering... Best of luck with your quest!
 

rke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
11
I was skeptical too when I first started this search, but share the opinion now with the previous posts. I am more skeptical of a B&M store since many times you are limited to thier stock on hand and (in my experience) lack of knowledge. This forum and the various links here will increase your confidence and make you a "dangerous" consumer armed with knowledge.

I bought my diamond from Denise at Whiteflash and had a very positive experience. (I hope to post all the details soon.) I had it sent to me and then I sent it to Chris at D. Atlas (www.gemappraisers.com). You can have the diamond sent directly to them to verify all the details, but I wanted to see it first!

My advice would be to have fun with the process and test your knowledge gained of price and quality with stores in your area and then judge for yourself what you can get online. I think you will arrive at the same conclusions many have here.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
RKE is sooooo right. We all get so caught up in numbers crunching, be it angles and HCA, or price per carat, that we loose sight of having fun with the experience.

I learned from the PS Tutorial and lurked around the Forum posts. It took a while for some of the information I'd learned to gel. I kept seeing how certain points were "all that" to look for, and H&A's were the tops. Soooo, I got out and went to B&M's locally to see for myself if the points everyone made and H&A really did make a difference. Everyone was RIGHT!

That's when I hit the "Compare" in earnest. I was nearly at a point of frustration calling vendors, looking at certs, crunching the HCA, and comparing the cut chart, that I really wasn't having fun. It's very hard to search for the size you want, in the color and price range you want. I agonized over each one I thought was a good candidate. I'd contact the vendor with a question, the vendor would contact the broker that actually owned the diamond, then the vendor got back to me with the answer. Phone/email tag H***.

I finally found a diamond I was interested in and posted it on the forum for comments. I got a variety of opinions, and an email from the vendor who recognized it as their diamond. Did I want a 24 hour hold on the diamond? That turned me off that diamond and vendor like a used car salesman in a plaid jacket. One of the posts to my query was Lesley at White Flash. Lesley posted some pics of what I said I was looking for in the finished piece.

I emailed Lesley first and then called White Flash to talk to Lesley. We discussed several options and settled on 2 diamonds to choose from. Lesley arranged for me to speak with Brian Gavin, the cutter. He was great. He told me about both diamonds I was interested in, but suggested another as well. We settled on WF shipping one of the first two, and the diamond Brian suggested for me to preview. The reason??? Brian said, "Diamond buying is supposed to be a fun experience, and I want you to have FUN! I want you to experience the whole process and enjoy yourself."

Be informed. Use the PS tools to assist you. But remember, HAVE FUN!!!
 

kizor

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
41
Thanks everyone...there are just alot of nice people on this forum...i am very impressed


Kizor
 
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