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Online negotiating

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jkruer01

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
53
Hello everyone,

I know that with B&M stores you can negotiate the price of diamonds down fairly substantially. Has anyone had any luck/advice/experience with negotiating the price of diamonds with online stores such as Whiteflash.com or are online prices usually final?

Thanks!
 

golfer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
Messages
128
All the online stores will negotiate a little -- don't let them b.s. you otherwise. I think 5% discount is reasonable.
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
Here's my advice, based on experience. Hope the vendors don't hate me for it! We consumers have to stick together.

Find a few stones at different vendors which are about equally satisfactory. Make sure you would be comfortable buying from any of the vendors, and take into account differences in the services they offer. Start with your last choice, and ask what their best price is. Give the quote to your next choice, and see what they can do. Repeat until you reach your first choice stone/vendor, and then see what the best deal you have been offered is. If they are slow giving you information you want, say "Well, I'm sitting on a quote from this other vendor that looks pretty good, but I'd really like to give you a chance."

One way to compare prices of diamonds with different sizes, colors, and clarities is to get the diamond price report at national-jeweler.com. Then you can calculate the percentages above wholesale of the prices per carat of various diamonds, and compare these. Also use the price reports here, but remember they are based on fewer stones. The pricescope is a great way to find good deals. One vendor with low prices that isn't on pricescope is diamondbrokersoffl.com.

You can negotiate much better online than you could in a store because you are in control of how the communication proceeds, and are less liable to be taken in by charming rhetoric.

It can't hurt if the vendor suspects that you will post a testimonial after buying from them. Introduce yourself by giving your forum user names. A bit of free advertizing could make it worth their while to give you a better deal. Knowing which vendors have rivalries with one another can't hurt either (this is easy to figure out from past threads on diamondtalk.com). It is always tempting to try to beat a rival.

If you need some practice, spend a few weeks in Morocco buying souveniers. :Up_to_something:
 

golfer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
Messages
128
I somewhat second Student's method, but I think the negotiating works best when you focus on 1 stone offered by seveal vendors. That is, many of the Pricescope vendors are brokers, and they offer the exact same stone from a manufacturer. But they may all have different prices -- close, but different. I'd negotiate with all of them, trying to get the absolute best price on the stone. You always have a better negotiating tactic with a broker because the sale is worthwhile to a broker if he is making any money at all, since they are not keeping the stone in house. Some of the brokers (not Pricescope ones, but one that I contacted not on Pricescope) will flat out lie to you about their cost, so don't trust them on that. Whatever the lowest price is on Pricescope, I'd say their cost is at least 10% less. I don't think you can negotiate that completely away, but if they think Broker X is offering you a price of lowest (Pricescope) cost minus 3%, I think most brokers will match or beat that deal. In my experience, the best tactic is to select the broker you feel most comfortable with in terms of service (for me this was Whiteflash), and buy from them -- after you assure that they will at least match the lowest price offered for the stone.
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
P.S. I got 13% off asking price on my 1st choice diamond and vendor using this method. The appraiser said the price was wholesale I'm assuming he meant wholesale for diamonds of comparable cut quality. It was 26% above wholesale for diamonds of the same size, color, and clarity.
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
I was looking at stones the vendors owned. Take golfer's advice for brokered stones.
 

golfer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
Messages
128
Yes, this is a very important distinction. On the one hand, in-store stones will probably have a higher markup (since their is more cost to house them, etc.) but also the vendor is looking to earn a higher markup (because of those costs, and he knows someone else may want the stone later). It is also harder to "compare" different in-house stones because they are not truly identical.
 

jkruer01

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
53
Thanks for the advice so far. I am definately looking at Whiteflash to buy the diamond but it seems hard to find a diamond that is of the same quality to compare it to. I want to get an H&A diamond but I notice a lot of the other dealers on PriceScope don't offer all of the spec information like Whiteflash does so it is hard to compare. How close do you have to get to use another diamond as comparison for negotiation? Also, should the negotiation be done on the phone or through email?

Thanks again!
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
Ask vendors what information they can provide. Some can provide more than they advertize. I would use both phone and e-mail, but e-mail when you get down to price, so you are more in control.
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
Some vendors who deal mainly in in house stones are niceice.com, superbcert.com, and whiteflash.com. If you see the same stone pop up on pricescope at more than one vendor, it is brokered. Remember not to get too hung up on price once you get down to small differences. Then it is time to focus on quality, service, and your comfort with the vendor.

Also, I bought a setting with my stone. The setting price was fixed, but I may have gotten a better deal on the stone because the profit from the setting was assured.
 

golfer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
Messages
128
Whiteflash has its own line (ACA) but also acts as a broker. Yes, the general rule is that if a stone appears more than once, it is brokered. Other brokered stones may only show up once for some reason. Look hard, because sometimes it will show up much lower on Pricescope depending on your search. Even if some details are left out by some vendors, generally if carat, color, and clarity match -- you've got a match. Measurements is a good way to be 100% sure.
 
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