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Rare Carat and Price Fixing?

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
1,267
Seems one of the larger sellers bailed from RC's listing service, stating that RC repeatedly told them to raise their prices or get penalized.

The article was taken down, but it exists in a web archive.

Here's the article from the archive:
Decision To Remove Diamonds From Rare Carat Due To Lack Of Free Marketplace

News provided by The Art Of Jewels
Nov 16, 2021, 12:14 ET

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently, The Art of Jewels announced it would no longer partner with Rare Carat. This decision came after The Art of Jewels was repeatedly asked to increase the price of its diamonds on Rare Carat's platform during months of ongoing conversations with top-level executives and employees of Rare Carat.

Initially, based on Rare Carat's advertisement and mission statement, it appeared that The Art of Jewels' vision and Rare Carat's advertised vision were the same. This is not the case, and as described by a representative of The Art of Jewels, "The repeated demands of Rare Carat on The Art of Jewels to increase its prices, the heavy penalties charged due to The Art of Jewels' refusal to participate in misleading practices, and the unreasonable fees charged by Rare Carat are contradictory to the mission statement of The Art of Jewels."

To further explain, The Art of Jewels representative said, "To justify Rare Carat's high retail partner fees, they were forcing retailers to increase their prices on their diamonds or be penalized. Rare Carat was penalizing retailers who reduced their retail price by charging them a larger cost per click when a diamond fell below a certain price – sometimes up to 3 or 4 times more than their basic fee. At the Art of Jewels, we strongly believe that free marketplaces cannot and should not engage in price-fixing manipulation by penalizing retailers for the price they choose to sell their products at within a marketplace. That is what's happening at Rare Carat. The situation ultimately results in retailers charging the customer more, and that is not fair to the customer."

For this reason, The Art of Jewels is no longer partnering with Rare Carat, as Rare Carat's mission statement does not coincide with the practices experienced by the Art of Jewels during its time with Rare Carat.

The Art of Jewels' goal is to deliver the best quality diamond at the best price, while providing excellent customer service. As a result, this week, The Art of Jewels is now a truly free and fair marketplace, representing lab grown diamond manufacturers and growers. In addition to the marketplace, The Art of Jewels launched, "Zuri", an exclusive AI technology price comparison tool designed to assist customers while choosing the best deal between the marketplace and major brands.

The Art of Jewels was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in San Francisco. The Art of Jewels is the world's largest online jeweler and marketplace for Lab Grown Diamond Growers and Natural Diamond Manufacturers with over three generations of experience offering a safe, secure, shopping and free customization experience. The Art of Jewels offers top quality diamonds at the best possible value.
Does anyone have any more info about this or have thoughts to share?
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
4,016
No facts or insight -only musings.

My thoughts differ on if the vendor listed all their goods at RC or only certain ones.

Having a listing fee based on selling price being a % of selling price, or a fixed price if that % price is below a certain $amount
I’m not sure smacks of collusion?

Are they pricing a mined diamond ‘too low’? From rappsport?
Are they pricing a man made diamond too low? Aren’t these prices all over the place, I’m not on top of the subject to know….
Are they pricing their fashionable salt and pepper diamonds too low?

The article being removed tells one or two things I think. It’s false/incomplete information or it’s true and violates a non disclosure agreement/brings up a lawsuit.
 

Anne93

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
173
I wonder if this all really has to do with two vendors competing with the same vitrual inventory.

Having surfed through the rare carat inventory a while back, I had noticed that on occasion two of their vendors Yadav and The art of Jewels had the same diamonds available (obvious to me based on identical GIA numbers and specs). Presumably they overlapped on virtual inventories. If I recall correctly, The Art of Jewels was generally lower priced.

As rfisher said, these are all musings, we can only speculate. I agree is is definitely telling that the article has been removed ...
 

FL_runner

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
966
Very interesting! I will say that I have followed up a rare carat search with a separate search on the company website to see if there are changes in pricing or discounts if you order direct from the vendor. It's good to remember that there are going to be many vendors who don't participate in Rare Carat - apparently buyers will need to do multiple searches!
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
1,267
I find it a bit curious and coincidental, especially now that TAoJ is a recent addition to the PS Vetted Vendors list (which is fantastic):

PS Vendors 24NOV21.png
 
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