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SELLING FEAR

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RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
In the Spence thead I've been accused of selling fear.

In response I think a new thread should be started.

Should consumers be fearful of the purchases they make?

They should be concerned and get them checked by a proficient and experience professional who doesn't buy or sell. The choice of the professional should be made carefully after reviewing the expert's gemological and appraisal credentials. Also review the experience and ask pertinent questions about the expert's work in the methodolgy of how the value conclusion is actually reached.


The consumer should be comfortable that the appraiser/gemologist will report the facts and not be bashful about disclosing anything that affects the proper and totally informed report rendered. The appraiser should not make "light" of "defects" that should not be reported to the buyer.

There is always another diamond that could be picked. As I tell almost all my clients.... "there's always another bus"... worst case scenario, you pick a different stone.


But back to the Fear accusation. Is it a manipulation on my part, or is it really a serious problem. I have written that I get emails from "burnt consumers" asking for assistance and help all the time, but if I posted those I would be violating confidentiality standards, particularly if a reader could identify the purchaser or seller in such communication. In addition, I 've learn through years of experience, that those folks are very embarrassed about their mistakes, and don't want them publicized.

But here's a link involving a high priced set of items, that was published by the GIA...... Jadeite.... that turned out to be glass.

http://www.gia.edu/wd_2798ar_7656aris_1442.htm

I suppose it depends on how important the money you're spending is to you. Some people prefer to save the fees for getting an item properly checked out. If so, this is certainly their choice to make. If you make a mistake and can afford to do it over again, without feeling the financial pain - then by all means... make decisions based on gut feelings.


But... if the purchase is sizable or important enough that you can't spend the money a second time, and take a loss selling the stone you didn't bargain for, then you should pick an expert to help.

Whether or not you select me, or someone else, that is local is the consumer's decision.

I published the list of dealers who would send stones to me to have checked, without paying for the purchase in advance. I believe this benefits consumers... and consumers that have become customers of mine agree. Most Sellers don't .... because they lose control of the sale.... or possibly have to find a different diamond.

Just saying you're independent - doesn't mean you are. Appraise the appraiser your are thinking of hiring.


Rockdoc
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,399
I don't want to debate any of the points you have made. I think you are all for the consumer and we know that they need help in buying "right".

Do we want to use fear and scare tactics to get their business or do we want to use sharing of information in order to make them more aware and more knolwedgeable. This might be how you and I differ in our marketing strategy of selling ourselves to them as appraisers.

Your website is full of really useful information so we definitely agreee on consumer education. It is in the approach that each of us take that we greatly differ. You are more forceful about sellers committing consumer fraud and I believe I am more forceful in telling consumers to learn about their purchases BEFORE they spend their money. The essential ingredient is knowledge, but how we deliver the message is quite different. I rarely accuse any group or individual of any wrongdoing. You are a little more outspoken in that regard. I don't say you are worong, but it is a notable difference in the way you and I do quite similar things.

No one could expect us to be identical and we aren't. Each of us appeals to different sorts of personalities and people. We probably share very few clients. In the end, our clients, both yours and mine, are safe and protected. I think that is by far the most important aspect of what we accomplish.

It is in the nature of how we market our services, more than in the net result where the differences are most apparent. I like variety and always say, "to each his own".....
 

Caratz

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
222
"But back to the Fear accusation. Is it a manipulation on my part, or is it really a serious problem. I have written that I get emails from "burnt consumers" asking for assistance and help all the time . . ."

No doubt there are plenty of people in the diamond business who have questionable ethical standards. No doubt plenty of consumers get burnt. But I strongly suspect that pricescope if squeaky clean *at least compared to* most of the sleaze and misrepresentation that takes place in strip maul B&M stores. Rockdoc, what is the worst that has ever happened in your experience working with pricescope vendors?
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
I think Rockdoc is right is a lot of regards.

Even after spending many months on this site and others, learning as much as possible, research various vendor's reputations and trying to make an educated decision, I still have no idea what I am doing. I believe it is vital to get an independant appriasal. All of the gadgets out there to help consumers find a good diamond are useful, but not foolproof. I.E. brilliant scope, Ideal-scope, firescope, sarin, HCA, diacalc, even the lab reports.

When you are spending lots of $$$$$$ on a diamond that you have not seen yourself, I think it would be foolish to not have a professional oppinion. There are all kinds of problems that could be appearant in a diamond, that even the most educated consumer, short of an experianced gemologist, could never identify. I bet if you tested many of the "educated" consumers (including myself) on the identifying a diamond from a high quality CZ, or a treated diamond, most will fail.

Even though most vendors have a return policy of some fashion, I for one do not wish to walk down that road. Buying over the internet is risky enough, having to return it is asking for trouble. I have heard many stories form actual consumers who had great difficulty returning diamonds that were not what they expected, (none from any pricescope vendors). An appraisal can help avoid this problem.

I still belive that a consumer can decide for him/her self on a diamond, if given the chance to inspect it personally. They may not be able to tell if it is such a good deal, and they will have to take the vendor's word and reputation that the diamond is what it is claimed to be, but the consumer can decide if it is beautiful themself.

What is Independant? I don't think Rock is considered to be not independant if he is simply telling consumers, "I like these vendors, and these brands" As long as he is not getting paid for that. If he gets more business from those vendors, good for him. That's kind of the point is it not. To make some money. If he decides tomorrow that he loves HOF and tells his consumers that, well ok that is pushing it.:)) Also, even if a appraiser is not independant, that does not automatically mean they are crooked and dishonest.

Scare tactics: I don't think educating consumers on the posibilities of deception is wrong. I have talked to many vendors that I would trust for a second. Obviously there is a line that consumers would prefer was not crossed. Of course if someone wanted to cross over the line, as long as it is not illegal, all the power to them. They just may not be very reputable after that. Hell, we all know of one person who is so far over the line that he can't even see the line anymore, and he makes a killing. Rock is in no way comparable to that person, and I think some comments made towards him in that regard are uncalled for.

Rock is just a squirl trying to get a nut, why's everyone got to tread on him?

Remember that even your best friend can stab you in the back. et. tu. Brutus
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
Rockdoc, I can tell you that the way you present yourself did not attract my custom. I'm sure the scary stories helped convince me to hire an appraiser, but I didn't choose you, even though I would have liked to see how my diamond fared in the B-scope and Firescope.

My impression is that you never do anything you think is morally questionable, but don't question much whether what you are doing is morally questionable. If your list of vendors is what you say it is, it should be much longer. I'm not saying this just to pass judgement on you, but thought it might be in some way helpful if you knew what impression a potential customer had gotten of you from the online forums.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Dear Student....

I suppose you can't please everyone... and some people like my directness, others don't.

Thanks for your post though. I see a lot of consumer fraud cases in the jewelry industry, and perhaps this is what causes me to be far more verbally direct about it. If you could see how many emails I get a day, asking for advice on what to do when a problem has arisen after the purchase is done. Maybe I shouldn't read all the "complaints" people have as perhaps it puts me in too "serious" a mood. My getting the gemological education was a result of me being taken by a jeweler 22 years ago.

If you like the "style" of someone else better, I can't help that. This is my personality, andc I am not going to "sugar coat" anything. Perhaps some find this objectionable, but a lot of people like the position I take, in spite of me possibly being a little more direct. I'm here about 14 hours a day if not more and working 7 days a week.

Why is the list not longer? Because most sellers do not want to send out a stone without getting the money up front. In addition, some don't want to lose "control" of the sale and some aren't willing to send to be checked.

Just a week or so ago, I had a seller write me three emails about being added to the list, through a "friend" - when I specifically told the seller he'd have to agree to send stones without getting the money up front, he told me he wouldn't do that.

I do know sellers want to be on the list to make a sale. But to many, its a one way street. A lot of people read what I write, go to the list which results in business for them.... but then they don't reciprocate and I have heard from some consumers that some seller do their best to discourage sending the stone in to be checked.

I put people on the list in good faith that they would support my services when consumers asked how they could verify their purchases. But to many, its a one way street, not one of professional cooperation. I am not asking sellers to require a stone be sent here, as that is the consumer's choice.

There is obviously more to this than is readily apparent to consumers. I really do try to make my posts as factual as possible. If you learned anything and its helped you, that is just fine with me. I am a dedicated consumerist at heart.

Thanks for your comments.

Rockdoc
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
OK, no flames here. Phew! Over on DT, where I am "corpuscle", people are starting to dislike me. Time to return to the real world!
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 12/8/2002 1:29:52 PM

OK, no flames here. Phew! Over on DT, where I am "corpuscle", people are starting to dislike me. Time to return to the real world!
----------------


Hi there! I, too, have an alter ego. I can assure you - you are not disliked. It's the dynamic with that specific sim group - its way more than you want to hear.

Roc Doc, I see it both ways - you know the importance of "second opinion" so to speak; but, at times you can border on being chicken little. That said, I don't think the consumer is always stupid. I also believe some would like to remain blissfully ignorant.

While I am all for bluntness, sometimes you can get more flies with sugar than you can with salt.

I remain true that either be blissfully ignorant, have strong confidence in your jeweler or send the stone for second opinion. All these senarios exist.

I want to say none of my statements reflect upon your level of expertise, which seems extremely high.
 

roksinmymind

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 9, 2002
Messages
21
"But here's a link involving a high priced set of items, that was published by the GIA...... Jadeite.... that turned out to be glass....

I suppose it depends on how important the money you're spending is to you. Some people prefer to save the fees for getting an item properly checked out. If so, this is certainly their choice to make. If you make a mistake and can afford to do it over again, without feeling the financial pain - then by all means... make decisions based on gut feelings.


But... if the purchase is sizable or important enough that you can't spend the money a second time, and take a loss selling the stone you didn't bargain for, then you should pick an expert to help."

-----------------

Rockdoc, it's that common theme again. Plain as day, and as dark as night. Scary stories abound. But hark, there is a solution to your tales of misdeed and deception... there always is...

Anyways, I'm not here to fight or bicker... I'm just pointing out a simple fact. You sell fear. There are always multiple perspectives on any situation. You just bring to light that which creates more demand for your business.

I'm not saying it's wrong or right. Nor am I trying to discredit the value of the services you provide. Just that it IS. In fact it's completely expected. Anyone trying to make money through these forums is going to peddle their wares.

You just happen to bank in mistrust, suspicion and fear.

And while I do apologize for pointing out what I (and most other people who read these forums) find very obvious, I do it for only one simple fact. Sometimes you come off across as if you think you are doing a public service, while in fact you are out to make a buck like everyone else.
 
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