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Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices...

Phoenix

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..than their competitor(s) for diamonds of similar or almost identical specs.

What do you do? Other than selling your old/ existing diamonds bought from first vendor (most likely at a loss), and start over again?!

If you do sell, I note that the losses incurred may even be greater than any savings gained from buying upgraded diamonds from a competitor; not to mention the hassle involved in selling old/ existing diamonds.
 

denverappraiser

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

This surprises you? It's the whole point of them offering an upgrade program in the first place.
 

PintoBean

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Ugh, Phoenix! :wall:
I had a similar situation myself. Over a few years, I traded in diamonds and tacked on a few thousand dollars here and there and then I hit a wall. The next upgrade would take minimum $10K more and what was in the inventory was significantly higher in price than the competitors', even those with similar upgrade policies. I was within a year of purchase, so I considered selling back, but that would be at a 30% loss. So I kept the diamond. Also, my last upgrade experience with that vendor was good, not excellent - the excellence in customer service used to help temper the sting out of the slightly higher costs in the past, but the inventory now is so much higher in $$$, the CS service lower, that I've had to do business elsewhere.

Try reaching out to other vendors to see what they would offer to buy your existing stone(s) if you were to buy another from them. Look at the difference out of pocket you would ultimately have to pay...If it is less than the current vendor you've been upgrading through, it could be worth it. I recall PSers this year reaching out to WF and IDJ for example. Years ago, I recall Frankiextah upgrading a stone she bought from IDJ with JA.
 

Rockdiamond

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

I feel your pain Phoenix. I've had to have this conversation literally thousands of times over the years.
When a consumer wants to sell a diamond to a diamond seller, the amount offered is going to be based on what the consumer might get if taking the item to a pawn shop- as opposed to based on retail value. Obviously the two numbers are vastly different.
Basically, if there's a business holding cash for the purpose of buying diamonds "off the street" the business model is based on buying at a fraction of WHOLESALE.
If they have to pay wholesale, they'd buy it from a cutter, or regular vendor who offers far greater advantages over buying a stone off the street.

This translates directly to a seller offering trade up privileges. It's a benefit to the buyer, but there's a cost associated with it.
 

baby monster

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Not sure if there's a good answer for you, Phoenix. It seems to me that the market is unwilling to absorb the premium of certain branded super ideal diamonds on resale, i.e. other vendors are unable to flip branded stones at a premium because their customers are unwilling to pay the markup on secondary market.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Phoenix, my first suggestion is to show your vendor prices of similar stones to what you want to buy (other super ideal vendors). Ask them to match prices. Or just start by negotiating prices. You may not be able to negotiate at a vendor like Blue Nile, but you certainly can try most other places. The worst they can say is no. If they do, then I'd go to their lower priced competitors and see if they will take your diamond in trade. You might not get as much for it, but you'll save on the new stones and will be in a better position for future trades. Best of luck to you!
 

canuk-gal

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

baby monster|1474048908|4077421 said:
Not sure if there's a good answer for you, Phoenix. It seems to me that the market is unwilling to absorb the premium of certain branded super ideal diamonds on resale, i.e. other vendors are unable to flip branded stones at a premium because their customers are unwilling to pay the markup on secondary market.

Anecdotally, this was my experience.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

I do need to add, though, that diamond prices are low now, and I don't know if prices were higher when you bought the stone(s) you are wanting to trade. That could be an issue preventing them from being able to negotiate much on the new stones if they have to give you full value for what you paid for the old diamonds.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

PintoBean|1474032169|4077320 said:
Ugh, Phoenix! :wall:
I had a similar situation myself. Over a few years, I traded in diamonds and tacked on a few thousand dollars here and there and then I hit a wall. The next upgrade would take minimum $10K more and what was in the inventory was significantly higher in price than the competitors', even those with similar upgrade policies. I was within a year of purchase, so I considered selling back, but that would be at a 30% loss. So I kept the diamond. Also, my last upgrade experience with that vendor was good, not excellent - the excellence in customer service used to help temper the sting out of the slightly higher costs in the past, but the inventory now is so much higher in $$$, the CS service lower, that I've had to do business elsewhere.

Try reaching out to other vendors to see what they would offer to buy your existing stone(s) if you were to buy another from them. Look at the difference out of pocket you would ultimately have to pay...If it is less than the current vendor you've been upgrading through, it could be worth it. I recall PSers this year reaching out to WF and IDJ for example. Years ago, I recall Frankiextah upgrading a stone she bought from IDJ with JA.
Yes, it is a shame, isn't it, PintoBean?! What would be the point of upgrading with the same vendor if you'd have to pay higher prices than their competitor(s) and at the same time suffer also from not great service?!

I've in the past reached out to their competitor but the answer was no. These stones I'd like to trade up are super-ideal (I think you know whom I'm talking about now ;)) ).

FYI, in the past, when I was searching for my 5ct, I also tried to reach out to JA but was told no also; I'm still not sure how Frankiextah did it. The stones I wanted to trade in were not from them and not superideal itm.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

denverappraiser|1474030434|4077312 said:
This surprises you? It's the whole point of them offering an upgrade program in the first place.
Neil, I think I wasn't being clear. The stones I'm looking at (potentially my upgraded stones, that's if I'm able to) are thousands, literally thousands of dollars more expensive - EACH - than very similarly spec'ed stones offered by their competitor.

I understand that of course I have to pay higher prices to get larger stones (and I have in the past) if those larger stones are priced similarly to those offered by competitors; but not if I'd have to pay thousands of dollars MORE for each stone, than I would if I were to buy those larger stones from their competitor.

I thought the whole point of offering an upgrade program is to keep customers loyal to one business. But only a not-smart customer would want to be THAT loyal, if he/she would stand to potentially lose thousands and thousands of $$$$.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

baby monster|1474048908|4077421 said:
Not sure if there's a good answer for you, Phoenix. It seems to me that the market is unwilling to absorb the premium of certain branded super ideal diamonds on resale, i.e. other vendors are unable to flip branded stones at a premium because their customers are unwilling to pay the markup on secondary market.
Babymonster, I don't think there's a good answer either, to be honest.

I'm thinking of upgrading super-ideal cut stones to larger also super-ideal cut stones.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

diamondseeker2006|1474078999|4077605 said:
Phoenix, my first suggestion is to show your vendor prices of similar stones to what you want to buy (other super ideal vendors). Ask them to match prices. Or just start by negotiating prices. You may not be able to negotiate at a vendor like Blue Nile, but you certainly can try most other places. The worst they can say is no. If they do, then I'd go to their lower priced competitors and see if they will take your diamond in trade. You might not get as much for it, but you'll save on the new stones and will be in a better position for future trades. Best of luck to you!
I do need to add, though, that diamond prices are low now, and I don't know if prices were higher when you bought the stone(s) you are wanting to trade. That could be an issue preventing them from being able to negotiate much on the new stones if they have to give you full value for what you paid for the old diamonds.
DS, thank you for your suggestions and input. I'm not in a position to upgrade right now, but am thinking of doing it next year. I'm thinking of upgrading my studs and it would be a substantial upgrade, roughly doubling in value for each stone. I haven't asked either this time, but in the past when I reached out to their competitor (for something else), I was told no they would not take in my vendor's stones. I will try and negotiate prices with my vendor when I'm ready to upgrade and see what they say.

I guess I'm just surprised there's a such a large variance in their pricing; so am not sure how much room they have for negotiation, if any.
 

denverappraiser

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Imagine a scenario.

Jeweler X buys a diamond for $8000 and sells it to you for $10k with a trade-in/buy-back sort of offer attached. You come back a few years later and ask about the trade in. They offer you $10k against a new purchase of $20k where their cost on the new one is going to cost them $16k. It's not a great deal for them but it's ok. $16k cash out, $10k cash back with $4k in profit right away, and presumably they can sell your old stone to someone else for at least $10k and hopefully more. It's a long term play but eventually they'll probably make out and they made money the first time through. They're doing this because they're contractually obligated.

But break that down from the perspective of a competitive seller. They could beat the $20k price easily enough and sell for, say $18k, but what about the other end? You're asking them to take an $8k item into inventory. That sucks up cash and it may or may not be the sort of goods they do well with. Inventory is a curse for jewelers. Mostly these things are done by consignment where the supplier is taking the inventory risk and the seller is just collecting a commission for putting the deal together. The ONLY reason to take in yours is either if it's a better deal than they get from their regular suppliers or if they've got a prior contractual relationship that requires them to do it (as in the guy with the trade-in program). So instead of paying you $8k, they're going to pay you 6. Or 5. That's where the bite is happening. You paid $10k, they told you it was 'worth' $15k, and you're getting offered $5k years later. There goes that $2000 worth of savings for finding a more aggressive seller.

eta. Those are very reasonable numbers by the way. Generous even. Depend on the details it's often worse than this.
 

denverappraiser

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Jewelers are making a profit. This should come as no surprise but it may not be clear when and how.

The first is when they make the original sale. They get money from you, they pay their supplier, sales commissions, shipping and whatever else, and they have some money left over at the end that they get to take home. Lather, rinse, repeat.

When they do a buy-back, the profit happens when they sell it to the next guy. That has a time component. If they take it into inventory they have to give up their cash, which means interest expense, security and insurance expenses to hold it, and so on. It also has the risk that what the next buyer is going to want is something other than what they happen to have. That's a fashion thing. It's an economy thing. If what customers want is what they have in the safe, great, but if not they still have to go out and find it at the time of the sale.

When they tie a buy-back to another sale, which is usually the case, they make a profit on that deal just like they would on any other sale. It may be a piece from inventory or it may be something they bring in special for the sale but it doesn't matter all that much. The sale needs to stand on it's own and then some. If they can make extra on the sale, they can use it to subsidize the buy-back. It's the same as car dealers with a 'push pull or drag in' offer. They'll give you $2000 for any piece of junk you can bring in. Where that's coming from is the price on the other end. Drive the selling price down to rock bottom and you're trade-in is going to be worth the scrap metal it is. Raise it and they can make the trade-in 'worth' whatever they want. I GUARANTEE they're doing this math, even if you aren't.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Phoenix|1474100276|4077664 said:
diamondseeker2006|1474078999|4077605 said:
Phoenix, my first suggestion is to show your vendor prices of similar stones to what you want to buy (other super ideal vendors). Ask them to match prices. Or just start by negotiating prices. You may not be able to negotiate at a vendor like Blue Nile, but you certainly can try most other places. The worst they can say is no. If they do, then I'd go to their lower priced competitors and see if they will take your diamond in trade. You might not get as much for it, but you'll save on the new stones and will be in a better position for future trades. Best of luck to you!
I do need to add, though, that diamond prices are low now, and I don't know if prices were higher when you bought the stone(s) you are wanting to trade. That could be an issue preventing them from being able to negotiate much on the new stones if they have to give you full value for what you paid for the old diamonds.
DS, thank you for your suggestions and input. I'm not in a position to upgrade right now, but am thinking of doing it next year. I'm thinking of upgrading my studs and it would be a substantial upgrade, roughly doubling in value for each stone. I haven't asked either this time, but in the past when I reached out to their competitor (for something else), I was told no they would not take in my vendor's stones. I will try and negotiate prices with my vendor when I'm ready to upgrade and see what they say.

I guess I'm just surprised there's a such a large variance in their pricing; so am not sure how much room they have for negotiation, if any.
If your vendor has much higher prices, then I think they have more room to discount. So I would try that first and foremost. I would encourage you to try to do this as soon as you can while prices are low, or you may find even higher prices in a year.

But I neglected to mention another option, and that is to consign with GOG. They list the diamonds as new retail, so full price, and then they take 15% commission. You can give them your bottom line selling price. Then you are free to buy wherever you want. But it can sometimes take months to sell. So I'd list them as soon as possible if you have it in mind to upgrade next year. I'd really just do this now and if they are not sold when you are ready to upgrade, then you can negotiate with the vendor.
 

ChristineRose

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Have you crunched the numbers? If the savings from going with a new vendor outweigh the loss from forgoing the discount, then the answer is clear.

If not, start by looking at various cases. Look at stones you might want to buy. Would you upgrade twice? Is this a huge upgrade?

Look at selling prices. Read the tutorial about diamond selling and decide how much hassle you'd tolerate to get a better price.

Consider selection. If I offered you some money to buy only from a limited group of stones, how much money would it take to get you to take the offer?

How much would you pay for the chance to upgrade twice? You can add in second upgrade scenarios if you like.

Make lists of advantages and drawbacks, and put dollar values or ranges or everything and add it all up.
 

mrs-b

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Phoenix -

I was in the same boat. The company to which I was committed has a branded line which I had bought, but which I later decided was not for me. I'd upgraded with them a number of times till I was at the point where the price difference between stones from this company, and stones from non-branded companies, was a whole bunch. In the end I bit the bullet and went down the buy-back route and lost $9k (25%) after less than 1 year. It wasn't pretty.

I now limit my larger stones to Blue Nile. When I want moderate sized stones, I'll sometimes go with a branded stone (for instance, I'm about to buy a 1.4ct Victor Canera stone to use as a side stone to make a 3 stone ring). But when I want something over 2ct, I always stick with BN. My current stone, which is 3.61ct, is a GORGEOUS stone, and came from BN. They have a horrible trade up policy (ie you have to spend a 100% mark up), but at least I'm not paying for the name. Nor do I have to be trading in their Signature cut stones to be able to do said trade up - and this is a BIG DIFFERENCE between companies like GOG, BGD, WF and so on. They will trade up on any stone bought from their inventory, God bless them!

My 3.61 is an I VS2. One day in a few years I will trade up to an H VS1 in the 4.5ct range which will be roughly double the price I paid for my 3.61ct stone. But at least both stones won't have a massive premium on them, and I'm very glad I took the hit and traded out of the branded company line.

I'd advise everyone to do the same unless they have an unlimited budget. Even then, you can get BN stones at all ends of the spectrum, so I intend to stick with them going forward. The side stones I'm currently buying are 1.5 H VS2 stones, which will be sides for my 3.61. I have large fingers and can carry a big ring. Frankly, it will be a mercy to finally have a ring which gives me the finger coverage I *really* want. There's no way I could afford that if I stayed with branded stones. Well, perhaps more accurately, it would offend me to pay that kind of mark up and I simply won't do it.

Good luck! And I hope you find the earrings of your dreams. :)
 

Phoenix

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

diamondseeker2006|1474126113|4077728 said:
If your vendor has much higher prices, then I think they have more room to discount. So I would try that first and foremost. I would encourage you to try to do this as soon as you can while prices are low, or you may find even higher prices in a year.

But I neglected to mention another option, and that is to consign with GOG. They list the diamonds as new retail, so full price, and then they take 15% commission. You can give them your bottom line selling price. Then you are free to buy wherever you want. But it can sometimes take months to sell. So I'd list them as soon as possible if you have it in mind to upgrade next year. I'd really just do this now and if they are not sold when you are ready to upgrade, then you can negotiate with the vendor.
DS, I wear my studs 99% of the time, and I was/ am hoping for a quick turnaround time, maybe a month or 2 at most, if/ when I do the upgrade. Leaving my studs with GOG is prob not going to be an option. I also couldn't stomach losing tens of thousands of dollars - and that's what I stand to lose if I were to sell them. I have 3 of these super-ideal cut stones (my studs + the 2.656ct in a ring), worth somewhere in the region of USD100k give or take, at least that's what I paid for them. Even if GOG only took 10% commission which is unlikely, I'd still stand to lose soooo much and the point of buying from the other vendor would be lost.

I think I'll reach out to both my vendor and their competitor when I am ready to buy and see what they say. If I get no joy, then that's that! {{shrug}}. It wouldn't be the end of the world.

Thank you for all your suggestions, worth thinking about.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

ChristineRose|1474156514|4077877 said:
Have you crunched the numbers? If the savings from going with a new vendor outweigh the loss from forgoing the discount, then the answer is clear.

If not, start by looking at various cases. Look at stones you might want to buy. Would you upgrade twice? Is this a huge upgrade?

Look at selling prices. Read the tutorial about diamond selling and decide how much hassle you'd tolerate to get a better price.

Consider selection. If I offered you some money to buy only from a limited group of stones, how much money would it take to get you to take the offer?

How much would you pay for the chance to upgrade twice? You can add in second upgrade scenarios if you like.

Make lists of advantages and drawbacks, and put dollar values or ranges or everything and add it all up.
Thank you, ChristineRose. I have crunched the numbers (I am a qualified Chartered Accountant/ CPA, lol!) and have considered all the scenarios. There's really no easy way for me to upgrade, not unless my vendor started to lower the prices on their inventory, in order to be competitive with their closest competitor.

This would be an enormous upgrade! :cheeky: The stones I'm looking at are close to 4ct each and this would be my final upgrade on my studs (I don't think my earlobes can accommodate larger stones, lol). I've already upgraded with said vendor a few times (and their prices were competitive then), but this time it doesn't seem I could pull the trigger. I just can't understand how they can compete with their higher prices for almost identical stones (and in some cases, their competitor's stones of similar weights are better spec'ed and still less expensive). Their costs must be higher, but still, a quick online comparison would reveal the discrepancies and I can't imagine why anyone would want to pay for their higher prices.
 

Bron357

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

I feel your pain. With my ring remake I need "new gold". Unfortunately the cost of "new gold" doesn't equal the price I'm getting for my "old gold". Sigh. It's always people with their "margins on the margins" because that's their business, but honestly, how many slices of the pie must they have!
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Phoenix, have you looked to see what current retail prices are on stones with the same specs? Do any have fluorescence? Those wouldn't be bought by another vendor. If I were you, I would sell the stones at a loss if necessary and be free to buy wherever you want.

I have said this to you before in a different scenario, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that almost 4 cts each is too big. You have a 5 ct diamond ring, and honestly, 2.5-2.75 ct each studs would look huge and balanced with that. If you go look at Yssie's studs which I think are 2.7 cts each, they are huge and beautiful. But any bigger than that may look tacky, in my opinion. Bigger is not always better.

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/5-4ctw-studs-erika-winters-jewels-by-grace-custom-settings.215121/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/5-4ctw-studs-erika-winters-jewels-by-grace-custom-settings.215121/[/URL]
 

ChristineRose

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Phoenix|1474185122|4077978 said:
ChristineRose|1474156514|4077877 said:
Have you crunched the numbers? If the savings from going with a new vendor outweigh the loss from forgoing the discount, then the answer is clear.

If not, start by looking at various cases. Look at stones you might want to buy. Would you upgrade twice? Is this a huge upgrade?

Look at selling prices. Read the tutorial about diamond selling and decide how much hassle you'd tolerate to get a better price.

Consider selection. If I offered you some money to buy only from a limited group of stones, how much money would it take to get you to take the offer?

How much would you pay for the chance to upgrade twice? You can add in second upgrade scenarios if you like.

Make lists of advantages and drawbacks, and put dollar values or ranges or everything and add it all up.
Thank you, ChristineRose. I have crunched the numbers (I am a qualified Chartered Accountant/ CPA, lol!) and have considered all the scenarios. There's really no easy way for me to upgrade, not unless my vendor started to lower the prices on their inventory, in order to be competitive with their closest competitor.

This would be an enormous upgrade! :cheeky: The stones I'm looking at are close to 4ct each and this would be my final upgrade on my studs (I don't think my earlobes can accommodate larger stones, lol). I've already upgraded with said vendor a few times (and their prices were competitive then), but this time it doesn't seem I could pull the trigger. I just can't understand how they can compete with their higher prices for almost identical stones (and in some cases, their competitor's stones of similar weights are better spec'ed and still less expensive). Their costs must be higher, but still, a quick online comparison would reveal the discrepancies and I can't imagine why anyone would want to pay for their higher prices.
I'm a CMA and a CPA! :D
 

Texas Leaguer

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

I think there are a few things worth keeping in mind in the general discussion about trade-up policies. Contractual trade-up guarantees are relatively new to the diamond market. E-commerce has brought about this benefit, along with many others for the consumer. While many good jewelers have had store policies that would encourage customers to consider upgrades, few have codified it in the form of a written guarantee.

And there is good reason for the reluctance from a conservative business perspective. It is essentially a one-sided contract that represents a liability for the business. The diamond market is dynamic and with globalization and other changes in the industry, prices are more volatile today. In a falling market a consumer who has a liberal trade-up benefit (few restrictions) would have the advantage of making a lateral trade for a bigger or better diamond. The business would be obligated to replace a less valuable diamond with a more valuable diamond. In an extreme market, a significant number of the business’s customers might take advantage of this situation putting the business itself at risk. A little like a run on a bank.

In rising markets on the other hand, increasing prices make executing trade-ups less advantageous for the consumer. However, the amount of stored credit available has not decreased, even if the product category has become more expensive.

Of course, the other aspect is that a trade-up guarantee is only as good as the company offering it. And their inventory of available diamonds and their pricing could make it unworkable, even if the market has not changed.

Trade-ups can and do work for a great many customers. But obviously not in all cases. It’s a nice benefit to have in your back pocket, and it may be very valuable one day. But it is wise to consider the potential limitations , particularly if the policy has significant restrictions or requirements.

Another thing to consider in this particular case- and at least one poster has alluded to this already- trades can be negotiated with or without formal trade up guarantees. Most serious jewelers would make a sincere attempt to find a win/win solution for a customer wanting to trade up to a pair of 4 carat diamonds. And like another poster recommended, it is best to give yourself plenty of lead time. It will probably take some time to hammer out the details. Not the least of which is coming up with a suitable pair of 4 caraters!
 

Phoenix

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Mrs B, OUCH!! That's painful! :blackeye: And wow! I can't wait to see your new 3-stone ring, that's gonna be EPIC!! :appl: Am I understanding it right though? 3.61ct centre stone with 1.4-1.5 each sides? Are you sure? I had a 3-stone ring made with 2.3ct centre and 1.5ct sides and it was sooooo uncomfortably big, I had to have it taken apart. And why, if I may ask, are you setting the 3.61ct in a 3-stone ring if you're planning to eventually upgrade it to a 4.5ct? I hope you don't mind my asking.

DS, I currently wear on a near daily basis my 2.3ct each studs with halo jackets, so the overall diameter is prob around 12mm and am so used to them by now. The new studs - if I do get them - will be around 10mm without jackets and with jackets will be humongous, in a good way of coursse! :cheeky: And I haven't given up the idea of upgrading my 5 carater, well...I'm dreaming anyway...lol! :Up_to_something:

Everyone, I appreciate your input. I think my point is a little lost here. Perhaps it'd have been better if I'd simply titled this thread: "Why are vendor X's prices so much higher than their closest competitor Y's?".
 

mrs-b

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Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Phoenix|1474433895|4079112 said:
Mrs B, OUCH!! That's painful! :blackeye: And wow! I can't wait to see your new 3-stone ring, that's gonna be EPIC!! :appl: Am I understanding it right though? 3.61ct centre stone with 1.4-1.5 each sides? Are you sure? I had a 3-stone ring made with 2.3ct centre and 1.5ct sides and it was sooooo uncomfortably big, I had to have it taken apart. And why, if I may ask, are you setting the 3.61ct in a 3-stone ring if you're planning to eventually upgrade it to a 4.5ct? I hope you don't mind my asking.

DS, I currently wear on a near daily basis my 2.3ct each studs with halo jackets, so the overall diameter is prob around 12mm and am so used to them by now. The new studs - if I do get them - will be around 10mm without jackets and with jackets will be humongous, in a good way of coursse! :cheeky: And I haven't given up the idea of upgrading my 5 carater, well...I'm dreaming anyway...lol! :Up_to_something:

Everyone, I appreciate your input. I think my point is a little lost here. Perhaps it'd have been better if I'd simply titled this thread: "Why are vendor X's prices so much higher than their closest competitor Y's?".
Phoenix. Dear girl. You have elegant, beautiful, itsy bitsy, teensy weensy, gorgeous fingers. I have sausages. This is a sad but true fact of life. A few years back I had a 2.15ct stone with .75's on each side and it didn't go CLOSE to covering my finger, side to side. My 3.61 has plenty of room on each side, and I thought initially about haloing it, but I know, deep down, it just won't cut the mustard either. So now I'm taking a 'screw it' approach and I'm gonna go all the way with it.

I like 3 stones more than plain solitaires. Other people disagree and taste is subjective, but for me, I like a ring which looks like I didn't throw everything into one big diamond. There's a je ne sais quoi about large 3 and 5 stone rings that just appeals to me. Mainly I just like the stretch across my finger. I grew up wanting a big 3 stone. I worked in an expensive nursing home in my summer holidays while I was at university, and I used to see the women there with these amazing 3 and 5 stone rings - and have loved them ever since. (Word to the wise: don't ever try on the jewelry of a person with Alzheimers; they think you haven't given it back, even though you have. Even when they realize they just 'slipped it in my pocket, dear - sorry! <giggle>' it takes about a week for your heart to stop racing and the picture of the oncoming apocalypse to fade.)

So all that to say - I want a super big ring. Period. And yes, I do have the finger real estate to carry it. The tcw wil be in the vicinity of 6.5 and the total breadth will be somewhere between 24.2 and 24.6mm, and I can manage that without overlapping my side fingers in an odd-looking sort of way.

Financially, I can do this in the first half of next year. But a major upgrade would probably happen for one of those depressing 'milestone birthdays' - one of which is coming up for me in 4 years - meaning I could enjoy my 3 stone for a few years before upgrading. At that point, I might upgrade my center stone and either put it back in the 3 stone or, if it's too big, I'll take it out, send it off to VC for some fancy clothes, and use the sides as studs. My 3.61 is an I VS2. The sides I'm buying are H VS2 and will match pretty well. If I replace the center, it will be with an H VS1, so color-wise it would work as a 3 stone. I'm trying to keep my options open. And if I decide I still love the first 3 stone iteration after time has passed, I'll skip the upgrade altogether, and my husband can consider himself to have dodged a bullet.

Here's a photo which is also in the 'Real Life Perspective' thread of me wearing my current solitaire. See how much room I have on either side? Yep. Lots. And keep in mind - that stone is 9.8mm and the sides would only be 7.2 - 7.4. So I'm gonna take all that space and stick something in it! :bigsmile:

PS I have no idea why one vendor's prices are so much higher than a competitor's. Because they can? All prices are market driven, as you know. No other excuse for it. I mean, really, if prices were based on beauty, every diamond would be cheaper than every colored stone - and that includes moissanite!

PPS And, of course, when trying to fit a lot of stone onto limited space, tilt is one's friend!!

perspective_3_0.jpg
 

Blingalingaling

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
521
Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

How crazy of an idea is this: would there be any way to "trade" a stone with someone? For example, if I had a stone that another PS'er wanted in exchange for a stone that they own, would there be a way to work it out a "swap" if the "value" of the stones might be somewhat equal? Could that end up being more cost effective than doing consignment or a trade-up? It seems to me from reading various posts that what one person wants to get rid of one day, someone else is looking to buy another day. Is that something that could realistically happen here? Could we help each other out in that sense?? Of course, I'm talking about stones where there is a valid GIA or AGS Cert and updated independent appraisal in hand.
 

wildcat03

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
503
Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Blingalingaling|1474472418|4079235 said:
How crazy of an idea is this: would there be any way to "trade" a stone with someone? For example, if I had a stone that another PS'er wanted in exchange for a stone that they own, would there be a way to work it out a "swap" if the "value" of the stones might be somewhat equal? Could that end up being more cost effective than doing consignment or a trade-up? It seems to me from reading various posts that what one person wants to get rid of one day, someone else is looking to buy another day. Is that something that could realistically happen here? Could we help each other out in that sense?? Of course, I'm talking about stones where there is a valid GIA or AGS Cert and updated independent appraisal in hand.
There is the pre-loved section, but swapping would deb incredibly difficult. What one person wants to sell/trade and what they want rarely matches up with what another person wants to sell and wants to buy.
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
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7,472
Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Bron357|1474185455|4077979 said:
I feel your pain. With my ring remake I need "new gold". Unfortunately the cost of "new gold" doesn't equal the price I'm getting for my "old gold". Sigh. It's always people with their "margins on the margins" because that's their business, but honestly, how many slices of the pie must they have!
The reason you need "new gold" is because if you keep casting old gold without mixing in new gold you will have horrible problems with porosity and other issuse, such as brittleness. I am not a metallurgist and cannot explain why, but I am sure one of the bench jewelers here can explain it properly.

However, I know that most jewelers wish that they made as much margin as most people believe that we make. With all of the slices of the pie that jewelers get, it is a rare jeweler that nets even a 10% profit. The expenses are very high to properly run a good store. A jeweler must hire good people who can be trusted not to walk out the door with a year's profit in one hand. The security costs for a good alarm system are mind boggling, not to mention the costs for safes that are actually safe, and unless you are in a situation where you own the ground beneath you, the land lord wants a piece of your gross sales. Then, if you have a bricks and mortar store you must also spend a fortune on jewelry cases and lighting to make even the most poorly cut diamond look like a dazzling fireball. Oh, and if you want to stay in business, you must find a way to compete with the Internet retailers who work on margins that are often smaller than the land lord's take in a retail location. And let's not forget the 1,000 pound gorilla in the room, Sales Tax. The current tax plan is patently unfair to the retail jewelers who must collect sales tax while the Internet vendors are not required to do so, so long as they do not have a nexus in the state being sold into. It really does not matter that the consumer is "required by law" to report out of state purchases on their state income tax forms, because less than 1% actually ever do it. (I live down the street from one of the Sales Tax Czars here in Idaho and he told me that out of 1.5 million or so people in the state, only about 10,000 declared any out of state purchases on their taxes.)

It is not easy, which is why so many thousands of jewelers have gone out of business in the last decade.

It can seem like we are just taking as many pieces of the pie as possible, but reality is that we are charging what we must to stay in business. So honestly, we must have every piece of the pie that we have earned. Not one piece less, and certainly not one piece more.

Wink
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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3,191
Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Wink|1474475386|4079261 said:
Bron357|1474185455|4077979 said:
I feel your pain. With my ring remake I need "new gold". Unfortunately the cost of "new gold" doesn't equal the price I'm getting for my "old gold". Sigh. It's always people with their "margins on the margins" because that's their business, but honestly, how many slices of the pie must they have!
The reason you need "new gold" is because if you keep casting old gold without mixing in new gold you will have horrible problems with porosity and other issuse, such as brittleness. I am not a metallurgist and cannot explain why, but I am sure one of the bench jewelers here can explain it properly.

However, I know that most jewelers wish that they made as much margin as most people believe that we make. With all of the slices of the pie that jewelers get, it is a rare jeweler that nets even a 10% profit. The expenses are very high to properly run a good store. A jeweler must hire good people who can be trusted not to walk out the door with a year's profit in one hand. The security costs for a good alarm system are mind boggling, not to mention the costs for safes that are actually safe, and unless you are in a situation where you own the ground beneath you, the land lord wants a piece of your gross sales. Then, if you have a bricks and mortar store you must also spend a fortune on jewelry cases and lighting to make even the most poorly cut diamond look like a dazzling fireball. Oh, and if you want to stay in business, you must find a way to compete with the Internet retailers who work on margins that are often smaller than the land lord's take in a retail location. And let's not forget the 1,000 pound gorilla in the room, Sales Tax. The current tax plan is patently unfair to the retail jewelers who must collect sales tax while the Internet vendors are not required to do so, so long as they do not have a nexus in the state being sold into. It really does not matter that the consumer is "required by law" to report out of state purchases on their state income tax forms, because less than 1% actually ever do it. (I live down the street from one of the Sales Tax Czars here in Idaho and he told me that out of 1.5 million or so people in the state, only about 10,000 declared any out of state purchases on their taxes.)

It is not easy, which is why so many thousands of jewelers have gone out of business in the last decade.

It can seem like we are just taking as many pieces of the pie as possible, but reality is that we are charging what we must to stay in business. So honestly, we must have every piece of the pie that we have earned. Not one piece less, and certainly not one piece more.

Wink
To put some stats on Wink's point:

Some fairly recent stats on the jewelry business.
Business discontinuances in the United States and Canada totaled 251 in the second quarter 2015, compared with 241 in the second quarter 2014. Year-to-date, discontinuances--which include bankruptcies, consolidations (sales/mergers) and companies that simply cease operations--are up 12 percent year-over-year, from 485 to 545.

In a difficult business climate only companies that are actually adding value will survive. And they have to manage their operations carefully in order to carve out enough profit to be sustainable.

While some make claims that the mining companies are taking all the profits and creating artificial prices for diamonds, that too is a myth as some big players are actually dropping out of the business.

It costs a lot of money to extract natural diamonds from the earth. And it costs a lot to run a solid jewelry operation the right way. Neither is easy. At all.
 

diamondseeker2006

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55,631
Re: Vendor w whom you have upgrade option has higher prices.

Phoenix, thank you for not being mad at me for expressing an opinion that was not in line with what you had already expressed that you wanted. I was kind of hoping I could save you some money. ;))

I have spent some time looking at pricing at several of the super-ideal cut vendors to see what prices look like.

Basically, your 3 diamonds have about a retail value currently of about $65k. Was there a buyback policy on these stones? Because honestly, that is going to be your easiest way to sell those diamonds since you apparently paid a lot more than current value. Or even better would be if they'd let you trade them in on 1 earring stone, and then buy the other elsewhere. Otherwise trading the stone you paid the most for towards one upgrade stone at that vendor would possibly still make sense, and buy the other stone elsewhere.

When I looked in the upper 3 ct range, WF has a 3.73 H VS2 at $61,789 and BG has a 3.8 H SI1 at $64,185. I do think the WF stone is a better value since it is VS2 clarity. But it's not like we are talking about the other stone being hugely overpriced. In fact, these two stones have the same diameter and would be an excellent match!
 
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