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What happens to upgrade policies when current ownership of companies changes eg Whiteflash, CBI etc

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by fenestrate, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. fenestrate
    Rough_Rock

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    by fenestrate » Apr 6, 2018
    And for buyback policies too as well as upgrade ones.

    I have been wondering whether lifetime upgrade policies are as good as the lifetime of the company, and where there seems to be one person broadly in charge who is approaching retirement age, whether that is something worth considering. I may be way off the mark but I have been wondering about it.

    A lot of people coming to these boards for help are often directed to one of the above companies, and members when suggesting stones will note with their suggestion that one strong deciding factor over similar stones at other retailers will be the upgrade policy (and occasionally the buyback policy is mentioned). Especially that upgrades need only be I think it is a dollar more whereas with the big retailers it’s often double.

    Often buyers are in their 30s (not all of course!) and I suppose would anticipate upgrades within anywhere from one, probably two, possibly three decades.

    I may be misunderstanding company structure but it seems for example Wink is central to CBI, and Brian central to Whiteflash. Jon is leaving or has left (not sure whether he retains any ownership) Good Old Gold and on another thread the upgrade policy changes are being discussed and there is some dissatisfaction that mightn’t have been there prior to Jon’s departure due to what I can see as a change in inventory choices for the post-Jon ownership or management of Good Old Gold - this would be just one of many unknown changes if a company changes hands, or it may be wound up altogether if the driving personality behind it chooses to, say, retire and liquidate their stock. With Good Old Gold I was under the impression Jon’s daughter Sarah had taken over (I could be completely and utterly incorrect please forgive me if so - just what I had gleaned from the videos over the years) so there might be some continuity of policy in fact, I am sure they will clear that up on the other thread.

    I just wondered what will happen as if they don’t mind me saying from the UK, Brian and Wink would be near retirement age if over here. I know there are no guarantees with any retailer - even the ‘big’ ones could go under overnight - but when the upgrade policy is almost always mentioned as being heavily worth a new poster’s consideration as a deciding factor on say a Whiteflash stone compared to ‘rival’ stones which require say a doubled spend to upgrade, it seems worth spending some time to ponder on. With Whiteflash, CBI and others including maybe Brian Gavin, and Good Old Gold before, they seem to be smaller operations with one personality sort of seeming central to them, I thought it might be worth wondering what might happen in this general case.

    For a large corporate their success seems more dependent on perhaps buying power, volume and structure rather than, as we saw in the Good Old Gold thread, strong trust and a strong relationship with one personality in that company. This maybe leads to a better buying experience in the latter but perhaps ultimately a more robust, if unsatisfactory, upgrade policy in the former.

    I wanted to add that lack of imagination has made me think of only the three or four retailers mentioned, perhaps others can suggest more in which this query might potentially arise.
     
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  2. CareBear
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by CareBear » Apr 6, 2018
    Lifetime upgrade policies aren't always as good as the lifetime of the company. My original vendor decided one day to do away with their upgrade policy. Luckily, WF allowed me to trade-in and gave a decent offer. Other option would be to try to sell it to an individual buyer. This is why I make sure the stone I have in my possession is a desirable one.
     
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  3. bright ice
    Ideal_Rock

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    by bright ice » Apr 6, 2018
    Good thread topic, I will be watching very closely.
    I purchased from GOG and upgrades have been a problem due to adequate inventory to choose from.
    I also purchased from HPD (Wink) and used his buyback policy because I wanted (and bought) an OEC.
     
  4. Lookinagain
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Lookinagain » Apr 6, 2018
    I think that’s a great question and it incentivized me to start all my upgrades=)2
     
    


    


  5. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 6, 2018
    That is a great question and one I have certainly thought about. All I can tell you from my visit to Whiteflash is that the owner (who is the original owner) has a family member in place (in the current management of the company) in the next generation who I imagine will seamlessly take over one day. Bryan is super wonderful in his position and I surely think and hope he has a few years left! But WF has had others in his position in the past and they will hire someone else in the future when he does retire. My hope is that he'll maybe reduce his hours and semi-retire for a few years first! WF is a well established company with many employees and a nice facility. I expect it to be around for longer than me!

    Upgrade policies can be changed by any vendor at any time, and they certainly could be changed when there's new ownership. But the ones who don't honor original policies already in place for prior buyers are surely going to have a lot of angry customers.
     
  6. Dancing Fire
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    by Dancing Fire » Apr 6, 2018
    Wink said he already have everything in place if/when he decides to retire.
     
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  7. rockysalamander
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    by rockysalamander » Apr 7, 2018
    I think you need to directly ask each vendor you work with. Even independent designers may have pretty good plans in place.

    My grandmother was an independent designer/maker, but sourced a lot of stones for people back in the day when you did that by flying to international destinations for clients. Anyway, she worked out something with another (much younger) jeweler she respected to honor her customer's upgrades and repairs after she passed. Mr. Shaul was a master setter (pave, caliber/precision gems) and jeweler, but she used him a lot for the "fiddly" bits of her designs she preferred to have others do. In exchange, he honored upgrade and repairs for her clients when she passed (and got himself quite an exclusive future client list). It was all sorted out in a contract between my grandmother and him for her clients.

    I suspect other high-end makers have similar kinds of plans in place, although the details likely vary quite a bit.
     
  8. Texas Leaguer
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    by Texas Leaguer » Apr 7, 2018
    It's a logical question of course. From our standpoint, a buyback, trade-up, service plan (or other promised guarantee) is a legal contract. The terms are those that are published and in effect at the time of the purchase.

    With regard to our lifetime trade-up, that is something that must be honored as long as the company is in existence. So, even if new leadership is brought on board, the policy will be honored. And policies such as these are 'liabilities' that are transferred if the company ever changes ownership.

    New owners or even current leadership can always decide to amend or eliminate certain policies. However, the change would only apply to new customers. In other words, the benefits that must be honored are those in force at the time of purchase.

    On our policy pages, we publish the terms that are currently in effect, along with a date when they were last amended. Sometimes the amendments are simple text edits to make the policy more clear, without any substantive changes to the terms.

    It's not a bad idea for a consumer to do a website screen capture of the operative policy at the time of purchase and save along with other documentation related to the purchase.
     
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  9. Texas Leaguer
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    by Texas Leaguer » Apr 7, 2018
    Thank you DS for the kind words. I do love the opportunity I have at Whiteflash to work in a fascinating area of the jewelry industry, alongside a special group of talented and dedicated co-workers. And I enjoy our clientele - some of the most knowledgeable and interesting buyers in the market.

    Having said all that, I do like your idea about reducing my hours. I will forward this thread up the chain of command. :)
     
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  10. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 7, 2018
    Noooo! I might get banned from WF!:lol: I was just trying to keep you on past retirement age in the FUTURE!!!
     
    


    


  11. fenestrate
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    by fenestrate » Apr 9, 2018
    Thank you all very much for contributing. I appreciate all your responses enormously.
    I really appreciate the transparency of your response, Brian, and find it totally in keeping with how you always contribute to the forums.

    I’ve got a few thoughts from the discussion;

    I think we have the right to be picky and finicky about the exact scrutinised details of any aspect of a business or indeed its stones that commands a price premium or makes it deserving of a sway in recommendation over another retailer’s stones. It seems no use bandying about a great buyback policy, for instance, without any detail as to what happens to it ten years from now; whatever the covenants of the company’s transferral of ownership or winding up are, we ought to know so we can at least make, and then give to new posters, an informed decision as to whether that policy’s weight is worth the switch in decision to go with that retailer.

    As was covered on the GoG thread by @arkieb1, there feels some responsibility to the consumers who are recommended stones. We have an overview after years of watching or reading or stone searching, as to likely inventory levels and the hard real world reality of utilising the upgrade or buyback policy; but new consumers do not. Would it be excessive to qualify all our recommendations on new posters’ threads with likely maintained inventory details and the substance, reality and provisions for the future, of the upgrade and or buyback policies.

    For example, I think it was @mrs-b who recently wished to upgrade with Whiteflash to just under certain carat weight (forgive me if I have the detail wrong?) and was told that due to the economics of the selection of rough for stones cut for ‘superideals’, it was unlikely they would ever be able to purchase rough at a competitive enough price to cut a superideal stone, when competing with other cutting houses who would finish the stone at just over the weight. I’m not sure she was fully aware of this likelihood prior to purchase and may’ve chosen a different route in retrospect.

    Also to note that a premium for such an upgrade policy is oftentimes built into the cost of stones from the above vendors (understandably of course from an economic standpoint, but not nakedly obvious to the new buyer), so that when the initial purchase is made, and then the upgrade, it’s a possibility that the loss you’d subsequently take in a standard trade in, you’ve already taken the hit for in your decision to go with the upgrade-offering company.

    Also I’ve been watching @skypie ’s thread about the contrastiness of CBI. At first I felt a little uncomfortable as to such trusted vendors being scrutinised; but then I realised the fault was with me: perhaps we are a little too reverent with vendors and have a degree of faith, not necessarily blind faith but certainly with a number of assumptions intact, which it almost seems rude to ask for detail on: perhaps we ought to check our reticence and feel freer to scrutinise and ask questions.

    Watching the GoG thread, I do echo the sentiment that there is a sense that we ought to just trust vendors and the information that filters down to us from those prosumers who have a good relationship with them; a great example is @Dancing Fire ’s post above - there is a sense that (forgive me if I’m misinterpreting) it’d be a little too nosy to ask for particular details, and to just trust the parties involved.

    @pyramid had a point on that thread, although unpopular, in that personal, long established relationships with vendors, even if unpaid, inevitably engender an inherent bias in loyalty; I don’t necessarily see this as an outright criticism, and would probably do exactly the same and find neutral threads as opportunities to recommend stones that are a little ways off what the OP came to look for were I thrilled with my vendor experience; though I’m reminded of @Niel ’s thread (I think it was called ‘your preference isn’t their preference’) and the threads in question normally veer when a few of the members with such close relationships with the retailers begin to post suggestions. That is not to say it’s wrong to do so: many OPs appreciate having a breadth of opinions; but sometimes they cannot hold onto their original vision when long term posters suggest stones with great urgency and enthusiasm, even though I don’t doubt the latter is done with the OP’s best interests at heart. Again I don’t think it hurts to have a discussion around this; everyone is thinking of the new poster’s best interests, that is beyond doubt, so it would be nice if we could all chat about if and when it feels like it’s going too far; if so, what caveats to insert into new posters’ threads to balance things out if necessary.

    Reading the posts above I also think of a strategy sometimes employed by vendors - I’m reminded of @HappyNewLife trying to upgrade with Eternity by Yoni and, via his lack of communication in contravention of the spirit of his upgrade policy but probably not the letter of it, being sufficiently dissuaded to have no choice but to go elsewhere.

    Finally, I wondered as to whether upgrade and buyback privileges are transferable to new owners. Or if not outright new owners (second hand), what about inherited diamonds - will the companies honour such policies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  12. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 9, 2018
    No, upgrade policies are are original buyers only, as far as I have ever heard regarding vendors here.

    Let me say this, and I say these reasons often when making recommendations. For example, I recommend Whiteflash for hearts and arrows diamonds (when someone wants a great cut stone) because they have very high standards for their ACA diamonds and even their second tier diamonds are mostly above what you see in virtual inventories. They usually have the largest inventory of top cut H&A stones (ACA) of all the vendors here and that makes it far easier to find upgrade stones and well matched pairs for studs. MrsB's request for a just under carat mark stone would be answered the same by any vendor. You don't often find top cut stones under a carat mark because cutters normally will cut to hit that next carat mark for the price jump it results in. No one is going to take a piece of rough that will yield a 4+ ct stone and cut it to 3.9 because someone wants to order one. No way! Lucky are those who end up with them, though! WF recently has sold a couple of 2.9 ct stones which is extremely rare. They also usually have the lowest or equal to the lowest prices for the type of stones they sell. The other thing is I have confidence in the longevity of the company. I do think in 20 years if I want to upgrade, they will be there. They have a beautiful facility that is extremely well organized with an ample staff of well qualified people. I have visited there. But I recommend stones from other vendors all the time because some value other features such as size over diamond cut quality.

    So if you want to call that "inherent bias in loyalty", feel free. But I don't give that kind of recommendation for no reason. And there are other vendors I have high recommendations for, as well. Keep in mind this is a consumer forum with consumers with buying experience. I prefer recommendations from people who have bought certain products. I read consumer reviews all the time before buying most products. Pyramid clearly doesn't understand the purpose of PS, as it has always been a forum where members help others find diamonds. Newbies come here ready to buy and they often are clueless about diamonds. Not everyone wants to spend weeks on educational material in order to buy a diamond for an e-ring, but those of us who do have the knowledge can help the person narrow down the vast amount of diamonds to a few good ones from which to choose.
     
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  13. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 9, 2018
    Buyback policies are the least important in my book. I think they are important for the first year in case an engagement is broken. After that, if diamonds increase in value over time and you want to sell your stone, you might make more money selling it outright to someone or consigning. I have done this 5 or 6 years ago, personally, and actually made a profit on a super ideal cut stone. Even if someone wants to upgrade in 10-20 years, they would be smart to check current pricing because they might do be able to sell their stone for more than they paid and have more money towards the upgraded diamond! I am not sure the average diamond buyer would think of all that, but people who end up at PS generally have a higher interest in quality and details than average.
     
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  14. pyramid
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    by pyramid » Apr 9, 2018
    When Pricescope first started customers came here to get education, ask about diamonds and be recommended diamonds by vendors and appraisers. There was a couple of forward type people who used to recommend stones, however consumers usually checked what they said with the various REAL experts at that time. I do understand a consumer forum, but normally such as in the UK the Which forum talks about brands in general such as Dyson, Hoover, Electrolux etc and that is the end of it, there may be some legal type talk if there has been recalls for items. There is no one recommended particular stores to buy from, it is brands they talk about. This recommending vendors I do understand what is going on, however I find it very biased especially when one person used to recommend Good Old Gold about 800 times per year and now they are replaced with Whiteflash, so far about 20 times per week or so.
     
  15. fige
    Rough_Rock

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    by fige » Apr 9, 2018
    I don’t know what proportion of overall sales at the 4 vendors are directly or indirectly influenced by this forum.

    Denying upgrades is going to produce vocal opponents to your business. I wonder if vendor bashing/promoting here is enough to sway the ultimate success or failure of a business.
     
    


    


  16. Texas Leaguer
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    by Texas Leaguer » Apr 9, 2018
    Fenestrate,
    It’s great that you think highly enough about the forum that you would take the time to ask thoughtful questions and make detailed observations that test assumptions and challenge the status quo. I think this sort of exercise is very healthy for any community.

    There’s quite a bit to unpack in your posts, and I can only address some of them. First, with respect the question of ‘transfer-ability’, Whiteflash added value benefits are designed for our original purchaser.

    Second, I agree that any benefits that are touted by merchants as value adds, should be viewed with a sober, if not skeptical eye. Using the example of lifetime trade-up, if this benefit is important to a shopper, it makes sense to consider things like how long the merchant has been in business, how broad is the inventory they usually have in stock, have other customers successfully executed trade-ups with that merchant, what is the satisfaction level of those customers, how soon do I think it will be before requesting a trade-up, and what is the likelihood that the merchant will be around and able to accommodate me. Fortunately, the internet makes it possible to get such insights about a merchant with relative ease.

    I think I am personally like many consumers; I would rather companies spare me unsubstantiated or questionable marketing spin. Keep it real! We have tried to keep our policies as clear and free of caveats and ‘small print’ as possible, so that customers can understand how to calculate the value of a particular benefit for their own personal circumstances. We strive to make our policies very customer-friendly, yet rational and sustainable from a business standpoint.

    For example, a few years back we took the action of departing from the ubiquitous ‘lifetime guaranty against defects in materials and workmanship’. If a consumer takes a sober look at such a policy they will conclude that in the event of a claim, there is the possibility that the vendor will not persuaded that the problem occurred as a result of defects. Especially if the problem occurs after extended periods of wear. This type of policy at best gives rise to misunderstandings about coverage, and at worst sets the stage for an adversarial relationship between the client and the merchant. We decided that a much clearer benefit is to provide one year of free ‘no questions asked’ service. Any actual defects in materials or workmanship will almost certainly make themselves known during a year of regular wear.

    One final comment I will make about the observation that a small group of merchants tend to get a relatively large number of recommendations here. One reason is that we are operating in a specialized niche. Most vendors are not as committed to e-commerce, or to precision cutting, or education, or value added policies as those in this niche. But there is nothing stopping more from coming in and competing. And it would be great for everyone if more vendors would step up and join in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  17. fenestrate
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    by fenestrate » Apr 9, 2018
    Thank you Brian, that’s a great post and once again underlies how committed you are to transparency, and also how clear headedly you view the industry from the consumer’s point of view, which engenders a great amount of trust, or so I feel anyway.

    You’re absolutely right there’s a lot to unpack in my post and some of its assumptions - I fear it was rather inarticulate, so thank you for being generous and giving me the benefit of the doubt. You’ve nailed it when you mentioned viewing benefits offered by merchants with a sober eye. I think, and I have perhaps confused the two issues at hand - upgrades/buyback policy, and secondly, the way sales are directed from this forum - what concerns me in the latter is in fact more that the benefits offered by purchasing a superideal with upgrades and buyback - well, I sort of feel that sometimes, those extraneous benefits are somewhat oversold to a camper who’d probably be as happy with a solid diamond from virtual inventory, or from one of the non-upgradeable lines (whichever company that is purchased through). The OP will end up dropping in size and colour; or will be told to forgo the setting they want for a ‘placeholder’ so they can spend more on a superideal stone; told not to buy the designer high-brand ring their partner has specifically hinted they want; or told to use their budget to buy a smaller superideal with the idea of an ironclad upgrade in mind (as you say not all upgrade policies have been equally tested over the years); or, which is uncomfortable to watch, upping their budget to buy a superideal - all to fall in line with what feels like a weight or pressure willing a thread to an outcome of a purchase.

    I think that’s what I was trying to articulate; that’s what sometimes makes me uncomfortable in some threads.
    (It’s getting a bit worse over the years, I think? Could be wrong).
     
  18. the_mother_thing
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    by the_mother_thing » Apr 9, 2018
    The nice thing about forums (like this one) is: no one is forcing anyone to participate/stick around. I am VERY thankful that there are so many knowledgeable diamond & colored stone ‘prosumers’ who came, saw, and stuck around, not only for their own personal interest/buying but to help others - myself included - based on their knowledge & experience. It’s like any other ‘brand’ - when you have a good experience with a company, product, service, etc., people tend to become loyal to it and recommend it. I feel that way about Chuy’s Tex Mex restaurants. :mrgreen2: I think there is also a degree of responsibility that lies with buyers and reasonable expectation of common sense that they are adults making purchasing decisions, and can/will make the best purchase decision for them, independent of who suggests or recommends something - at the end of the day it’s ultimately their decision.

    So I personally see no issue with members making recommendations for any particular ‘brand’ of diamonds or suggesting specific diamonds themselves when people come asking for help. It’s no different than if I were to ask for suggestions on a vacuum, and a few people suggested Dyson, and others suggested Hoover, etc. based on their experience with them. And then, in learning that I have pets, those same people going further to offer model suggestions based on their experience, such as the Dyson Animal Ball.

    In fact, having a forum to ask questions and experienced consumers (and employees/owners of some of the businesses) answer those questions based on their experience is - IMO - far and away better than just reading a laundry list of ‘reviews’ on a website because it allows the user to delve further into the experience, ask questions, become educated on a consumer level, etc. How often is it that you can hop on a forum to ask questions about something, and the owner/official (not just a random call center/internet sales rep) of the company pops in to elaborate on any ambiguity regarding his/her company’s products/services, such as @Texas Leaguer @Rhino @Wink and others do? I think that is flippin’ fabulous and that action alone makes me think of them first and foremost when looking for diamonds! Good luck having THAT opportunity/experience with Dyson, Dixie Cups, or whatever else you might shop for via the internet on the regular!

    With regard to specific ‘upgrade policies’, I think it’s perfectly fine also for folks on here to share their experiences with regard to having utilized those policies with companies they shop with, as well as when they’ve had a negative experience. Personally, I probably wouldn’t outline any particular vendors’ policies in that regard though because I don’t know if/when they change; rather, I’d just stick to suggesting that if a buyer is thinking upgrade down the road is a possibility, that they carefully review and understand related policies and ask questions if they don’t - both on here (from an experienced perspective) and to the vendor FTR as it pertains to their purchase.
     
  19. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
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    by Wink » Apr 9, 2018
    I get this question often, and I am happy to answer it publically.

    While I am the public face of HPD, you should not regard me as HPD. HPD is a team and a business.

    My succession has been arranged. As far as guarantees go, they are covered beyond my retirement and departure from this Earth, although I am not planning on rushing either of these things.

    HPD's guarantees are just as solid as the way Bryan Boyne eloquently described his company's guarantees.

    Wink
     
  20. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 9, 2018
    @fenestrate In the last week or so, I have recommended diamonds from James Allen, Enchanted Diamonds, James Allen, Whiteflash, and August Vintage. Some offer no policies and really only one has good upgrade policies. I have high regard for CBI diamonds thru High Performance Diamonds, and I would recommend theirs anytime WF doesn't have one with the specs the buyer is seeking (I just have first hand customer experience with WF). We always give options to people who have a limited budget and no intent to upgrade and who do not care about top cut.

    On the other hand, I do not recommend vendors I or others here who have had bad experiences with. I won't name them, but I no longer recommend them for good reason.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  21. Texas Leaguer
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    by Texas Leaguer » Apr 9, 2018
    I think the thing to remember is what @the_mother_thing mentions above, that consumers who come here for information and advice do so willingly. And members likewise feel free to give their advice and opinions openly. I would submit that consumers doing enough research to find their way here and spend some time reading and asking questions are far LESS likely to be 'sold' something than the average consumer casually popping into a jewelry store.

    The moderators here also do a good job of making sure the environment remains healthy from an ethical standpoint. There are cases where vendors get warnings about certain comments or activities, and even some who have had their subscriptions revoked for violating forum policies.

    Still, consumers should take any advice they receive here or elsewhere with a grain of salt and give it proper weight in light other information they gather while doing their research.
    As the oft quoted Reagan saying goes "trust but verify". :read:
     
  22. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 9, 2018
    Let's think about this. Is the person following PS advice going to be better off in the end (and have a better diamond at a reasonable cost) than the person who goes into Zales, Kay, Jared, etc. and gets advice there? It's a no-brainer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  23. fenestrate
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    by fenestrate » Apr 9, 2018
    I think it’s a little disingenuous to make it as black and white as Zales or PS; or to say that the moderators can catch all examples of acceptable drift that’s still overtly within forum policy but not necessarily quite sitting well.

    @diamondseeker2006 , I’ve always thought you’ve recommended a selection of vendors and have been sensitive to both an OP’s stated wants and budget.

    What I’m talking about is something slightly different - I’m very open to discussion as to whether I’m misinterpreting it or taking it the wrong way - some posters will only, or mostly, post stones from one vendor, and really rather a lot of them, and will ignore the budget, or push it, or suggest slightly leftfield compromises. For example, dropping colour to get a superideal - I have often seen you tactfully moderate this advice on someone’s thread by coming on to state your ‘safe zone’ for a surprise ring.

    The reason this is an issue, to address @JoCoJenn ‘s post, is that arriving at a forum newly, and with zero diamond knowledge, and often strapped for time, with only pretty awful mall retailers in the real world for them to compare to, one is reliant on the small sample of those who post and suggest stones. This gives those kind posters quite a responsibility. It is very generous of them to offer up their time to make suggestions, but sometimes the nuances of the OP’s desires seem to be lost in the ‘quick put this on hold!’, and a chorus of urgency. The poster seems to get accelerated away from well performing within-HCA tolerances well-ASETing stones to either upping the budget or compromising on some other aspect of the stone or setting and led down an increasingly superideal path, where the benefits for what they’re paying for may be long past being tangible.
    A newbie who’s been perusing the forum for a few days cannot see the whole picture and I’m not sure they always get it, in such threads.

    I also think purchasing from a boutique or smaller retailer is something unignorable to consider, be it your Electrolux, your Dyson or your diamond: your local high street vacuum retailer isn’t, out of sheer economics and scale, going to have the same kinds of measures in place to protect customers re honouring any policy with the word ‘lifetime’ in it, that a national chain might. (It works vice versa too, but I mean in the broad general sense).

    Also, how these stones hold their long term trade in value compared to the standard GIA triple X available at a lower price point is as yet untested. There is also the small but again unignorable quibble re AGS vs GIA grading that @mochiko42 mentioned - she found that her Whiteflash (just to take one example) diamonds were appraising as lower in colour than their AGS certs and found this a little disappointing. I know CBI said they send their stones back to be more harshly regraded - this sounds nice, but again we take it all on trust.

    If one browses for months or years before making a significant diamond (or vacuum cleaner) purchase, one can slowly glean the currents and drift of superideal vs ideal, or K vs H, or upgradable vs not (and the ‘hidden’ costs and ‘safety’ of the upgrade).

    I know it is a hard enough task to weed through stones and be kind enough to give your time to suggest them, but I worry that the information has sort of got a bit skewed and the reality of all the data isn’t (possible it can’t - it may not be a possible task) presented to the new, in and out in three weeks, poster.

    Yes they are adults who can stay or leave as mentioned above, but that’s not quite the whole picture either: the forum operates on its huge and not inconsiderable reputation, so perhaps there does come responsibility with those recommendations, and a responsibility to paint as full as possible a picture.

    Indeed as I say, it mayn’t even be possible to convey all this to the new buyer, but I hope this discussion is worth having anyway.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
    Alexiszoe and Katya DXB like this.
  24. the_mother_thing
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    4,846
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    by the_mother_thing » Apr 9, 2018
    Interesting that someone who appears to have just joined this forum a couple weeks ago did enough research to find/reference a member’s former username (which hasn’t been used since last spring) vs their correct/current username ... especially since doing so would just lead to potential readers’ confusion when referencing a post in this thread. Methinks you are undercover ... just sayin’. :whistle:
     
    soxfan likes this.
  25. the_mother_thing
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    by the_mother_thing » Apr 9, 2018
    I surely know without a doubt that I wouldn’t have anywhere close to the quality nor size (both in quantity and mm) collection for the price I paid for it had I purchased from any of the ‘local’ options available to me. So I’d say you are bang-on! :clap::clap:
     
    soxfan and diamondseeker2006 like this.
  26. fenestrate
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    by fenestrate » Apr 9, 2018
    I’ve been reading PS diligently for years, hopefully I have conveyed that thoroughly in my posts, and think of you as the alexandrite lady! When you posted your ES upgrade I looked through your old posts and realised who you were and that’s who you’re stuck in my mind as. I’ve also remembered the names of numerous other posters and a number of other now-archived threads. Sorry if this offends you. I will ask the moderator to change that if you prefer?

    I am intrigued though as to what my undercover role could be?! Quite a thrill to imagine this!
     
  27. MissGotRocks
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,249
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    by MissGotRocks » Apr 9, 2018
    @ Fenestrate - have you done business or purchased stones from any of these recommended vendors? I personally find recommendations from folks that have had experience with someone - whether a diamond dealer or a plumber - more valuable than from someone that is proffering an opinion.

    I take it that you have been more of a lurker than a forum participant and in that vein, welcome to the posting side of PS! Please feel free at any juncture to give your opinion or advice to any of these posters that you feel might be led to a biased decision. I think we have seen enough people that have considered advice given, gone in another direction, or purchased and been thrilled with their find. We also see those folks that made choices that they later regretted and if they can be spared that pain and expense, most posters here would be happy to help. Helping to educate a consumer is the real service of this forum. Not a perfect science but there are lots of people here that really do try to help. I think that most people take in the information and then try it on for size to see if it fits their circumstance or wants. Not a captive audience - the beauty of the internet is that you can just click it off if it doesn't suit you.

    I sincerely hope that you will participate in helping find people the stone of their dreams - the more opinions and expertise - the better!
     
  28. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    54,632
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 9, 2018
    The good thing is that there are always checks and balances because there are many people recommending stones on Rocky Talky. The problem comes in when relative newbies, while enthusiastic, recommend stones that aren't so great! But for the most part, I find that multiple people post suggestions and there are reasons given by other posters if one stone is lacking compared to others. So I am not exactly seeing that there is a problem here.
     
  29. fenestrate
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    by fenestrate » Apr 9, 2018
    Thank you for your very kind words and generous invitation! My posts are simply me wanting to bring up something that had been irking me. I love the forum and occasionally when I get that sense from some threads, I feel an unease I wanted to explore and see if anyone else feels. I wanted to make what is already very good even better. I can testify to the fact of being spared from mediocre stones by the forum: it’s just that at the sharp end, in some of those threads, something feels off, and it didn’t quite feel like that in the past. I am also very happy to be pointed out to be completely wrong, and that I am imagining it!
     
  30. the_mother_thing
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
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    Mar 2, 2013
    by the_mother_thing » Apr 9, 2018
    I did *just this* today ... not that I don’t expect WF to honor the policy in place at the time of my purchase and not that I really expect to ‘upgrade’ my diamond ever really, but this is great advise and I usually do the same even when I buy an item pre-loved, for my records and later reference.

    Just curious, since my ES purchase was from WF, how does WF manage/document the policy that was in place for any particular person’s order? Is that policy (in effect at the time) something that is archived with my purchase information specifically, or is it more a matter of the policy is maintained with any updates recorded with date of change, so it’s a matter of referring to the customer’s date of purchase and the ‘log’ of policy changes to see what was in effect at that time?

    And if this in any way compromises WF’s business/operating model to respond, please feel free to tell me “call us and we’ll explain”, and I’m happy to do so. Just though it might be something others might think of and be curious about since it’s the topic du jour. :wavey:
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018

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