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Why does every dealer ask what to spend ?

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Final Cut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
85
Hi all,

I have been wondering why it is acceptable when buying jewellery to ask how much the consumer wants to spend ?

This is the one piece of information the vendor does not have at his disposal when "selling the customer" - yet by giving this information to the vendor (who, by the way and contrary to popular belief, does NOT have firm prices !!!) it seems to me that all the consumers cards are on the table and none of the vendors cards are on the table?

The customer now can just ''take it or leave it'' because the budget (read: price for vendor) has been set - seems to me that the vendor should exchange some information for budget information, say 10% off of their posted retail prices....

Somehow there is asymmetrical exchange of information, which is probably why the appraisers are getting some good business these days !!

Just a thought !

FC
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,440
You can certainly establish with Pricescope what your budget needs to be for a given diamond. Those dealer don't need to ask you the question since you know what it will cost and you claim to be interested.

Buying from a vendor when you have little knowledge of the market prices is a much different arena. Then the seller needs an "idea" of how to assist you in geting a diamond you may like and can afford. By saying what your budget range might be does not limit your choices or show all your cards if you do it smartly.

1. Shop Pricescope and other Internet vendor sites.
2. Establish the range you wish to be in financially.
3. Decide the shape, weight, color, clarity and cut type that you'd accept.
4. THEN, go shopping.

This does not eliminate the need for an appraiser on some purchases. For some consumers it is a necessity and for others an appraiser is not required. I imagine appraisers see less than 5% of the total diamonds being sold. Possibly a lot less than 5%.

It is smart sometimes to seek expert advice. They say that when you represent yourself in court you have a fool for a client. Just like needing an attorney on occasion, you may, on occasion, need an appraiser.
 

Final Cut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
85
Ahhhhh - that is what the judge meant ....


Thanks for the comments Dave - certainly PS and the appraisers help the market...

I would like to see your reaction if you came to the supermarket check-out and the shopkeeper asked you : "how much are you prepared to pay for that ?" .. and then agreed with your price .. seems a bit absurd !!

The real estate house market does not work like this (or any other market I know of ) ?


Thanks again...

FC.
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
I noticed that trick too, Final Cut. I always dodged the question by saying what specs I wanted.
 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
Final cut,

as soon as you answer this question, you're caught in the trap.....

The vendor will tell you things like : "well, for 8K, i can give you this, this & diamond"...

you will not be able to negociate a lot past this point.... this is one of the
trick most used in the industry.

You should never answer this question. Just tell your vendor that you
want a " 0.95 ct VS, GH, table x %, y crown & pavilion angles". Then "I'm expecting
to pay x for such a stone". From now on, your
vendor will respect you and not treat you as another victim of his old marketing
techniques.

Trichrome.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 5/26/2003 9:32:34 AM Final Cut wrote:

The real estate house market does not work like this (or any other market I know of ) ?
Actually, it *indeed* does work this way. Only your "budget" is controlled by your ability to borrow.

IMHO, this is not a trick question. It is a very legitimate one. If I were a consumer, I would be embarrassed to have to say "I can't afford that." Or worse, being shown a 1/3c stone when I *could* afford a 1c stone.

The best way to handle this is to say, I'm in the range of.... And as Dave says, have a handle on your parameters. Believe it or not, the diamond dealer *wants* to service you best. He/she doesn't have a sale unless he does. He/she doesn't want to waste his time(or yours for that matter).

When someone comes to me for a gift, the first question is price range. I usually show over the high end & under their low end...so they can have a handle on what quality range their budget is about.
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,440
Yes, it isn't so much about not asking the hated question, but how you get this very important information without directly asking "How much?"

In real estate one looks at listings or searches the web listings. The prices being asked are in print, but they are not usually the actual price that wilol eventually be paid. This is a function of buyer's ability to pay, or borrow, and also how they want to be perceived by others. Where you want to live, what style, what school district. All of that creates and more goes into consideration of a home's market value and asking price.

The same with cars. They have window stickers, but you can research what actual price to pay readily today. Some people will pay full list and others won't. Most people forget that the "trade-in value" has more to do with what profit the dealer nets than the asking price of the new car. Saturn has created the image of npo haggle pricing, but at least 75% of their cars have a trade-in involved. There goes the "no haggle' aspect of the deal unless you are completely asleep... You haggle over the trade-in's value, right? If you don't, then you have fallen into Saturn's neat little consumer trap.

There are many methods that are more sophisticated than just simply asking, "how much?" In the end, if you are listening closely, you will hear this question asked in many wonderful and creative ways. A good salesperson needs to get this number one way or the others. Then after a while, the CLOSE... The best part of any sale is the finish when you make the deal.
 

dimonbob

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 12, 2000
Messages
670
I understand the customers point of view on this question but it gets down to this.
I have customers that call or e-mail me all the time. Here is an example: Dude wants a 2ct round diamond D-F color, VVS1-VS1 clarity and he wants a platinum ring with side diamonds. His budget is $10,000. Not going to happen! 10K is a lot of money but he is looking at a $20K ring. If he does not tell me how much money he can spend on the ring, I will be wasting his time and mine. He will be embarrassed and maybe give up on the whole idea.
It might be a lot simpler if the customer just asked how much is that 2ct E VS1 diamond. I give the answer and he adjusts his sights to a 1.5 E VS1 or comes up with more money. We cannot assume the customer has or has not the money to pay for what he wants. You want a new BMW but only have the money for a used Ford. If you want to play and shop thats one thing, if you are serious, know up front what it is going to cost. Like the man said, check out the prices on the pricescope home page. Now you are armed with all the information you need and if the vendor tries to overcharge you, you will know it.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
I used to get embarrassed when asked this question, but no more now that I know what I can get for that amount. It would be more embarrassing to admit that I couldn't afford the $50,000 stone the jeweler brought out simply because I *wouldn't* give him a price.

Jewelers need to know what parameters you're working with. It's like if I were looking for a dress but I couldn't say what color, style, or price range. They'd have absolutely no idea how to help me.
 

Final Cut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
85
Hey ... that was a funny question I guess....

Seems like we have two (predictable perhaps) camps:

1/ The people who think something should cost as much as you are prepared to pay ... this would be the vendors - mostly ....

2/ The people who think that the price of the diamond should be disclosed to the consumer as a piece of information up front. ... this would be mostly the consumers....

I guess that is why we have pricescope !!!

I happen to think like a consumer but I can certainly appreciate that price/budget is an *excellent* piece of information to have as a vendor - I just think the vendor should pay for the information because it is valuable -

Maybe "the price is right" should do a special on diamonds... lol...

FC
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 5/26/2003 2:31:38 PM Final Cut wrote:

Hey ... that was a funny question I guess....

Seems like we have two (predictable perhaps) camps:

1/ The people who think something should cost as much as you are prepared to pay ... this would be the vendors - mostly ....

----------------
No, that is not the perpective at all. Just that there are diamonds or whatever for everyone's budget.

One should try to gleen as much information to avoid the direct question. But, knowing that information is helpful in steering the person in the right direction. Why waste someone's time showing them diamonds that don't fit their parameters? It's an insult to me.

Quite frankly, the consumer should be more prepared at how to answer the question. What works for me is (after researching) "I really don't want to spend more than x for y - being a very low end number BUT realistic. I give some wiggle room and say "*If* I have to pay more, I may be prepared to do so reluctantly."

..has worked for me - but my business is much more subjective than diamonds.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
I don't really think it's that simple, FC.

Like Diamond Bob said, sales people deal with customers who have unrealistic expectations all the time.

A real estate agent is not going to take you to tour million dollar estates without running a financial background check first. They also aren't going to show you 2 bedroom homes when the 2 boys and little girl in the backseat clearly show you need 3 bedrooms.


If the sales person is gifted, they can determine price range and desired qualities without asking, "What do you want and how much do you want to spend?". They get a feel for the criteria and price range from listening to the customer, making suggestions, listening to the customer, making more suggestions, and listening some more. The best sales people listen, suggest, and work from there. Sometimes the sales person has to step up and say, "You won't get that for what you can/will spend."
Sales is not about shoving something down someone's throat. It's about FIT. How can I get this customer's budget and desires to work the best for them?


It's the idiot sales people out there that give the real Pros a bad rep. I was a Car Buying Hostage at a major dealership:


We were shopping for a new car. Billy Joe Bubba at the dealership comes to "assist" us. We look around, choose one to test drive, and they take our keys to check our car for trade-in value. We go for a little drive, come back, and go through the preliminary paperwork. Our car comes back and gets parked in front of the showroom. Billy Joe Bubba has to go to the office to find out the value of our trade. He's gone and gone, and finally comes back. Figure on the trade is way low, price on their car is sticker. The haggling has begun. Two more time consuming trips to the office, and Billy Joe Bubba is no where near getting close on a deal. Hubby says we're getting nowhere and should just leave. Then we realize that we can't leave because they have our keys. Without us realizing it, the dealership has had our keys the whole time. Hubby asks for the keys. Billy Joe Bubba has to go to the office to get the keys. Another lengthy trip before Billy Joe Bubba appears with Asst. Sales Manager in tow to talk with us about the deal. Hubby says they've had 3 chances and now we are leaving. Give us our keys. A bit of heated discussion back and forth going nowhere.
I whip out the cell phone and threaten to call the police if they didn't give us back our keys. Poof! We got our keys.


We had done our research, knew the fair trade-in value for our car and the fair market price of theirs. That dealership wanted to have their cake and eat it too. Instead, in our case, they wound up with an empty plate. Another dealership got our business and we make sure to tell others about our Billy Joe Bubba experience at XYZ Dealership.
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,275

----------------
On 5/26/2003 8:58:11 AM Final Cut wrote:
The customer now can just 'take it or leave it' because the budget (read: price for vendor) has been set - seems to me that the vendor should exchange some information for budget information, say 10% off of their posted retail prices....

Somehow there is asymmetrical exchange of information, which is probably why the appraisers are getting some good business these days !!

Just a thought !

FC
----------------
10%? What if that's all the profit they were making after the smoke clears?

I understand your question FC but when you have businessmen like myself who spend time, money and energies educating thier clietns about what they are going to purchase don't you think we've earned the right to ask that question?

It can also get VERY EXPENSIVE for the vendor if they are trying to locate a diamond for a client (in the quality they want) then after $300 in shipping fees and hours of scanning and picture taking you are then told ... THESE ARE TOO EXPENSIVE! I do feel that if a vendor has taken the time to share with you and they have invested in your education, knowledge etc. it's not unfair at all to ask what budget zone their client is looking to keep within. As Bob, PQ :razz: and others have said let's not waste anyone's time. Besides if you're talking to a straight shooter and they are up front with you in all the info and data and they are willing to work for you in helping you find the right diamond for your needs it is only fair that you be equally as up front with them as they are with you.

My .02c.

Rhino
 

Final Cut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
85
Hey - thanks everyone..

I understand now that this diamond business is very complex (too complex for me) and I must put my
faith in the nice vendors, who really want the best for me. They prove this to me by posting good responses to other people's questions, which are irrelevant to me ...

No - but seriously though - I guess there is two sides to every coin... my side and the wrong one !


No - but really seriously - thanks for the responses - after all I do see the merit in asking for an 'approx' budget to be used as a guideline ! The consumer diamond market is interesting ... fun learning !!!

FC
 

Final Cut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
85
PS - pcq - that is a fantastic story .. I guess you should consider yourself lucky the dealer had not already put your old car into the 'truck-a-saurus' arena !

FC
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
Unless vendors have a strict no-bargaining policy, there is information that they are keeping hidden--namely, the lowest amount they would be willing to accept for each of their diamonds. That's fair enough. But if consumers are savvy, they will also keep a piece of information hidden: namely, the highest amount they are willing to pay for a diamond.

Suppose the dealer asks you how much you are willing to pay for a diamond. You say $4000-$5000. The vendor shows you a diamond with a sticker-price of $4500. You are not in the best position to bargain him down, because he knows you can afford to pay $4500. You are in a better position if you have given the vendor specs commensurate with diamonds in the $4000-$5000 range. Then, for all he knows, $4200 might be the absolute maximum price that you can afford to pay. This will make him more likely to offer you a price of $4200. If you've already said you could pay $5000, then you will feel like you are nickel and diming if you ask for a price of $4200, and he will be more likely to stick to the $4500 sticker-price.

Of course, as the vendors have pointed out, you shouldn't waste their time looking at diamonds you can't afford (though I have looked at Hearts on Fire diamonds I couldn't afford--I figured if they are charging twice as much as they should, that's their problem, and if the store is empty anyway, they aren't losing business by showing me a few diamonds).

But a pricescope-educated consumer won't do this. It is easy to communicate to the vendor that you know what you are talking about and are looking at diamonds in the appropriate price range. Say what you want, see what he has, ask how much it is, and then ask to look at it again. Then you both know you are on the same page. But as far as he knows, you are stretching your budget to the maximum. This makes it more likely, from his point of view, that you will go elsewhere just to save $100. If he thinks this, you have a bargaining advantage.

As a consumer, you want to seem knowledgeable about diamonds and very sensitive to price. Explicitly giving the vendor a price range isn't the best way of giving yourself this image, and if you do it, you have given him information that you would be better off keeping to yourself if you plan to bargain for the best possible price.



I'm getting nostalgic for the diamond-buying process now--picking a wedding cake is not quite as interesting!!!

 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
PQ - don't get me started on car dealers.....I'm the negotiator.....hubby simply doesn't have time. After looking at a few "vans" - for *me* - I asked a couple dealerships that they fax their lowest price to hubby's office. Nope, found his number & insisted on calling *him*. He really put them in their place. He said "this is my wife's car - I have nothing to do with it......and at this point neither do you". We ended up going to our "hometown" dealership. And.......o.k....one stereo-type.......I wanted the Black one. Didn't pay any more though....well actually ...we did...I got a "sport" model that drove less like a van.
 

homer_j

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
234
I don't think giving your upper limit budget handicaps you too much. I doubt a good salesman will feel he can keep you higher on a stone b/c your pronounced budget can sustain the cost. As smart consumers, we need to stand strong on what we know as a fair price, independent of our budgets. I've alsways been annoyed when looking at cars or diamonds when poor sales people refuse to show you what you are looking for when you just give the specs. I've had several B&M vendors refuse to show me what they had in larger diamonds just to see how they look because I told them a smaller range. That's a bad sales move and very short sighted on their part. The other slick move I find funny is when they ask what your profession is in lieu of your budget.

I have found that good, honest sellers will be more willing to work with you on a fair price if you are straight up honest. Like Rhino and the others have said, I'd be more willing to budget a couple % for an honest, professional salesman who worked for it knowing that they are generally willing to spare a few % for an honest, knowledgable consumer. Of the dozen or so jewelers I've dealt with off-line, only one exhibited these qualities. It was a shame I couldn't work with him, but he just couldn't deliver what I wanted, even though he tried very hard.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
PS - pcq - that is a fantastic story .. I guess you should consider yourself lucky the dealer had not already put your old car into the 'truck-a-saurus' arena !

FC

That's where it would have been too! I'm a gas guzzlin', SUV drivin', Momma from H***!!!!


I want IceMan's Hummer!!!




As Bob, PQ :razz: and others have said let's not waste anyone's time.

My .02c.

Rhino

Jonathan, Sweetie, Dearest??!! Did thou stickest thou tongue out at me???

Right back atchya, Bud!!! LOL
 

Heyjud

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
243
The power of the internet is a guarantee
The prices are posted, for all to see.

When budget questions do arise
It helps them know what to advise.


 
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