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Why is James Allen is hiding/deleting GIA Certificate numbers?

Is it okay to buy a diamond without the GIA number?

  • Yes

    Votes: 15 20.3%
  • No

    Votes: 59 79.7%

  • Total voters
    74

cocotate

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
23
Combinatrix - Thank you for the feedback. Yes, I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too. Mea culpa on my part. With that said - it's more like 'throw things against a wall and see what sticks'. Maybe blocking GIA report numbers is a bad idea - I don't know. Maybe offering a Price Match policy is a good idea - I don't know. The only way we can find out is to test and solicit opinion - just as I'm doing here today.

I never said a better image was worth 20%, but are you sure that isn't true? When I started selling diamonds way back in 1998, we had nothing more than a GIA report. Then we developed static images, and from there developed the 360 technology that has become ubiquitous today. If a diamond video (or ASET or Idealscope or Sarin) help customers pick a better diamond, is that worth any premium at all?
Thanks for your honesty.
 

YoungPapa

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 18, 2002
Messages
437
sstephensid - No, it's not 20%. Based on my research, the price delta between us and the cheapest competitors is less than 10%. This is an aggregate figure, and does not take into account any advantage pricing, coupons, or promotions we may offer (which we run quite often).
 

TreeScientist

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 16, 2018
Messages
1,248
sstephensid - No, it's not 20%. Based on my research, the price delta between us and the cheapest competitors is less than 10%. This is an aggregate figure, and does not take into account any advantage pricing, coupons, or promotions we may offer (which we run quite often).
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.20-carat-f-color-if-clarity-true-hearts-cut-sku-6568462
screenshot3.png
https://www.fourmine.com/diamonds/index/diamonddetail/id/601605001
screenshot 2.png

Hmm, $14,920/$12,549 = 1.19.

19% is less than 10%?
 

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YoungPapa

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 18, 2002
Messages
437
Ouch. No, 19 is not less than 10. I stand by my statement, however, as it was based on hundreds of comparisons that we've made in the last few weeks. This example represents a greater than average disparity because of the premium that is applied to the True Hearts brand.

If we agree that 19% is too much, is there any premium that makes sense? Or looking at things another way, knowing that we have a Price Match policy, where would you (as an influencer) recommend someone purchase that diamond?
 

TreeScientist

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Messages
1,248
Or looking at things another way, knowing that we have a Price Match policy, where would you (as an influencer) recommend someone purchase that diamond?
From the transparent retailer that provides the GIA number of the diamond in consideration, so that the consumer can verify the diamond via the GIA website (which, IMO, is necessary for consumer peace of mind when purchasing a big-ticket item online) and do any comparisons that they wish with the information provided by a full, unaltered GIA report.

If both retailers are equally transparent, and both have price-match policies in place, then I would recommend that the consumer purchase from the retailer that provides them with the best customer service, has the best reputation among independent review sites like Yelp/Trustpilot/Google reviews, and provides the most appealing intangibles (setting price/quality, upgrade policy, etc).

As a consumer, this is how I typically choose retailers for my own purchases, so this is what I would recommend to others in the same position. :)
 

2Neezers

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,020
@YoungPapa is the price match policy good on upgrades? I was told by your CS that the advantage discount is not available on upgrades, because the upgrade policy is considered my discount...
 
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the_mother_thing

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
5,657
I never said a better image was worth 20%, but are you sure that isn't true? When I started selling diamonds way back in 1998, we had nothing more than a GIA report. Then we developed static images, and from there developed the 360 technology that has become ubiquitous today. If a diamond video (or ASET or Idealscope or Sarin) help customers pick a better diamond, is that worth any premium at all?
Another way (for PSers) to maybe think about this is how the PS community ‘generally’ views outright copying of designer pieces. A designer puts the effort, creativity and resources to come up with something, and it’s frowned upon/viewed as ‘theft’ to have someone else copy that design.

In this scenario, JA goes through the effort/cost to provide a service for it’s customers, customers use that information to make a decision, then go buy the exact same item for less elsewhere. Kinda seems like the same, in principle, does it not?

Now, does that added level of service equate to the price difference between JA and its competitor/s offering the exact same diamond, such as the example above? Maybe, maybe not ... IMO, if there’s going to be an ‘upcharge’ for premium service, I’d be more inclined to go with WF or CBI and have the better upgrade policy along with the imaging.
 

bludiva

Brilliant_Rock
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Sep 23, 2017
Messages
1,928
I haven't purchased from James Allen so no idea about the customer experience but have to give kudos to @YoungPapa for being so transparent re: the business strategy & realities, no matter if it's stirring up some debate. Most companies wouldn't be so honest in my experience.
 

YoungPapa

Shiny_Rock
Trade
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Jun 18, 2002
Messages
437
TreeScientist - That's a fair answer. Thank you.

2Neezers - Yes, the Price Match can be used in conjuction with an upgrade. I've also approved the use of Advantage pricing or setting promotions with upgrades as well. Just keep in mind you'll still need to meet the 2x criteria to receive full credit for the original diamond purchase, and discounts (like a setting promotion and diamond pricematch) cannot be layered on top of each other.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 14, 2009
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19,877
@YoungPapa Your forthrightness has been noted and appreciated by many - thank you.

I’m a happy JA customer. I don’t personally have much to add to the discussion beyond a comment that I too would be interested in more flexibility on upgrades - of TrueHearts stones, if nothing else. On larger purchases the 2x requirement is an outright blocker - an upgrade from 50k to 75k, for example, might be doable, whereas 100k is out of the question...
 

2Neezers

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
1,020
Yes, the Price Match can be used in conjuction with an upgrade. I've also approved the use of Advantage pricing or setting promotions with upgrades as well. Just keep in mind you'll still need to meet the 2x criteria to receive full credit for the original diamond purchase, and discounts (like a setting promotion and diamond pricematch) cannot be layered on top of each other.
Thanks for addressing my questions @YoungPapa . It’s great to know the price match as well as the other options you mentioned above are available now when upgrading =)2.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 25, 2014
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6,027
Combinatrix - Thank you for the feedback. Yes, I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too. Mea culpa on my part. With that said - it's more like 'throw things against a wall and see what sticks'. Maybe blocking GIA report numbers is a bad idea - I don't know. Maybe offering a Price Match policy is a good idea - I don't know. The only way we can find out is to test and solicit opinion - just as I'm doing here today.

I never said a better image was worth 20%, but are you sure that isn't true? When I started selling diamonds way back in 1998, we had nothing more than a GIA report. Then we developed static images, and from there developed the 360 technology that has become ubiquitous today. If a diamond video (or ASET or Idealscope or Sarin) help customers pick a better diamond, is that worth any premium at all?
As a very inexperienced shopper of diamonds, who went with a CBI for my good lady's stone for peace of mind and avoidance of 'what if...' questions in my head, lol, I highly value the JA videos, especially in terms of step cut stones - my personal favourite cuts are ECs and Asschers, which are notoriously hard (if not impossible) to assess without a moving video with lighting that actually 'works', and for me, JA is the only vendor that has lighting that demonstrates the facet patterning as well as the actual performance of the stone in a realistic lighting environment.

BN and Adiamor videos, for example, seem to have a very 'flat' lighting arrangement, which is good in terms of removing distracting sparkle/flash events when one is trying to ascertain faceting, but to the point that it's impossible to assess how it might perform in day-to-day lighting, where there is a combination of flat and point-source lighting, which combines to give both general brightness in a stone (if well cut!) and also sparkle/scintillation/fire/etc.

JA seems to have nailed it, in that one can still assess faceting but also assess 'real life' performance :)

Of course, I may be completely wrong, seeing as I've yet to get a stepcut for myself :(( :lol: and there are basically zero good stones in any local stores unless one makes a trip to London or perhaps the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, but if nothing else, the consistency of the JA videos makes comparison between stones much easier.

Please keep up the good work!


From the transparent retailer that provides the GIA number of the diamond in consideration, so that the consumer can verify the diamond via the GIA website (which, IMO, is necessary for consumer peace of mind when purchasing a big-ticket item online) and do any comparisons that they wish with the information provided by a full, unaltered GIA report.

If both retailers are equally transparent, and both have price-match policies in place, then I would recommend that the consumer purchase from the retailer that provides them with the best customer service, has the best reputation among independent review sites like Yelp/Trustpilot/Google reviews, and provides the most appealing intangibles (setting price/quality, upgrade policy, etc).

As a consumer, this is how I typically choose retailers for my own purchases, so this is what I would recommend to others in the same position. :)
To me, I read what TreeScientist is saying as a vendor needs to provide the most attractive offer to win their custom - ideally with both the lowest price and also the best customer service and best upgrade policies.

I totally get that combining all three of those things must be challenging for any vendor, so I guess the difficult task for a given vendor is to 'justify' any higher pricing with evidence of why paying the extra makes sense. and how it is a reasonable amount that accords with the added value.

HPD/CBI and WF seem to achieve this with their intense focus on cut quality and performance, including ASET and IS images to evidence the quality, so perhaps the JA True Hearts line needs additional promotion (with material setting out the criteria that must be met for a stone to 'make the grade') and ASET images within the listings to help 'justify' the additional premium over other stones offered? The H&A images are useful but I think that (here on PS, at least) H&A might be seen as a bit of a 'marketing tool for the masses', rather than a specialist assessment tool??


I don't know... I'm rambling away with no plan of how to end this post :lol:

I guess that I would summarise by saying that I do appreciate JA's hard work (as do a lot of PS members, I'm sure!) and am keen to see them succeed - they offer a valuable resource and set a standard in terms of imaging, which I think the industry would be a lot worse off without :)
 

TreeScientist

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
1,248
To me, the big difference in the “value propositions” between the True Hearts line and the lines from the SuperIdeal vendors is not so much in the cut, as there are a quite a few diamonds in the True Hearts line that would meet the criteria for inclusion in the lines of the other SuperIdeal vendors, but rather in those “intangibles” that I was talking about in my earlier post.

One of the biggest differences is the fact that diamonds from the SuperIdeal vendors are all in-house. These vendors have put forth the money up front to purchase these diamonds prior to sale and keep them in their vaults. They’re basically “putting their money where their mouth is” and saying “This diamond is worth the equity that I’m investing in it. I trust that the quality of this diamond is good enough that I can sell it.” Beyond the simple fact that in-house diamonds require an up front equity investment, in-house diamonds are also worth a premium because a staff gemologist can literally walk to the vault, grab a diamond that the customer is interested in, and talk to the customer about the diamond and take any images/videos in real life conditions that the customer wants. In terms of “intangibles that are worth a premium,” this is probably the biggest IMO. There’s a lot to be said for this in-person vetting by an expert that puts many people’s minds at ease when making an online purchase. And, from a business standpoint, you cannot say that a SuperIdeal is “overpriced,” because it cannot be purchased anywhere else. If you want the diamond, then you have to purchase it from them because they own it. TH stones are mostly virtual inventory (with the exception of a few trade-ins), so they cannot be vetted by an expert prior to sale, and they can also be purchased from other vendors, meaning that price comparisons come into play.

Another big difference with the SuperIdeal vendors is the after-sale support and the $1-more upgrade policies. To me, these are also worth a premium for customers, particularly customers that are really “in to” diamonds (as most people purchasing Ideal/SuperIdeal diamonds are) as it allows them to switch out diamonds as their desires change and keep a personal relationship with the staff at these shops.

The main problem that I have with the True Hearts line is that their prices have climbed to the point where they’re almost on par with an equivalent SuperIdeal (sometimes only 5% or so difference between a TH and, say, an equivalent ACA) but they don’t come with any of the benefits of that the SuperIdeal vendors offer. JA’s “intangibles” are basically exactly the same as the other virtual inventory vendors, yet they’re charging a 20% premium on their well-cut stones. I mean, I love their videos too, and I’ve made posts on here before about how I believe JA’s videos are the best in the industry at this point. But I don’t think that a single nice video is worth a 20% premium. I’m sorry, but I just don't.

IMO the main benefit of buying well-cut virtual inventory stones is that they’re typically about 25% cheaper than their Super Ideal counterparts. For my buying needs, I’ll take that discount any day, as the intangibles offered by the SuperIdeal vendors are not that important to me personally. However, I would never say that Super Ideals are “overpriced” because it’s a completely different product experience with intangibles that, IMO, are worth it from a value standpoint if these intangibles are important to the individual considering the purchase.

But when it comes to the True Hearts line, I do believe they are overpriced for what they’re offering, as an intelligent consumer can do a quick 5 minute search, find the diamond on another virtual inventory retailer’s site that offer’s pretty much the exact same intangibles, and purchase it from them for 20-ish% less. Given the choice between a True Hearts and an ACA/CBI/BG Black for 5% more, I think the choice of an in-house SuperIdeal is a no-brainer.

A nice video is worth a bit of a premium, but nowhere close to 20%. Just my $0.02.
 

Blingalingaling

Brilliant_Rock
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521
I think TreeScientist makes a very good point about vendors who own their stones, versus vendors who "carry" virtual inventory. There is a big difference between the cost of producing a video, versus the investment required to purchase actual diamonds.
Offering videos to consumers without ownership creates interest in the merchandise-and the possibility of making a sale- without having the risks associated with holding the investment.
So, if someone purchases a particular stone that was on JA's website from another vendor, JA isn't out the cost of the diamond, they're just out the cost of producing the video. And I would think that, based on what I'm reading here, when they do make a sale, the "premium" goes towards covering the costs of producing those videos.
Talk about "throwing things up on the wall and seeing what sticks" - I kind of think that's what this part of their business is based upon. They post lots of videos and some diamonds will sell ("stick") and some won't! But if they don't sell, aren't they only out the cost of advertising the stone?
Being able to see a video makes choosing a stone easier and you might be less likely to make a mistake and purchase something you don't like, especially when buying over the internet. That's the tenet of JA's business...But it would upset me to find out that I could've spent 10-20% less on a purchase that large because, in the end, it's the diamond that matters, not the video.

I respectfully disagree with the comparison between this and designer goods being "knocked off" by competitors. This isn't a good analogy, in my opinion. It's not as if someone was buying a Chanel handbag replica, for example. We are talking about someone possibly over-paying for the exact, same item- NOT A COPY!
Perhaps what would be more likely to ensure that JA makes the sale would be for the stone to be competitively priced. Would there still be a need to hide anything? Maybe not.
 

gm89uk

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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May 26, 2015
Messages
1,393
JA also sells at decent price for some diamonds.

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.17-carat-g-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6406747
Great value
vs same diamond
https://www.yadavjewelry.com/diamond/round-diamond-2.17-carat-g-si1-yd4934486

To the consumer, yadav is using the exact same video and selling for a higher price. Do yadav have to ask permission to use this video? Videos are JA strength, but it's precarious being the backbone to the business model, as is a risk with all digital content.
 

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
JA also sells at decent price for some diamonds.

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.17-carat-g-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6406747
Great value
vs same diamond
https://www.yadavjewelry.com/diamond/round-diamond-2.17-carat-g-si1-yd4934486

To the consumer, yadav is using the exact same video and selling for a higher price. Do yadav have to ask permission to use this video? Videos are JA strength, but it's precarious being the backbone to the business model, as is a risk with all digital content.
I was wondering the same thing. I was under the impression that these 360 videos originate from suppliers, because they're also available by Adiamor, Yadav, Fourmine, etc. If these videos are freely used by virtual vendors as soon as stones are listed, perhaps JA restrictions only apply to certain photos taken by JA only?
 

TreeScientist

Brilliant_Rock
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I was wondering the same thing. I was under the impression that these 360 videos originate from suppliers, because they're also available by Adiamor, Yadav, Fourmine, etc. If these videos are freely used by virtual vendors as soon as stones are listed, perhaps JA restrictions only apply to certain photos taken by JA only?
I'm not sure. I've seen a few of the JA-style videos on other sites as well, but it is a rare occurrence. Segoma Imaging Technologies, the company which developed the JA-style videos, is under the same parent company (R2NET) as James Allen. On their website (https://segoma.com/), it clearly states "Segoma’s services and technologies are no longer available to third parties" so I'm guessing that when a Segoma video appears on a site like Yadav or Adiamor, that means the company had to acquire the rights to use the video from R2NET (James Allen).

Would be interesting to hear from @YoungPapa how they handle video licensing to other vendors.
 

Johnbt

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
239
"Is it okay to buy a diamond without the GIA number?"

It wouldn't bother me a bit - as long as the seller agreed to reimburse all of my expenses, including the return shipping and insurance, if the GIA number/certificate included with the diamond I received did not show up as a perfect match on the GIA site.

They wouldn't stay in business long if they started delivering non-matching diamonds and certificates, would they? The first time would be an accident and the second time would be a disaster heard 'round the diamond buying world.
 

Karina Tarkjhanian

Rough_Rock
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Aug 10, 2019
Messages
3
I am truly saddened by this. We have been loyal customers with James Allen. My fiancee purchased my 2 carat diamond ring last year. This year I purchased on for my daughter again over 2 carats. Both items we received GIA report number and I ran the stones through gemologists at RareCarat to ensure it was a good purchase and it was. We made the buy (s). Unfortunately, I lost my engagement ring and insurance has authorized for me to go ahead and purchase another and we chose to work with JA again for the 3rd purchase. Unfortunately, we chose a stone but we are not able to get the GIA report number to see if the cut and clarify is something I would be happy with and if it would be comparable to the stone I lost. This is highly disappointing and you will loose return and loyal customers like us. Please reconsider this policy.






Hi folks,

I wanted to jump in here and respond to a few of the comments. I know I haven’t posted in a long time, but I’m still an avid daily reader.

As many of you have rightly guessed, we’re currently running a test of blocking out the report numbers to see if this has any impact on sales. It's a reaction to advice that we see posted around here more often than ever: 'Shop James Allen, then go buy the diamond somewhere else cheaper.' While I completely understand this from a consumer's perspective, our photography offices in Hong Kong, Tel-Aviv, New York and Mumbai employ over 200 people and will capture over 2M videos this year alone. This results in a much better customer experience, but forces a higher retail. If blocking out the report numbers helps keep people at JA, it’s probably the right business decision. If not, we’ll roll it back. At this point we just need to test waters and see what levers we can pull to keep driving growth, while still leaving ourselves enough margin to invest in new technologies.

I also want to point out that the Price Match policy mentioned by BlueMA is a new addition to the website. This is another way for us to try and protect margin, but still serve all our customers – including the ‘good shoppers’ likes mrs-b.

tjkswift
– I’m sorry that Price Match wasn’t in place when you came back to us for the second purchase, but I’m hopeful you’ll consider us for the third.

Finally, I’ll say that while James Allen was acquired in late 2017, Signet has been a fantastic parent company and really left myself, Oded, and the rest of the team here at JA to continue to grow the company in the ways we see best. I’m hopeful that in the future we can leverage our online pricing and expertise with Signet’s massive B&M footprint, but that’s probably best suited for a different thread.

I hope this information is helpful, and I will stick around in case you guys have any other questions, concerns, or feedback on how we can best serve our customers (like you).
 

Karina Tarkjhanian

Rough_Rock
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Messages
3
Yes but we use the GIA report number to submit to gemologist to see if we are getting a good deal based on the cut and proportions of the diamond. For example, I am shopping for one now. I found a stone on RareCarat which they listed as a good deal. Submitted to them the GIA number they provided through one of their trusted retailers and the dimensions of the diamond were not recommended. Early this year purchased a stone through James Allen (they had provided the GIA Report number for that stone)...submitted to rareCarat for review and they highly recommended the purchase through James Allen which I ended up doing. So yes it is not a good policy. I am in the market for a 3rd stone now and just took the hold off a ring because they won't give me the GIA report number.



"Is it okay to buy a diamond without the GIA number?"

It wouldn't bother me a bit - as long as the seller agreed to reimburse all of my expenses, including the return shipping and insurance, if the GIA number/certificate included with the diamond I received did not show up as a perfect match on the GIA site.

They wouldn't stay in business long if they started delivering non-matching diamonds and certificates, would they? The first time would be an accident and the second time would be a disaster heard 'round the diamond buying world.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Yes but we use the GIA report number to submit to gemologist to see if we are getting a good deal based on the cut and proportions of the diamond. For example, I am shopping for one now. I found a stone on RareCarat which they listed as a good deal. Submitted to them the GIA number they provided through one of their trusted retailers and the dimensions of the diamond were not recommended. Early this year purchased a stone through James Allen (they had provided the GIA Report number for that stone)...submitted to rareCarat for review and they highly recommended the purchase through James Allen which I ended up doing. So yes it is not a good policy. I am in the market for a 3rd stone now and just took the hold off a ring because they won't give me the GIA report number.
So, to be clear, you are saying that JA are refusing to give you the grading report number for a stone you are interested in?

What are their reasons?
 

MK Malone

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
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@Karina Tarkjhanian
Have you considered using the HCA tool here on PS (if you are looking at round diamonds)? And soliciting the experts here to help you find a truly beautiful stone? You won’t need the cert #, but you will need diamond stats, pics, video, ideal scope, asset images. But I think finding a diamond here is much more effective than using Rare Carat, in my experience.
 

lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
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So, to be clear, you are saying that JA are refusing to give you the grading report number for a stone you are interested in?

What are their reasons?
That sounds impossible. I don't recommend them anymore bc it's horrible to find or recommend stones when I cant see the angles/table/etc. But every time I've asked ja to provide a gia report or AGS report, they complied.
 

lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
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@Karina Tarkjhanian
Have you considered using the HCA tool here on PS (if you are looking at round diamonds)? And soliciting the experts here to help you find a truly beautiful stone? You won’t need the cert #, but you will need diamond stats, pics, video, ideal scope, asset images. But I think finding a diamond here is much more effective than using Rare Carat, in my experience.
Yeah I wouldn't use rare carat. Some of the stuff they say is a 'great buy' really aren't. We can definitely help you!
 

MK Malone

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 24, 2019
Messages
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@lovedogs
I spent months diamond shopping all while using Rare carat. They can help a novice with color and clarity. Teach you what to avoid (cavities for instance). But they don’t tell you which diamonds (round in my case) have great cuts vs. not such great cuts. I was hopeless until I found PS. I sound like a Pricescope commercial now.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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@Karina Tarkjhanian

I don't really understand or agree with the approach that JA has taken concerning the certs. From what I've gathered they will provide them by request but you must contact them to make that happen.

Personally I think it's an essential part of the buying process. And since the bulk of their inventory is virtual and available via other retailers, they have no unique product to offer so "protecting their price" is laughable at best.

I can't speak to the technical merits of the RC staff but I like to use them as a search tool for those that aren't interested in using a H&A vendor. I personally believe we can guide you to a more detailed analysis and human perspective that isn't biased on making a sale or profit.

Sorry for your loss. There is emotional energy in losing a sentimental piece and we can't replace that but we can find a sparkly replacement diamond for you.

That said, what kind of a budget and criteria do we have to work with so insurance will pay up?

While cut is the most important and difficult aspect to understand, it's generally not well insured. What I mean by that is your policy probably states you are insured up to $X for X color, X clarity and X carat weight. If GIA certified it probably even says triple X certified assuming all GIA's "cut" metrics were indeed excellent. Herein lies the rub. What GIA defines as excellent is a very broad net, and is rarely all that excellent. That is where we can analyze the metrics of the stone for an ideal cut. Things like table size, depth, crown and pavilion angles help point us in the right way. Getting advanced images like ASET, idealscope and H&A help us confirm the light performance and symmetry aspect of the stone in question.

Also, do you know if your policy has a guaranteed cash value, or more standard where it has a max replacement value for an "equal" stone?
 

HDer

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 20, 2017
Messages
672
@sledge I think James Allen Schultz did a good job of explaining the reason for them removing the certificates: too many people were using them as a diamond search engine, and I consider them to be the best virtual diamond search on the planet right now, and then going to another vendor who could then undercut them on price (for the same diamond!).

Last time I checked, James Allen's margins on a diamond are around 20-30%. This data is pretty easy to find: anyone with a RapNet subscription could do it. That leaves plenty of margin for other vendors, who has not put in the same investment in technology, to undercut their price, having used their site to find the stone the customer is looking for.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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@sledge I think James Allen Schultz did a good job of explaining the reason for them removing the certificates: too many people were using them as a diamond search engine, and I consider them to be the best virtual diamond search on the planet right now, and then going to another vendor who could then undercut them on price (for the same diamond!).

Last time I checked, James Allen's margins on a diamond are around 20-30%. This data is pretty easy to find: anyone with a RapNet subscription could do it. That leaves plenty of margin for other vendors, who has not put in the same investment in technology, to undercut their price, having used their site to find the stone the customer is looking for.
I read the same thing but simply disagree with the logic. The only time you can legitimately demand a premium for any product is when you have something unique and in high demand. This is marketing 101.

If you are offering the same identical product as other people, you have to compete on price and/or your ability to service your customers. This surrounds us in society today. Multiple car dealerships, multiple grocery stores, multiple clothing and retail stores -- all offering identical products for different pricing.

I see their tactics as lazy and basically entrapment. I have moral issues anytime the weak is being preyed upon, and JA is doing exactly this. All for the sake of higher profits. The JA of old is not the same JA today, and rather it's publicly acknowledged or not thier daddy warbucks, Signet, is playing into the overall equation and operational decisions.
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
2,464
@YoungPapa I can remember how RBC cut perfection was demonstrated: by creating charts of diamonds layed out in order after the optical effects of their proportions... (the analytic backbone of the HCA). The new number-less diaplay of diamonds at James Allen is the closest real life display in that vein - except the stones are not arranged by cut style, of course.

Thinking out loud
 

HDer

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Messages
672
@sledge I would argue that in this case their product is a world beating diamond imaging and search platform, and they're getting tired of their competitors using that product for free. To your point, their service is also very very good and their warranty and upgrade policies are also very good. But would you pay an extra thousand or two just for that? Many people would and do. I wouldn't and didn't.

I think this is the milder of the approaches they could take. The harsher approach would be to go to the cutters and demand exclusivity for the diamonds that are placed on the JA platform. That would hurt both JA and non-JA customers as JA would have to promise the cutters a higher price for missing out on potential sales through other channels and the diamond supply for the rest of the market would be decreased. This is where I see their "True Hearts" line heading and it's pretty similar to what Whiteflash is doing, and maybe also where BlueNile's "Astor Ideal" is headed towards.
 
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