All about PriceScope
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Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by lamouse, Feb 18, 2019.
by cocotate » Feb 21, 2019
Thanks for your honesty.
by YoungPapa » Feb 21, 2019
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).
by TreeScientist » Feb 21, 2019
Hmm, $14,920/$12,549 = 1.19.
19% is less than 10%?
by YoungPapa » Feb 21, 2019
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?
by TreeScientist » Feb 21, 2019
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.
by 2Neezers » Feb 21, 2019
@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...
by the_mother_thing » Feb 21, 2019
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.
by bludiva » Feb 21, 2019
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.
by YoungPapa » Feb 21, 2019
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.
by yssie » Feb 21, 2019
@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...
by 2Neezers » Feb 21, 2019
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 .
by OoohShiny » Feb 22, 2019
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 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!
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
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
by TreeScientist » Feb 22, 2019
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.
by Blingalingaling » Feb 22, 2019
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.
by gm89uk » Feb 22, 2019
JA also sells at decent price for some diamonds.
vs same diamond
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.
by blueMA » Feb 22, 2019
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?
by TreeScientist » Feb 23, 2019
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.
by Johnbt » Feb 23, 2019
"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.