With an increasing number of online diamond websites popping up everyday, and diamonds being viewed more and more of a commodity, most people overlook the importance of the actual dealer and what to look out for. As the old saying goes “Choose your jeweller or diamond merchant before you choose your diamond!”
1. Who is the diamond merchant? Are they a brick and mortar jewellery store, a diamond wholesaler or someone running an internet site from their basement?
2. Are they members of The Jewellers’ Association of Australia (JAA)? The JAA is the oldest and most respected jewellery industry organisation in Australia. With over 2,000 members across Australia, and a new CEO welcoming online jewellers, there shouldn’t be any excuse not to be a member.
3. Are they diamond brokers or do they have diamonds in stock? Whilst the benefits of having a large inventory is severely diminished when trading online, the merchant should disclose and educate you about diamonds and how diamond brokering works.
4. Do they have the proper tools to sell online? Proper tools include everything from DiamCalc for estimating the light return of a diamond to photographic equipment and cut analysis tools such as Sarin or OGI machines, the Ideal-Scope and the AGS ASET.
5. Do they have insurance? A surprising number of jewellers do not have insurance. If anything goes wrong and the merchant doesn’t have insurance, you could loose thousands of dollars.
6. What are their credit card fees? Jogia Diamonds gives a 0.5% discount for cash over credit card. This accurately reflects the actual saving from not having to pay for credit card fees. If the merchant is charging 1% or more as a credit card fee, they are likely profiting from the fee alone, whilst increasing the price of a safe transaction (you can always do a chargeback if something goes wrong if you pay by credit card).
7. Do they have any other payment terms? Payment terms can help you buy the stone you really want. Jogia Diamonds offers six months interest free through Lombard Finance.
8. Are they local? If the merchant is located nearby, and is a brick and mortar store, then not only can you go in and receive the service you’d expect from and traditional jeweller, but you’ll also get the price from a competitive online marketplace.
9. Will they assist you in obtaining certificate verification? If you want certificate verification by a lab in Sydney, and you’re in Brisbane, you’ll find it very difficult or expensive to organise transit insurance yourself. Therefore, it is is imperative the merchant assist you by sending the stone themselves for verification. Some merchants may even disapprove of verification from a third party.
10. What is their return policy? Don’t just look at how many days there are, but the procedure for returns. Make sure it is fair and that it’s actually possible for you to return the diamond without be liable for any loss. For example, many merchants require you to organise your own shipping for returns. This may be a problem as registered post only covers values up to $5,000. However, if the merchant has transit insurance or a local drop-off point, it shouldn’t be a problem.