Everyday it seems that another diamond website offering thousands of stones. Conversely, everyday it seems more and more jewellers and diamond retailers complain and even slander these websites.
Personally, the idea of having thousands of certified diamonds available in one place is a great idea as the consumer ultimately gets more choice and the retailer doesn’t have any costs associated with keeping stock, thus gets to sell a potentially great diamond at a bargain price.
From a profitability standpoint, the concept is lacking. Margins for selling diamonds off a list are less than wholesale (thus diamonds can be bought for under wholesale prices – in Australia at least). Therefore, anyone thinking they can start a diamond business from a list, should do their homework very carefully.
When browsing through these lists, it’s all too common for consumers to pick out the cheapest diamond, or the website that seems to have the cheapest prices. However, when deciding to buy a diamond from a list, consumers should consider a lot more than price, as prices tend to only differ by a few percent at most. Moreover, they should consider the following:
- Type of certification. If it’s from one of the better labs (AGS, GIA, HRD), there should be little problem with the stone being accurately graded.
- How long the retailer has been in business. Have they just started a website from their bedroom, or are they a brick and mortar store with a long history?
- How long have they been selling off virtual lists? With hundreds of thousands of diamonds available, the more experienced they are and the better relationships they have with suppliers, the better the final result will be.
- Do they require you to pay in full before you get the stone? Some retailers require a deposit, some require payment in full. Jogia Diamonds offers two options, with a discount for pre-payment.
- Do they offer a full range of payment options? We offer payment through credit card, direct deposit and even six months interest free, all with no surcharge.
- Is the retailer insured? If the retailer is a serious jewellery business, they will have jewellers’ block insurance with transit coverage to and from the customer’s address, as well as transit coverage to and from the wholesaler overseas and at their own premises.
- What extra value does the retailer provide – Are they local? Can they provide analysis such as Ideal-Scope images, photos and videos? Can they organise laser inscription and verification? Do they offer a jewellery design or manufacture service?
- Do they fully disclose the location of the diamond? If they don’t, and you visit their store expecting to see it, then you will be very disappointed.
- Are they dropshippers or do they inspect every stone they sell?
- What return policy do they have and how easy do they make it to return the diamond?
On the flip side, when you purchase a diamond from a virtual list, you, as the consumer, also have obligations:
- Don’t order a diamond and then “shop around” trying to find a cheaper diamond.
- If you can’t pay in full when the stone arrives, don’t order the diamond.
- Don’t complain about the exchange rate between when the diamond is ordered and when it arrives.
- Don’t go on holiday, leaving the retailer to wait for your return.
- Don’t take your time to decide. Usually you should be pretty certain before ordering the diamond, viewing it or seeing analysis should merely confirm your decision.
- Don’t take the stone to another jeweller for verification. Verification should be done by an independent gemmologist – not someone who sells diamonds.