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  1. Thanks all! I'm glad you liked the story. Believe it or not - the proposal itself was pretty cheap. Like I said, my company pays for the car... I only have to pay for the upgrade from towncar to limo and then the extra hours on the limo plus tip. We stayed out until after dinner so the limo cost me $150 extra. If I'd been doing this without my company car, a limo for the night would have cost about $350 (as long as its not prom season, mother's day, or New Years Eve - the limo companies jack their rate up then) The arbor / archway I rented from a local wedding rental place was $100 for the weekend. Again, I think these would be a lttle tougher & more expensive during the spring wedding season, but here in December, it was pretty easy. And the lights I bought online. I spent about $60 for 300 ft of white mini lights. Oh, and I needed to get 100 Ft extension cord to run back to a shed that had a power outlet. So overall, the most expensive part of the proposal was dinner. Without dinner, the proposal cost me less than $350. Not bad at all! But if anyone is thinking of borrowing any ideas from my proposal - please do. Just be sure to have helpers. It would have been SO anticlimactic if I'd had to break down the lights and arbor after I popped the question.... But the lit-up arbor.. with the sky getting dark... was SO cool. Oh, one other thing - since you have friends there - have them bring a camera! That's the one thing I forgot!!! I wish we'd taken a couple of pictures. Happy holidays and bestt wishes all!
  2. Hey all - just wanted to let you know that I proposed this weekend - and she said YES (and she loved the ring!!) I posted the full story in the On One Knee forum. Check it out. It went PERFECTLY! As to the store I bought the ring at: I'd actually rather not share that at this point. A few of the posts in this thread have kind of indicated that maybe my jeweler wasn't 100% forthcoming with me since he started me at $10,000 for my 1.36 Carat F Color VS2 Princess Cut... reduced it down to $8400 for me... then came down to $7950 when I had the consultant talk to him. I think consensus was that he must have been playing games with me a bit if he still had $450 held back when he claimed to be at his bottom. But I don't hold any hard feelings and I like him, so I don't want to bad-mouth his store publically that way. At the same time, he WAS obvisouly holding back at least $450 on me, so maybe you guys were right... and therefore I can't really recommend them. So I'll just take the "if you don't have anything nice to say..." approach. So I will just say it was one of the smaller guys near Wabash. Thanks again, all - and go check out my proposal story. Not to sound cocky... but it was pretty darn cool!
  3. Well - My gal & I have been together for about 3 years now and everything in our like has been pointing toward us getting married, so it wasn't a matter of "If" I'd pop the question...it was a matter of "when" & "how". I wanted it to be a total suprise and really catch her off guard, so I let it "slip" to one of her girlfriends (who I KNOW can't keep a secret) that I was planning to propose at Valentine's... then here's what I did. I travel for business quite a bit and I have been on assignment Mondays to Fridays for the last month or so on the East Coast. Usually I get home friday night. One of the great perks of my job is that they pay for all expenses, including a towncar to & from the airport. For a little extra, the towncar driver will swing by and pick my gal up on the way to the airport and we can go straight to dinner from the airport. We've done it a few times before so I hoped nothing would seem fishy . This time I suggested she wear something nice and we'd go straight from the airport to dinner. Little did she know, I got home Thursday night, picked up the ring, and stayed at a friend's house. Friday, I made my plans with the towncar service and had them send a limo (under the excuse that all the towncars were being used... it's happened before, so I was hoping it wouldn't raise any suspicon) and met up with the driver to go over the plan. Friday afternoon the limo picked her up and headed toward the airport... about twent minutes later, the limo driver called me to tell me they were nearing the airport. I then called her on her cell phone and told her, "I'm really sorry, but they diverted my plave to Buffalo! There was something wrong with the plane or something.. they're not sure when we'll get back in the air. Just have the towncar take you home and I'll get a taxi whenever I get in." I could hear the disappointment in her voice. She told me that we'd been given a limo this time and it was a shame we couldn't take it out for dinner. So she told the driver the story and told him to turn around (of course he already knew this was coming). He turned the car around and headed toward home. A few miles from our house, he took a side turn in to a beautiful park. It was just past sunset and the sky was still nice and red. The limo driver pulled over in the park near a little clearing where we sometimes go for walks. She said she was a little nervous as to why he was stopping in the middle of the park.. but he got out, opened the door and pointed to a string of christmas lights on the ground and said, "I have a feeling you might want to see where those lights go." At that point she knew something was up.. but she follwoed the lights. I had run about 200 ft of lights on the ground, around a bend in the shrubbery.. and when she turned the corner, she could see that I'd set up a 10 ft garden arbor, completely lit with white christmas lights. It looked REALLY cool... almost surreal. Like a glowing tunnel of light. And she followed the trail of lights right up to me.. standing under the arbor. When she got to me, I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. I also had two of our best friends hiding in the bushes to share it with us (they were also there to take down all the lights when we left! lol). She started crying and jumped in to my arms and said yes. We got back in the limo and went out for dinner at our favorite restaurant. A few things I learned that other guys might use. 1) she LOVED that I did it right near the house - so that every time she goes back there she can rememebr it. 2) she LOVED the over-the-top lighting.. it did make it almost surreal and dreamlike.. which is kind of how every girl wants her proposal to be 3) she loved that her best friend was there to share it. she says her friend has been talking about it all weekend to their other girlfriends - which is really nice because all her girlfriends can hear about it without it seeming like my fiance (woo hoo) is bragging. 4) If you get a limo when you propose, be sure to get one with a sound proof divider... you'll need it!!! LOL. So that's how it happened. I'm really happy with the way it went.. and she LOVES the ring!
  4. Hi all, I had a thread over on "The Rock" and I got some good insight from some of the experts there (thanks all!) - but I guess this is the right place for vendor recomendations. I just bought a 1.4 Carat, F, VS2, Princess Cut diamond from a local brick & mortar store. Just before I bought I found a web site, www.yourdiamondguy.com, that said it could save me hundreds (or thousands, it claimed) of dollars by handling the negotiation with my jeweler for me. I felt like I had already negotiated the lowest price possible on my diamond and I was a little nervous, but I put my info in to the web site. I got a call from the owner/only employee, John and based on our discussion he called my jeweler and got the price another $450 lower. He charges 1/3rd of any money he saves you, so I netted $300. I'm really happy about it. I saved money and it feels realy good to know that someone "in the industry" couldn't do much better than I did negotiating. So I would definitey recommend checking out yourdiamondguy.com before you buy a diamond. P.S. - Are blatant recommendations like this OK on this forum? In the interest of full disclosure, I chatted on the phone with John for a while and he seems like a pretty cool guy so I'd like to see him succeed. He was open to my ideas and is actually going to change his web site a bit (make it less adversarial towards jewelers) based on the recommendations I gave him from The Rock thread. I promised him I'd tell whoever I can about him. And the fact is, he saved me $300 for about 5 minutes of my time so I can wholeheartedly say I'd recommend anyone else buying a diamond should contact him before they buy. And while I'm not sure anyone's going to save thousands of dollars I think he might be able to save people a couple hundred bucks here & there. Good luck all!
  5. To anyone thinking about buying a diamond at Tiffany's, try this.... First, pay a big, burly male esctort to have his way with you... Then, go to any other store in the world and buy the same diamond for 50% less. That way you'll have the same experience as if you bought at Tiffany's... You'll have a nice diamond... and you'll know you just got fu Heh heh heh.... /I crack me up.....
  6. Well guys... the results are in. I got a call yesterday after lunch from John at yourdiamondguy.com. I had submitted the info to his site about the diamond that I liked at $8400. He called the store and spoke to my sales person and got the price to $7950. I called my sales guy to confirm and he just joked, "Damn - you called in the big guns on me!!!" He wasn't mad (I don't think) and we agreed that it's a done deal for $7950. I promised John I'd say something nice about him and recommend him to others. So I do have to say that I saved $300 (he got the price down $450, and he charges 1/3rd of the savings). All I had to do was fill out a web form and have a 2 minute conversation with John. I actually spent WAY more time debating about wether or not to do it than I did actually talking to him! lol. Overall, I'm really very happy. I REALLY thought I had my sales guy at his absolute bottom price on this diamond, but obvioulsy there was still a little more to go - and John somehow got it out of him. Granted, I didn't see the $1000's of dollars in savings that he talks about on the site, but I like to take credit for doing a good job getting the price down on my own so there wasn't much savings to be had. I bet he'd make a killing off somone who didn't do their research online and was about to pay List Price!! But either way, I'd have to recommend him to anyone shopping for a diamond. There's really nothing to lose and you might save $300! And $300 buck buys several lap dances at the Bachelor Party!! lol. So - I'm ready to go. I pick the ring up tonight and the Proposal is this weekend. Wish me luck!
  7. Hmmm... Now I'm wondering if this is just a Chicago thing? Because honesly EVERY store quoted me their initial price on diamonds like this one (1.4 C, F, VS2, Princess Cut) around $10K or greater. I heard it as high as $12,000. Of course they all backed off to the $8000 - $9000 range once I shared the data my online research (mostly this site, which rocks!). Am I just shopping in all the wrong places? I've been to Prudential, New York City jewlers, and a number of places in the Jewlers Mall - most of them have a pretty good name from what I can tell. BTW...I hope I'm not insulting any of you guys who are in the diamond business... you guys seem like stand-up guys and I wish I'd started earlier so I could have dealt with some of you! Maybe it's just because I'm dealing with brick & mortar stores... but I have to admit I have encountered a lot of the "Tricks" almost everywhere. Like I said before, I don't hold it against anyone. I consider it part of "THE GAME" (as I refer to it). I think this website describes "The Game" best in their Negotiations Page: "What does a new car, expensive jewelry, and a home have in common? Their respective transactions all involve a large sum of money... and in any such transaction, it is worth the seller's time to try to "tailor" each deal to maximize the amount of revenue that can be extracted out of every individual buyer. Economists call this "price discrimination" and it simply means that you will pay more if the salesperson detects: -strong emotional affinity for the product (e.g. you're in love with a particular ring) -desperation (e.g. you're planning to propose tomorrow but still don't have the ring) -price insensitivity (e.g. you're rich), -lack of education on the purchase at hand. " I've certainly found this to be the case in my shopping. Not that anyone has been dishonest or crooked, but they certainly are playing "the game" and trying to "maximize profit". I guess I'm just hoping that using a service like this one will help me be a better player in "The Game". Well, I'm supposed to hear back from John (aka yourdiamondguy) by this afternoon. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
  8. Hi all, Well, I talked with John at www.yourdiamondguy.com last night. He's the owner / sole employee. He actually seems like a pretty good guy. He says since he used to work in the field, a friend asked him to tag along while buying a diamond last year and he helped the friend get a good deal. That friend referred him to another 2 friends, and so on.. so he was doing this pretty frequently and decided to see if he could start a side business out of it and he's been doing it for just a little while now. I gave him everyone's feedback that his site comes off kind of like he's got a grudge against all diamond sellers and might turn people off. He seemed pretty receptive to my input and said he'll probably look at changing the site. He especially agreed that using the term "Dirty tricks" might be over the top. Well anyway, I gave him the specs on the one diamond that I'm leaning toward right now and we'll see how it goes. My salesperson started at $10,000 and I've used the data on this site to get it down to $8400 so I think I've done a pretty good job already. I kept waiting for him to ask for my credit card or some other catch, but he says if he gets me a better price and I buy that diamond, he'll just invoice me so I guess I've got nothing to lose. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
  9. Heh heh - funny you should ask...my budget WAS $6000... but right now I'm looking at 1.3 - 1.4 E-F Princess cuts (mostly VS1's) in the $8000+ range. I'm shopping at brick & mortar stores and using the data from this site as ammo to get them down on the price. I just can't get over the mental hurdle of buying a diamond having never seen it and I don't have the time to risk having to return a diamond (I'm proposing before Xmas and wait WAY too long). And I'm actually getting them pretty close to the online prices. I hear what you're saying about the "salespeople as crooks" attitude - kind of an unfair generalization. I look at it a little differently and I just view it all as just part of "the game". But also in fairness, his description of a sample sale is almost exactly what I went through at a couple of stores (and also how my budget got moved from $6K to $8K...lol) So... I guess I'm going to try it. I'm kind of at the "what have I got to lose?" mindset. I'll keep you posted.
  10. Hi, I'm scouring the internet to see if I can find any more information about this company I found that SOUNDS like a really great idea... Has anyone ever heard of www.yourdiamondguy.com Your Diamond Guy? They claim they can call my salesperson and use their expertise to haggle for a better price - in exchange for a cut of the savings. I think I want to try it. It looks safe since they are not asking for a credit card or any $ up front and the site says some things that seem to be very true. But I'd feel SO much better if I could find someone else who has used them. I think they may be fairly new. So... has anyone ever used them - or something like this? What does everyone think? Thanks so much!
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