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Diamond Suppliers JamesAllen, Blue Nile, Ritani


James Diamond
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Hi James.

You’ll notice that they aren’t all the same in terms of imagery, and the images aren’t available on every stone offered by each dealer. It’s a complicated soup involving thousands of suppliers.  JA, for example, has their own proprietary system, and the underlying technology for that was a big piece of the corporate value when the company was sold last year. They have equipment on-site at their suppliers as well as their own photography setup in NY. I’m guessing we’ll soon see this same technology flogging everything from cars to clothing.  Increasingly wholesale suppliers are offering professional images as an add-on to their retailers, but it's a matter of choosing the right suppliers and then limiting your offerings to those particular suppliers. There's not one or even 10 answers.  It's not that easy, which is why not everyone does it, and even fewer do it well. Good pictures are still a considerable chore. Step 1 is talk to your suppliers. Step 2 is to go to some of the trade shows like Tucson or Vegas and see who is promoting it.  

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52 minutes ago, denverappraiser said:

Hi James.

You’ll notice that they aren’t all the same in terms of imagery, and the images aren’t available on every stone offered by each dealer. It’s a complicated soup involving thousands of suppliers.  JA, for example, has their own proprietary system, and the underlying technology for that was a big piece of the corporate value when the company was sold last year. They have equipment on-site at their suppliers as well as their own photography setup in NY. I’m guessing we’ll soon see this same technology flogging everything from cars to clothing.  Increasingly wholesale suppliers are offering professional images as an add-on to their retailers, but it's a matter of choosing the right suppliers and then limiting your offerings to those particular suppliers. There's not one or even 10 answers.  It's not that easy, which is why not everyone does it, and even fewer do it well. Good pictures are still a considerable chore. Step 1 is talk to your suppliers. Step 2 is to go to some of the trade shows like Tucson or Vegas and see who is promoting it.  

Wow, it does sound difficult. Which trade shows in particular are best to go to?

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It depends on what you sell, how you sell, that sort of thing.  I rather like JCK Las Vegas. JA New York is popular among the east coast crowd. Hong Kong is popular and starts tomorrow. Centurion South Beach is next month and has a following but I've never been. AGTA Tucson is a great show, it's huge, and it has a great tech pavilion, but it's not really focused on diamonds. 

You can buy the setup yourself, but then you have to take the pictures yourself. It's harder than it looks, even with the right tools. The secret to a site like JA or BN that has tens of thousands of stones is that they don't own those stones (most of them anyway). That would run up hundreds of millions of dollars in inventory costs and the margins don't even come close to justifying that.  That means that the secret is having a good, long-term partnership with your vendors is more important than having good equipment yourself. It's not a game for amateurs. It's not a coincidence that you're only seeing this with the BIG players. Do you have a store somewhere?  Where? 

Edited by denverappraiser
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