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Hello,

 

I just thought I'd write a brief paragraph or so about how to save a lot on diamonds and what to look for. I noticed that with a lot of posts here, several people are either paying more for a diamond than they need to or getting too much in one area and not enough in another area as far as the stats go in diamonds.

 

First things first, jewelry stores at your local towns/cities tend to not only over-price their diamonds, but they also tend not to carry a lot of really high quality diamonds (they'll often sell a lesser quality diamond for more than a higher quality diamond would cost elsewhere), so do your research.

 

Secondly, people often pay more for features of a diamond that they won't be able to really tell a difference with. For instance, some people will purchase a VVS1 diamond when it might look just as a good as any VS or SI 1 or 2 diamonds. They key is to look, or ask, for an eye clean diamond and ask about the type of inclusion. This along can save well over a thousand dollars (sometimes substantially more). As far as color goes, a D, E, or F is always great as far as color goes (G is still pretty good, but an H might be pushing it -- I's and J's typically have a noticeable yellow tint). Several of you I've noticed have gotten unnecessarily high clarity diamonds, but still might lack a bit on the color, when it should probably be the other way around.

 

If you're looking for a lot of sparkle, just be sure to get an "Ideal" diamond that is independently certified (some stores can make up their own "ideal" or "some fancy name cut," but they won't be a true ideal diamond necessarily).

 

I've been doing free diamond searches for quite some time now (I use a database of only the best diamond stores and search for specific diamonds for individuals fitting it to their price and specifications, and then I find the cheapest ones at the best quality), and would be happy to help anyone out. I do this for free as I'm currently in the process of building a larger database of prices specific to minute changes in other qualities of diamonds and can easily do these searches on the side while I do this.

 

If you have any questions or would like me to do a search specifically for you (again, this is free -- no gimmick or anything), just e-mail me at brian@beforeproposing.com.

 

Take care and hope I've helped a bit!

 

Brian

 

brian@beforeproposing.com

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Brian,

 

Welcome to the Diamond Review forum.

 

You mentioned the importance of ‘ideal’ cutting both here and on your site and correctly pointed out that not everyone uses this term the same way but you never explain what YOU mean by it. Can you please explain?

 

I feel I should also point out that a free search database like you are discussing introducing on your site is available at the top of the page titled ‘find online jeweler’. There are undoubtably ways to improve upon it and it might be an interesting discussion about how this can be done but it strikes me as impolite, bordering on spam to come onto a forum to promote what is effectively a competitor without at least mentioning that they are in this business and that they are already doing what your are suggesting. How is a customer better served by your system than the one that’s already in place here?

 

Neil

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Neil,

 

I apologize if you took this in a rude way -- I certainly didn't mean it. In fact, I didn't even see your diamond search database link to be honest. The main point of my post, though, was not about the searches and more so about what people are looking for in a diamond. I see several people going for really high clarity diamonds, but then slacking in other areas. Personally, I can vouch for most people out there and say that they won't be able to tell the difference from a VVS1 from a VS2 ... sometimes even an SI1 or 2 (if it's a good, eye clean one). Apart from that, my searches aren't electronically done on a website such as yours -- I search through a huge database offline and then call on the few individual ones that stand out for a specific person to get detailed information on them. Then I narrow it down even more and send the info along to the individual I'm doing a search for, so we're not exactly doing the same thing. I can, however, see several nice things about your web-based search, as it is quick and easy for some simple comparisons with quality-types and prices. It's definitely an easy route to go for some. Again, sorry for not mentioning it.

 

As far as your "ideal" cut question, jewelers debate that constantly and I'm not going to get into any specifics there. One could debate standards for hours (and they do!), but I try to go by diamonds certified by either GIA or AGSL (two of the most highly respectable institutes out there). Some other certified diamonds (although still potentially being nice diamonds) can be graded on completely different standards where an "ideal" cut diamond can end up being a worse cut compared to other grading systems. Places that do two certifications (first by GIA or AGSL and then by another) are even more respectable in my books, as it goes above and beyond and guarantees the quality. (This goes for more than just the cut, of course.)

 

Hope that clarifies any confusion! :)

 

Take care,

 

Brian

 

brian@beforeproposing.com

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Brian,

 

First, a brief clarification. I am not the admin of this site nor do I have anything to do with it beyond being a regular on the forum. It just seemed like you were stepping on Hermann’s toes and since he is our host here he deserves some deference.

 

By and large I agree with you and what you have described is nearly identical to what most retailers do. The difference is that you are saying that you do it for free. This strikes me as curious. Your website is full of affiliate referral links to online retailers who pay a referral fee (which is just fine by the way) but if you call in a stone from Rapnet, Poly or some similar database you will need to absorb expenses like shipping, security as well as things like the inherent credit risk associated with this, not to mention your time. Free is a pretty low price for this. Can you elaborate on how this works? If someone buys a stone through your service, how is the price calculated? I guess I’m just a cynic and I don't trust a freebe offer. Little things like that make me nervous about big things.

 

Many of the shared wholesale databases like you discuss are readily brokered through some of the retailers who advertise here like www.abazias.com and www.usacerted.com while others have a more standard approach of buying stones they find appropriate and reselling them as a exclusive item to them like www.superbcert.com and www.diamondsbylauren.com. Others are something of a combination of both like www.bluenile.com and www.jamesallen.com where both are available. I’m not really seeing how you fit into this continuum.

 

I admit it, the ideal question was loaded. The abuse of that term is one of my great irritations and I’m pleased to see that you are using is carefully. For the record, GIA doesn’t use it at all, they call their top grade ‘excellent’. You used one of my other pet peeve terms – ‘guaranteed grading’. Guaranteed by whom? (hint: not GIA or AGSL)

 

If you can do it without incurring costs, do me a search. Quote me a price on a 2.00+, VS1-VS2, F-G, AGS graded ideal, med-strong blue fluorescence, h&a. I'm not going to buy it so I don't want you to waste any money here, I just want to see what the free service looks like. I won't pretend that I'm a valid client but this is an opportunity to strut your stuff.

 

Neil

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Hey Neil,

 

It actually costs me nothing. I don't have any of the diamonds shipped and I don't go off of wholelists exactly. What I do is that I have databases from every site/store in my offline database, and once I narrow down a search (say someone asks for a specific carat size range and gives me a basic price range), I'll let them look over the stats. Then if they narrow it down even more, I'll call on those select few and get more detailed information from a jeweler who actually looks at the diamond (as well as from the reports on it). I'll then narrow it down even more and provide them links to a few along with my notes and recommendations on each one. If I see them searching for something that I wouldn't personally recommend, or if I think a less expensive feature would be better for them, I'll tell them that as well.

 

Several of these diamonds I get a small percent on if they end up buying it, which is how I make a modest fee. However, the cost to the customer is free.

 

Basically, it's a good way for the customer to not only get good advice, but to also save some money as well. I also have a 101 Marriage Proposal Ebook where I actually do make money directly, as well.

 

As far as your excellent/ideal comment, yes, they essentially are the same thing in most cases and I tend to try to name everything the same to make it easier for people. Otherwise, I get a ton of questions asking about excellent vs ideal vs "any-made-up-name-for-ideal" and so on.

 

And sure, I'll do a quick search this afternoon for that diamond. I won't spend too much time calling around on them, but I'll give you a rough idea.

 

And as far as my affiliate links page, that's just a quick and easy way for visitors to see some online stores -- not meant to be anything special.

 

Take care,

 

Brian

 

brian@beforeproposing.com / briankoz@gmail.com

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I did a quick search. Because it's just for an example, I didn't call on the individual diamonds to do a follow-up check or to check on specifics. I didn't take into account fluorescence for most of them (it doesn't list it on all, as that's one of the things I have to usually call on), but that's something that most people find undesirable anyway (even though it's usually not really a huge deal ... in most cases). I also usually don't do a ton of searches for diamonds over 2 carats. Most of my searches, and most of the best deals, are for diamonds between 0.50 and 1.50 carats. It's a lot easier to get better prices and better quality stones at this range. But I have done a few over 2 carats.

 

Doing an exact search, for the most part, I found prices ranging from around $15,000 to $20,000 plus. I also found one around $8,000, but I'm very skeptical of some of the features and didn't get the chance to follow-up on it with a call (it's also from a site that I don't rely on too much or do much business with). The upper ones have a little higher of stats, though, and they come from very respectable sites. However, I personally wouldn't search for the diamond that you described. I'd try to knock a bit off the clarity (but still search for an eye clean one) and a few notches to the color. In most cases, I believe that people tend to be happier with the diamond this way, as they usually won't notice the clarity difference and the diamond will look a bit nicer (especially on a white gold ring). When I take this new criteria into account (and also with no fluorescence), that would change the high end price range from $12,000 to $15,000. There are a few that are for less, but again, I haven't followed up on them and have a feeling that the $12,000 to $15,000 are better.

 

Normally, I narrow down the search here and give several stats for each of the specific diamonds. Then I call on a select few (for instance, if you change your mind and go with my suggestions) to verify all the features and check on such things as the types of inclusions and so forth. Then from there I can sometimes give the customer an extra price break by talking to the sites selling the diamonds directly.

 

Hope that helps Neil!

 

Take care,

 

Brian

 

brian@beforeproposing.com / briankoz@gmail.com

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Hi Neil,

 

Brian and I have been having an offline discussion for the past few days that was sparked by his initial post.

 

The bottom line here is that he is referring people to sellers where, in some cases, he receives a commission. He stated this himself in the middle of his last post:

 

Several of these diamonds I get a small percent on if they end up buying it, which is how I make a modest fee.

 

While there is nothing wrong with getting paid for providing a valuable service, I do think it's important to be upfront when you are assuming the role of the "trusted advisor" while simultaneously a conflict of interest exists. I'm glad to see Brian has been stepped up to the important responsibility of communicating the potential conflict, and hope that in the future he makes that clear when he provides advise to consumers who visit Diamond.info (just as we do in our FAQ, which can be viewed by clicking on the link at the bottom of each and every page within Diamond.Info).

 

As to his diamond database, I'm still not 100% sure I understand how it works. However, Brian and I have been discussing the possibility of him just referring people to Diamond.info's, since ours works quite well already and has been proven to be valuable to hundreds of thousands of consumers over the past several years.

 

Cheers,

Hermann

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Brian,

 

I must admit, if I was a shopper I would find that less than helpful. You converted the question I asked into one that you wish I had asked. You answered nothing that I couldn’t have done in 10 seconds with Hermanns database. I knew it was a hard question. A casual search here doesn’t produce a single stone that meets my requirements, which is why I thought you might be able to distinguish yourself by your personal shopping contribution, while a search of what you answered produces literally hundreds of offers. I agree, fluorescence is unpopular or neutral with most people and it’s difficult to shop for but this doesn’t make people wrong to want it any more than they are wrong by wanting AGS paperwork or h&a symmetry, both of which I requested and you also ignored.

 

I would be surprised if you can find a stone that meets my requirements for less than $30k and even then it will be difficult yet you’re implying that you can get it for $12k-$15k by making your preferred compromises. If you’re going to be a merchant, and I think we've established that what you're doing is being a merchant, I recommend preparing yourself to sell things other than what you yourself would buy or you will be doing your clients a disservice. Not everyone is interested in the same things and assuming that your clients should want what you like is not being helpful.

 

Neil

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Neil,

 

Actually, I stated my first search exactly to your specifications (although you didn't mention polish and the like, which is minor). I said the high end was around $22,000 for your exact search (although fluorescence was the only thing I'd have to check on for SOME of them). If you change to what I suggested, though, the high end would be around $12,000 to $15,000. That should answer your question 100%, as all you asked for was a price.

 

Database searches, like Hermann's, are great and there are several advantages and disadvantages to each. I don't deal with hundreds of diamonds in my search. Typically I narrow it down to less than 10 and then check individually on them. There is no database in this world that can give you all the information on every single diamond, as no two diamonds are alike. When it gets down to this level of detail, you really have to call or check on it.

 

I've been doing searches for quite some time and have many satisfied clients. It's very easy for them to e-mail/call me and work through the entire process. My main target base are individuals who don't know a ton about diamonds and don't really know any of the specifics, let alone the tiny technical differences, which is why many find it helpful. I won't bother defending myself, as I really don't see a need to. It helps my customers, and that works for me! If you don't find it as helpful as they do, that's just how it works. :)

 

Take care,

 

Brian

 

brian@beforeproposing.com

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Hermann,

 

Do you pay referral fees?

 

Neil

 

No, Diamond.info does not advertise and does not pay any form of referral fee to anyone. All our traffic comes from "word of mouth" and from search engines.

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First things first, jewelry stores at your local towns/cities tend to not only over-price their diamonds, but they also tend not to carry a lot of really high quality diamonds (they'll often sell a lesser quality diamond for more than a higher quality diamond would cost elsewhere), so do your research.

I know that I shouldn't say anything.. And I know that there is nothing that I say here that will in any way be taken well.. but I still can't let the fact that I find your comment rude, offensive, and uncalled for..

 

There are a great many local jewelers that provide excellent service, actually own great diamonds, and sell them and prices quite comperable to online vendors.. To toss out a blanket statement like you did is rude and uncalled for.. And smells just alittle self serving in an effor tot strike at least some fear in to potential buyers so that they will use your service (which you may make money on)..

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Yes, you are right, there are some great local jewelers out there. I should have stated my comment a bit differently. I was just trying to say that there are several local jewelers who over-price their jewelry by quite a bit (just like there are a few online ones as well). They also can occur much more of an overhead cost, which makes it harder to compete. There are some that can pull it off, though.

 

And I'm not trying to scare people away from shopping locally. If you find a great diamond at a local dealer for a great price, buy it! If you see it and are happy with it and the price, there's nothing more to be said. In fact, if anything, the opposite is true. Most people still buy diamonds in person (even at over-priced places) ... in fact, the vast majority do simply because they're afraid to buy online! All I'm saying is that if you deal with the right places and do your research, you don't have to be afraid. My main take home message is not to be afraid of online jewelers if they're well known and respectable.

 

And yes, I do often make a tiny cut on the diamonds that I direct individuals towards (no cost to the buyer, though). I not only help locate great diamonds at very good prices, but I can offer my advice and often get extra discounts taken off of the diamond if they're about to buy. This works out for everyone.

 

Take care,

 

Brian

 

brian@beforeproposing.com

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You know, I was going to be nice to you.. That is until I saw your website and saw that you had stolen pictures from MY website to use on yours.. If you had asked I probably would have said yes.. But right now I'm not terribly thrilled and expect to see my picture removed immediatly..

 

http://www.beforeproposing.com/ringguide.html

http://www.imagesontheweb.net/education/4cs_carat.html

 

You didn't even have the decency to give me credit when you stole my work.. Now I need to troll through your site and see what else is stolen..

 

Hmm, now that I look closer I'm seeing that you grabbed a lot of pictures from other sites.. I wonder how Blue Nile is going to react to seeing so much of their work on your site.. But then you are BN affiliate they prolly won't care..

 

And comments like this

 

In my honest opinion, Blue Nile has the best deals you'll probably be able to find (even if you find a nice used engagement ring through classifieds

 

Where you link through your affiliate ID just make you look like a shill out for a buck..

 

In fact, I am seeing little on your site to show anything about being a site for helping people but a whole lot about you trying to make a fast buck..

 

I'm probably going to get in trouble for this, and I'll most likely regret this when the Vicodin wears off and I can finally get some sleep, but when people flat out steal my work I get pretty riled up.. And since I found this linked through your blue nile pics folder I need to go troll BN and see if they have my image as well..

 

*sigh*

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Okay, I sense a lot of hostility here and am getting a bit sick of it. There are no stolen pics here. There are a few pics that I credited (like Blue Nile with the hand pics -- it says it's from them right above, and affiliates can use pictures from them) and others that I asked permission for from other sites.

 

Did you "create" that diamond shape pic or just grab it from another source? Perhaps we got it from the same source or some other site. If it is your creation, I'll gladly take it down for other similar pics I have -- no big deal.

 

And I'm kind of insulted, as most of the work I do on my site I do for free. Heck, I give away my guide for free to anyone who asks and help people for free without any commission for a majority of the time (I have affiliate links and sometimes find deals from them and sometimes get a small cut, though). Today along, I worked with 5 people: 2 on their proposal and 3 on their diamonds. Of the diamond ones, 2 out of the 3 were with jewelers who I don't get a commission from. So 4 out of 5 today were just to have fun / help out.

 

I do this as a side hobby, as I have a very good job that gives me a ton of free time.

 

Take care,

 

Brian

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I CREATED the diamond shape picture in a cad program called matrix.. I have the source files, the creation dates, the whole bit.. So yes, you do "sense" a "bit" of hostility..

 

What really set me off is "your" tone toward jewelers.. Your whole site reads like jewelers are evil for the most part and they are better off buying through your affiliate link with Blue Nile.. And then I see MY work on your site talking about how bad I am, I think you can see why I would not be thrilled..

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Well in that case I apologize, I definitely checked on all of my images ahead of time. I'll try to find the source I got it from and send you a forward. I can also replace it with another picture or put a small link to your site under it -- no problem, so just let me know and e-mail me at brian@beforeproposing.com.

 

And I'm not trying to bash local jewelers on my site. There are some really great jewelers. In fact, I know the owners of a few jewelry shops that are wonderful -- good quality diamonds at fair prices. I'm just to let readers know that there's nothing to fear from respectable online jewelers, as they can offer some very good prices on high quality diamonds (they also have it a lot easier with overhead costs and what not). There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Right know, the vast majority of people buying diamonds don't go through the internet, unlike trends for other products. I believe it's well over 80% still go to jewelry stores to see a diamond and purchase it -- even from the jewelry stores that mark it up a ton.

 

I can't possibly know every single jeweler -- all I'm trying to say is to check your prices and compare the quality, certifications, etc. If the prices are close, then great! But if they're significantly more, I'm trying to educate some people to not be too afraid and to shop smart.

 

I have affiliations with dozens of sites -- several offline, and I don't know why so many people pick on Blue Nile. They offer some of the smallest cuts (5%) compared to others at 16% to 24% (probably one reason why the diamonds are lower priced and better). With all of my dealings, they have consistently come out as being very good in my book. There are a few other small ones too that are great, but they're not nearly as well known and don't always offer a huge selection. I promote them because I've had good experiences with them. If it was about money, I'd go for the 16% ones or the 24% cuts, which I don't because 99% of the time they're not the best deal or quality.

 

If you check out ANY diamond site out there, they all have affiliations for the most part (unless they're selling diamonds), but it doesn't mean that they are biased. Some people recommend some sites over others, and that's fine. They're opinions and everyone is entitled to their own. If you've dealt with dozens of companies over and over again and believe that one is consistently worse over the other or one is consistently good, then I believe that you're more than entitled to making any comment about them. Having an affiliate link with them just makes sense too.

 

I've sent several people to jewelers in a store in the past that I personally know are good. I don't send them places where I don't know about for obvious reasons. And I don't see anything wrong with sending people to places that I think are a good deal. Would people give your friend crap if they sent them to you? I don't think so.

 

If you'd like me to review your site or diamond offers, I'd be more than happy to send people in your area there if I thought it was a good deal.

 

I see your point, and hopefully you can see mine.

 

Take care,

 

Brian

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Hey again,

 

I actually just took off that picture and replaced it. Sorry for the mix-up and I had no intentions of using another's image without permission, as I honestly got all my images from sources that gave the okay.

 

Take care and hope that whatever illness or surgery you had gets better!

 

Brian

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Okay, I sense a lot of hostility here and am getting a bit sick of it. There are no stolen pics here.

 

Brian, I saw the pictures as well before you took it down. It is definitely the same picture. Whatever "hostilities" you sense are based on an allegation that to me looks very well founded.

 

Copyright infringement is a serious issue and a serious crime. I ask that you immediately perform some level of due diligence on all the images and all other material on your site, including all your tutorial text, and remove all material that is not your own creation or properly licensed from its original author. Anything short of this is a serious crime. Go to your local video store and rent any movie, then read the FBI warning at the beginning. That's copyright infringement, and all those penalties apply on the web just as much as they apply to movies.

 

At this point, Feydakin could likely put together a lawsuit against you if he chose to do so, not to mention criminal penalties and charges that could be filed against you by your district attorney. That's the reality. You need to stop what you're doing, apologize profusely to Feydakin, and make absolutely positively sure there isn't a single image or snippet of text on your website that doesn't belong to you or is not properly licensed.

 

There is another important point to be made. You are losing credibility very quickly. It started out with the conflicted advice you are providing to consumers; you and I exchanged a few private emails about this issue. Now it's this allegation of copyright infringement. The online world is a place where every word you write and every action you take 1) gets completely analyzed by millions of very smart people, and 2) gets memorialized forever. For the sake of maintaining your personal reputation and credibility, I suggest you take a breath and consider all the implications -- legal and ethical -- before you post or write further, and before you continue attempting to build a venture online. Otherwise you may end up digging a hole (even with good intentions) that you may never be able to get out of.

 

And as for your "status" on Diamond.info, I normally try to stay out of conversations and let the facts and personalities speak for themselves. But when someone transgresses against a valued and highly respected member of our community such as Feydakin, I do take issue. Please take the steps I've suggested in this message in order to avoid future problems.

 

Hermann

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Thank you for taking down my image Brian..

 

Let me explain the reasons behind the hostility you sense.. We see hundreds, if not thousands of sites just like yours every year.. They are all the same.. They offer 'free' help, they talk about how dangerous it is to buy from a 'real jeweler' and then they 'suggest' wonderful online shops where great product can be purchased..

 

My issue is that all of them claim to be "free" advice.. They are not.. They are paid salespeople for the site they are sending traffic to.. And rarely, if ever, do they point that out clearly.. It would be like you walking in to our store and one of our salesgirls trying to sell you one of our diamonds.. Technically, the advice you got was "Free".. You didn't pay a dime for it.. But we paid her a considerable amount of money to convince you to buy from us.. In a store setting you expect that, and take the advice offered with some skepticism as a sales pitch.. But on sites like yours you try to present it as a free consumer service and remove the skepticism factor..

 

You may be perfectly noble in your goals and intentions.. But FAR more of the affilliate sites out there are less than ethical than any group of jewelers, or any other professional group, would ever be.. There is rarely full disclosure on any of these sites.. Simply because if you came out and said that you were a Blue Nile salesman, which makes you a 'paid' salesman are since they pay you, very few people would take your advice blindly.. They would wonder how much of your opinion has been purchased by your affilliate partners so you can make a buck..

 

Add all of that to the fear and doubt on your site about jewelers, and then finding my work on your site telling people not to trust me, and I think that you can understand my point of view.. I don't regret my post, but I do regret the tone.. I apologize, Herman, for not maintaining a more professional attitude..

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I can understand that. I know that there are tons of good jewelers at real jewelry stores. However, I also know that there are lots of bad ones. I've dealt with tons that either directly lied to me about a diamond or had a price that was around $2000 more than I could buy it for from other places who were already making a profit. I've known dozens of people in the same situations, and I just try to educate them to be smart. There are bad internet diamond sellers out there, but it's usually easier to tell.

 

Online sites can sometimes be easy to shop at if you know what to look for (such as what types of certifications, and which are better than others). You can get the same reassurance if you personally ask a real jeweler at his/her store the same questions -- but you have to specifically ask them. That's the main point I'm trying to make.

 

Everyone looks at a real jewelry store at least once before buying a diamond, and if they're at good prices, the real jewelry store will win hands down because you can see it in person. I'm trying to make it so people either a) know what to look for and ask a real jeweler or B) check online at respectable places first to compare. I'm guessing that if the store is less than $300 to $500 more, they'll probably win. If the difference is significantly more, I'm trying to say that they shouldn't be too worried. :)

 

And as far as Blue Nile, again, I'm affiliated with dozens of sites and I search dozens of them. Blue Nile usually comes out as the better overall deal about half of the time in specific searches. For the other half, it's usually divided by about half a dozen other sites and more random. That's why I respect them and mention it throughout some of my posts and site.

 

If I was about making a quick buck, I could advertise a 1 carat diamond for under $1000 and take $250 as my affiliation fee ... or another one for around $2,000 and take $500. You don't know how many people ask me about those or initially want to buy them (it would be a very easy sell), but I don't do it because I don't believe that they'd be happy in the end. That's kind of why I was a little upset, because I do try to be as unbiased as possible (even when I could make a ton more). I also know good jewelers in Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and New York that I've sent people to in the past, but when it comes to some guy in some other part of the country or world (I've even had South Korea!), I just specialize in the online jewelers.

 

And again, I apologize for the image. BUT I did think it was okay, as when I got images, I did an image search and asked permission for the ones that weren't from free graphic databases or ones I created. But ultimately, it's still my fault for not looking into it a bit more and I really apologize.

 

Take care and best of luck!

 

Brian

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If you check out ANY diamond site out there, they all have affiliations for the most part (unless they're selling diamonds)

 

Brian

There’s nothing wrong with being a paid commission sales person and Blue Nile is a perfectly respectable company to work with. That particular affiliation is being pointed out because it’s the one you’ve been promoting here but the same applies to many companies. If you are adding actual value, like Feydakin’s sales girls or Hermann are doing, both your partners and your clients will be happy with your service and no one with any sense will be offended at the idea that you’re being paid to do it. In most cases people actually prefer it.

 

At the risk of self promoting, not every diamond site does this. Try mine at www.gemlab.us. I have significantly more information about diamonds than most, including yours, I don’t sell diamonds and I don’t have affiliate links. No, my services are not free and the price schedule is clearly published.

 

Neil

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I understand all of that Brian.. But I really think that you are missing my point..

 

It doesn't matter who you affilliate with.. Blue Nile, Wal-Mart, etc. etc. etc.. The fact remains that you get paid to advertise for these people through click synergy.. And while you may be trying to offer unbiased advice, it doesn't change the fact that you are a paid service.. And no where on your web site is it clearly stated that you are a paid advertiser for those various brands..

 

I don't have a problem with people making money.. I don't even mind being painted with a rather broad brush all that much.. All I'm after is full disclosure.. Tell people that you are being paid by these sites in clear language.. Let them have that knowledge and decide for themselves if the money that you do recieve will taint your advice or not..

 

And for the record, I'm just as agressive against jewelers that join boards pretending to be consumers and recommending their own services..

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Actually, I clearly state that I get commission from several sites on my website under "free diamond search." I make it very clear and state how I do it for free. The affiliation links from some other companies on the deals page I just think are pretty obvious as most people know an affiliate link when they see one (it also says "affiliation links" in several places).

 

I thought I made it pretty obvious on my site, especially under the diamond search, which is where most people would go to for my service. For the fact that it's right on the page, I thought that was enough. B)

 

And everyone that e-mails me for it also is explained very clearly how I get a little money on the side. Nothing is hidden, and I've never had a dissatisfied customer.

 

Again, sorry if you thought it was secretive or what not, but I try to be as open about it as possible without over-doing anything. For the fact that I've only had happy people deal with me, I really don't think it's an issue. And I'm sorry if you thought I grouped all jewelers into one category, I definitely didn't mean to do that. Just like I'm sure you didn't mean to group me into "one big category" like you did with several sites just looking to make a quick buck off of affiliate links and such. So let's be at peace -- we're not really in competition or anything, and I'm sorry for the image mistake. :)

 

Take care,

 

Brian

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