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Questionable Salesperson


keckman
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Here is my situation:

 

I was previously engaged several years ago, and my ex-fiance had given me the engagement ring back. The original jeweler of the ring gave me 70% of the ring's original price to me as store credit. When I had purchased the original ring, I thought I got a pretty good price on the ring and diamond. Therefore, I thought I would get a good deal when shopping there again. Unfortunately, the same salesperson that I used before no longer works there.

 

A week ago, I went into the store and told the salesperson the stats on the diamond that I was looking for, and I gave her a picture of the band of the engagement ring that my girlfriend wanted. I used my store credit to purchase the engagement ring band. The same salesperson called me up the other day and said that she had some diamonds that she would like for me to look at. She showed me a 1.64 carat, F, VS2, depth% 60.4, table% 58, crown height 14%, pavilion depth 43%, vg symmetry, vg polish, thin-slightly thick girdle, no flourescence, 7.68-7.61 x 4.62mm, with "8 hearts & 8 arrows This diamond is extremely well cut & polished utilizing high precision and possess an inside pattern of 8 Hearts & 8 Arrows when viewed through a special lens" in the comments section of the EGL Diamond Certificate. The jewelry store originally had a price of $13,940 but they were reducing the price for me to $13,500. I thought this was a super price for a 1.64 carat diamond, and I thought it had a really nice sparkle inside and outside of the store. However, red flags really started to go up when I looked under the magnifying glass (not loop) and saw inclusions that weren't on the EGL diamond certificate. I asked my salesperson if there was another lab because I hadn't heard of EGL before; I told her I thought the other lab started with an "A". She replied that GIA and EGL are two of the most well respected laboratories in the industry and she wouldn't look at any of the other labs.

 

When I came home and started doing more research on the internet, I learned that EGL is not well thought of at all and the other lab I couldn't remember at the time is AGS. I also saw the EXACT same diamond (same EGL certificate number) on the internet for about $3000 less (ranging from $10,591- $10,837) on three different websites.

 

Today, she called me to ask if I wanted the 1.64 carat diamond that I had looked at. I told her that I didn't, and I informed her about what I learned on the internet: EGL not being well thought of, GIA and AGS are the labs that I wanted to consider, and that I found the exact same diamond for $3000 less. In reply to the price, she said that internet prices would generally be cheaper. My reply was that I understood that they might be cheaper, but I didn't think they should be $3000 cheaper.

 

Needless to say, I feel a little uncomfortable working with this salesperson. How should I go about getting someone else to work with me at the same jewelry store? I almost feel obligated to shop here for the diamond since I have a remaining store credit of nearly $5500.

 

Thanks,

 

Jim

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You’ve asked several questions here but I’ll address the central one that you didn't specifically ask. What’s a fair margin for a retailer to charge for their services? I think most folks would agree that they deserve to be paid, it’s just a matter of deciding how much. They’re looking for 30% and you want to pay less than that. The 70% refund policy would suggest that this is what they made on the the first deal as well. So what’s a fair rate? 20%? 10%? I don’t know, this is the dilemma of retailers all over the world and they will then need to adjust the bundle of benefits that they deliver to match the price people are willing to pay. For what it’s worth, this is fairly typical markup for specialty jewelry stores in most markets and the jewelers aren’t exactly getting rich off of it after they pay their employees and expenses. Most are actually on the brink of going out of business. I’m not arguing that you should shop there, that’s up to you and you’re quite right that there are less expensive alternatives, but I’m curious what you think would be a fair margin. What would it take to earn your business?

 

As far as finding a salesperson you want, simply politely ask to speak with a manager and make your request. Don't make a scene about it and they should be happy to match you up with someone else.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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You’ve asked several questions here but I’ll address with the central one that you didn't specifically ask. What’s a fair margin for a retailer to charge for their services? I think most folks would agree that they deserve to be paid, it’s just a matter of deciding how much. They’re looking for 30% and you want to pay less than that. The 70% refund policy would suggest that this is what they made on the the first deal as well. So what’s a fair rate? 20%? 10%? I don’t know, this is the dilemma of retailers all over the world and they will then need to adjust the bundle of benefits that they deliver to match the price people are willing to pay. For what it’s worth, this is fairly typical markup for specialty jewelry stores n most markets and the jewelers aren’t exactly getting rich off of it after they pay their employees and expenses. Most are actually on the brink of going out of business. I’m not arguing that you should shop there, that’s up to you and you’re quite right that there are cheaper alternatives, but I’m curious what you think would be a fair margin. What would it take to earn your business?

 

As far as finding a salesperson you want, simply politely ask to speak with a manager and make your request. Don't make a scene about it and they should be happy to match you up with someone else.

 

Neil

 

Is it EGL-USA or EGL-International graded? EGL-USA is much better in my opinion, but regardless a premium cut VS2 F 1.64ct should have been sent to GIA or AGS unless the dealer is just trying to move it fast. Do they take a lot of trade ins? What's the date on the certificate?

 

Ask them if you send it to GIA and it comes back any less then a VS2, F, Very Good Cut if they'll give you a full refund and see what they say? The fact the salesperson has never heard of AGS is somewhat troublesome. But it could very well be the diamond is very nice and accurately graded and the salesperson is just not too sharp, maybe he/she is new to the business.

 

If the stone is accurately graded and well cut it seems like a good deal to me.

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Thank you Neil and Yosef for your input.

 

I don't know if they take a lot of trade-ins. Do you mean taking diamonds in from other dealers? Then if that is what you mean, the answer is yes. They talk to their dealers/brokers, and they ship the diamonds that my jeweler is interested in to them.

 

About the salesperson, I just don't think she is that sharp. I remember her being there when I purchased my first engagement ring about 3 years ago. I would think 3 years would be enough time to learn about the labs that analyze the diamonds.

 

I think the EGL Certificate is from Israel. It doesn't say on the copy of the certificate (they didn't have the original certificate, and they had a scanned copy emailed to the store). I believe that it said EGL Israel on the packet that the diamond was in. The date on the certificate is June 11, 2007.

 

That's a good idea about getting a GIA grading on the diamond. I don't know if they would go for it, but it's worth a try! I just hope they haven't shipped the diamond back yet. I'll give them a call tomorrow morning.

 

Thanks again!

 

Jim

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Jim,

 

EGL Israel is not very well regarded in the trade but they aren’t, by definition, wrong either. You do need to consider the possibility that the stone would be a SI1-SI2 and G-H or even I if graded by GIA. If you’re near the top of that it’s still a fair deal in my opinion but the accurate grading really does matter quite a bit.

 

Hearts and arrows symmetry is a good sign for a precision cut stone and a lot of people like it but I’m not sure that a comment an a report by EGL-Israel is a good sign of proper h&a patterning. Does the store have the tool to see it? Did they show you the pattern?

 

Neil

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Neil,

 

Thank you for your reply regarding EGL Israel. During my research, I was feeling the same about EGL Israel; I didn't want to purchase a diamond, have it independently appraised, and then find out I had been had! In addition, when I was looking at the diamond under the microscope, I was finding a lot more inclusions that weren't on the EGL certificate.

 

Concerning the H&As pattern, I don't know if the store owns the special lens to see them. The salesperson didn't offer to show me if they did own it.

 

Concerning getting the diamond graded by GIA, how much would that cost? I have been searching all over the internet, but I can't find anything.

 

Thanks again!

 

Jim

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Here’s GIA’s fee structure. Don’t forget to include shipping to and from the lab unless you happen to live in NYC or Carlsbad CA.

 

http://www.gia.edu/gemtradelab/31548/fees.cfm

 

Sorry, I have no sympathy for the jeweler not having the scope. If they’re going to sell h&a stones and try to claim it’s worth a premium, they should have the tools to prove it. Here’s a spiffy chrome plated one for $30.

 

http://www.nationaljewelerssupplies.com/page/NJS/PROD/SK0519

 

The burden of proof is on them, the seller who wants your money, not you and not the lab. If you don't care then it doesn't matter but if they are using this as part of their sales pitch they should be prepared to back it up.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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