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In-house Appraisal


Dick
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I talked to someone from Good Old Gold today who said that the ring comes with an in-house appraisal. We had a 5 minute conversation about this in which I attempted to argue (this was not a contentious conversation) that there might be an appearance of a conflict of interest - the fact that the seller also appraises the ring for the buyer. Moreover, I was of the point of view that I should get an independent appraiser to check out the stone. She argued that there was no need to do that. That their laboratory was ideally suited for determining for appraisal purposes the 'value' of the ring. If this had been any other company, I'm thinking that all kinds of bells and whistles would be going off such that it might lead me to back out of the deal entirely.

 

To be sure, I have no questions or doubts about this company. All of my conversations have been pleasant. I am happy with the decision that I made. This person however, maintains that their appraisal (I get two copies) is good enough for insurance purposes and I do not need to waste my time or money getting a second one.

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

Dick

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Wow, not just a second opinion but a 3rd!

 

If you are in ANY way uncomfortable with the deal or what you’ve been told by the sales associate you should get an independent opinion from an expert who is working for YOU, not them. You can’t get a second opinion from the guy who gave you the first. If you aren’t concerned about the credibility of the dealer and aren’t looking for a 2nd opinion then a dealer supplied document will work just fine for your insurance purposes as long as the description is complete and the value conclusion is reasonable.

 

How can you tell? It’s easy, read it. You already know what it costs in a sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller since you just did it so it’s easy enough to see if they’re giving something that’s seriously inflated. As far as the description goes, read it, look at the pictures and ask yourself if there is sufficient information included to replace the piece with another of like kind and quality in the case of a loss. If there is then you’re good to go, if not you need to have the appraiser fill out the report more or simply hire your own.

 

In general, jewelers don’t much care for independent appraisers and they would prefer you just start and end the process with them. The problem is some ‘independents’ aren’t so much so and some aren’t so qualified to do the job. A bad word from an appraiser can spike a deal even if it’s wrong and most jewelers have been burned by this before so they’re very nervous about the whole deal. That's their issue, not yours. If you're worried, get it appraised and if it doesn't meet the muster, return it.

 

Neil

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Neil wrote..

 

Wow, not just a second opinion but a 3rd!

 

If you are in ANY way uncomfortable with the deal or what you’ve been told by the sales associate you should get an independent opinion from an expert who is working for YOU, not them. You can’t get a second opinion from the guy who gave you the first. If you aren’t concerned about the credibility of the dealer and aren’t looking for a 2nd opinion then a dealer supplied document will work just fine for your insurance purposes as long as the description is complete and the value conclusion is reasonable.

 

That is why to be frank, I was a bit perplexed that GOG would be taking this approach.. Good advice all around. I am not concerned about this particular dealer but I probably will go ahead and get a second opinion just for yuks. Sure, it isn't as if I am rolling out 16k for a 1c VS1, but relatively speaking, it is a lot of money to me!

 

Snip..

 

In general, jewelers don’t much care for independent appraisers and they would prefer you just start and end the process with them. The problem is some ‘independents’ aren’t so much so and some aren’t so qualified to do the job. A bad word from an appraiser can spike a deal even if it’s wrong and most jewelers have been burned by this before so they’re very nervous about the whole deal. That's their issue, not yours. If you're worried, get it appraised and if it doesn't meet the muster, return it.

 

Thanks. Another insight: there is an inherent conflict of interest between the independent appraiser (some more independent than others it appears..) and the seller. Maybe, it seems, the so-called independent appraiser has an ax to grind, or a commercial interest so he/she might low ball the stone and steer you toward a 'real' 0.7 SI2 G with a real Ideal Cut. Boy there sure are a lot of pitfalls to watch out for.

 

BTW, several days ago (maybe it ended up in your junk folder) I pinged you off-list in order to see if you could recommend someone from my area - Lancaster, PA. I did find one guy.

 

Thanks.

 

Dick

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Neil;

 

Don't the major appraisal organizations such as NAJA advise against consumers getting merchandise appraised by their Seller as it is a clear conflict of interest.

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Neil;

 

Don't the major appraisal organizations such as NAJA advise against consumers getting merchandise appraised by their Seller as it is a clear conflict of interest.

The problem the appraisal societies have with seller supplied appraisals is often merely one of semantics. Insurance companies tend to require their customers to get an ‘appraisal’ prior to binding a policy as one of the terms of underwriting. They usually don’t require or even request that it be prepared by an independent party and the purpose of the document is to put down in writing (and photographs) the details about the piece as of a particular date so that it can be efficiently replaced in the case of a loss. In many ways the selling jeweler is in a better position to do this than an independent and what is required is basically a fully detailed sales receipt. The courts and TAF (The appraisal foundation, who are the group that writes the Uniform Standards for Appraisal Practice) would not describe this sort of report as an appraisal at all but since the insurance companies, the jewelers and the general public all do it’s something of an academic argument. If the purpose of the ‘appraisal’ is to comply with insurance requirements and the buyer has no concerns about what the selling jeweler has or hasn’t told them in the sales presentation then there is no particular problem with the seller providing the paperwork as part of the deal.

 

This assumes, of course, that the information contained on the report is correct. Incomplete and/or inaccurate data or a wildly out of line value conclusion can actually do more harm than good when it comes time for an insurance claim.

 

Neil

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When a stone has a GIA or AGS lab report, I don't think there is anything wrong with the seller providing an appraisal for insurance purposes. Also when they provide the mounting as well. After all who better to provide you with the details of the purchase than the vendor. For insurance purposes you want to make sure you get as much accurate details as possible so it can be replaced with like and kind again in the future if need be.

 

I've sent stones to appraisers and end up doing most of the work myself anyway as they were not familiar with prices for designer settings etc. I personally think it is a waste of time and money as well for the consumer. However many on the web will object to that, especially the appraisers that are looking for a cut of the sale.

 

With that said, are you happy with the stone? Do you think you paid too much?

Feel free to browse our site to compare prices. I think we have one of the same grade in stock to get a comparison.

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I personally think it is a waste of time and money as well for the consumer. However many on the web will object to that, especially the appraisers that are looking for a cut of the sale.

 

Jan,

 

Consumers are not always forthcoming about their REAL objectives in seeking out an appraisal, especially when speaking with a jeweler who is trying to close a deal. To call it a waste of money is summarily dismissing a service that many people find highly valuable so yes, I definitely object to that statement. I would also point out that there are remarkably few appraisers who are active on the web advice circuit and none of those are folks who I would describe in the parasitic position that you have. I'm one of the highest profile appraisers out there and certainly the most prominent on this board. Do you think MY service is nothing more than angling to get a 'cut' of your sales?

 

Neil

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How many Gemologists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

 

GIA and AGS have more than 1 gemologist actually grade the diamond to start with. I am a Gemologist as well so we routinely look over the stones as well as provide additional info that the labs don't such as real photos of the stone, light performance analysis etc.

 

It really seems redundant to have yet another Gemologist look over the stones yet again for an insurance appraisal.

Now if you are talking about a stone without a lab report or one with a second tier lab report like EGL or IGI then that is a different story altogether.

Edited by jan
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Jan wrote to Neil..

 

I personally think it is a waste of time and money as well for the consumer. However many on the web will object to that, especially the appraisers that are looking for a cut of the sale.

 

Neil responded with..

 

Jan, Consumers are not always forthcoming about their REAL objectives in seeking out an appraisal, especially when speaking with a jeweler who is trying to close a deal.

 

Please, since I am a consumer what, potentially would I not be forthcoming about?

 

And..

 

To call it a waste of money is summarily dismissing a service that many people find highly valuable so yes, I definitely object to that statement.

 

I don't know entirely what the conflicts are here and do not want to get in the middle of what appears to be a clash between two parts of the same industry - but I will say that you have been very helpful to me on several occasions and I appreciate that.

 

Dick

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Not surprisingly, I fundamentally disagree with you.

 

What drives most people to seek out an independent appraisal on a new purchase is that they have less than 100% trust in the seller. For almost everyone a diamond is a big expense, often the biggest they’ve ever done, and it’s usually with a company that they’ve done little or no business with before. It’s the same reason they collect offers and collect information from different sellers during the shopping process to compare one dealer against another. It’s the reason people are looking at advice on Internet forums like this one. Routinely this information contains important discrepancies from one source to the next. They get a different story from each store, especially when it comes to the minutia. Sure, they end up choosing whatever one they think is the best from the lot but this does not resolve the nagging worry about whether they really went to the one who is telling them the truth or if they just went with the slickest salesman. This IS a valid worry. People get screwed regularly and those that do always got into it thinking they got a great deal. The solution to this problem, whether it’s real or imagined, is an independent appraisal. To summarily dismiss this as a waste of time and money is, at best, not understanding the customer’s concern. At worst it’s an attempt to conceal information that they would prefer the customer not know because it might not be in the dealer’s best interest if they did.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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If you don`t trust the dealer then why would you buy from them in the first place? This would be one of the first things I would do as a buyer before I hit my comfort zone and plunked down the money. Check the dealer out on the BBB, see how they treat the consumers they deal with, and are they providing correct information to the consumers. Now if you don`t trust the jeweler in the first place then the appraisal they provide you probably won`t trust either. This, I guess is where the independent appraiser comes in for this situation. This doesn`t mean that the appraisal wasn`t sufficient in detail for insurance replacement, or that the seller is misleading.

 

 

 

 

Now in the past I have witnessed some appraisers play on this fear factor and run a system on the internet much like mob protection. Jewelers on the up and up were put in a position that if they didn`t conform they were the bad guys. Many vendors went along with the plan and "played" the system, shipped their goods to where the appraiser rubber stamped their goods and made big bucks doing it, while the few that didn`t agree to the bully tactics were hurt in the process. Those vendors and other appraisers that sat backed and watched, and benifited, and who also gave their seal of approval are just as bad.

 

 

 

 

If someone needs a true independent evaluation find a qualified appraiser and take if to them yourself without knowledge of the seller. This eliminates the possibility of the seller and the appraiser being in business together.

 

Brad

Edited by Bradley
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If you don`t trust the dealer then why would you buy from them in the first place? This would be one of the first things I would do as a buyer before I hit my comfort zone and plunked down the money. Check the dealer out on the BBB, see how they treat the consumers they deal with, and are they providing correct information to the consumers. Now if you don`t trust the jeweler in the first place then the appraisal they provide you probably won`t trust either. This, I guess is where the independent appraiser comes in for this situation. This doesn`t mean that the appraisal wasn`t sufficient in detail for insurance replacement, or that the seller is misleading.

 

This sounds curiously like we agree. Never have I said that dealer supplied documents can’t be sufficient for insurance purposes. In fact I’ve argued in this very thread that they can be.

 

There are varying degrees of trust that one can place in a merchant (or an appraiser) and it’s not a yes or no question. This is not limited to jewelry by the way. A ‘typical’ diamond shopper has very little personal experience to go on and the vetting process for choosing a dealer is far from perfect. By all means check them out using resources like the BBB and referrals from friends but it is simply not correct to say that all companies with no complaints with the BBB are therefore totally reliable. You do the best you can. Choosing a merchant as the best for whatever reason is not the same as therefore deciding their advice is 100% reliable. I agree that shoppers can save quite a bit of potential grief if they choose the dealer first, then the stone rather than the reverse but they can gain an additional level of confidence and possibly some important information from an uninvolved expert.

 

Now in the past I have witnessed some appraisers play on this fear factor and run a system on the internet much like mob protection. Jewelers on the up and up were put in a position that if they didn`t conform they were the bad guys. Many vendors went along with the plan and "played" the system, shipped their goods to where the appraiser rubber stamped their goods and made big bucks doing it, while the few that didn`t agree to the bully tactics were hurt in the process. Those vendors and other appraisers that sat backed and watched, and benifited, and who also gave their seal of approval are just as bad.

It’s certainly correct that there are bad apples in the appraisal business, just like there are bad apples in the jewelry sales business but to use this as evidence that the entire industry is of no value is preposterous. As mentioned above, I see very few appraisers who are active on the Internet at all, much less that are running protection rackets there.

 

If someone needs a true independent evaluation find a qualified appraiser and take if to them yourself without knowledge of the seller. This eliminates the possibility of the seller and the appraiser being in business together.

 

Again, we seem to agree. A buyer using an appraiser as part of the shopping process should filter the appraiser as carefully as they filter the jeweler. Calling themselves an ‘independent appraiser’ doesn’t make them either. With the exception of branded goods where authorized dealer status and genuine products become an issue, I agree that the ideal situation is when the appraiser and seller are completely isolated from one another, neither knowing even the identity of the other.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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I agree with almost all of what Brad wrote.

I don't know about any "bad apples" or schemes- but everything else seemed right on the money.

It would be a clear sign of a problem for a seller to advise a buyer NOT to seek an independent appraiser to verify their purchase, yet many clients who are comfortable with the seller may not.

 

In our situation, where a lot of the items we sell are incredibly difficult to price, it could prove quite difficult to find an appraiser who is familiar.

 

IMO , providing a document detailed enough for an insurance company should be required of all sellers of high end jewelry.

I feel the buyer should demand it.

 

Furthermore, any seller charging for such a document seems to be going over a line to me.

Sure they can, there's no law that says they can't - but I still believe that a buyer should expect a thorough and complete description of what they are buying.

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Please, since I am a consumer what, potentially would I not be forthcoming about?

 

Dick

 

People are generally pretty conflict averse and they don't want to tell the dealer that they don't fully trust them.

 

Neil

 

I recall Ronald Reagan's famous comment in the early 1980's when there was all this talk between the Soviet Union and the U.S. about cutting the nuclear arsenal: 'Trust but verify'...

 

My thought is that it does not necessarily follow that there will be a conflict between the seller and the buyer with respect to an in-house appraisal. On the other hand, to ask the rhetorical question:"If you don`t trust the dealer then why would you buy from them in the first place?" as Brad did does not quite resonate with me. Somewhere between 'trust' whatever that implies lies a wide range of emotional responses and courses of action. With respect to Good Old Gold, I have, to a certain extent taken a leap in faith that: 1. the images accurately reflect what it is I purchased, 2. that the person I talked to on the phone who was in situ describing the stone to me wasn't simply putting on an act, and 3. that the $2K plus I wired to some account I was instructed to wire it to was legitiment. I can attest to the fact that there are a variety of emotions associated with this transaction: 1. relief that I finally made a decision. 2. anxiety associated with the fact that I may have made the wrong decision. 3. hope and excitement associated with presenting the diamond to my girl. And on and on.

 

Whether or not I end up seeking an independent appraisal remains to be seen. I am 'waiting' as I write this for the UPS guy to ring the doorbell. Is there a place for independent appraisers? Sure. What about all of the junk diamonds that people purchase at Malls? Trust <can be> as irrational an emotional experience as is say - avarice, greed, and so on. It is all about context.

 

Dick

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Dick, you chose well. Good Old Gold is a proven vendor- well established.

Either you're going to like what you get, or you'll get a refund.

 

I can understand what Brad is saying about trusting the dealer as well.

We supply a document which will allow our clients to insure their purchase- we call it an appraisal- but it's not the same as the type of report that Neil would issue.

 

Neil's appraisal - or that of any well qualified, professional appraiser would be more encompassing- and include more info about the appraisal itself.

A seller can, and should provide extremely accurate information on the diamond, and or ring they are selling.

 

I don't know how many of our buyers go to third party appraisers, but I'm positive some do.

Regardless, they must have felt comfortable to do business with us- as you did with GOG.

You'll be fine.

My opinion is that with a vendor who's proven, such as GOG, a third party appraisal is far less necessary.

If you like it, enjoy it!

If you don't, no appraiser will change that part.

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Dick, you chose well. Good Old Gold is a proven vendor- well established.

Either you're going to like what you get, or you'll get a refund.

 

I can understand what Brad is saying about trusting the dealer as well.

We supply a document which will allow our clients to insure their purchase- we call it an appraisal- but it's not the same as the type of report that Neil would issue.

 

Neil's appraisal - or that of any well qualified, professional appraiser would be more encompassing- and include more info about the appraisal itself.

A seller can, and should provide extremely accurate information on the diamond, and or ring they are selling.

 

I don't know how many of our buyers go to third party appraisers, but I'm positive some do.

Regardless, they must have felt comfortable to do business with us- as you did with GOG.

You'll be fine.

My opinion is that with a vendor who's proven, such as GOG, a third party appraisal is far less necessary.

If you like it, enjoy it!

If you don't, no appraiser will change that part.

 

You sound like a really good person - someone worth meeting at some point in time. Thank you for the reassurance with respect ot GOG. The diamond arrived yesterday. The doorbell rang and I went out to greet the UPS guy. He knew the gambit and said something to the effect of 'congratulations, I hope she is pleased'. I know next to nothing about diamonds Ok? I finally burrowed down through three packages and eventually arrived at the container that holds the ring. My first impression was that it had a ton of sparkle. I walked away from all lighting and began to see all of the color spectrum. I hope that is a good sign. It seem to reflect light back no matter where it was positioned relative to the light source. It seemed 'alive' if that is a fair way of describing the visual perception.

 

I'll get back later on and describe what the In-House appraisal was all about. Thanks in particular to Neil who directed me to this option.

 

Dick

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You sound like a really good person - someone worth meeting at some point in time. Thank you for the reassurance with respect ot GOG. The diamond arrived yesterday. The doorbell rang and I went out to greet the UPS guy. He knew the gambit and said something to the effect of 'congratulations, I hope she is pleased'. I know next to nothing about diamonds Ok? I finally burrowed down through three packages and eventually arrived at the container that holds the ring. My first impression was that it had a ton of sparkle. I walked away from all lighting and began to see all of the color spectrum. I hope that is a good sign. It seem to reflect light back no matter where it was positioned relative to the light source. It seemed 'alive' if that is a fair way of describing the visual perception.

 

I'll get back later on and describe what the In-House appraisal was all about. Thanks in particular to Neil who directed me to this option.

 

Dick

 

Very odd, how did the UPS Courier know what was in the package?

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X-ray vision? Doubtful.

 

Beware of sticky fingers, definitely.

 

That's why Jewelers who send their merchandise via UPS, Fedex, DHL camoflague the contents by not using the words diamonds or jewelry in the address areas. Jewelers Mutual and other Insurance companies that insure our Industry shipments constantly stress taking these safety precautions. Parcel Pro, a company that insures diamond and jewelry vendors will use alternative ship from addresses that are outside of the jewelery district areas.

 

Good Old Gold has shipped to us on behalf of mutual customers and they do follow these guidelines.

 

Your story doesn't compute.

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The doorbell rang and I went out to greet the UPS guy. He knew the gambit and said something to the effect of 'congratulations, I hope she is pleased'.

 

Barry wrote..

Very odd, how did the UPS Courier know what was in the package?

 

Yeah, that does seem odd I am sure. Even though there is no way to determine from the packaging what the contents are, he probably has been through this before with someone else when he delivered the package. It is a relatively small town that I live in. I have known the guy for a number of years. He knows the drill when it comes to expensive deliveries - where to put stuff and so on when I am not accessible. I just think that it is possible that he made a similar delivery to someone else and that someone else told him what was in the package. Some of these people have memories like the old Univac computer. If that guess isn't correct, than the give away might have been that I had to sign for it. I'm sure these guys have seen it all - but not by X-ray!

 

Dick

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Sorry, Still doesn't add up, Dick.

 

You confirm that the GOG packaging was disguised and therefore no external evidence or indication/evidence of the contents or its value.

 

"He knows the drill when it comes to expensive deliveries..."

 

??? Say what?

 

The contents could have been anything, my friend... a shirt, trousers, manuals, contracts, etc. Requiring you to sign for it just insures and confirms to the Sender that you have received it.

 

The credibility of this entire thread is suspect, IMO.

Edited by barry
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