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Blue Nile 'inventory' On James Allen?


Dan Haneveer
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Hi,

 

This is my first post. I've been looking at diamonds on JA and found some with sections blanked out on the grading certificate, like this one http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-VVS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1436327.asp I'm guessing it is blanked out because it says underneath it is inscribed with the Blue Nile logo. I searched for the diamond on Blue Nile but I don't think it is listed there. Has a supplier to BN jumped ship to JA and that is why we are seeing this?

 

And on another note while searching for the diamond on BN the price on BN seemed significantly cheaper than JA, I've searched and always found that JA is supposedly cheaper (alothough most results are years old) but it seems at least in the case of the parameters I set here BN is cheaper, I'm in Oz so there is a currency difference but even taking that into account it's still cheaper http://au.bluenile.com/diamond-search?track=head#diamonds_pid=LD02358994

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It is also possible that a supplier agreement had a BN exclusive for say six months after which the supplier is free to retail through other channels. Or that the stone was sold and then returned through some other channel than Blue Nile. Or...

 

I don't understand what the situation is on prices:

 

the price on BN seemed significantly cheaper than JA
always found that JA is supposedly cheaper

Small "random" variations on a specific stone are usually due to particular agreements with suppliers. A regular pattern of "X is cheaper than Y on 90% of the stones that I am looking at" may well be a strategy by the retailers aiming to get a better position in a given segment.

 

Also take into account that BN will serve the Australian market through its own "subsidiary" - meaning everything to do with customs/duties, GST/VAT and any refunds due on returning the stone is taken care of by them. With JA you are left dealing with the bureaucracy (and the import duty and fees) yourself - this has some cost/value.

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That's interesting. You can look up an AGSL report on the website of the lab and it'll tell you there if any girdle inscriptions were present at the time of inspection but the report number has been deleted too, probably for this reason. Ask them.

 

 

For the most part, the major suppliers will sell to any dealer who will pay them for their goods. The 'virtual' business takes a bit of internet savvy and some advance contractual arrangements so you dont' see every stone on every site but the big players are well prepared for this. Occasionally a dealer will buy a stone and it becomes exclusively theirs, occasionally they will make an exclusive distribution deal with a supplier and this is where the 'signature' type lines come from. Mostly once a store goes through the trouble to brand a stone they don't want to sell it off to a competitor but it's always possible I suppose. The stone you're looking at is one of the JA house brand items and it's hard to imagine they would allow a stone in with a competitors logo on it and then modify the report to conceal it but I agree that SOMETHING has been edited on that document and I would want to know both what and why before I proceeded with this stone.

 

My observation has been that the two outfits you're looking at are highly price competitive with one another. They both have their own branded line where they try to bump the price a bit on items that are exclusively theirs, and they both offer a discount sort of series where they sell more or less generic sorts of goods for cheaper prices. On truly comparable goods I rarely see a variation of more than a percent or two between them and I've not noticed one to be consistently less expensive than the other. In the case of the generics, the price is being set by a 3rd party seller and they're just adding a markup to it for their service so to the extent that one stone is cheaper than another it's usually coming from that 3rd party for whatever reason. You'll see that same stone for sale at both sites for about the same price. By the way, I believe both companies (and indeed most of the big Internet diamond dealers) will match prices on the exact same stone if you see it advertised somewhere else for less.

Edited by denverappraiser
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