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Is This Guy An Undercover Sales Man?


Alex Lee
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Hey guys,

 

Long story short, I am in a market of a ring. I did some googling and came across a blog and the blogger sounds very professional and is assisting me for free. After I sent him something I thought was nice:

 

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.20-carat-g-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-326154

 

I got the enclosed E-mail. Notice that in his Link for the exact same product, I see that possibly its his referral code? Is he an undercover sales man? Also what are your thoughts on his comments?

 

Thanks

 

 

"Hi Alex,

 
 
My first impression is wow, nice! Especially after you were saying you don't know what to pick.
 
Here's my more in depth review:
- Small table and shallow pavilion = nice small table reflection
- 50% stars and 75% lower girdles = nice small hotspots
- Steep crown angle is compensated by the shallow pavilion so that light return should be fine but since this diamond may be one with weaker light return under the table - we need an idealscope to confirm as this should be the only risk.
- The steep crown angle also makes for a high crown - this is the thing that  makes this diamond different from a lot of other diamonds because there aren't many diamonds out there with nice proportions and high crowns. High crowns retain a lot of weight but you get bigger crown facets out of them so the diamond is going to have bolder flashes of fire. It also gives it this diamond's slightly unique contrast pattern visible under the star facet (the pattern is created with a combination of star, lower girdle, crown height and table size). To me, the contrast pattern looks great and there is a very nice balance between bright and dark spots.
- The story of the diamond is consistent because the focus is on bold fire flash and all the aspects that enhance pin fire flash have been minimised, which makes this a great diamond because many people actually favour big bold flashes of light rather than pin flashes in diamonds around the 1-1.5ct range.
- The girdle thickness is ok, more on weight saving and the girdle in a later analysis once I get the idealscope info.
 
Perhaps the thing of concern about this diamond is the presence of surface graining, but this clarity feature will be taken into account in the VS1 grading so actually there should be nothing to be worried about from a clarity point of view. Sometimes a bunch of comments saying a feature is not shown may affect the diamond's resale value if you're selling only on a certificate for example. But this may not be of importance to you.
 
Anyway great find, and if you are interested in this one then I suggest finding 2 more so that JA can give you some idealscopes to compare and we can go from there. Hope you found this helpful and let me know your thoughts!"
 
 
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That is what is known as a "marketing associate" code. It means that the blog's author will receive a commission back from JA (or whoever else) if you purchase the stone through that link.

 

Does this make them a disguised salesperson? Perhaps: it may give them an incentive to push diamonds from specific dealers; on the other hand they are not being employed or paid a salary to blog or advertise, and are free to recommend one, another or none of the dealers they have a marketing association with.

 

In my view, the judgement on this one also depends on the extent of disclosure present on the blog: does the blogger mention anywhere that they participate in marketing association with X, Y and Z? How clearly? Don't just look at your conversation; look at home pages and other entries, and bear in mind that the cost/time of blogging can be considerable, and making this up in commission is hard.

 

Final consideration: Diamond Review makes money in the same way, but through openly advertising diamonds on the Diamond Finder. The forum is free to participate in, and while no contributor is paid by DR (except Hermann, the moderator, but I have never seen him intervene on the merit of a discussion about diamonds), we all have our own business connected with diamonds: Neil is an appraiser, Barry owns a diamond retailing operation and I represent a (mainly) coloured diamonds and jewellery business. Does this make our advice more impartial and/or worth listening to?

 

Re: the comments: there's a fair amount I agree with, and some I disagree with (or would say is incorrect), but nothing big enough to make me disagree with the gist. Also, FWIW, I quite like high crowns too.

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In my view, the judgement on this one also depends on the extent of disclosure present on the blog: does the blogger mention anywhere that they participate in marketing association with X, Y and Z? How clearly? Don't just look at your conversation; look at home pages and other entries, and bear in mind that the cost/time of blogging can be considerable, and making this up in commission is hard.

 

The blog in question spends a lot of time in discussion about the history of, and difference in selection from, the three top-tier vendors: Whiteflash, Brian Gavin, and James Allen.  It's interesting to read this perspective.  If you've made your mind up that you're looking for a superior stone, in 1-carat or larger, you're the target market for the blog.  The blog's commissions are transparent in that you're not going to save any money by leaving the associate code off a web visit.

 

As far as disclosure, I wish all websites were so succinct.  From a tab labelled DISCLOSURE in large, bold letters --

 

"Why did I create Prosumer Diamonds?

 

"Purely out of the frustration of seeing too many consumers being under-informed. But Prosumer Diamonds is growing fast and the only way to maintain this growth has been to monetise the site. The way Prosumer Diamonds makes money is by joining affiliate programs with the vendors that we review and this will help the site remain free of ads.

 

"How affiliate marketing works is that my services will remain free of charge for the user, but it is the vendor that will pay Prosumer Diamonds a commission when the sale goes through. It is that simple. The commission does not influence the listed price of the diamond so it is a win-win-win situation. I wouldn’t have joined these programs if I believed it would compromise my unbiased advice.

 

"I will never push or try to persuade you to purchase from any particular vendor. At the moment, none of the links on Prosumer Diamonds will put any kind of cookie on your computer that tracks your site usage like other affiliate sites. Although these cookies are generally safe, my current strategy is to rely on trust to ensure that you will go the extra step of ensuring the vendor knows that I have given you assistance.

 

"Thank you and I look forward to working together.

 

"Vincent Chan,

"Creator of Prosumer Diamonds"

 

To someone like me, this blog helps explain (some of) the pricing difference between the top-tier and the standard online vendors.  You are paying (indirectly) for knowledge and expertise, simply put.

 

Again, this is for consumers (prosumers) whose notion of a perfect diamond is it is best achieved by focus on the only non-natural part of the finished product, namely, the cut.  This assumes color and clarity are lesser, "natural" elements only there to create different sorting and pricing bins.  40.9 degree angle but NEVER over 41 degrees -- C'mon, as they say.

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