Jo is right, the bottom feeders looking for the cheapest price are
not ever going to be repeat customers, unless you repeat being the
cheapest. That’s not how to get ahead if you plan on being in
business for any length of time.
Whether we like it or not, more and more people are getting very
comfortable buying even high-ticket items online, including
diamonds. I have found that with some people, telling them the truth
that no one can spend a few hours or even a few days surfing the web
and become an expert about diamonds, that’s why the GIA Diamond
Course takes so long and is so expensive, it just sounds like sour
grapes and doesn’t do anything to win the customer over. They firmly
believe they can become an expert in an afternoon, in fact they
believe they already are and there’s nothing you can say that’s going
to convince them otherwise.
I ask people that are price shopping me against the Internet to
carefully consider whether they are buying a diamond or a piece of
paper, because a grading report is as useful when buying a diamond
as an architectural drawing is when buying a house or as a spec sheet
is when buying a used car. Good info to have, but often not the best
deciding factor, certainly not the only factor. No one would ever
even consider buying a house or a car based solely on the price and
the supporting paperwork without checking it out personally, so how
does it make sense to buy a diamond that way? Especially from someone
you don’t know, have never met, never will meet and with whom you
have limited recourse if they turn out to be a crook.
If they do decide to get a diamond on the net and then bring it to
me to make sure they got what they paid for, I tell them we charge
$85 for an appraisal, but if they spend $1000 or more having us
create a setting for it, we’ll include an appraisal.
If they say “I don’t want an appraisal, I just want to know what it
is and what it’s worth” (huh?), I tell them that’s exactly what an
appraisal is and we’d be happy to grade it for them and tell them
what it’s worth, for $85. It’s shocking how often I hear that one.
The one that irks me the most though, is when someone says “You know
that you’re the only one I really trust when it comes to diamonds
and jewelry and I tell everyone about you. Would you take a quick
look at this diamond I bought on the Internet and tell me whether I
got a good deal or not?”
Where do people get the nerve! Or is it really possible to be that