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Rio pricing of gold chains


#1

I needed an 18" 14K yellow gold snake chain, so I looked in Rio and
found something very strange. Note the following:

Item 62427018 18" 14KY 1.2 mm yellow gold snake chain $250.93
(Germany)

Item 64509718 18" 14K 1 mm yellow gold snake chain $273.92 (US)

When I wrote them asking why their thinner/lighter (local) chain was
more expensive than their thicker/heavier (imported) chain, their
final answer was:

The reply below is from the Product Manager that runs the 14KY chain
line.

US made chains are not always cheaper than imported chains
especially when it comes to snake chains since they are harder to
manufacture.

That is our pricing structure.

I found this particularly interesting because I ended up getting a
1.3 mm here in Jerusalem for $165! It was excellent quality"totally
flexible and very nice ends. And I only bought one. I have bought
from the dealer several times, but I am a VERY small customer. I’ve
had an account with Rio for over twenty years, but the prices on
these chains seem regular retail. What do you guys think? I had
always found Rio very reasonably priced, even for gold and silver.

PS The Rio prices were in effect the same time I bought the chain
here, so its not a matter of change in gold price.


#2

Has anyone tried Fire Mountain Gems for their “wholesale” pricing of
gold and silver chains?

Amy L. Ataei
http://www.crystallizedgems.com


#3
I found this particularly interesting because I ended up getting a
1.3 mm here in Jerusalem for $165! It was excellent
quality"totally flexible and very nice ends. 

Do you assume that the chains are identical? Without weights you
cannot get a true comparison of the gold content and without side by
side comparison you cannot judge quality. I am not saying that the
USA made chain is necessarily better or worse than the others but
price alone is not enough to judge the relative merits of
a given product. Given our high labor rates here in the US I would
not be surprised as to the USA chain being slightly more expensive
per gram but again that is not the whole story.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#4
Do you assume that the chains are identical? Without weights you
cannot get a true comparison of the gold content and without side
by side comparison you cannot judge quality.

I’m assuming that a 1mm snake chain could not possibly weigh
anywhere near 60% more than a 1.3mm snake chain of the same length
(this was the price difference)…:-)…The 1.3 is significantly
thicker.

As far as quality goes, the inexpensive one I got was the best
quality snake I have seen in 30 years, both in terms of flexibility
(in ALL directions!), and the quality of the endings. Since the Rio
site gives you a lovely magnifier tool, you can easily zoom in on
the 1mm 18" 14K snake ends and very clearly see 1) a chain-end which
leaves the rough end of the snake exposed, 2) a simple, very crudely
soldered, uneven connecting link, and 3) a low quality, stamped
lobster catch. Even their cheaper 1.2mm German chain had better
quality work and parts on the endings.

I only brought this up because of the RADICAL difference in price and
a significant difference in quality on the basis of the criteria by
which this particular chain type is usually judged…My real
question was whether this could be considered a wholesale price (the
item price for a quantity purchase was not significantly different).
Rio’s Keystone Countertop catalogue was x3 (I haven’t had one for a
few years). I was just wondering if any Orchidians would sell a 1mm
18" 14K snake for $546 (x2) to $820 (x3). Is this the range of the
going price for this item nowadays, which most clients would consider
reasonable? How do you folks markup chains?

Janet