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Stone not completely flat: aesthetic, or durability concern?

I sold a ring recently, and (don’t judge me too harshly), I didn’t notice that the stone is not completely flat. It’s not, the customer noticed, and now she’s asking if the stone can be reset, since it may present “durability” issues. I’m thinking, especially since its a very durable sapphire, that it’s actually only an aesthetic issue. Since it’s a bezel setting, with enamel work on the shoulders, resetting would probably involve recasting. I’m happy to let her return the ring. Thoughts? Thanks!!!

I’m afraid the customer is right.
Its only off a bit, but it is noticeable, and once they have seen it, and complained the customer will always notice it every time they look at the ring.

Is there any way you could cut down the bezel, and laser on a new one, rather than recast and re-enamel a whole new ring?

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Hmm, I can’t laser it, but my caster might be able to. Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll look into it.

I think it would be great if you could go the extra mile and fix this ring to the customer’s satisfaction. However, if this means recasting and re-enameling the ring and resetting the stone, it’s probably going to cost you money and it would be your call whether this is worth it to you to keep the customer. As a matter of strategy, I would consider what kind of a person this customer is. Is she someone who pushes people around and/or won’t be really satisfied no matter what you do? Is she someone who might complain a lot and try to damage your reputation, however slightly? I’d consider all this in what I decided to do. I have met a few merchants in my time who go above and beyond to satisfy the customer and they are well known and have a loyal following, so it’s a great thing to do if you can. On the other hand, you are well within your rights to just take a return on the item and leave it at that. You can offer other items or a discount on another purchase. Lastly, I can’t see what kind of stone this is…if it were a cab, it might be repolished down to level without removal from the ring and that would be a fairly easy fix, maybe $50…just a few ideas. HTH, -royjohn

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Hi Royjohn,

Thank you so much for this thoughtful advice! I tend to be a go-the-extra-mile type, but I haven’t quite gotten a full read on this customer yet. I can’t tell if she’s more of a savvy shopper, or someone who’s always going to be a pain to deal with. So I thought I’d first look into ringdoctors suggestion about laser welding. She has already left a positive review in my Etsy store, I’m not sure if she can go back and change it if she gets upset now. Yes, it wouldn’t be the end of the world to recast and make it right, just expensive and time consuming. I’ll have to keep feeling this one out!

Oh, and the stone is a faceted Sapphire, so won’t be able to shave it down, but appreciate the thought all the same.

Thanks again!
Holly

Perhaps give the customer the option of a refund or redo. Maybe offer generous enough of a percent-off on a future purchase might nudge the customer towards a refund. Perhaps they can’t really afford it and need to save face.

If they want a redo they’ll send it back. If a redo is not necessary send it back with new packaging and a nice gift. If they are still unsatisfied you can give a refund and take the review/Etsy hit because you’ve got a diva customer.

If the redo is legit do it. Make it good. Consider it as the cost of doing business. You’ve said it was straight so this is not going to be an issue in any case.

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Yolanda Andersen

Are you charging enough for your work to cover unexpected costs? If your margin is too slim to cover a redo you might not be charging enough. A small percentage increase in cost per item would offset Etsy penalties for a return or refund.

Hi Myinnermagpie,

More great suggestions, thanks! Also important considerations on pricing. I am not yet well established, so I know my prices are not yet where they need to be to allow situations like this to unfold without stressing me out a bit financially. I do use a pricing formula, and I think adding a line item like this would help. I already include the commission Etsy takes (boo! I do need my own website soon), but including potential loss of shipping cost, redo potential, etc., would be more comprehensive. So many details to consider, and so much to learn, what an adventure!

Holly

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Who made the ring and set the stone? If it wasn’t you I’d return it to the original manufacturer or the person who set it. Situations like this is why many shops have a shop foreman or a quality control person. The guys in the shop where I used to do that called me “Mrs. Picky Pants”…to may face. Lord only knows what they said behind my back.
Jo

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Haha, nope! It’s all me. I set the stone, made the mistake, sent it out. I don’t know how I missed it, but it happened. Basically I’ve spent the last few years running down a long list of “you’ll only do that once” mistakes. This fits squarely in that category, and now I get to pay the price.

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If the setting of the stone was done correctly in the first place, there wouldn’t be any discussions!
”If I set my stones crooked, I’d be shown the front door!”

The cheapest way to set any stone is to do it right the first time! And with no excuses!
Gerry, on my iPhone

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No arguments with you there!

I have to agree with Gerry on this, but a question what if the stone was cut crookedly, course even if it was usually can be set to minimize this if not eliminate it entirely.
Aaron

“You’ll only do that once”. Ha! I wish. I’m whatcha call a slow learner.
Jo

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Little harsh, Gerry…

Please excuse any typos-- curse my clumsy digits…

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Hi Holly, I get it with Etsy. They are expensive to use when things go well. Their price structure is catastrophic when things don’t go well.

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Thanks again everyone! The current update is that she will send the ring back, I’m gonna have a look and see if I can’t get the stone out without damaging it or the setting, and if not, I will recast the ring. My take aways from this thread are don’t make the mistake in the first place, but since I did, work with the customer to make sure she walks away with a good experience, and make sure that my pricing is comprehensive to take the occasional situation like this into account.

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It’s true, it will probably be years until I am closer to mistake free. But now that this happened it will be part of my quality control to look for it, so I won’t be sending something like this out for the customer to find.

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Wow, it will costs you time and energy and more… if it’s too difficult why not reimburse the customer and offer her a percentage on another ring? Gosh…