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Unethical dealers


#1

My wife shops at the gem shows that come to Denver, the last one was
the Intergem show, and I want to make you all aware of some of the
dealers tactics. My wife picks out merchandise at one dealer, and
asks them to hold it while she shops. At this point it is not
written up. The show before this one, going through the
merchandise at our business, she notices she paid for pieces she did
not pick out, and she was charged more for some pieces she did pick
out than what was quoted. At one booth at the Intergem show, a bag
was half full of Bali beads, when she came back, it was twice the
quantity, added to with stuff she did not pick out.

At another booth, they tried what they tried at the show before
this, adding pieces and over charging. She went through the bag this
time and told them that there were pieces she had not picked out, and
that they changed prices on some items. They told her that the pieces
that were marked up from what she was told they would be were not
marked right at the factory (like we believe that or care). She told
them that she needs to be told if they change the price, that she
might not want them at a higher price.

One dealer was Middle Eastern, one was from India. Apparently they
have a way to compensate for the slow economy. My wife spends
thousand of dollars with these people. You would think they don’t
want to lose her as a customer. Apparently they don’t care. In the
future, if she leaves things at a booth to pick up later, it will be
weighed and marked. Richard in Denver


#2

I’d much rather prefer to know the name of the dealer/company than
their country of origin…an unethical dealer can be of any
race.

Mickey Kapoor


#3

All, I just finished the Flagstaff Gem & Mineral Show. It was a
great event, well attended, very well staffed, and in an excellent
facility. I also heard from another dealer that the Culver City Show
was a great show. Hat’s are off to the members in both these clubs
that sponsor top notched shows. I asked the other dealer I know if he
and all the other dealers were practicing disclosure. He laughed and
said that disclosure only applied to people worried about disclosure.
In his opinion none of the dealers are prepared or have the
necessary knowledge to practice disclosure. The FTC Guidelines are
not being enforced and are so vague that they have no meaning. At my
show I was the only dealer practicing disclosure. Are all the other
dealers unethical or am I being a fool?

Gerry Galarneau


#4
Are all the other dealers unethical or am I being a fool?

Gerry, I think you are not a fool, but being ethical and showing
integrity by your practice of full disclosure. For those of us who
also believe in ethics and integrity, that is an important selling
point.


#5
 Are all the other dealers unethical or am I being a fool? 

This is why I only buy from AGTA dealers because they are obligated
to disclose, and, no you are not being a fool, nor are you the only
one disclosing treatments. Perhaps it is a reflection of the level
of the show… Daniel R. Spirer, GG


#6
  I'd much rather prefer to know the name of the dealer/company
than their country of origin...an unethical dealer can be of any
race. 

I commend you on your polite and concise response to what I am sure
was an oversight by the person that wrote the e-mail about unethical
dealers. I believe that there is a lesson here regarding something
I feel very strongly about:

Ethnicity is often an outstanding feature about people that offers
an easy way to describe them. However, human nature is to
generalize…without generalization, we could not have inductive
reasoning. The pitfall is that when we apply this quite basic human
thinking process in some negative way to humans, it is called
prejudice.

While a simple description is innocent enough, we need to exercise
caution not to use race or country of origin as a shortcut when
describing undesirable traits. While most of us are above letting
such a description fester into prejudice, there are some that lack
the intellegence to judge humans as individuals. Feeding that fire
is not good for any of us.

Howard Woods
In Eagle Idaho
Awaiting another beautiful sunrise.


#7

Hello Everybody ! !

At the outset I condemn this kind of atrocious behaviour which
amounts to nothing less than cheating and forgery, and it is a shame
to know that such kind of dealers exist in our trade. At the same
time we all should thank Richard for bringing this issue to the
notice of this fraternity.

I would add that such behaviour should not be condoned and it should
be brought to the notice of the appropriate trade associations and
regulatory councils so that mutual faith and respect is not lost,
based on the wrong doings of a few people whatever be their origin.

Regards
Nilesh Gupta


#8

Aloha Howard and Everyone,

Being very honest about business and life in Hawaii, one has to look
deeper than the skin color. One should look at the dynamics on how
a particular segment of ethnic people do business as regular
business without thinking there is anything wrong to sell
merchandise cheaper to one who can speak his or language than one
who can’t. We understand this and look at it as what it truly is: A
way of doing business handed down from generation to generation.

    Ethnicity is often an outstanding feature about people that
offers an easy way to describe them.  However, human nature is to
generalize...without generalization, we could not have inductive
reasoning.  The pitfall is that when we apply this quite basic
human thinking process in some negative way to humans, it is called
prejudice. 

This too is very true and it is not true. My company’s designer is
of a mixture of Hawaiian, Chinese, English, Nez Perce American
Indian, and Melagesh. She was born in Hawaii, lived here most of her
life and has travelled the world. Prejudice is in the mind of the
person who is thinking that particular habit, trend, attitude, might
be biased based upon the ethnic background of the seller. Looking
much deeper into this sale, one begins to see how the seller’s
heritage affects the manner in how business is conducted. Though my
designer has Chinese in her, she does not speak Chinese but has some
Chinese facial features. I believe one needs to understand a
particular’s ethnic background to understand how what is the best
approach, what words should be used and not used. It is not
prejudice, it is understanding that culture is ingrained in much of
humanities various societies. What I am trying to say is very
simple. “Those undesirable traits” may not be looked at as
UNDESIRABLE by the seller of a specific ethnic background when they
sell products cheaper, give better terms, etc., to people who may
speak their language. This is how they were taught, how to conduct
business, and it is still practiced today as it way hundred years
ago.

    While a simple description is innocent enough, we need to
exercise caution not to use race or country of origin as a shortcut
when describing undesirable traits.  While most of us are above
letting such a description fester into prejudice, there are some
that lack the intellegence to judge humans as individuals.  Feeding
that fire is not good for any of us. 

This is very true and untrue, it depends on how one looks at life
and business. Every person is different, has different ideological
paradigms regarding business, it is understanding the sellers’
paradigms that can lead a buyer to a fantastic buying spree or not.
Please, allow me to state some things without being placed against a
wall in front of the firing squad.

While some of these sellers give better prices to people who speak
their native language, one must understand the sellers’ position.
Ask the seller if this is unethical and I bet some of us would be
very surprised. It is a natural by product of how one is raised in
their own cultural style of business.

A part of that business is bargaining. My designer has no qualms
about asking for the best price. If she finds a better prices, she
will return to the original seller who sold her products and ask
them to match it, or refund for the merchandise she purchased at a
higher price, or ask for the difference in merchandise without
further costs.

Living in Hawaii, she has learned her own style of business and
understands that every culture is different. While travelling for
business many years ago, selling a different product, she went to
Denmark, Sweden, Amsterdam, and Germany. Looking at her, many
people “assume” she is full blooded Hawaiian. Stand her next to a
full blooded Hawaiian and she looks very light. Even Hawaiian’s
treat lighter Hawaiians differently, this is why in a Hawaiian/Local
family the value of respect was taught to children of her
generation, and many younger ones are not raised with the same
values.

While travelling in Europe, she read all the manuals that pointed
towards a single factor: European men liked dealing with a man.
That’s what the books said, so please do not jump down my throat.
She took a male manager, of European ancestry, and witnessed in
horror, the "true meaning of what an ‘Ugly American’ was all about."
As part owner of that business, she told her manager to take a
long lunch break and decided to meet with these men herself, for
anything would be better than a person who spewed caustic words to
the person she wanted to sell. When she stepped in, it was better
to be a nice, compassionate, professional business woman than to be
a caustic manager who made generalized statements that all Europeans
were ______. Or they were _______. She made the sales, got
invitations to Belgium at her buyer’s costs, was wined, dined, and
given a carriage ride, and of course, her manger was with her but
she informed him to basically remain as quiet as possible. Even
though the books said that it was better to be a man doing business
in Europe 17 years ago, she thought it would be much better to be a
nice, woman, than an “Ugly American”.

Understand one thing. People are people regardless of what industry
he or she is in and selling or buying. How a person was taught to
conduct business is passed from generation to generation. This is
where the differences of selling styles enter. If a son takes over
the family business, and is taught to sell to his people cheaper,
then to him, it is not an UNETHICAL PRACTICE, it is just business as
usual.

I hope I have not fueled the fire of prejudice but rather have shed
some light on why there are variances of sellers of different ethnic
backgrounds. Simply put, conduct business without prejudice, I
fully agree. But to understand why the differences are so great or
why they are there in the first place, one must take a deeper look
into bringing of the seller in his or her natural culture and the
attributes accumulated from their elders into the present day
business attitudes.

We see people when we buy. We see how the company treats us as a
company. We witness if there are unfavorable attributes which would
preclude us from buying from a particular seller and no matter what,
I still believe one must delve into the historic attributes and
cultural paradigms that motivate specific ethnic sellers from
selling in a manner that some call Unethical, and on the other hand,
it is how they were raised to conduct business in such a manner. I
make no excuses for these sellers, but I say to understand how to
get the best deals, treat everyone with respect.

In Hawaii, if we like a seller, we give gifts, it’s an old Hawaiian
tradition. This Hawaiian cultural paradigm has opened new doors,
but one could also say it was because of ethnic background, and say
it without conjuring up images of prejudice. It is the background
of how the seller or buyer was raised that influences on how he or
she will behave in the present sales of today’s marketplace.

I am also waiting for another beautiful sunrise. Our company wishes
each and every one of you a safe, healthy, happy, and most
profitable 2003. Respectfully, Barbara HQCE Proprietress


#9

Mickey, and those of you who replied to my post, regarding what you
might consider my political incorrectness. Over the last 30 years, I
have noticed that there are a lot of honest people from all over the
world. There is also a reality to me that some cultures are based on
negotiation, and will charge you the highest price they can get away
with, if you are not saavy to how things work. I have also seen a
foreign dealer (one not living here permanently) charge one person
thatwas the same ethnicity one price and a higher price to an the
"white folks". In my view, this is racial discrimination. My wife
buys a lot of pearls, and once she became aware by observing what
some customers were paying compared to what she was being charged,
she negotiated and got things at unbelievable low prices compared to
what she had been paying. From the same dealer. My observation has
been, there are people from cultures that act as if the goal is to
take advantage of you if they can. The thread that was about
disclosure and “strawberry quartz” being glass and misrepresented, I
would venture a guess and make an assumption, most of the dealers
were from overseas. Are they supposed to be as reponsible as a U.S.
dealer to be knowledgeable, and to disclose, and who is going to hold
them accountable? FTC, JVC, fat chance! So it appears to me, that it
is the behavior of some groups that appear to be from the same
geographical area that stereotypes them, not my perception. When
behavior changes, judgement changes. I am open to understanding where
I might have misperceived. Richard in Denver


#10
 I still believe one must delve into the historic attributes and
cultural paradigms that motivate specific ethnic sellers from
selling in a manner that some call Unethical, and on the other
hand, it is how they were raised to conduct business in such a
manner 

I’m sorry but this just doesn’t fly. If someone is conducting
business in an unethical manner than it is unethical period. Using
your thinking you could say that someone who was raised in a family
of thieves is justified in stealing from someone because that is how
they were raised, or that because a child had a father who was a
murderer than he has the right to murder too because that was how he
was raised. In many countries bribery is routine. That doesn’t make
it right. It is up to all of us, who are ethical, to ensure that only
ethical dealers thrive by buying from them and not from unethical
ones.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-491-6000
@spirersomes
www.spirersomes.com