When you canvass Internet websites selling diamonds and diamond engagement rings, you will find that most websites offer many thousands of loose diamonds for purchase.
On example, is diamond e-tailer, Abazias.com, who offers a selection of “100,000 loose diamonds” for you to choose from! However, what they fail to mention and what is important for you to realize because it is relevant to every single Internet diamond website, is that none of these websites owns even a fraction of the many thousands of diamonds they advertise for sale. Rather, about 98% of the loose diamond being sold on the Internet are sold via the “drop ship” method, whereby the seller will never see the diamond he is selling, before the customer receives the stone. This can lead to a disastrous outcome, since the seller has no way of assuring the customer of the quality of the diamond he/she is buying.
Indeed, there are only a few diamond Internet vendors (maybe only a handful…if that many) who insist on bringing in every single one of the thousands of diamonds they offer for sale, for a personal inspection and evaluation by their trained staff of gemologists, prior to making a sale. The diamond will be photographed and placed through a comprehensive battery of tests, in order to determine its precision cut quality, structural integrity and visual beauty. Much of this crucial information cannot be learned by simply looking at the diamonds grading report or certificate, which is the only piece of info. provided to internet diamond “drop-shippers” by the diamond wholesaler. This limited information is not enough with which to base a purchase of this magnitude. It would be akin to purchasing a home without a complete home inspection report. No two diamonds are created equal and there is crucial and important information being overlooked when a loose diamond is purchased via the drop ship method.
Indeed, our company is one of these few websites that add real value to every single diamond we sell and even those not of our own manufacture, by calling in every single diamond for a comprehensive evaluation. We supply our clients with all of the important scientific data up-front and upon request, so that they could make an informed and educated decision.
However, it seems that even amongst our few competitor/colleagues who offer a similar and excellent commitment to the customer; there are some very distinctive differences which I feel are important to enumerate for our clients to understand.
I was reading this recent thread on the consumer diamond education forum, Pricescope.com where a surprised customer indicates that she requested a certain diamond be shipped in by internet diamond vendor Whiteflash.com, for an evaluation. Whiteflash diamonds has the policy of not engaging in blind “drop-shipping” of any of the diamonds they sell.
Excellent policy from a reputable company.
However, it seems that the customer (as well as ourselves) where quite surprised to learn that Whiteflash will actually take your credit card/billing information in order to call a diamond in for evaluation. Certainly the merit to this, is that it prevents consumers from having Whiteflash call in many diamonds at their own considerable expense, with the distinct possibility that they may end up purchasing nothing.
However, John Pollard, who is Director of Sales for Whiteflash diamonds, was quoted on that thread as saying the following:
“The only time we charge for bringing something in is when the client requests multiple stones be brought at the same time (we charge for those not purchased) or if the stone comes in, passes all of our tests, we recommend it and the client changes his/her mind”.
While I understand the first half of the policy (Whiteflash does not wish to absorb the considerable cost and expense of having multiple diamonds shipped in for an evaluation and comparison, when clearly only one stone has a chance of being sold….), I fail to grasp the second half of it.
O.k. so the Whiteflash team inspects and passes muster on the diamond, indicating the excellent quality of the stone. Then, the consumer ultimately decides against purchasing the diamond..for whatever reason (broken engagement, negative cash flow, cold feet…whatever..); Whiteflash will charge the customer for not purchasing the diamond.
A customer commitment policy of this magnitude is quite impressive, especially when you consider that very few companies selling diamonds on the net offer something like this.
However, charging the customer for this luxury..and certainly when it is mandated and enforced by the company in order to protect the client, seems a bit odd.
Here is where it seems we distinguish ourselves with regards to this policy. It is in the “fine print” and details.
Unlike Whiteflash.com, we will never collect your credit card information and billing details as a prerequisite for calling in diamonds for an evaluation on your behalf.
Any and every single diamond we have shipped in to us, is done at our own (considerable) expense. We do not charge money for the comprehensive (and unrivaled) level of actual diamond information which we provide.
We give our customers a scan of the actual diamond grading report, actual Idealscope photos, hearts and arrows photos, microscopic diamond photos to showcase inclusions, Megascope/Sarin cut analysis, Gemex Brilliancescope diamond light performance results and more.
We charge you for none of this.
We don’t care to have your credit card information until if/when you are ready to purchase the diamond..;-)
Moreover, if a client opts to pass on any diamond which we have called in for them at our own expense (and after the incredible amount of time, effort and expense involved in doing a complete diamond workup), we will never penalize the client by charging their credit card for the return shipment of the diamond back to the manufacturer.
Of course this means that there is room for abuse of the system and that sometimes we are gonna wind up spending considerable time and money on a “potential customer” who may very well end up purchasing nothing.
These are the “breaks” and our position is that it is a necessary expense to ensure a real commitment to our customers full satisfaction and we would have it no other way.
No hidden strings.
No hidden costs.
No penalizing the customer for not pulling the trigger on a diamond we felt was worthy of their consideration.