Want To Sell Your Jewelry Over The Internet? Be Careful.

With the Holiday Season here people are considering selling their Jewelry over the Internet on such popular websites like eBay or CraigsList.

Here are some safety tips for you to follow, no matter what time of the year it is:

1. Insist on payment either via a Certified Bank Check that you can corroborate with the Bank, a Bank Wire Transfer to your account, or an escrow account such as Paypal. Do not accept Cashier checks or Money Orders as they can be forged.

2. Ship you jewelry only with the US Post Office, Registered Mail, Return Receipt to a Fedex or UPS Station as a “Hold For Pick up” addressed to your Buyer for their personal pick up. You can insure up to $50,000 with the US Post Office. The Buyer will be asked for photo ID and a signature and then be given the package by the Fedex or UPS Rep. This is your proof that the correct person has taken possession of the merchandise.

3. Never ship with Fedex or UPS as they insure only up to $500.00. Any amount over $500.00, the item(s) you are shipping has to be declared and described on the shipping manifest. There have been reports of “mysterious” disappearances of the contents and you will not be covered.

Here is a recent unfortunate story of a woman who got scammed out of over $10,000 of her jewelry by a con man answering her ad on Craigs List. Caveat Emptor.

Safety Tips For Selling Your Jewelry Over The Internet

Economic Crunch Pushing Consumers To Pay With Cash, Not Credit.

Are you going to pay with cash or credit?

The Associated Press reports that for more and more consumers in the U.S., who have already maxed out their credit cards or are just trying to manage their spending better in this tough economy, the answer is CASH!

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and J.C. Penney Co. are noticing a marked shift away from credit cards in favor of cash and debit cards. A big factor is less available credit, as major card issuers cut spending limits and raise fees even for customers who pay their bills on time.

The shift ends the typical consumer’s long love affair with credit cards. It is one of the changes in consumer behavior that has emerged since the financial meltdown that will depress consumer spending this holiday season and affect shoppers’ habits long afterward.

Particularly during holiday seasons past, shoppers could count on a pile of plastic to give them the extra financing needed to splurge on presents before they had to face the bills in January or later.

But even when the economy recovers and credit loosens up, analysts say Americans — shaped by what could be a deep and long-lasting recession — are likely to stick with buying only what they can afford, just as their parents or grandparents did after the Great Depression.

“I think this is a new way of life,” said Robert Smith, of Loves Park, Illinois, who along with his wife has been using cash and debit cards to finance their spending, including vacations, since they paid off their credit card debts in July. “I like to be able to know that we paid for something. I hate monthly payments when you use a credit card.”

Smith, who has four children ages seven to 13 and owns a motivational training company called Drive and Grow Rich, says his business is down 20 percent this year, and since he is saddled with a mortgage, he doesn’t want to get back into debt.

While the credit crunch is teaching consumers to be more “financially prudent,” it’s creating a lot of pain for both consumers and stores, said Curtis Arnold, founder of CreditRatings.com.

One sign of how strapped consumers are for credit — and that they are buying only what they have the cash for — is that for the first time in 17 years, Penney’s has seen swings in spending around payday cycles over the past three months.

At Wal-Mart, the volatility in spending around payday — a drop in spending in the days before, followed by spending bursts right afterward — has become even more pronounced since September. Chief financial officer (CFO) Tom Schoewe told The Associated Press that
Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and chief executive of Wal-Mart’s U.S. division, told investors last month that credit card payments as a percentage of total payments fell 7.4 percent so far in the current fiscal year, which ends in January. That’s a big reversal from the robust double-digit growth rates in credit cards over the past three years, he said.

At JCPenney’s, Hicks said that use of the company’s store credit card was flat during the third quarter. The use of credit cards issued by other parties declined by a couple of percentage points as a percentage of overall payment, he noted, while cash was up by the same amount. Hicks said he hasn’t seen a decline in credit card use in five or six years.

But many consumers are using cash or debit cards because they are being forced to. Laura Nishikawa, an analyst at Innovest Strategic Value Advisors Inc., a New York investment research firm, said that based on data from Visa, Master Card and American Express, the number of credit cards that consumers have fell 5 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter. That was mainly because consumers received fewer credit card offers, she said.

For years, consumers tapped into inflated home equity and used credit cards to finance their spending. Now those spigots are being shut off, and job losses are mounting.

“Consumers are really struggling to find sources of cash to make purchases,” Hoyt said. “The rapid job losses are taking a big bite out of labor incomes. Obviously, it’s making it much more difficult to borrow.”

Online jewelry seller Blue Nile, which reported a 23 percent drop in third-quarter profits earlier this month, noted that deteriorating credit has hurt sales of jewelry priced from $5,000 to $25,000.

Israeli Diamond Industry Celebrates 70th Birthday.

Israel’s diamond industry celebrated its 70th anniversary of the Israeli Diamond Exchange on Sunday evening.

Industry professionals, leaders and members of government gathered in Tel Aviv to pay homage to the local industry, which predates the creation of the State of Israel, and has grown to an $11 billion annual trade.

Israel’s diamond industry has been adversely affected in the past few months as the economy in the U.S., its largest export market, has faltered, and the market for larger cut stones declined. Israel is renowned for its specialization in polishing larger stones. The country’s rough imports fell 53 percent in October and polished exports dropped 46 percent.

Letsing Diamond Makes Its Debut

One of the Worlds largest pieces of Diamond Rough ever recovered from a mine in Africa earlier this year made its public debut–and received its official name–during a press conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The stone, a massive 478-carat rock from the Letseng Mine in the African kingdom of Lesotho, is now known as “Leseli la Letseng,” which means, “she is the light of Letseng.

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“Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend”

QVC and Jewelry Television Announce Layoffs

Both QVC and Jewelry Television are cutting jobs in response to the current economic downturn.

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Last week, West Chester, Pa.-based QVC said it will cut 900 positions over the next 14 months, resulting in a $30-$40 million net reduction in 2009 operating costs.

Jewelry Television is cutting 30 jobs from its information technology department in Knoxville as the company copes with a declining sales.

It is the largest single-day reduction in staff for the on-air retailer since it announced it was laying off 18 employees from its Nashville, Tenn., office back in October.

This jobs cut comes on top of a restructuring that resulted in the elimination of more than 200 jobs in Nashville and Knoxville while its former Shop at Home facility in Nashville remains for sale.

Plans to build a new $20 million headquarters in Nashville have been scrapped for now.