Questioning your Jewelry Store? Questioning their People or their Policies?
Here’s my Advice:
Don’t Shop There!
All to often people have gut feelings about stores and people and never act upon them. And in the case of buying an Expensive Diamond Engagement Ring, that decision could get very costly. Don’t wait until it’s too late… Take action today!
Shop Somewhere Else…
A friend of mine went into a Jewelry Store to look at Diamond Rings. The Salesperson showed her a Diamond Solitaire and said it was “SI2-I1 Clarity” and “J-K-L Color“. She flashed her the Certificate and then smiled…
“Would you Like to Buy it?”
I told her later “Don’t Shop There!“
There are Good Jewelry Salespeople, and Bad Salespeople. Good Diamond Presentations and Poor ones. Sadly these people represent the Jewelry Stores they work at and in many cases, harm the store more than help them.
The end result is you walking away with a Low-Quality, Crappy Diamond and never knowing any difference.
Don’t let this Happen to YOU!
So HOW do you know what Jewelry Store is good to shop in? Look for the signs…
You shop at the Jewelry Stores that don’t do the things in the list below:
Jewelry Stores Do’s and Don’ts!
Don’t shop at the Jewelry Store if they…
- Don’t Microscope the Diamonds
- Don’t go over the 4C’s
- Don’t Sell Loose Certified Diamonds
- Have No Guarantees
- Have No Return Policy
- Have No Deals
- Can’t Answer Questions
- Have Pushy Salespeople
- Slam the Competition
- Are Over Priced
- Have an Attitude
- Have Unbelievable Deals
Now let’s take a closer look at these faults that many Jewelry Stores have.
1) Don’t Microscope the Diamonds
If the Salesperson doesn’t actively show you the Diamond under a Microscope (you shouldn’t have to ask), Don’t Buy It!
You MUST view Diamonds at 10x Magnification (Microscope or at the least a Jeweler’s Loupe) in order to see all the Flaws and Inclusions inside the stone.
The only reason why a Salesperson wouldn’t offer to show you the Diamond closer is if they don’t know what they’re doing, or have something to hide.
If the Quality of the Diamond is low-grade and full of Inclusions, guess what, they aren’t going to want you to see that.
But, on the other hand, if the Diamond is high quality (like VS or VVS Clarity), then they WILL go out of their way to show you under the scope.
See how that works?
2) They Don’t go over the 4C’s
Some Salespeople will tell you the Clarity and Color of a Diamond and nothing else. They may even point to them on a Color, or Clarity Chart, but they don’t tell you if it’s Good, or Bad. They don’t tell you why it matters and even why you should care. They don’t go over the 4C’s and are under the impression that if you wanted to learn more you would ask.
Most customers don’t know anything about the 4C’s, or barely a minimum. They are looking at Salespeople for Guidance, Education and Training. A Salesperson who doesn’t try to explain or show them why the Diamond is priced this way, is just LAZY and shouldn’t ever get a Sale, let alone any Commissions!
3) They Don’t Sell Loose Certified Diamonds
The keyword here is LOOSE!
If you’re buying an Engagement Ring and it’s not Certified – DON’T BUY IT!
Likewise, if the Certified Diamond is Pre-Set (Pre-Mounted) in a Ring, Don’t Buy It!
Certified Diamonds should only be shown and sold one way: Loose! You Buy a Certified Diamond because you want to guarantee that quality. And the only true way to do this is to view and Microscope the Diamond from all angles, comparing the Flaws to the Diamond Plot, checking out the Facets and checking for Chips, Nicks or Damage to the stone after the stone was Certified.
YOU MUST DO THIS!
A Diamond set in a mounting hides Flaws, Inclusions, Chips and Nicks…
If it’s Certified, only buy it if it’s loose (I prefer GIA).
After you purchase the stone, then have it set in the mounting of your choice (and then microscope it after to make sure they didn’t switch the stone or damage the stone).
P.S. It’s a good thing to also check the Certification Date. Make sure it’s pretty current (within the last couple of years). Because an older Diamond Certificate won’t show any new damage that could have been done to the Diamond… Usually older Certificates means that the Diamond was pre-owned and previously worn. The Diamond could have wear and tear around the Girdle where Diamonds are the weakest. Check it out before you buy it!
4) They have NO Guarantees!
Find out what Guarantees they have. Not all stores have the same policies and procedures. Some stores offer a Diamond Guarantee, others don’t. Do they Guarantee the Quality of the Stone? What happens if the stone chips or breaks? What about the Mounting? Is it Guaranteed for life? What if a prong breaks off? What about manufacturer’s defects? Some places offer Service Plans on the rings and mountings, but these can be costly and have an annual renewal fee. Find out!
Do they have an Upgrade Policy (Trade-In Policy)? What about Exchanges?
What about other services they offer? Do they do in-house repairs? Do they send your ring to Texas (don’t laugh, some do)? Is there a Cleaning and Inspection fee? See what Guarantees they have and how you will be covered in the future.
Some places even offer insurance on their Diamonds. Things like this can help sway decisions about buying a Diamond Ring from them.
No matter what I would always advise you to get your ring insured through your home owners policy. Have them cover your ring for loss, damage and theft. Because even if your Diamond is Guaranteed, it’s not going to help you if you left your ring on the bathroom counter and someone stole it! Get it insured. That’s the best Guarantee. Because you never want to hear “I’m Sorry. This Diamond is NOT Covered!”
5) They have NO Return Policy
Always find out what their Return Policy is (if they even have one).
Some stores have very limited policies (3 days, 7 days), while others have 30 days (James Allen has 60 days).
If they have a Return Policy, learn more… Find out if it’s 100% Full Refund. Some stores have a restocking fee that could be 20-25% of what the ring’s worth. Ouch!
You never know what will happen in the future. What if she says “No“? What if the Quality isn’t up to par? What if she wanted a different ring or Diamond Shape? What if you find out their prices are extremely inflated?
Always ask “Can I return this?” and then find out all the details how.
Keep in mind, some stores run these huge sales on merchandise and have them marked as “All Sales Final!” Those can’t be returned, so always look before you leap.
6) They have NO Deals
I may take a lot of flack for this, but I would never buy from anyone that didn’t give me a deal. The Jewelry Industry is very competitive and every Jeweler is looking for new customers and new sales.
Everyone wants your business! But, what are they willing to give you that will win you over?
Money does speak louder than words. I want to know “What’s the bottom line?“
Go from store to store and compare Diamond Quality. (Compare GIA Certified Diamonds to GIA Certified Diamonds – Apples to Apples).
You will quickly see who’s willing to work with you and save you the most money, and who is not willing to budge a penny or give you any other incentives (Interest Free Financing, Tax Free…).
I LOVE Deals!
I want to shop where I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. Just be careful that the deals are real. Inflated regular retail prices marked down 50% off ARE NOT DEALS! Watch out for fake sales to entice you.
Some Jewelers won’t deal saying “Our Regular Prices are always lower than our competitor’s Sale Prices…” I say BULL!
Chances are very good that if you shopped and compared the bottom line price (what you actually pay when all is said and done), that other places will beat them.
7) They Can’t Answer Questions
If you ask the Salesperson Questions and every two seconds they have to leave and find out the answer… Be CAUTIOUS!
It’s one thing to double check facts or policies (Finance Account Percentages, Ideal Crown Angles…), but if the questions are questions that they should know in order to sell their products (like “What does Strong Blue Fluorescence mean?” or “Why does this Lower Quality Diamond sparkle less than this Higher Quality Diamond?“, then maybe it’s time to talk to someone more knowledgeable (like the person they’re getting their answers from).
If they don’t know simple answers, then you’ll never know what’s the truth and what’s made up.
Dealing with an inexperienced Salesperson who shouldn’t even be selling expensive Diamonds can really hurt your pocket book!!!
8) They have Pushy Salespeople!
I can’t stand pushy people. I don’t want to be forced into anything! I instantly put up my wall and walk away…
If all they want to do is cram their ring down your throat, then find another Jeweler. Because all they really want is to make commission off you and they don’t care if the ring or Diamond is good or bad. Money, Money, Money!
I want to feel calm, cool and collected about my purchase. I don’t want to feel rushed, anxious or tense. I don’t want 2 or 3 Salespeople all ganging up on me applying pressure (called Tag Teaming – A lot of Jewelry Stores use this tactic). I want the presentation light-hearted, fun and educational at the same time. This is a great experience. A memorable one. After all, you’re buying THE RING!!!
Pushy just pushes me right out the door.
9) Slam the Competition
“Don’t Shop There! They sell nothing but low-quality JUNK!”
You know what they say, when you point to someone else, you have 4 more fingers pointing back at YOU. It’s true!
There are enough Diamonds and Sales for all the Jewelry Stores to prosper. Slamming the competition is totally uncalled for. All it does is make everyone uncomfortable and look closer at the store slinging the insults.
It makes me feel like they are sore losers and the only way they can make themselves look good is to tear everyone else down.
Don’t buy the line or the lie…
Every store has something good to offer. Something they excel in. It could be Service, Quality, Diamond Knowledge, Policies… All stores have something to hype.
Every store at one time or another will sell Low-Grade stones. Every store will have Lemon Mountings (Mountings that fall apart). It’s just a fact of life. Things happen. Every store can have great employees that have bad days with bad moods…
Pointing out these faults to everyone and harping on them doesn’t make the industry better. It only makes people fear us more.
10) They are Over-Priced
If you don’t shop and compare quality, you’ll never know if you paid too much.
Which also means: Don’t buy the first ring you see…
Take the time to compare. Go all over town and look at their selection of Rings and Diamonds. See what they all have to offer and what their prices are.
You’ll find that some stores are extremely inflated in both Retail Prices and Sales Prices. Some places charge extra for their “Excellent Customer Service” or their “Knowledgeable Staff” or “Guarantees or Service Plans“.
Let’s face it, most Jewelry Stores really do offer pretty much the same thing. And most Jewelry Stores will all say they are the best in the business. Keep in mind that this is all lip service and nothing but talk.
It’s not going to help you get better savings.
Some stores will sell you a Diamond at a reasonable price, but then tack on extra charges for Setting and Sizing the Ring.
If they give you a price, make sure that there are no additional hidden fees that can make a good Diamond deal, look not so good.
11) They have an Attitude
Nothing crushes a sale like attitude.
A lot of Jewelry Salespeople are uppity and look down on people. Especially uneducated consumers when it comes to Diamonds. They often pre-judge a customer by how they look, how they talk and what they say.
I’ve seen it before where Salespeople will give a half-assed presentation and rush the customer out the door because they decided they weren’t buying, wasting their time or didn’t have the money. Fools!
I’ve seen Salespeople get rude with people (especially when they are corrected, caught in a lie or if the customer is returning something). I’ve seen Jewelers tell people to their faces that their Trade-Ins are “Worthless!”
The point is, Attitude is everything. People want to be treated like Kings and Queens. They are scared of coming into Jewelry Stores and the last thing that people need is to be confronted with rudeness, being shrugged off, or talked down to “No that Diamond IS NOT Yellow!“
If you encounter an incident that doesn’t make you feel right, take your business somewhere else.
Life is too short to deal with jerks!
Don’t give them your money. It’s just not worth it.
12) They have Unbelievable Deals
“This Diamond is 70% off TODAY ONLY!“
If you run across a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
High Quality Diamonds will always hold their prices and never be sold way below market price.
Incredible Diamond Deals are because of a couple of things:
- Low Clarity
- Low Color
- Bad Cut
There is always some reason why the price of the Diamond is that low. ALWAYS! Find out what it is.
Clarity, Color and Cut
More than likely, it’s Poor Clarity, Color or Cut. I’ve seen some huge mark downs on Diamonds that don’t sell well, like I2 or I3 Clarity Diamonds. I’ve seen stones that are real cheap because the Color is Yellow, like K-L-M Color.
I’ve seen bad Cuts of Diamond that are either too Shallow (Fish Eyes) or too Deep (Nail Heads).
Cheap Cuts get Cheap Prices!
Diamonds that are damaged are often sold really cheap. Diamond Girdles that have nicks, chips or cracks in them. Most of the times you’ll see these on blue light specials…
Diamonds that have been Altered or Enhanced sell below others. Heat Treated Stones help bring out Fancy Colors in Diamonds (like the Blue Diamond). Laser Drilled and Fracture Filled Diamonds have burned out the Inclusions or Flaws in the stone and made the stone look better (which must be disclosed at the time of sale).
Enhanced stones are cheaper than normal Diamonds because the quality has been adjusted.
Fluorescence can also bring the price down. The stone could have great Color and Clarity, but if the Diamond looks milky, white or hazy, then it lacks brilliance and sparkle and looks dull and dead.
Grade Bumping is also an issue. The Jeweler could have bumped the Grade of the stone up (which will make it sound like a better quality and better deal), but it’s really not.
Some Jewelers will up the appraisal price of the stone to make it sound awesome “This Diamond Appraises for over $12,000” (and you’re only paying $4,000).
This is why you must shop and compare stones. You’ll find that most places are pretty similar in price. But if you find one store that beats everyone else by a long shot, be careful!!! I smell something wrong…
If the deal undercuts everyone else by huge amounts of money, I would advise NOT buying that Diamond (unless it’s online where they have no over-head)! There’s something about that stone that makes the Jeweler want to dump it…
And if you’re the one buying it, you’ll probably regret it later!
The Bottom Line
These 12 points should help you find the better Jewelers from the bad. Finding the right Jewelry Store isn’t so difficult once you learn what to watch for.
If you have any more red flag buying tips, please let me know in the comments below. Feedback is good for me and great for other people who are also shopping for Diamonds!
Thanks for Reading! :)
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About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.