Ever had jewellery valued ? ever been confused because of major price differences in what you've been told ? probably not - because most people only get this done once and take to heart what they've been told !
The big issue is ‘What is Jewellery Worth’ & the difficult issue is that the answer varies very radically depending upon who you ask.
Let’s look at:
Recommended Retail Price
‘Real’ Retail Price
Valuation for Insurance
Valuation for Purchase by the Jeweler
1) eBay Value – this is the easy one; I think it can be argued that the value for something is the value that it sells for on eBay when the bidding ceases. Mind you, I do get a bit confused myself by this when we have the same article sells for $70 one week & the very next week another identical item sells for $310 ???
2) Recommended Retail Price – this price is usually supplied by the Supplier (or Wholesaler). This price is the ‘Full Sticker Price’ before any discounts & in the jewellery industry everyone wants to be known to be exclusive, so this price is usually set high.
3) ‘Real’ Retail Price – this is usually the Recommended Retail Price with a discount in the region of 30-70%. You ever notice how the big jewellery stores offer big 50% discounts in the middle of the calendar year when it’s quiet, but they still make money ?
4) Valuation for Insurance – This is very contentious; Many jewelers give valuation similar to ‘Recommended Retail Price’, which is fine until you actually make a claim ! Once you claim then the insurance company typically argues that the jeweler offering replacement should offer a discount; something more like the ‘Real’ Retail Price. Then the arguments begin ! Most insurance companies force you to buy a replacement from their 'approved jewellers' which the Insurance Comapnies will say; 'are the only ones we are really sure are reputible', but the reality is these are the jewellers that have contracts with the insurance companies to sell to them at something like the wholesale price plus a small markup and save the insurance companies big money on claims. Also remember the insurance companies are more than happy to accept your valuation on the basis of Full Recommended Retail Price from the jewellery seller. They know if you make a claim in the future they will force you to use their 'approved' jewellers and save lots of money and they also can charge much more premium for a piece valued at Full Recommended Reatils Value of $10,000 rather than a 'Real Reatils Price of $5000 - even though it's the same piece of jewellery - right ? You're much less likely to argue over the cost of the insurance premium if the insured value is twice as much - right ?
5) Valuation for Purchase by the Jeweler – Firstly, the average markup in the jewellery industry is 100-1000% !!! Mind you, they do need to do this to cover the interest on expensive stock & pay rents in expensive Shopping Centers. So an item bought for $300 might have a recommended retail price of $1500. Discounted 50% to $750, you thought you got a great deal ! Then you went to another jeweler & he valued the item at $250, that’s because it’s the price he would want to buy the item from you at, since he can but it from his regular supplier for $300 anyway - but now you’re disappointed – right ? If he said ‘The Recommended Retail Price for this item would be $1500” – suddenly you’re not disappointed anymore – right ? Now you're thinking 'I got a good deal' again & everyone is happy
I put this theory to the test as we'd had a few spiteful incidents from regular jewellers in the past & I really wanted to test this all out properly & as scientifically as possible & so I went to four jewelers (two large Jewellery Chains & two small Private Jewelers) with a very nice 1.80 Carat White Diamond Ring which I figured was worth roughly $3000-5000 (‘Real’ Retail Price).
When I said I bought it on eBay my four valuations varied from ‘Worthless’ to $2000
Then two months later I sent my wife on the same trip to the same shops with the same diamond ring & she said the item had been in the family longer than she knew; the values then ranged from ‘Worthless’ to $12000 & interestingly they were different jewelers that said ‘Worthless’ each time despite the fact it was the same ring.
So are you confused now ? ....
Worse still, when I went myself on the valuation trip & was told ‘Worthless’ I asked the jeweler why the diamond was so bad that it would be worthless & the answer was disturbing; ‘You said you bought it from eBay so it won’t be real’ !!! My reply was; “What if I told you that I bought this diamond myself from a mine in South Africa when I visited” (not really 100% true but I wanted to know the reaction) & he very sheepishly looked at me & asked if I was from the Department of Fair Trade, obviously nervous at what the repercussions might be if I answered 'yes', but I just walked out.
Another gave a valuation of $500 & when I asked why the answer was equally disturbing; “You only get cheap stuff on eBay - it's not really good” & again my reply was; “What if I told you that I bought this diamond myself from a mine in South Africa when I visited” & he just as sheepishly looked at me & asked this time if I was from TV & when I said 'no' he immediately asked me to leave his store !!!
Beware of Jewellery ‘Valuations’ – the reality is that the regular store based jewelers are literally ‘Under Siege’ from eBay & they don’t like it at all ! I can understand they have a lot of money invested in stock & leases on shops but eBay is changing the retail world in a big way
Really what is eBay ??? – it’s the place where the world comes together to buy & sell; to reduce costs & pass those savings onto customers – right ? That's why eBay exists & the existing jewellery industry has some of the highest costs & overheads which means eBay can pass along the biggest savings to customers in this industry.
So; bearing what you’re read, let’s recap…..
1) A major jewellery store buys a diamond from their wholesale agent for $1000
2) They arbitrarily with no thought at all say it’s worth $10,000
3) They then discount the diamond by 60% (so you think you’ll be buying a bargain) but the diamond was actually never on sale for $10,000 (or maybe it was on sale for a day or two so they can legally say that was the original price)
4) The alleged discount price is now $4000 & you walk in & buy this stone & you’re impressed because they give you an additional 10% discount because ‘they like you’ – you paid $3600 & you’re feeling good that you got a good deal, after all it was $10,000 discounted down to $3,600
But what is this diamond really ‘worth’ ?
The jeweler will say $10,000 (unless it’s from a competitor in which case they will say $1,000 because that’s the price they want to buy the stone at & of course their products are always superior quality to everyone else’s)
The wholesale agent will say $1,000 (but the buyer will never be able to meet him – he’s overseas buying more stock & never sees the general public
The eBay retailer like myself will say something like: ‘whatever it sells for’, is it’s ‘worth’. If you push me I might say something like $1,200 to $1,800 – a bit of a guess but sounds reasonable enough
The insurance company knows about what retailer’s do regarding ‘valuation’. They insure for the $10,000, but if you ever go through the process to make the claim, they will insist on using their own jewelers to make the replacement & therefore pay a price very much closer to the wholesale agent price.
The pawn broker will say something like $500 – they’re always after desperate people who want money fast - their offer is NOT what the item is really 'worth' for retail purposes. This offer is the lowest price that can get away with and the price they sell at is something more like the discounted retail price (with a BIG profit for themselves)
So confusion reigns !!!
Remember arguably the most famous diamond retailer in the world has a policy of never offering to rebuy diamonds bought from them because their offer to rebuy at whole prices would offend the customer !!! It’s true – research this if you don’t believe me
Note --- 14 Karat Gold !!! It's very common in the USA, but not common in Australia (9 & 18 Karat is much more common in Australia). Jewellers automatically assume a ring is sourced from eBay as soon as they see 14K Gold !!! So don't think you have an independant valuation on your 14K ring by not mentioning eBay - Likewise for 10K, 12K or 21K or 22K gold.
We have a large range of items at NRS-Diamonds & are constantly updating our stocks (http://stores.ebay.com.au/NRS-GEMS-and-DIAMONDS)
And just in case you’re not happy with your purchase we offer refunds as detailed in our eBay advertising & we’re always happy to provide advise.
We want happy customers who think so much of us that they come back time & time again!
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