One of the downsides of shopping at a major retailer is that they have the money and the marketing power to create a number of gimmicks to persuade you to buy. However, what you thought looked amazing in the store, actually looks pretty dull when you get it into daylight or into light that isn’t refracted, diffused and filtered.
This is especially the case when it comes to diamonds – the light used in these stores is designed to hide imperfections. These major retailers also use other tricks to get you to buy from them, rather than the mom and pop shop down the street that usually has better customer service and a higher quality selection. Here are some tricks that major jewelry retailers play on unsuspecting customers.
1. Light that is specially designed to hide flaws in diamonds.
One of the biggest tricks that major retailers have up their sleeves is lighting that is designed to make the diamond really sparkle. This special lighting is also really good at hiding flaws. This is why you also want to look at a diamond under normal lighting conditions. In any case, if you’re looking for loose diamonds, you want to go with an online retailer that deals exclusively with GIA certified diamonds and AGS certified diamonds. This way you have over 50 thousand diamonds to choose from. At North American Diamond Brokers, you can choose from a wide selection of AGS and GIA certified diamonds, plus, you can take a look at the diamond in person before you make your final decision.
2. Jargon that is designed to confuse and inflate a product’s worth.
Big retailers are also really good at using fancy jargon that is intended to inflate a diamond’s worth. The language is designed and formulated by big jewelers to make an unsuspecting buyer think that he or she is dealing with something that is way more exclusive than it actually is, thus giving the illusion of a great deal. Take chocolate diamonds for example. Chocolate diamonds are brown diamonds that aren’t worth much because of their low grade color – but who doesn’t like chocolate? Combine this with high-pressure sales tactics and you have a recipe for buyer’s remorse.
3. Cutting diamonds into specialty cuts that reduce the value and re-salability.
We talk about this in another article, but it’s worth mentioning in this list again, because it is something you definitely want to beware of. Many large jewelers use fancy names for “specialty” cut diamonds that promise to have more facets than regular diamonds. However, many of these diamonds are proprietary to a single jewelry store and they can’t be resold or upgraded, thus forcing you to go back to the jewelry store where you bought it. Most big jewelers will offer a store credit or they may tell you to take a hike.
4 Ridiculous discounts that don’t really make any sense.
Another sales trick that big jewelry retailers like to pull is giving the customer a sense that he or she is getting a discount. What they are really doing is inflating the price and then making it look like you are getting an amazing deal when they offer a steep price cut. Also, you should be suspicious if a sales representative tells you that a diamond is worth a lot of money, but they are offering it at a significant discount. There is a good chance that the diamond isn’t really worth that much – or else there would be plenty of people willing to pay full price.
5. Removal of imperfections without disclosure.
This trick is a little bit more nefarious, but it happens sometimes. Some big jewelry stores like to hide imperfections by treating diamonds that are included or fractured with fracture filling. What happens in this process is that the diamond loses quality – far more than if they had just left the imperfection. This is why you always want to look at a diamond under a loupe.
When it comes down to it, big diamond jewelry retailers don’t really have that much to offer besides a name-brand. However, you can often find better deals, better customer service and more honest salesmanship by visiting a smaller, independent diamond broker or jewelry store. In the end, it’s not always about getting the best deal – it is about getting the most honest deal.