“The Internet is something we all have to embrace. It’s not going anywhere! When a customer asks me to help them with their purchase, I try to be as helpful as possible. They trusted me enough to ask my opinion, and now they are in our store, and we can WOW them with our service.
I don’t mind taking the time to help them. Once they are in the store, I can educate them about the perils of online purchases in a humorous way. When it comes to purchasing diamonds online, I always tell them they have to pick the stone with their own eyes. Don’t go by some piece of paper that describes it. I’m 5’4” with blond hair and blue eyes… that doesn’t mean I look like all girls that fit that description! It’s true!! I tell them they need to buy their ring where it can be serviced. If they buy it online, who’s going to take care of this precious jewelry? I just take it as an opportunity to win over a new customer.”
Debbie Presley, Store Manager
J & B Jewelers
Ormond Beach, FL
“As an appraiser I cannot give an unconsidered opinion without fully evaluating the diamond. In the case mentioned above I will do an appraisal. I also offer a service where we act as their consultant in the purchase of an online diamond and charge $500 for that service where we will help select and then receive the diamond on the client’s behalf. We will confirm the diamond and report and then custom design a mounting for them.”
David Nygaard, Owner
David Nygaard Fine Jewelers
“If someone wants information I think we need to provide it. We will discuss what their needs truly are, and get as much information from them. The client seeking information might be a consumer looking for information to purchase or a future budding gemologist to be. We need to know how to tell the difference. I also believe we have to know when to charge a fee for educating the ‘client’ and/or consulting. For many years I taught the gemology class at the Honolulu Museum of Art. As a Graduate Gemologist, and Appraiser with numerous qualifications I am able to provide consultation, verification, confirmation of quality and value comparisons services. Each client has different needs, whether they make their purchase online or from a competitor. Sometimes the online seller or even competitor does not provide an insurance document or laboratory report to their client. We are hired to provide that service and remain unbiased with our conclusions of value and quality of the merchandise. If it is an after purchase verification and value, I am always aware of the Appraisers International Society Standards that I must adhere to. We have to be educated and know the difference between what an item is worth and the market in which it resides. Sadly on a number of occasions I have been the bearer of bad news. For example glass filled rubies, synthetic diamonds, rather than natural rubies and natural mined diamonds. We have to know when the client requires a consultant, an advocate or an expert witness if fraud has been uncovered by our examination. I have to know what hat to wear for whatever inquiry is made by the clients. Today’s purchaser is looking for information online, but needs a brick and mortar, human to interact with.”
Brenda Reichel, Owner
Carats & Karats Fine Jewelry
“When someone comes into our store looking for information that they clearly plan to use elsewhere, we take that opportunity to be helpful but also prove why we should have been their first choice and not their ‘check the facts’ choice. If they want to know if something is real, we will certainly test the piece in question for them, but for a fee since we paid for the expensive equipment that will be used to test the jewelry. And if they want to know the monetary worth of a piece of jewelry, we show them something comparable in our store and what it retails for without going the extra mile they were hoping to get for free. We will always be willing to help anyone who walks through our doors, but since we are a business that has invested time and money in valuable knowledge and equipment, it is important for us to do it in a way that helps to grow our business.”
Melissa Haynes (r) & EmilyAnn Graudin, Co-workers
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