Internet bling - buying diamonds online? Savings or scam?Does buying Diamonds on the net offer huge savings? Is it safe? Why does it appear so much cheaper?
Whilst there are some genuine online retailers providing real value, regrettably the net has become the perfect avenue for selling the leftovers, leaving many buyers reeling in the disappointment of not getting the real deal. There have been many instances where consumers, who have bought diamonds online, come in to the lab for verification only to find they have not received the quality represented, said Roy Cohen, DCLA (Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia) spokesperson.
Through the traditional distribution channel in the trade, reputable diamond merchants and jewellers scrutinise, select and buy the diamonds they sell. This process ensures you as the ultimate buyer get a correctly graded diamond. With most internet retailers, a list of diamonds is received from overseas suppliers and re-listed - these retailers do not sight the diamonds until you have bought and paid for them. These are often the diamonds with overseas certificates rejected by merchants after viewing them.
Since they cannot be sold through the traditional channels, these over graded, overvalued and treated diamonds, some with overseas certificates to lend credibility, are listed for sale at fantastically low prices. Real jewellers then seem undeservedly overpriced.
Ironically many of these diamonds may not actually exist or be available many internet retailers reel you in by listing a ridiculously large selection of diamonds at low prices. When an enquiry is made, all too often that diamond is no longer available and an alternative is offered a classic bait-and-switch tactic.
Both the ACCC and the Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) are aware of, and looking into these issues. The JAA recently issued an industry alert relating to these problems.
Cheap doesnt necessarily mean a good deal. When it comes to your diamond rely on the expert advice of a knowledgeable jeweller where you are able to view the diamond, backed up with the confidence of an independent laboratory grading certificate.
Generally, one fact remains true: you get what you pay for.
Common Online tricks and how to avoid them:
Trick 1 - Bait and Switch
Online diamond retailers who have ghost diamonds - a list containing thousands of diamonds which they claim to be in-stock or available. Too often when an enquiry is made, that particular diamond is not available and an alternative is offered. You will often see terms like subject to availability, Your money will be refunded if we happen to miss the diamond and If you wish, we will find a suitable replacement.
Solution: Ask to view the diamond. If it is not in stock and available for you to view, shop elsewhere. If you do buy a diamond sight unseen, have it checked as soon as you receive it.
Trick 2- Exaggerated Grades
Many diamonds listed on the net are either uncertified or have in-house reports or valuations allowing grades to be exaggerated and treatments to be undisclosed.
Solution: If you are looking for a fine-quality diamond, insist on a certificate from a respected, and preferably local, independent diamond grading lab. Cold laser inscription provides added security . Only compare prices of diamonds with proper certificates. Don't be fooled by official-looking bogus certificates or valuations. They may not be independent and exaggerate the grades to make the prices look good.