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Coloured Gemstone Market Pricing Issues on bidorbuy

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Principia Trading    10
Principia Trading

Attention all gemstone sellers.

 

We are having a little bit of an issue in the gemstones category on bob. Specifically the market prices presented for coloured gemstones.

 

The whole issue of valuing coloured gemstones is not well defined. There is no Rap Report for these gems like the one that exists for diamonds and so wholesale prices cannot easily be determined. Generally market prices for these gemstones are quite disparate. I have done some research on this topic and we are in the process of seeking advice from gemologists and gathering information from technical sources and journals.

 

The one thing I can define for everyone is Market Price. Market Price on bidorbuy is considered to be the retail price (as opposed to the wholesale price) of a product. Now gemstones are marked up anywhere from 50 - 1000% above their wholesale price. Lets be fair here and consider that the retail price (and thus Market Price) of a gemstone is a 100% mark up of the whole sale price. Lets keep this as a reference frame as we begin this discussion.

 

We need to address the market pricing of various coloured gemstones on bidorbuy. While I have compiled some price ranges of gemstones on my own, we are of course looking to get more technical information also. However we have many sellers and buyers on bob who are undoubtedly experts themselves or at least have an insight that can be relevant to this conversation.

 

Please consider this an OPEN DISCUSSION. We are aiming to determining a realistic price range for various coloured gems on bob. A price range that all sellers can agree on and which is fair and accurate.

 

We would like a relatively speedy resolution to this issue, and if we can all get together and discuss the matter, then we can reach a conclusion which is beneficial for all and accepted by all.

 

Regards

Alex

 

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels

Hi Alex,

 

Very glad to see that Bidorbuy is addressing this matter. My issue is not Diamonds as there is the Rapaport guidelines for that area where a customer can make their own conclusions MY ISSUE IS WITH COLOURED GEMSTONES.

 

I personally have been a selling member of Gemstones since 2006 with a current and previous shop. I thus have a good insight as to the Gemstone category although as I am not a "Bona Fide" Gemologist with a degree in the field, choose not to add any values to my Gemstones for legal reasons.

 

Turnover for sellers who do not use values is dismal lately but respect as they are to me the honest bunch. Some have joined the bandwagon and literally issue their own values based on who knows what. Please note that I am by no means shouting anybody down who has a Gemologist (DEGREE) value or appraisal but those who think that an online course giving some sort of Certificate or Diploma, gives power to value stones. To add to that a Jeweller may know a lot about stones but is only qualified to value a set piece. If done properly this is with a certificate from a Gemologist to authenticate the stone set in the piece.

 

Gems are appraised mainly to determine their fair market value/ Estimated Retail Replacement Value (FMV/ ERV) or for insurance purposes. Qualified Gemologists undergo specialized training to be certified as accredited appraisers of gems. If a gem has been certified by a Master Gemologist Appraiser, his/her valuation is accepted as final and in the case of a loose Gemstone a Jewellers value will not stand up. Saying this, a Jewellers appraisal of a piece such as a ring will hold for insurance purposes.

 

To Sum it up I have spent thousands over the years on Bidorbuy fees just to find it is almost no longer worth selling on there any longer as I do not have false, misleading values on my items. Here are some points below -

 

1) Many items with sellers who use values and issue their own or non-qualified specialist Values buy from the same suppliers as I do and yet my same stone will fetch a fraction of what theirs dose

2) Same quality, same supplier and often purchased for example $50 and then the stone miraculously gets a value of R38 000 (just one example)

3) These members may be using online valuation site but these are self input and never looked under a microscope by a DEGREED Gemologist.

4) Certificates issued by a Jeweller for a loose stone with no Gemological degree.

 

I anticipate that you will have all who are using values justify it in one way or another but unless their valued can be backed up by a DEGREED GEMOLOGIST and not a Legitimate value and Misrepresentation of a stone giving it an untrue value to entice a consumer into parting with more than they should.

 

PLEASE NOTE FELLOW GEMSTONE SELLERS THAT I AM NOT TARGETING ANYBODY BUT THESE VALUES MUST STOP AND IT MUST BE A FAIR AND EVEN PLAYING FIELD FOR ALL CONCERNED.

 

I look forward to seeing how this post progresses and see if we can make a change here.

 

Regards,

 

Brian

 

See all my items - http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/seller/1104501/Celebrity_Jewels

Edited by Celebrity Jewels

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

Yay - someone has opened the hornets nest - and I am grateful!

 

Been emailing bidorbuy with zero response in connection with one dishonest seller in particular and I am extremely disappointed that they are doing nothing about it!

 

I was not going to place a link to the item, but what the heck - I'm probably in several seller's bad books in any case so here it goes:

 

Item sold on BoB:

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/18396..._GEMSTONE.html

 

Seller bought this item as a "Topaz" on another site for $9.99!

 

And the value? Well... just another seller giving their 1c worth of dishonesty by misleading their buyers into believing that the item they are selling not only is NOT what they are expecting, but has the enormously overinflated value of xyz!

 

I am not a certified Gemologist, but have been in the trade long enough to know what's what. I do have testing equipment and test our own gems (to assure authenticity - especially for our jewellery items), but will never thumbsuck a value be it in our shop or online! Besides, I was under the impression that if you are not a certified Gemologist, you are not allowed to place a value or guesstimate on a gem?!?!

 

I do have a handful of items with values in our shop, but these values have been provided to me by the establishment which provided the legal certification of the gem at hand. I will never (and have never) put my own value on an item, and based on that honesty, have sold items at way below their true value! I do not believe in misleading my buyers in any way, and will not lead the buyer into believing that they should give a high bid on an item simply based on the stated value - unlike some sellers such as the one above!

 

Firstly, he / she bought the item as a Topaz for $9.99 (which in my opinion would most likely be a coloured Quartz and not a natural Topaz), then lists it as a rare Tourmaline with a value of R67500! (and gets the price of R1750 for it too!)

 

And another item this seller had this past week - a R106000 Aquamarine:

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/19163..._GEMSTONE.html

 

I give up!

Edited by Cali Craft and Gems
Removed link

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Principia Trading    10
Principia Trading

 

PLEASE NOTE FELLOW GEMSTONE SELLERS THAT I AM NOT TARGETING ANYBODY BUT THESE VALUES MUST STOP AND IT MUST BE A FAIR AND EVEN PLAYING FIELD FOR ALL CONCERNED.

 

 

Hi Brian

 

Thank you for your reply. Our aim here is to make the gemstones category an even playing field for our sellers and to also take care of our buyers.

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Diamond Merchants    10
Diamond Merchants

Hi Alex,

 

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to post my humble opinion. I am going to make this short and sweet as its quite a simple matter:

 

1. There are very few "qualified" gemologists in South Africa and quite frankly even fewer that can put a value on these gems.

2. Bidorbuy has not been monitoring the influx of diffused and treated gemstones which are worth nowhere near the untreated product. This poses a problem as sellers can make a quick buck over the uninformed buyer. However this is a step in the right direction.

3. There is 1 "lab" that has been used for valuations of gemstones and posted on Bob. I am sure you all know the name of this lab. However, the values posted on the certificate (laminated piece of white paper), are far from the real values. Also the values vary from seller to seller for the same gemstone.

4. EGL, IDL and DIA labs who are recognised in SA under the Jewellery Council and Diamond Board of SA, refuse to put values on gemstones. They have the proper qualifications, testing equipment and expertise to ascertain the value but because of erratic market pricing they prefer to provide the specs only.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Kindest Regards

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels

 

Hi Brian

 

Thank you for your reply. Our aim here is to make the gemstones category an even playing field for our sellers and to also take care of our buyers.

 

Hi Alex, absolutely agreed. Sellers that are not using values are more inclined now to feel like packing it in which is a loss to Bidorbuy and on the other hand Buyers who purchase based on the Values that look TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE and get a second opinion will be hesitant to go back onto Bidorbuy to purchase on the future after what would be considered to be a bad experience.

 

I can guarantee that most of these over valued stones will be given a fraction of the value advertised.

 

Let's get this right for all.

 

Regards,

 

Brian

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TheBlackKnight    10
TheBlackKnight

Good day, we never really get involved in the forum, but I am willing to give my 2 cents on the subject.. We do not sell loose Gemstones, But we used to advertise values up till the 1st January 2015. We found that in the past we had so many problems regarding estimated retail value that we made the decision to never advertise values again as of 2015. The reason being, that we had jewellers informing buyers that they had determined totally different values to ours, leading to returns and disgruntled customers, as we had "advertised" that value and any conflicting opinion made them lose trust in us as sellers.

We now only offer the specs of our items and all valuations are done by GISA only and this something that is an optional extra for our customers. We explain that if they want a valuation done, it can be done by GISA as we trust their grading and estimates on Market prices and retail values. But that their bidding will not be based on any values on our auctions any longer.

 

When we first decided to stop advertising values, we were getting many questions from buyers demanding market price and asking whether our items were "real" because there was no market value advertised... We replied to each and every one of those questions, requesting that the buyer not purchase items based on the values advertised, but rather look at the specs and do the research, this way they gain more insight into what they are purchasing rather than being blinded by the values they see... We found that alot of our customers were now searching the net on similar items, and learning alot more about the products before purchasing, especially with regard to items that had treatments done to them...

So, in a nutshell... It has ended up working for us... we have hardly any complaints now, as we are not holding ourselves to the values that can often be contradicted by local Jewellers.

 

Warm regards

TheBlackKnight

 

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels

4. EGL, IDL and DIA labs who are recognised in SA under the Jewellery Council and Diamond Board of SA, refuse to put values on gemstones. They have the proper qualifications, testing equipment and expertise to ascertain the value but because of erratic market pricing they prefer to provide the specs only.

 

Hi T,

 

Long time no see. Thank you for confirming what we are wanting which are changes for the best. Glad you mentioned these reputable LABS as that is my opinion - FOR ALL SELLERS THROUGHOUT - NO VALUES ON LISTINGS WHATSOEVER WHEN IT COMES TO COLOURED GEMSTONES.

 

I think this is the beginning of changes for the best and that Bidorbuy are well aware of the problems associated with Misrepresented values. Although Bidorbuy have a disclaimer holding the seller responsible for his/her listings and actions many buyers do not see it as such and expect Bidorbuy to protect them. Let us hope that this is a start so that buyers do not flock away due to bad experiences and finding out that not only is their stone well overvalued but also treated rendering it even worth less.

 

Regards,

 

Brian

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/seller/110...lebrity_Jewels

Edited by Celebrity Jewels

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels
We do not sell loose Gemstones, But we used to advertise values up till the 1st January 2015. We found that in the past we had so many problems regarding estimated retail value that we made the decision to never advertise values again as of 2015. The reason being, that we had jewellers informing buyers that they had determined totally different values to ours, leading to returns and disgruntled customers, as we had "advertised" that value and any conflicting opinion made them lose trust in us as sellers.

TheBlackKnight

 

Hi Black Knight, exactly to the point! Could not put it better myself. Those disgruntled customers then never buy another gem most of the time. I have sold to many and then they have been duped and told me straight - we are not buying on Bidorbuy anymore. Good to see another seller not using values.

 

Regards,

 

Brian

 

Bidorbuy Store - http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/seller/1104501/Celebrity_Jewels

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Principia Trading    10
Principia Trading

 

Good day, we never really get involved in the forum, but I am willing to give my 2 cents on the subject.. We do not sell loose Gemstones, But we used to advertise values up till the 1st January 2015. We found that in the past we had so many problems regarding estimated retail value that we made the decision to never advertise values again as of 2015. The reason being, that we had jewellers informing buyers that they had determined totally different values to ours, leading to returns and disgruntled customers, as we had "advertised" that value and any conflicting opinion made them lose trust in us as sellers.

We now only offer the specs of our items and all valuations are done by GISA only and this something that is an optional extra for our customers. We explain that if they want a valuation done, it can be done by GISA as we trust their grading and estimates on Market prices and retail values. But that their bidding will not be based on any values on our auctions any longer.

 

When we first decided to stop advertising values, we were getting many questions from buyers demanding market price and asking whether our items were "real" because there was no market value advertised... We replied to each and every one of those questions, requesting that the buyer not purchase items based on the values advertised, but rather look at the specs and do the research, this way they gain more insight into what they are purchasing rather than being blinded by the values they see... We found that alot of our customers were now searching the net on similar items, and learning alot more about the products before purchasing, especially with regard to items that had treatments done to them...

So, in a nutshell... It has ended up working for us... we have hardly any complaints now, as we are not holding ourselves to the values that can often be contradicted by local Jewellers.

 

Warm regards

TheBlackKnight

 

 

Thank you for your feedback. Some very pertinent points here. My question to other sellers is "Have you had a similar experience with market prices?"

 

 

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Gems Supreme    10
Gems Supreme

We are reasonably new sellers on BOB but have noticed that our business is suffering terribly due to Sellers

who are putting false inflated ERV's on their listings. I have purchased Gemstones from the exact same suppliers,

and know the approximate costs, and then find Sellers, using similar to identical photos, with ERV of such high

inflated values, that I cannot believe it is possible. There are many of us sellers just wanting to make an honest living,

but not being able to do so, because of dishonest retail market values which lure people to buy these stones.

 

I am so glad that this subject has arisen as it took someone brave to do so on behalf of us all.

A properly qualified and registered Gemologist is the only person who can give a valuation on a gemstone and they

would take many factors into account before giving a true valuation.

 

Thank you most sincerely for the opportunity to deal with something which has affected us badly and thereby caused

us to lose business, so lets hope we can outlaw ERV's altogether.

 

Kind regards

GEMS SUPREME

 

Bidorbuy Store: http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/seller/1840151/Gems_Supreme

Edited by Gems Supreme

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels

 

 

 

Thank you for your feedback. Some very pertinent points here. My question to other sellers is "Have you had a similar experience with market prices?"

 

 

Hi Alex,

 

Very much so. When I first started in 2006/2007 as proprietor of another Gem shop on BoB many were using GEMVAL VALUES (which by the way are now quite conservative compared to some of the values at the moment). We proved even these values to be very well over the top because do not forget a online valuation is SELF INPUT so I can put any specs for the stone into the gemval system and it may not be what the stone is as graded by a qualified Gemologist, but it will tell me what i wanted to hear.

 

I tried this until a few customers did exactly what they are doing now - taking them for a second opinion and getting much lower values. Managed to refund and avoid negative ratings and stopped all values from that day onwards.

 

Regards,

 

Brian

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Principia Trading    10
Principia Trading

 

Hi Alex,

 

Very much so. When I first started in 2006/2007 as proprietor of another Gem shop on BoB many were using GEMVAL VALUES (which by the way are now quite conservative compared to some of the values at the moment). We proved even these values to be very well over the top because do not forget a online valuation is SELF INPUT so I can put any specs for the stone into the gemval system and it may not be what the stone is as graded by a qualified Gemologist, but it will tell me what i wanted to hear.

 

I tried this until a few customers did exactly what they are doing now - taking them for a second opinion and getting much lower values. Managed to refund and avoid negative ratings and stopped all values from that day onwards.

 

Regards,

 

Brian

 

 

Hi Brian

 

I originally looked at Gemval and thought it might be a good base for referencing gemstone prices. I based this off the statistical anomaly called the Miracle of Aggregation - basically when information is collated from different people it starts resembling a true value as more people input information... however this does depend on certain factors (ie a minimum 50% chance that the people entering such values are entering an honest value).

 

On subsequent investigation I found that the gemval values do not seem to approach the values espoused in technical sources. I no longer feel Gemval to be of much worth as regards this issue.

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels

 

 

Hi Brian

 

I originally looked at Gemval and thought it might be a good base for referencing gemstone prices. I based this off the statistical anomaly called the Miracle of Aggregation - basically when information is collated from different people it starts resembling a true value as more people input information... however this does depend on certain factors (ie a minimum 50% chance that the people entering such values are entering an honest value).

 

On subsequent investigation I found that the gemval values do not seem to approach the values espoused in technical sources. I no longer feel Gemval to be of much worth as regards this issue.

 

Hi Alex,

 

Quite correct. There was a forum mediator named Bill De Waal back then. He was very proactive in helping us prove Gemval values were so erratic that you could literally enter the same specifications in 15 minutes apart and get a different value.

 

This is no good as if a buyer gets a printout of the Gemval value and decides to try it himself, he also will be confused as to a different value.

 

For some time on Bidorbuy we managed to get all values off and it was good for sellers and buyers getting a fair deal alike.

 

Regards,

 

Brian

 

Bidorbuy shop - http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/seller/1104501/Celebrity_Jewels

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Principia Trading    10
Principia Trading

Hello Everyone

 

So I was hoping that there would be a lot more of a conversation regarding this topic.

 

I have put together some pricing ranges below and I was wondering what everyone thought about if these ranges are acceptable as a whole sale price estimation. One would then add 100% on to determine a retail price.

 

Almandine Garnet: R120 - R540/carat.

Citrine: R120 - R480/carat

Peridot: R240 - R1200/carat

Blue Topaz: R12 - R360/Carat

Amethyst: R120 - R480/Carat

 

What do you all think? Can a quantitative pricing range even be agreed upon for coloured gemstones? It seems that pricing is a highly subjective element in the pricing of coloured gems. If this is the case, and there is no way to come to a final decision regarding pricings, then I believe the best way to protect buyers is to remove market price completely from coloured gemstones. We would change our listing policy so that no market pricing can be included in the listing or title also.

 

Please let me know what you all think.

 

Alex

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels
some pricing ranges below and I was wondering what everyone thought about if these ranges are acceptable as a whole sale price estimation. One would then add 100% on to determine a retail price.

 

Almandine Garnet: R120 - R540/carat.

Citrine: R120 - R480/carat

Peridot: R240 - R1200/carat

Blue Topaz: R12 - R360/Carat

Amethyst: R120 - R480/Carat

 

Alex

 

Hi Alex,

 

Not too sure where these values come from but if you do your search on other sites they are very high. Hence why do you not open a petition for all to sign banning all values for coloured gemstones otherwise we will still be debating it this time next year.

 

By then though many gemstone sellers would have to pull out due to lack of business not giving values, the Rand exchange rates and for Bidorbuy a lot many unhappy customers.

 

Regards,

 

Brian

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels

Surely the public can speak as well as other gemstone sellers who do not use values, You have read that not even the reputable Labs will value coloured gemstones, whay should it be allowed on Bidorbuy and when will Bidorbuy stop it? Hopefully when not too late and the press get hold of it, it really is getting out of hand now Alex

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Gems Supreme    10
Gems Supreme

I am totally mystified as to why BOB is not handling the subject of fraudulent ERV's in a proper manner. Just outlaw the practice - simple. It is very interesting to see that

not one of the people who are putting on these high values has entered into this discussion. The reason is not hard to find - they are simply keeping their heads under the radar. BOB

is on dangerous ground allowing this practice of false ERV's and I would challenge you to go onto a huge organisation like Ebay and find one gemstone that has a retail value listed.

There is so much that makes up the valuing of a gemstone - dependent on quality, color, cut and many other factors but when we see some sellers selling the identical stones from identical buyers and listing at these high values it makes me very frustrated. But I am not prepared to compromise my integrity and join the bandwagon. Bob please will you- see the problem and deal with it!

Ban ERV's and you will get back to an honest catagory, which should be your aim.

 

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels
It seems that pricing is a highly subjective element in the pricing of coloured gems. If this is the case, and there is no way to come to a final decision regarding pricings, then I believe the best way to protect buyers is to remove market price completely from coloured gemstones. We would change our listing policy so that no market pricing can be included in the listing or title also.

 

Alex

 

Hi Alex,

 

This is the best way to do it since EGL, GIA and DIA do not use or will nor value coloured stones. It would be fair for all, keep all sellers who refuse to use values as they are not risking criminal charges, and keep the good standing and name of Bidorbuy as no conflicts would arise.

 

In my opinion every gemstone buyer who has had a bad experience will seldom if never buy again.

 

Keep BoBs name clean and outlaw values on titles, market prices and on the listing itself all together.

 

To add, until this investigation and research goes on, an the values be banned until a satisfactory outcome is agreed by all?

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian

Edited by Celebrity Jewels

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels

Please Guys can we get some further views here.

Edited by Celebrity Jewels

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

I agree wholeheartedly with the no ERV's in listings! Would make things a lot more transparent and the poor unsuspecting buyer won't stand a chance of being mislead by over-inflated values!

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels
I agree wholeheartedly with the no ERV's in listings! Would make things a lot more transparent and the poor unsuspecting buyer won't stand a chance of being mislead by over-inflated values!

 

Absolutely, and then the buyers will continue to buy and not leave BoB all together with a bad taste in their mouth. Either that or suspend all values until we have a guideline which we can all use equally but I cannot see that happening as if the big labs won't do it then how can we explain values and it would mean Bidorbuy getting directly involved which could backfire on them.

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

I am bitterly disappointed that bidorbuy still allows this fraudulent seller to trade and mislead buyers:

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/193894111/Exquisite_12_40ct_Emerald_Cut_Pink_Kunzite.html

 

R24800 value for a piece of CZ?!?

 

I have sent the relevant info through to bob to no avail. Suppose BoB's wrath and rules only apply to some sellers whilst the rest can get away with dragging BoB's name (and the reputation of other good sellers) through the mud!

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Celebrity Jewels    10
Celebrity Jewels

I know my Simulates and that is not Kunzite but what can we do. I was also unaware that Citrines sold by another seller were very rare from the Congo when I know where they were purchased..... there is a lot to be done here in the Gemstone category but we have a good Category Manager so let him address one issue at a time

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Principia Trading    10
Principia Trading

I have communicated with http://www.gemewizard.com and they have kindly given me use of their pricing structure to investigate fully all retail pricing on bob for coloured gemstones. I will be doing this now and compiling a list of items with regards to actual marketing pricing and market pricing listed in bob.

 

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