Well it was another very interesting week in the world of engagement rings last week. The big news item was all about the lucky guy who got a huge windfall when he bought his engagement ring over the internet. Buying engagement rings online can be an issue. This is especially the case when buying from websites that do not show real rings, but rather show computer generated images of rings. You really don’t know what you are going to end up with, as these computer images are very unrealistic!
A Big Windfall for One Lucky Guy!
But in this case, the guy bought a 2ct. diamond ring that was “worth” $34,000 for $1,100! How did it happen? It seems that the ring was listed on an ecommerce website, and was incorrectly priced. When Nicholas Buttle purchased and paid for the ring online, he was informed later by the company that the diamond he had purchased was not available. Instead, he was offered another diamond that was equivalent to the one he had purchased. He agreed to the offer. However, as it turned out, the company then offered him a refund instead, which he refused. As they would not supply the diamond he had purchased, he took the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and won the case.
It is an interesting case, but without knowing all the detail, it is impossible to make a assessment as to whether the Tribunal made the right decision or not. And of course, we must remember the Tribunal applies the law when making its decision. It is not making a judgement as to what is fair.
Buying Engagement Rings Online Can be Problematic
The case did get me thinking about what a rarity it is that the consumer has a “win” like this. The number of bad results we see for consumers who look at engagement rings online and buy a really poor quality ring and diamond, are too numerous to mention. I should point out that you can buy poor quality anywhere – the glitz of shop lights are especially designed to make any old diamond look great – and many shops also sell the mass produced poor quality rings that online businesses sell too.
So it is not buying online that is necessarily the issue. Rather it is the huge amount of poor quality rings out there in the market place. It is also consumers assuming that all rings are the same, and not being aware of the potential problems. Making a ring well is actually a difficult, highly skilled job!
Buy Cheap and That is What You’ll Get
We had someone call us last week who wanted a quote for a ring that she had seen on the internet. She sent us the image of the ring. When we googled the image, we found this exact graphic was in use on several websites, including ebay. So, if you ordered the ring from one of these sites, how on earth would you know what you were getting? Or the quality of the workmanship? And that is the thing. Good quality workmanship is really, really important. The ring is supposed to last you for your lifetime and beyond. If it is poorly made to begin with, well, it just won’t last the distance.
I don’t think that the person who called us understood this issue at all. She was simply ringing around, trying to get the lowest price possible for the ring. The only trouble with that approach is, not all rings are well made, and diamonds are not all the same. Pay the lowest price possible, and you are likely to get a very poor result. It is false economy to buy in this way. The ring will give you nothing but trouble down the track.
Finding jewellers who are prepared to try and repair such rings is becoming harder and harder, as no-one wants to work on them. The reason for this is, that where there is one issue with the ring, there are likely to be more. Take it on, and in the eyes of the consumer, you are responsible for all the shortcomings of the entire ring.
Anyway, not so for Nicholas Buttle. The lead up to the Tribunal hearing must have been a very stressful time for all concerned. But Nicholas will certainly be feeling like a winner this week!