The Benefits of Private Labels in the Diamond Industry 

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When it comes to buying jewelry around the holidays, the number of retailers to consider may seem endless. From those claiming to have fair trade diamonds or lab made diamonds, to big name brands with striking store fronts, or that friend of a friend jeweler who will give you a great deal. Figuring out a jeweler to move forward with is no small feat. 

So where to begin? Starting from what’s most important to you and your partner will be key. Then, find a jeweler who compliments those areas – quality, customer service, etc. 

Recent studies have shown that the majority of Millennial and Gen-Z consumers enjoy on-trend jewelry, but don’t want to pay the name brand prices. Thanks to this wide growing population of customers, private labels are having quite the moment. 

In the jewelry world, private label jewelry manufacturers are companies that make jewelry on behalf of a partner business. Private labeling means the jeweler has complete control over product specs such as design, pricing, size, packaging and distribution. Put in simpler terms, private label jewelry translates to great products at a more reasonable price, with more room and budget left for innovation. Best of all, jewelers are able to make custom products for far less than big brands, ultimately passing those savings onto customers.

Still not convinced a private label jewelry store is the way to go? Then check our Top Four Reasons to consider it:

  1. Cost- Private labeling means jewelers have autonomy over the creation process and are able to cut out the middle man.With lower operating costs, this leaves your private label jeweler room to provide the price discounts directly to you. 

  2. Trust & Stability- Today’s consumers choose private label jewelry products for quality, consistency, and affordability. Even in economic downturns, private label goods enjoy steady sales thanks to lower price points which means you don’t have to worry about them going out of business and needing to find a new jeweler for future purchases. You can feel confident in the products you choose to buy from private label jewelers because jewelers must be  subject-matter experts and industry innovators in order to create products that meet customers’ needs. In order for a private jeweler to be successful, they would have had to have done the research and developed the best quality products. Read our article, The Diamond Industries Two Truths and a Lie

  3. Customization & Variety- Private label jewelry enables jewelers to customize their product line to fit the needs and wants of you, their valued customer. These small batch capabilities allow them to produce store-brand products that are unique to your design specifications, while also providing a wide variety of possibilities, a far cry from cookie cutter engagement ring settings.

  4. Quality & Consistency- Being able to offer a signature product line comes with exclusivity and the ability to design a one of a kind piece of art. Unlike other big name brands, smaller jewelers provide the best possible customer service in the industry. They can articulate where their diamonds come from, help educate you, and work with your unique budget. Smaller jewelry retailers are typically in it for the long haul and rely on you sharing your positive experience with others, as they are determined to earn your loyalty. 

So the next time you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, consider the many benefits of choosing a private label jewelry store like La Bijouterie. 

To book a stress free appointment and learn about our unique three step design process, click here

Merci!

Set

Founder, La Bijouterie

 

The Oversimplification of Diamond Buying and What it Means For the Customer 

 

Between mobile food delivery services like DoorDash, grocery store delivery services like InstaCart and of course two-day Amazon Prime delivery services for anything under the sun, it seems today’s greatest commodity isn’t a commodity at all, but instead, convenience and time. With the immediate gratification that comes with services such as these, it’s no wonder each industry is trying its hand at similar models, including the online diamond industry. 

What was once considered to be a well thought out process, is now marketed using a similar instant gratification and cost reduction models. Hop online, pick out your diamond and bam, you have an engagement ring at a seemingly reduced price. What more could anyone looking to save time and money want? Well, let's start by debunking a few online buying myths.

Unlike a precious metal such as gold that’s set a certain price, diamonds and diamond jewelry aren't a commodity in the traditional sense of the word. The vast education it takes to understand diamond complexities makes it so. Even though it may seem like you’re getting a good quality GIA grade diamond online, diamonds with the same GIA grade can greatly differ in quality and in price. To understand how this is possible, it’s important to first remember that a GIA certificate is still an educated option. Basically these reports have a list of caveats protecting the grading authority from legal action resulting from inaccuracy. 

Diamond Education 2.0

But why the inaccuracy? The general rule applied to grade intolerance in diamond reports, ie) GIA,  is one grade for both color and clarity. This means that a 1 carat diamond graded as a G SI1, may vary in color from F, (the top end of the grading scale), to an H, the bottom end. 

Similarly, the SI1 clarity rating may vary from VS2 at the top end, to SI2 at the bottom. As you might imagine, this range in a G SI1 diamond can create quite the quality and pricing difference, a 56% price difference to be exact. 

This example demonstrates that two different diamonds, with the same grading, can reflect two very different prices while still being graded with accepted international standards. Without the help of a professional diamond retailer, it’s almost impossible to determine accurate quality and cost. Check out the bottom of this post to run your own online experiment. 

Diamonds have value in terms of cash money, and obviously a strictly graded diamond is more valuable than a poorly rated diamond. There is always a reason why one diamond is less expensive than another. More often than not, potential buyers believe the difference in price is due to retail margins, however the most common reason for price inequality is diamond inequality. Be sure you’re asking these important questions to any diamond retailer you work with.

The most important thing to consider is to buy the diamond and the dealer, not just the diamond report. Diamond reports do not assign dollar amounts, they only describe diamond characteristics. Remember, no two diamonds are alike, and strictly graded diamonds provide more value and are worth every extra penny. 

As a company, we’ve always believed in the value of in-person shopping, especially as it relates to something as important and meaningful as an engagement ring. Twelve years ago, when La Bijouterie was formed, we made the purposeful decision to open a brick and mortar location, not an online store, because we value the importance of helping customers in person, especially when making one the biggest and most emotionally charged decisions of their lives. It seems as though today’s consumers value the same.

To sum it all up, here are our top five reasons to think twice before purchasing a diamond online.

  1. Lack of Trust- Did you know that online diamond stores do not offer any quality guarantee? If something is in fact wrong with the diamond you purchased, (say an imperfection you weren’t expecting, or the color is off), it would result in you overpaying for a diamond you thought was a great deal. The truth is there is a lot to consider outside of the 4Cs that someone who isn’t in the diamond profession would have no way of knowing. Read more about how online retailers cannot offer a quality guarantee.

  2. Quality - A diamond should be inspected top to bottom with a magnifying glass so you have a clear understanding of what you’re actually purchasing. An online website has no pressure to offer you a top quality diamond at a reasonable price since you’re not meeting them face to face after all. This brings us to our next point.

  3. The Customer Experience- Buying a diamond online means making one of the biggest financial purchases of your life completely blindsided. As you might imagine, it takes years to understand and learn how to evaluate a diamond, which is why buying online can be so tricky and unforgiving. Sure you can try to pawn off a faulty diamond, but you will end up losing hundreds, if not thousands in the process. Do yourself a favor and go with a jeweler that prides themselves on the customer service they offer, and has many repeat customers. Check out our Yelp reviews

  4. Cost- Purchasing a diamond online means you’re not able to work with an experienced jeweler to come up with a diamond ring, (setting and all), that fits within your budget. It’s a common misconception that shopping online will get you a better deal. An experienced jeweler can help you prioritize what is most important to you and your significant other, (say diamond size perhaps), and find you the best options given your criteria and budget.

  5. It’s Confusing- Even searching by ideal cut, grade, clarity, carat and cost, will render you a vast amount of conflicting results. How can you then make an educated decision on which diamond is best?

At La Bijouterie, we take a personalized 1:1 in-person appointment approach. We adopted this way of conducting business  over 8 years ago because it allows us to educate the potential buyer and it has proven to be most successful. Now more than ever, customers are seeing the value of uninterrupted appointments. It’s a dedicated time to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.   

When it comes to customer experience, you can rest assured that your satisfaction is our utmost concern and that your happiness is our singular focus. Curious to learn more? Book an appointment today.

At Your Service,

Set F.

Founder, La Bijouterie

Despite A Third Covid Winter, US Retail Sales Are Jumping

 

 

It would have been impossible to predict the ripple effect the Covid-19 virus and global pandemic has had on the retail economy. What the world initially thought would be the demise of brick and mortar businesses, ended up being an opportunity for them to pivot and get to the core of what their consumers were looking for. 

For many consumers, it was a moment of realization-- that when it comes to buying something as personal and monumental as an engagement ring, in-person is always the best option. 

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), "US retail sales rose in September 2021 as consumer fears over the Covid-19 Delta variant redirected spending toward goods rather than services. However, it’s possible September spending could have grown even more if not for the shipping bottleneck at US ports. Overall, the September report is very promising for a strong finish for the year. In September alone, sales increased year on year in all nine of the categories the US Census Bureau monitors. The clothing and accessories segment — which includes jewelry — had the highest growth, up 23%.”

This data tells us that people are choosing to celebrate major life milestones now more than ever. If nothing else, being caught in a pandemic has forced each of us to realize the fragility of life, and why spending it and celebrating with those with love should never be taken for granted.

Even during the height of lockdown, when people were hesitant to see family, we found that our customers still opted to come in person in order to learn about the diamond buying and ring creation process. Our incredible customers still wanted to see and touch and purchase in person. They wanted to get to know our team and build a level of trust. These are the reasons why in-person diamond shopping can never be replaced by a website’s algorithms or AI bots. 

Logistically speaking, a diamond should be inspected top to bottom with a magnifying glass by both the jeweler and the buyer, so you have a clear understanding of what you’re actually purchasing. An online website has no pressure to offer you a top quality diamond at a reasonable price since there is no official face to the brand. No one person's name or livelihood is on the line. A much different scenario for local retailers. 

Last March, Blue Nile, one of the largest online retailers of diamonds, announced  plans to grow its showroom presence from five to 55 locations within the next three years. Others are also dipping their toes back in the showroom waters, according to The International Council of Shopping Centers, as some things just don’t translate well to an online shopping experience.  

As a company, we’ve always believed in the value of in-person shopping, especially as it relates to something as important and meaningful as an engagement ring. Ten years ago, when La Bijouterie was formed, we made the purposeful decision to open a brick and mortar location, not an online store, because we value the importance of helping customers in person, especially when making one the biggest and most emotionally charged decisions of their lives. It seems as though today’s consumers value the same. 

Want to learn more about our thoughts on purchasing a diamond online? Check out our previous blog post, “5 Reasons to Think Twice Before Buying a Diamond Online”.

There is no denying the retail industry is alive and well. At La Bijouterie, our sole purpose is to help couples achieve a milestone moment in their lives any way we can. We believe in quality over quantity, and educating always. Before pulling the trigger on such an important decision, book a no stress 30 minute 1:1 appointment.

At Your Service,

Set F.

Founder, La Bijouterie

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