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Consumer Alert !
Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 11-13-04 , 11:42 AM


This is mainly to alert consumers to a situation that has come to the attention of some in our industry.

Some maybe familiar with the Pricescope website . The forum owner has taken it upon himself now to list 5000 jewelers nationwide on his website search engine without their prior permission or knowledge. Not only that, he has selected, listed and priced diamonds they don`t own, stock, or even know about next to their name. Most have never even heard of Pricescope themselves.

By listing these unsuspecting jewelers with the same exact diamonds at higher prices that are found listed by the Pricescope websites, he has established them to be uncompetitve and over priced in the consumers eye.

What this does is push business right into the hands of these pricescope websites that pay him to advertise there. This is great for these Pricescope vendors who certainly don`t mind that Leonid has set them up in a select position of favor.

The thing is, it is out right fraudulent to even set up fictitous pricing for retailers that are unaware of how or what is going on, especially since they didn`t even select or price the diamonds, or have anything to do with the whole process.

Many retailers buy and stock their own diamonds, and this list that has been put next to their name is not even their own inventory or have anything to do with their business.

In my opinion it is a very underhanded thing to do, but not a surprise, since Pricescope has a history of an anti retailer approach. Of course they do present this as some kind of favor to the retailers, but I doubt anything will become of it for them other than increased loss of business.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 11-13-04 , 12:52 PM


Brad -
Thanks for sharing this information with us. I'll confess that I like to look up prices over on Pricescope, though I have always thought of it simply as an easy way of confirming the reasonableness of prices from a jeweler I trust. As Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify." So I still think it is an excellent resource when used in that way. But it is interesting to learn about and see some of the marketing jockeying that goes on behind the scenes.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 11-13-04 , 05:19 PM


Brad,
Do I understand what you're saying correctly---the fraudulent exercise by Leonid is horrible in itself, but the advertisers on his site are essentially in collusion with him to do it? They can't possibly not know the list is fraudulent---can they?

Have I misunderstood?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 11-13-04 , 06:27 PM


I don't know if the advertisers are in collusion with him doing this,they may be aware though,and probably don't mind since they look like the hero's. Also they will benefit in the long run. It conveniently gives the consumer a planted false impression, and even more reason to buy from the pricescope website when they can click on these exact stones listed and advertised for less. It's like pointing an arrow to the p-scope websites and saying buy here! It's only a click of a button. The jeweler is displayed without his knowledge as if he has priced them himself when in fact he had no knowledge of it, never selected or saw the goods and probably doesn't even know he is on there.

The thing is, these jewelers are unknowingly participating in this and not by choice. They have the chance of losing business, credibility and their reputation because someone decided it was his right to put them there.

Why don't we just reverse it and create an engine and list all the websites at 50% higher than the jewelers without them knowing. They won't mind, they don't own any stones anyhow.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 11-13-04 , 06:55 PM


Thinking through this a bit, if jewelers have systems that generate quotes and Pricescope is obtaining valid quotes from those systems without the vendor's specific consent, then I support their efforts as they are bringing valuable and valid publicly accessible information to consumers in one convenient place. If, on the other hand, the vendors are not providing any pricing information and Pricescope is simply making up prices and misrepresenting these businesses, then I believe their actions are misguided and likely illegal.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 11-13-04 , 10:43 PM


As JC indicates, it would be very important for you to really demonstrate some specific examples and show us how this works?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 11-14-04 , 09:59 AM


It is a real shame that pricescope thinks they can control everyones business. Now the owner and a couple of the bitter regulars are attempting to trash our reputation. No surprise there.



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Example
Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 11-14-04 , 10:59 AM


G.I.A. 2.04 ct. VS2 H 61.5 57 X X

Local Jeweler = $20,928 (priced by pricescope not the jeweler)

Pricescope web vendor = $18,400


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 11-14-04 , 11:25 AM


Interesting.

That forum claims that the listed retail jewelers have to first register with them in order to be listed, (within 1-2 hours EST).

Do you know of any retail B&M jewelers that are being listed without their permission?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 11-14-04 , 12:58 PM


Quote:

Do you know of any retail B&M jewelers that are being listed without their permission?

Barry
[/B]



They (5000) were listed right out of the jewelers board of trade book by pricescope. (The JBT is a credit bureau for jewelers in the trade) This was not done with the permission of the jewelers.

Yes I know many jewelers that were listed without their permission. Some even contacted pricescope to be removed immediately.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 11-14-04 , 01:14 PM


If I am correct on this, the JBT list (which is proprietary and for their paid trade membership) cannot be used in a public venue without their permission.

Serious.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 11-14-04 , 01:16 PM


This is to the suppliers whose stones get listed on Pricescope. He will be getting paid for this too.

"Grow your retail base.
We will give you free access until the end of the year to the top 5,000 JBT rated retailers in North America; many will be new accounts whose doors you have been knocking on in vain for years. They will call you to open an account, and they have a proven payment history. "


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 11-14-04 , 07:45 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by barry
If I am correct on this, the JBT list (which is proprietary and for their paid trade membership) cannot be used in a public venue without their permission.

Serious.

Barry


Update: According to that forum owner-moderator, their use without permission of the confidential and proprietary JBT list has been deleted today, and listings are now by B&M retailer acquiescence and Yahoo-Google listings.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 11-14-04 , 09:34 PM


The forum owner stills doesn`t even recognize that he did anything wrong, and wants to blame us for his illegal activity.??

Now I am being called a liar by the pricescope owner on his forum for providing the facts. If everything was fine and dandy he wouldn`t have pulled this down.

Still even now on his *local jeweler* button he has placed his own pricing in place, not theirs.



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 11-16-04 , 01:27 AM


Leonid from Pricescope quote : "Please keep in mind that these diamonds do not belong to any jeweler. It is not like I'm saying at what prices they should sell something from their stock."

No he is actually setting the prices on stones they don`t even own, or see for his own purpose not theirs. Why you may ask? Follow the money. If Leonid can make some money by selling this idea to suppliers, the ones whose goods he forced next to the names of some 5000 retailers without their permission, he will serve two hands, His and the suppliers.

Pricescope sales pitch:
"Grow your retail base.
**We will give you free access until the end of the year to the top 5,000 JBT rated retailers in North America; many will be new accounts whose doors you have been knocking on in vain for years. ** They will call you to open an account, and they have a proven payment history. "

You see the pricescope owner does not make money from the consumer directly. He gets his income from the Pricescope website advertisers, and suppliers that want to turn their goods through his website. His site has mainly been about the promotion of websites who represent stones they don`t own. Who owns these stones ?? The suppliers behind the scenes you don`t see.


Lets not pretend this was some noble way of helping the retail jewelry stores, otherwise he would have asked their permission up front. They were just being *used* as a means to get what he wanted. His site has been ripping on the jewelers for years.


See if he really wanted to help jewelers there wouldn`t be these particular stones attached to the equation, and especially with his set prices, without the jewelers knowledge, etc.




So you got a web developer that will break some laws and rules to get what he wants, and not even think there is something wrong.


Leonid from Pricescope quote: "Now, you are talking about suggested price at Pricescope. This is a common thing elsewhere. It is not a rule and it is properly disclosed. Why do you think it is illegal? Please come to your senses"


Suggested retail ?? There are two different prices on the same stone posted right next to each other. The Pricescope websites don`t have Leonid setting their prices, so why does the jeweler now need him to price and choose goods for them to sell? Most of the jewelers haven`t even heard of Pricesope.


How can someone suddenly decide what another business will sell for? How can they decide what inventory they will sell ? How can they just decide they will list 5000 jewelers nationwide, and link them without their permission or knowledge next to diamonds they don`t own or see or even know about ? Who made them boss ? After all this how can they even defend it as right?





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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 11-20-04 , 03:11 AM


This is a little OT, but I thought it should be shared here. I once asked a PS vendor if they would sell me a diamond that I found on a search there. They said that they were required to list all diamonds from a certain cutter; but they wouldn't sell me that diamond. It was an SI3 with an EGL cert. They said that they had quality restrictions that wouldn't allow me to purchase the diamond. Why can't I buy an I1 diamond if I want too? Shouldn't I be able to purchase a diamond if it is listed for sale?! Does this count as bait and switch?
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 11-24-04 , 04:40 PM


Should a diamond dealer have to sell a diamond, if they have it listed for sell? Shouldn't the local jewelers be able to prosecute pricescope for listing diamonds that they don't have for sell?

Jackie

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 12-01-04 , 12:36 AM


Jackie Good questions.
I doubt they were required to list any or all diamonds they didn`t want to really. If they didn`t want the SI3 e.g.l. stones on their database for sale they could just remove them.

The local jewelers could possibly and may take legal action and act on the misrepresentations by Pricescope. I doubt that someone can just decide to take control of someones business and determine what they are going to sell and advertise for them and set their prices too. It just doesn`t make sense. Plus they weren`t even informed. You would have to have total disregard for others and their freedoms.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 12-01-04 , 12:54 AM


A jewelers name and reputation in business is important. Take Tiffany`s for example. A company that has spent a 100 years establishing themselves. If a place like Pricescope decided to list them without their knowledge, to a database of goods they don`t handle, and set their prices on these goods. I bet their lawyer would be on them lickity split.!!!

There are a lot of jewelers that feel the same way,it`s just a matter of time, and with 5000 or more jewelers can you say ,class action.

Pricescope may even think they are being slick by now changing the appearance by linking to google or yahoo, but they are still in control of whats on their site. They are still pricing and picking these goods in their local jeweler database which are being linked to these jewelers that have no idea. It is not the same as just going to google and searching for a jeweler in your area. There are strings attached, which are these goods that Pricescope has taken upon themselves to pin with these unsuspecting jewelers.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 12-01-04 , 01:23 AM


I just checked and even Tiffany`s is being listed as a jeweler to call , in this Pricescope fiasco.

I quess every jeweler in the U.S. with a zip code is being linked to a database of Pricescope pre priced goods without their knowledge.

This is total false misrepresentation when consumers are led to believe they can pick out these goods on the *Pricescope local jeweler search* and call these jewelers.

What is this guy thinking ?


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 12-01-04 , 11:31 AM


I've been very hesitant to post anything about PS, BUT...I've been to that site quite a bit lurking. Frankly, I'm afraid to post there because I read so many people with simple questions being attacked with sarcastic remarks and their threads turning into a war zone. With so many vendors there behaving in this way, I would not buy anything from them. I simply go there to read some and learn and look at pretty pictures, but if I ever had a legitamate question, I would post here because I know that I would not be attacked even if it were a stupid question. Hopefully, someone from there will not pull my post from here with a link and try to ridicule me on that site...I've seen it done before with others.
I wonder why, though, that so many people who used to and still do post here are going over there now...although they do have more traffic than DT...


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 12-01-04 , 12:28 PM


Don't bet on it not happening. You may very well become today's "flavor".
Savor it and wear it as a badge of honor.

As far as the other stuff is concerned, you're not the first person to have noticed that.

IMO, diamondtalk is the #1 diamond information site on the web. You get accurate information and advice from professionals in our industry who dispense advice seeking your benefit.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 01-14-05 , 05:34 PM


I was just at pricescope & something told me to come to diamondtalk instead...

Thanks for the heads up.

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Re: Consumer Alert !
Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 05-12-05 , 11:13 AM


Quote:
Originally Posted by JCinAtlanta
Brad -
"Trust, but verify." .


I would add the word "even" when trust- Verify!
It is always best to do so before making purchase rather than after...
The question, when diamonds are concerned - do you have the tools to do so?
There is so much more to diamonds than the certificate alone.


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Diamond Ideals New York Caught SHILLING
Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 08-29-05 , 07:12 PM


Update :Quote "we discovered that Diamond Ideals has seriously breached the forum policies: some posts and testimonials written by supposed consumers actually originated from personnel of Diamond Ideals."


Shill : One who poses as a satisfied customer or an enthusiastic gambler to dupe bystanders into participating in a swindle.


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