internet threatens ny diamond dealers' way of life - the jewelry store
NEW YORK (Reuters)-
Within the diamond dealer Club, a Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn and a dealer from Antwerp crowded on a small piece of paper folded.
Hashde went deep inside to produce a perfect diamond, and his client checked it carefully with the jeweler's magnifying glass.
The two reached an agreement, shook hands and said the Hebrew blessing "Mazal u 'bracha "(
"Good luck, God bless you ").
The classic scene witnessed earlier this month at the elite center of New York City's diamond business is being threatened by e-commerce.
"In the past, most of the transactions took place in the trading hall.
Now, it has turned to electronics, "said Elliot crecher, financial director of the diamond dealer club.
"It turned into an electronic handshake.
"Over the past five years, the number of members of the club has remained at 2,000.
However, 1,200 new members have joined the club's network --
The trading platform launched four years ago.
A lot of old
Stores on West 47 Street Manhattan are hard to compete with Time dealers for online companies like Seattlebased BlueNile.
Jewelry company com's estimated revenue was $2006, an increase of $0. 25 billion over $44 million six years ago.
Diamond Merchants form an enclave along the West Block of 47 Street in Manhattan, where there are jewelry shops.
Dealer clubs estimate that about 2,000 businesses along the street have some sort of connection with diamond businesses, including shops, dealers and gem cutters.
There are many people working there.
Orthodox Jews dressed in traditional dark coats, black hats and beards.
What happens in the diamond business is like the troubles that affect many retailers, such as books, videos and e-stores that are difficult to beat online competitors.
Jack Friedman, a diamond broker, said the online companies were "removing middlemen ".
Friedman has been living for 20 years from wholesalers to wholesalers looking for stones for his clients-jewelry owners.
He says there is no loyalty when jewelers can search for diamonds online.
"With the Internet, jewelers are no longer on the phone," Friedman said . " The only reason he's still doing business, he added, is because "he's still here," pointing to the sky.
Before the Internet, wholesalers will sell stones to Jewelers, who will reserve stones for future sales.
Now, the stone can be shipped overnight with just one click, and there is less demand for inventory.
Wholesalers are increasingly having to ship, and if the jeweler cannot sell the diamond, the wholesaler must take back the diamond without making money.
Retailer Meyer Malakov, owner of Diva Diamonds located on the corner of 47 th and Fifth Avenue, said he noticed a decline in traffic in the Diamond area over the past five years, Internet-
Savvy shoppers are getting more education.
He complained about their new
The knowledge found is "fatal" because customers think they know a lot about diamonds, but they can't understand the nuances of stones, he said.
"You have to feel it, touch it and make sure you like it," he said . ".
Customers also use the Internet to compare stores, and they want him to match the advertising price, Malakov said.
Nevertheless, Malakov said he did a good job because he catered to the high
Before buying, want to see the end customer of the stone worth $20,000 in person.
However, people are increasingly buying expensive jewelry online, such as engagement rings and tennis bracelets.
Spokesman John Baird said.
Com sold a piece of jewelry for $324,000 in October.
The online diamonds have been certified by the American Gem Society and the American Gem Society laboratory, the arbitration of the value of a stone, Baird said. BlueNile.
Baird said that com sells diamonds at a price of 30-40% lower than the store price, because there is no indirect cost such as retail space and a large number of employees.
The supply chain on 47 Street is very complicated, he said.
"Middlemen exist layer by layer, and all these costs are pushed down to the hands of consumers.
But buying diamonds online is risky, says Cecilia Gardner, head of the trade association's jeweler alert committee.
Some consumers trying to return the goods found that the seller company was no longer there, she said.
She advised online shoppers to obtain a return policy in writing.
"Ask a lot of questions and go shopping somewhere else if you don't get an answer," she said . ".
Some diamond dealers are starting to build their own websites.
My wholesaler and jeweler Corey Friedman
Friedman father and son Jewelers on 47 Street said he searched online for goods and ran a website that sold directly to retail stores and consumers.
"I just sold a five.
Someone in California likes the carat yellow diamond, "Friedman said.
"I will never see him again.
"While the site may be the key to the survival of the Diamond area, some people believe that the personal selection of engagement rings will never be out of date.
"Diamond is a romantic thing," says Krisher . "
"It's not romantic to click and buy something on the Internet.