Purchasing jewelry on the Equinox better deal?

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#41
Riverview, FL
2,073 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Orator is correct....I wish I had a nickel for every time I was told that tanzanite is "almost all mined out"...."you won't be able to find it anymore".

If you attend the shopping spiels....or any of the diamond/colored gemstones talks....they definitely imply that buying from <insert hocked jewelry store here> is a "wise investment".

People on these boards tell stories about how they paid $xx for a piece of jewelry then got an insurance appraisal for 2* $xx so it was a "great buy". Even that implies that they think that somehow they will be able to re-coop that original 'investment' at some later time.

Earlier Orator mentioned how you will find the 'real' value of your piece when you try to sell it. Go to Craigslist/eBay and see what old engagement rings are selling for (not listing, but selling). It is shocking the discounts you can find!
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#42
Chicago area
14,079 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
NONE of the places you listed, especially the ship, can be relied upon to be a "good deal". We've bought jewelry on the ship before but were under no illusion that the price was great and we knew the ship's price and service guarantee was worthless. But my DW liked a piece and the price wasn't out of line so we bought it for her to enjoy it - not because it was a bargain.

Same thing for the islands. There are some dealers in the eastern Caribbean, especially St. Martin and St. Thomas that have very good prices on some jewelry. But it is an absolute must to know exactly what you're looking for as prices, quality and the store's reputation. You can not just presume that any shop will have good deals or decent product or service. Also, I've never heard about Grand Cayman nor the shops in the port plaza at Costa Maya as having any special deals on jewelry and the only thing I've heard about other shops in Mexico is potentially good prices on Silver Jewelry but you must have the knowledge to judge prices and quality without regard to anything the sales people tell you.

And most of all ignore the ships shopping program and list of recommended stores. Those are absolutely meaningless as the only thing it takes to be recommended is for them to pay the ship's port marketing partner advertising fees and commissions. Being recommended by the ship or the marketing consultant has noting to do with service and reputation.
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#43
Chicago area
14,079 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by waterbug123
.... They have always haggled the price WAY down and then come home and gotten the item appraised (for insurance purposes) WAY more than what they paid, usually around the price it was originally listed for or more. ...
Insurance appraisals, even by an independent certified gemologist, are meaningless in determining the actual retail value of jewelry. They are done to conform to some sort of standard reference which is a very high retail value. I learned this when both when having jewelry appraised. I told the jeweler I thought the appraised values were too high and wanted more realistic values closer to what I knew they could be replaced for. This is because the insurance company charges premiums based on the appraised value but will only pay a loss based on replacement cost at a dealer they approve of, usually at much lower prices. The appraiser told me that she couldn't appraise lower as the standards they were required to follow specified what price guides to use.

I ran into the same thing once buying an expensive diamond ring. The seller provided an appraisal form for insurance purposes that was considerably more than what I paid. I asked for the appraisal form to be reduced to the actual price I paid since that was clearly FMV and they said they could not do that.
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Photo site for past cruises : http://simon-pics.smugmug.com/Cruises
#44
6,922 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by CaroleSS

People on these boards tell stories about how they paid $xx for a piece of jewelry then got an insurance appraisal for 2* $xx so it was a "great buy". Even that implies that they think that somehow they will be able to re-coop that original 'investment' at some later time.
I am one who mentioned that the appraisal I got was way more than what we ended up paying for the ring. But trust me- I have no illusions that that means I could sell the ring for anything close to that. When I say we got a bargain, I simply mean that we were able to get the price down significantly from what was originally asked. And yes- I know the original price was greatly inflated, LOL. So was it a bargain or did we simply end up paying closer to what it was actually worth? Probably some of both. We had shopped ahead of time, and had a pretty good idea of what we could expect to spend and we spent less than that. This was at a particular jeweler where friends have shopped numerous times over the years and built a relationship. I don't believe for a minute that we could have gone to a random jeweler at home, or a chain jeweler in the islands like Diamonds International, and gotten the price down as much (we've tried). So in that sense, I consider it a "bargain."
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Remembering 34 past cruises:
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#45
Riverview, FL
2,073 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
The only person that (should) care what you paid is YOU! If YOU are happy with the purchase, then no one else has any right to say otherwise!

My point was that too many people are taken advantage of by unscrupulous people (jewelry stores being only a small portion). They are also lured into the false narrative that 'this' island has GREAT prices for jewelry, wood carvings, baskets, hats, etc. This narrative sometimes comes from the cruise line's shopping 'expert' (who is paid a commission by the store!). There is always the outdated belief that the Caribbean is the place for great jewelry bargains.....which the stores play upon.

I just ask that people be honest with themselves and go into a major purchase with their eyes VERY wide opened. To see beyond the hype and not go crazy with some 'bargain' told to them by some slick talking salesperson.
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#46
Washington, DC
782 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Is there a historical reason why the Caribbean is seen as a place to buy stuff? It's never really made much practical sense to me: what advantage does any company have with shipping their wares to remote locations, and why would that automatically mean that you could get said wares for less money?