Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has prepared a new consumer brochure entitled “Buying Jewelry? Do Not Be Fooled By The Word ‘Wholesale” In Advertising.” The brochure is available online as a downloadable PDF file.
Numerous online and brick-and-mortar jewelry stores mislead consumers by advertising themselves as a wholesaler to the public. The law is very clear that if sales are to the end user (consumer), the business is retail, not wholesale. When a retailer utilizes the word wholesale in advertising, the consumer is mislead to believe they are getting a better deal than from a retailer who does not have the word wholesale in their advertisements.
Even if the business has a wholesale division, when selling to a consumer the transaction is a retail sale and the price is a retail price. While state laws vary on what constitutes a criminal offense in the misuse of the word wholesale, this deceptive advertising is not an acceptable business practice anywhere.
If a jeweler advertises as selling at wholesale prices, they must sell at wholesale prices. Some states interrupt this strictly such that the jeweler has to sell at the price they purchased the diamond and you cannot sustain a business by selling at the price you paid for merchandise.
Consumers need to be aware that jewelers advertising “wholesale to the public” are not adhering to legal standards and that those jewelers’ prices are not necessarily lower than other retailers.
At Diamond Source of Virginia, we have had numerous clients say they were going to buy from a friend or relative in the diamond wholesale business that was going to sell to them at the wholesale price, only to discover that price was more than our regular retail price. Just saying a price is wholesale does not make it so. The bottom line is to focus on the price of the actual price of the diamond and not be deceived misleading claims of being wholesale prices to the public.