Diamonds Are Not A Cheap-Skates Best Friend

, , , , | Right | May 2, 2018

(I work in the fine jewelry section of a well-known department store. Two elderly ladies, a mother and daughter, come up one day, wanting a pair of diamond studs for their very young granddaughter/great-granddaughter.)

Mother: “Which diamonds were on sale today for the $199.99 price?”

Me: “That would be these right here.”

Mother: “Oh, no, those look awful! They’re so cloudy.”

Me: “Unfortunately, those are promotional diamonds, so while they are a better price, they’re very likely to be cloudy or have visible inclusions.”

Daughter: *gesturing to another set* “These look small enough for her. How much are they?”

Me: “Let’s see… The original price is [several hundred dollars], but with your [Store Card] discount, it comes down to [price more than half off original price].”

Mother: “That’s too expensive! Isn’t there anything you can do for me, as a long-time [Store] customer?”

Me: “I’m sorry, that’s the price calculated with all your [Store Card] discounts. But it is a very good price cut, more than half off. And these diamonds are a much better quality than the others.”

Mother: “Yes, I want something that looks like these, but it’s too expensive!”

Me: “Would you rather get the other pair, instead?”

Mother: “No, those look horrible. I want nice-looking diamonds for [Great-Granddaughter].”

Me: “Well, our other option is cubic zirconia. We have several studs with CZ over here. They’re made by [Famous Crystal Company] and very good quality, and they’ll give you the clear sparkle of a diamond at a lower price.”

Mother: “No, I don’t want fake diamonds! [Great-Granddaughter] needs real ones.”

Me: “I see. Well, unfortunately, those are our three options. We have the cheaper promotional diamonds studs, the higher-quality diamonds, or the CZ.”

Daughter: *impatiently* “Just buy one or don’t. Make up your mind.”

(The mother stared and grumbled over the diamonds a few more minutes, as if something would change if she waited long enough, before wandering away without buying anything. The two of them have come back for the next three sales, having word-for-word the same conversation with me about the exact same items!)

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