Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Gobsmacked

ALL THAT GLITTERS


 

 

As the season slowly comes to an end and I finally get to catch a breath, giving me the chance to reflect after a hectic five months. I came to the realization that no matter how much I preach about being careful with high end jewelry purchases on cruise line sanctioned establishments, folks will still do incredibly risky and foolish things with their hard-earned money. Many resort establishments prey on the baby boomers with expensive looking jewelry, slick talk and fictitious guarantees. The true results are the unsuspecting buyer(s)end up with horrible quality diamond rings, pendants, earrings or bracelets, complete with non-existing money back promises and impossible return policies.

The diamond quality they hawk is the industry world’s worst, so why does it end up in cruise ship sanctioned jewelry stores? I think the word “kickback” is a good explanation. I’m convinced it’s a sanctioned multi-million-dollar industry. Just Google any tourist trap port in the Caribbean and type in “resort jewelry store scams and fraudulent practices” you will see for yourself the list is endless, and next to no one gets their money back. I won’t name the scoundrels here, just Goggle and see them for yourselves, you will be surprised!

The cruise line will suggest you should only patronize their sanctioned jewelry stores to feel confident when you make your purchases. You take their advice, make your purchases, then find out when you get home that you have been duped out of a large sum of money for shabby quality jewelry, and yet they will not accept any responsibility if you are taken over the coals by that very store they recommend? You are on your own folks, once the scammer shops have your money, you have a snowball’s chance in Hades of getting a single penny of it back. Oh yes, they will offer to give you something else of equal or even less quality (if that is at all possible), and many times only if you spend more of your money to make it right. These people are incorrigible, and they will always win and win big. They simply hope and pray you will not cause a fuss and then live with your poorly-made purchase. The sad thing is most people do just that…live with it.

Yet they continue to dump poor quality jewelry to unsuspecting middle age and elderly cruisers. I have seen several diamond rings purchased for tens of thousands of dollars that only appraise for a fraction of the amount paid. No one is happy to hear the cold hard facts. And guess who reveals that information? I’m getting a bit weary giving the purchasers the bad news in my shop and then enduring their disbelieving reactions after they read my “inaccurate” appraisal of their purchase. I travel quite a bit, and cruise all the tourist shops. I always leave laughing when I hear the same opening sales spiel, only in different languages. Another practice these “ruse shops” use is to pad the

 

 

price tags so the sales crew can discount the daylights out of it and still swindle the naive buyers.

If any jewelry store gives deep discounts on any article of jewelry, I suggest you run – don’t walk – out of there! Nothing that benefits the buyer will occur there.

I have seen $20,000 diamond rings discounted from $35,000, appraised at only $4,000; no jeweler I know plays that game and expects to be in business very long.

In high traffic tourist traps the prey to be duped is an endless stream of unsuspecting marks. They are usually in a foreign country, so getting satisfaction after the burn is difficult.

As a veteran of the jewelry business for almost a half a century, nobody but nobody gives gold or diamonds away unless it is stolen or the quality is so poor and marked up so high that even if they offer it at 70% off retail they still make a killer profit. And don’t get me going about the biggest scam that continues without control in the U.S. I’m talking about these endless hotel auctions offering confiscated drug dealers’ jewelry, cars and belongings. I remember when these scammers claimed to auction off Bernie Madoff’s automobiles, his Rolex collection, furniture and art! Come on, really? Are there really that many people out there that believe that hogwash? Apparently by what I have seen this season, there are.

So, on that note, I’m now offering twenty shares of one million dollars per share for a diamond and gold mine I discovered in the Florida Everglades. Digging of the mine will begin in 2020. (Enough time for me to abscond with my investors millions and live very comfortably on a desolate island I will purchase and live the rest of my life.)

As a show of good faith, I have already invested my lifesavings on the mining equipment required to perform this ridiculously rewarding endeavor. A brand spanking new shovel, hoe and one old broken down wheelbarrow and a broken down old donkey named “Samuel.” I also found and hired from the internet a questionable character, sight unseen, named Manny (his last name eludes me) who presented me with copies of impressively forged documents and degrees. He claims to be a world-renowned geologist.

I offer no guarantees of success or a single red penny of a return on your investment, so why not take a chance? All you stand to lose is a measly million dollars! So don’t hesitate or you’ll miss out. The deadline is August 1, 2017. Make all cashier’s checks payable to me, Richard Alan, in care of my attorneys…Robbem, Cheatum & Fleece.

Thank you for your consideration; so get out your checkbooks, this is a sure thing (at least in the way I look at it).

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of The Harbor Goldsmith at Island Plaza and welcomes your questions about all that glitters. Contact him at 239- 394-9275 or harborgoldsmith@comcast.net, or visit his informative website at www.harborgoldsmith.com.

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