While industry Trade Shows can be a convenient and lucrative place to do business and collect client leads, there are many other great avenues for diamond sales to occur throughout the year – often for higher cash return than at the shows.
You don’t have to wait for the next fair like JCK Las Vegas or Pawn Expo to sell your melee or single stones to the same buyer as you always do – who may not be giving you the best price. A little creative thinking goes a long way, so ponder this: Where do your diamond buyers spend their time outside of the trade show circuit? Here are five places that could be sources of future diamond sales.
1. Regional Meetups
Organizations like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)® and American Gem Society (AGS) have regional chapters or guilds that periodically coordinate speakers to offer education in different parts of the country. These events are ideal opportunities to meet potential clients. Another popular event on nearly everyone’s radar is the annual AGS Conclave. “With 700-plus attendees, you are sure to meet buyers and sellers,” says Ronnie VanderLinden, president of Diamex Inc., president and CFO of DMIA, former chairman of the board of the DDC, and a repeat visitor to Conclave.
2. Industry Associations
Get involved to get leads! Associations like the Diamond Dealers Club of New York (DDC), the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA), and more, are respected industry trade groups built for networking. In these organizations, diamond sellers can connect with potential customers in ways that aren’t a ‘hard sell’. As comfort levels grow, sales are a natural next step. Events, too, such as the DDC’s periodic themed weekly sales-oriented gatherings, always foster a buyer-seller atmosphere, according to attendees.
3. The JBT Red Book
One of the most significant sources of potential client information in the U.S. is the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) Red Book. The tome provides companies’ current credit ratings, collection claims, trade payment history, and more, to potential new business partners. For VanderLinden, the book is a lifesaver for retailer research. He looks for well-rated stores, but not exclusively. If he recognizes a name with a lower score and has heard anecdotal evidence that contradicts it, he may still give them a call—or a visit. “I used to go on the road quite a bit to visit clients listed and to meet new ones,” he says.
A tried-and-true method of safely selling diamonds to an international roster of clients remains auctions. Sellers can reach a wide audience in a short amount of time, thereby increasing the chances that your melee and single stones will be seen sooner, by buyers who utilize these auctions as their key source to fill orders on a regular basis.
Reputable auction houses like Rapaport, will make it easy for you by handling payments, delivery, marketing, and security, while complying with all international laws. Auction participants are vetted so you can feel confident with the process, and because they market it diligently, there will be an abundance of buyers bidding on your diamonds.
5. Digital Forums
Social media has become increasingly pervasive, so it’s not surprising to learn that diamond sales are happening across these platforms. They can also be a great resource to ask questions in forums or groups and meet new contacts. Needless to say, any potential customer found on social media channels should be verified through background checks.