Fraudsters in the jewellery industry are causing the greatest damage during trying times such as that of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Several reputed players of the industry have finally risen to call these unscrupulous players out in the form of a recent media activity.
Around 500 jewellers from four jewellery trade associations, namely Chandigarh Sarafa Association, Mohali SarafaAssociation, Panchkula Jewellers Association and Manimajra Jewellers Association, decided to create awareness through print media advertisements by launching a campaign on the second week of April. The aim is to inform the buyershow certain sections of the industry are exploiting innocent buyers through shady tricks.
Underlining the need of this an awareness campaign, a member of one of the associations said shady business practices in major jewellery markets like Delhi are eating into profits of ethical jewellers. “Such kinds of jewellers don’t operate for more than 2-3 years in one city or area. Their margins are 6-8 times more than a regular jeweller,” said the member under conditions of anonymity.
Sharing certain instances of fraud, the member said that it starts with discounts too good to be true. For instance, they offer free jewellery on the purchase of other jewellery. However, it becomes an issue when the same customer comes to resell or exchange the jewellery she bought, only to know that exchange is applicable only when both items are returned together.
There are other outlandish offers such as no making charges on jewellery. Making charges vary with designs, but no piece of jewellery can ever be made without a making charge applied on it. “Jewellers normally charge from 8% to 14%as making charge. But claims of zero making charge imply falsehood,” said the member.
The right quality of gold will fetch margins anywhere around 3-5% and the only way to earn that is from levying a labour charge. But such jewellers sell 80% purity items and charge for higher purity from the customers. On several occasions, it has been found that the items are filled with lead.
Diamond jewellery is also unsafe, thanks to the ‘One plus one offer’, says the spokesperson. In such offers, jewellers don’t give lab certificates of authenticity, while in hallmark jewellery, one could get three types of products with the same certification. The first kind may contain products from a lot entirely validated by hallmarking centers. The second kind might be a hallmarked yet tampered product. The third kind may be an outright fraudulent product where the jeweller has used personal laser machines to fake a hallmark.
“India is the only country where there is a returning guarantee on jewellery. That is why the customers need to be extra careful while buying jewellery. Let’s not buy gold jewellery like we buy vegetables in the market,” said the sarafa association representative.
Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service
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