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Polygon for buying or selling?

Does anyone here sell or buy on Polygon? Experiences?

We use Polygon primarily for diamonds & gemstones, but have been known to get watches (particularly Rolexes) from Polygon members as well. Our store has been in business 30+ years, with me being involved with Polygon for approximately 9 years. I highly recommend it, and I know my boss/the store owner would agree. -Tess N.

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I’m a Polygon member but honestly, I’ve found it of very little value to me and my business.

I’ll probably still renew the membership, but I find it really, ‘meh’. It was probably far more disruptive and groundbreaking when it first started out, but these days, there are so many options that are better or more far reaching.

Thanks Moonfruit, do you use it as a buyer or seller?

I use it as a buyer my friend.

I had seen your request for info on Polygon and though I have lots of info, it wasn’t necessarily good so I wasn’t going to post. However, Polygon has just frustrated the heck out of me again, so might as well share some of my experiences.

I first got to know about Polygon because I was contacted by them back in I believe the 1990s, as they wanted to use some of my photos of gems for their database as they were going to do a demo in Tucson to display their application. This I did – I specially recall the photo of an Alex. Later on, I also signed up as a member, and the experience then was to be similar to experiences in the future, as I have signed up and left a number of times over these decades – hoping that after some time, things might change. One change I have noticed is that I frequently have to go through vetting again to some extent, even though nothing has changed and it might only be a few months since I was a member….

I have found their application to be buggy at times, where I might have spent 30 mins loading up photos, putting in text, only to lose it all when the data entry form doesn’t process, fails and essentially blows up. I believe that I tracked it down to the app not liking Chrome as a browser, so I believe I used IE to insure time wasn’t wasted. I have about 30 years experience in testing of various applications and computer software, having a background as a Sr. QA Software Engineer, as well as my degree in Gemology and 40 years of experience in the trade, especially high end, well cut color. Having seen many different apps across many different fields (Pension Payment/Reporting, Synthetic Aperature Radar, Interactive Voice Response Systems, Vaulting and PDM, Education and more), I found the application to be somewhat dated – though I having given it much thought as to how it could be corrected, but it isn’t as user friendly for those who are computer/software savy and that is why perhaps it hasn’t been fixed/updated, as those in a particular trade with really no software associated with that trade, might not (or at least in the past), interact with software and are more willing to jump through hoops vs. having software that is easy to use and more consumer friendly.

As far as sales go, I would think those selling inexpensive items, say $25, $50 or $100 would do ok, as these items are of low value, can be marked up to a point where profit is very good. In all these years of testing sales on Polygon, there doesn’t seem to be many who know fine color, cutting, what makes something special, unique, rare or pricing in general. I can put out an item that I bought in Brasil 30 years ago at essentially the price at that time, and no one sees it as an incredible buy. I had a conversation with a friend/associate (yesterday), who paid millions for a business where he bought the inventory. He noted that when his secretary found an old container of corundum with a price of $50/ct (1999 or so timeframe), the current pricing on this material was about $500/ct. He told her to put it into the show as a test to see if anyone saw and understood the value and savings….at the end of the show, they still had the parcel though it had been looked at. No one realized that the value in todays market was 10x what was marked. This I have found of the public and trade also in general, and he verified it with the test. This being said, when I became a Polygon member, I would spend weeks says putting out say 30+ items at great prices for what they were – I really counted myself lucky if I had a few sales and if I broke even on the membership fee or made a few dollars (literally). This has been the case and experience for about 25 years or so.

I last gave the membership a try again in March for one month. No difference. Polygon had a special offer recently perhaps due to the slowness over the past month and I toyed with the idea and decided to go ahead and hopefully sell a few items. Though I was just a member a few months ago, and I was emailing a person who knew me, I was sent the vetting form as if I was a new member. After noting things to her, she indicated that a utility bill would suffice. At her request, I took a photo of the bill with my phone and sent it to her via email/phone…three times….and she didn’t get it, which made me wonder if there was an issue. I sent it to myself, got the email and then just forwarded it to her. Once she did indeed get it, I thought all would be fine, but now she wanted the business license…. So let me note about vetting with Polygon. They seem to want a lot of info, invoices of $10k for sales in the US, business license, tax id, 3 references, and it goes on. Years ago I explained that I was a wholesaler and since I travel abroad to get as close to the source for gems/rough as possible, I don’t buy anything in the U.S. I only sell in the U.S. I could provide contacts though abroad – apparently, they won’t contact or follow up those who are abroad…. Now if they wanted to know if I was in business, there is the website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, photos of myself in newspapers, magazines, books, a few episodes of my TV show are available, as well as my gemstones in all those places including GIA’s Gems and Gemology Magazine. Easy to see that I am in business and for a long time. Anyway, it was like pulling teeth – having to send them scans from my bank accounts statements, Fed tax forms, etc. This was done a number of years back, say with in the past 5 years or so, and I am a member typically every year or every other year, YET they still want information and verification even though nothing has changed and what they will be reviewing is the same source, but just updated. Very frustrating and though I had planned on being a member for a few months as of this past weekend, I gave up. In my last email to the person whom was going to turn on the account, they stopped communicating after I brought my frustration to their attention. I also sent an email to what I could call the account manager when I was last a member a few months back, indicating the issues and that this shouldn’t be happening especially to a known entity of the past 25 years – and how frustrated I was.

There are some well known businesses out there that want nothing to do with Polygon. (I don’t know the reason, but my guess is partly what I’ve run into and Polygon is not really needed, but can be worthwhile if it brings in a few more sales). Also, with all this vetting going on, I had a few sales over the years where the business name had nothing to do with the jewelry trade – like florists. I can certainly see Pawn shops or other businesses because they may deal with jewelry, gems, diamonds, etc. As long as those businesses or stores buy, and pay their invoices, I really don’t care. (There are stories about payment too, btw, so that can be stretched out for months and I’ve had to contact Polygon about failure to pay at times, but not often). I have found that those who have bought from me on Polygon, have been very nice at times and I have had some good conversations and gotten to know them. Their membership is across the board, so though I noted that many might not know their pricing on color or know their colored gems in general, there are those who sell diamonds, watches, jewelry, gold, etc. (Diamonds are easy… if one can grade for color and clarity, have a valid price list, understand cutting and proportions – or can read the info on a cert – the market is far larger than for color, as well as pretty straight forward). For those perhaps looking to buy, need a specific gem, looking for diamonds, it may work out better than I have experienced as there are areas to do all of this also. For just selling items that I am known for, hasn’t proven to be a money maker.

Their types of memberships also aren’t the best for me, as they have a full membership (buy and sell), there is a buy only membership, and I have been trying to get them to have a sell only membership – as noted, I don’t buy in U.S., so I would prefer a Sell Only membership on Polygon. With me traveling around the world, buying gemstones, buying rough and using many award winning U.S. Cutters to facet that rough, it is rare that I make purchases of anything in the U.S. If you own a store front selling to the retail public, you might find it to be more worthwhile but from the standpoint of a wholesaler of fine gems, I haven’t…

Hope this helps. You can give it a try and have your own thoughts if you do – but it will depend on what you are trying to sell, the price and exactly how you use it and your needs in general. There are those who are very happy with them. Maybe if you are a Buyer vs. a Seller, one would find it more of value. If you have something that is inexpensive and most businesses can use, you might clean up. Although, I thought I would do that with inventory I purchased for a push cart, alpaca/abalone/shell fashion earrings. Tried selling them by the dozen, making a $1 a pair, stores were selling them in the past for 6 times their cost, but the earrings didn’t generate enough interest where I could sell the 400 pairs I had. :frowning: Go figure. (Actually, I was making less than $1/pair, as I was offering free shipping/insurance……I just calculated it out, that I was losing just under $1/pair because of that freebie of shipping/insurance.)

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Thank you so so so much!

You have saved me a lot of hours, and a lot of money!