Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Musings - Diamond Tester

I’m always trying to improve my business savvy, whether by talking, listening, reading, or watching TV. As the Redneck Picker on YouTube says, you need to “keep your head on a swivel” to be successful.

Case in point, last weekend, I caught an episode of Baggage Battles, a “Storage Wars” type show where the stars bid on lost luggage, attend customs auctions, etc.  It’s pretty much a rip off of the more successful auction shows, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it.  For instance, one of the cast members whipped out a small device to surreptitiously test a diamond ring before bidding on a jewelry lot.  After winning the lot, he pulled out the device again to verify that he had made the right decision, and briefly described his “diamond tester.” 

Intrigued, I immediately conducted an Internet search for the device, expecting it to be quite pricey.  Imagine my surprise when I found a diamond tester on Amazon for $18.  Granted, it wasn’t top of the line, but reviews were mostly positive. So, thanks to Amazon Prime, I had the tester in hand overnight, and after testing it on some personal jewelry, I was ready for the weekend.

Fortunately, there was an estate sale that featured jewelry, and after looking over the collection, I eyed a small ring for $5 that looked like it could hold a diamond.  Powering my new gizmo up, I touched the stone, but got no response from the machine.  Bummer, not a diamond.

While it would have been nice to find a diamond on my first try, I wasn’t dismayed.  Much like my book scanner did when I first started selling online, I have a feeling that this fancy little device will open a whole new world of potential revenue for me.  I can’t wait to try it again.

Otherwise, I spent most of the weekend listing and, thankfully, packing a wide variety of merchandise.  Sales were brisk over my three day selling period (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), with 26 items sold across multiple venues (Amazon, Half, Alibris, etc.), and seven sold on Ebay, including these two beat-up Braun shavers picked up for $1 at a church sale.

I did have an unhappy customer this weekend, though.   Back in the summer, I purchased a large lot of clearance toys from K-Mart.  All were new, but most had some shelf wear from constant handling.  A customer who purchased an $8 baby toy was upset that I had sold her a used toy that I described as new.  She was “kind” enough to mention protecting my feedback rating as she angled to return the product.  I thanked her for contacting me before leaving feedback, and refunded her money without making her return the toy.  I figured it was worth $8 to avoid a negative feedback.

How was your weekend?


  1. Neat gizmo! But how exactly does one use this discreetly in front of a seller? I mean, what happens when the $5 ring turns out to be a real diamond?

    1. The short answer is that you can't really be discreet. The longer answer is that, much like using my PDA in front of sellers as I check their media and/or toys, it's a matter of being bold enough, and having pat answers when the inevitable "what are you doing" question is posed. More often than not, though, I'm usually ignored by sellers since they are busy taking money or answering questions, but when I am asked, I usually answer that I am checking to see if I want this book (toy, game, DVD, diamond ring, etc.).