Site Review | Professional Jeweler

July 18, 2001

For retailers who buy from Italian manufacturers, there's an up-and-coming Web site that can make business a little easier and maybe more efficient. That site is – a business-to-business site that connects retailers with Italian manufacturers to help them do business over the Internet.

It works like this: retailers log on to the Web site to look for the products they need. They use the search to select the jewelry type, material type, region and/or company. Next they look through the products that match their requests – products are listed with small images and prices. For more information and a close-up look at any of the jewelry pieces, retailers just click on the small image.

Retailers can save jewelry pieces to look at later by clicking on the "add to my portfolio" button. They can order any item by clicking on the "order" button, entering the quantity and any comments on the form that pops up. The manufacturer then gets an e-mail alerting it that a new order was placed. The manufacturer responds to the retailer by approving or rejecting the order or by sending a comment back. Once this happens, the retailer is alerted of the response by e-mail. Retailers and manufacturers can work out the details of the order on, and it's recorded online and easy to print out. No transactions take place on the site. has other handy features including "trunk shows" that allow manufacturers to invite select retailers to view a special collection in a private area of the Web site. The site also has buyer information – including current duty rates and tips on importing jewelry from Italy – plus current metals prices and technical support.

The site is easy to use and could cut costs for many retailers by eliminating expenses such as international phone calls and plane tickets, and for manufacturers it's safer than traveling with expensive merchandise. Plus, it's free for retailers and wholesalers; they just need to fill out a registration form and be verified by

- by Julia M. Duncan