September 5, 2001
Lately, it seems like there's been a big rush of new companies offering diamond services on the Internet. That's good news for retailers these new business-to-business and business-to-consumer services make it even easier to buy and sell diamonds. One site, VirtCert.com, started almost a year ago and offers retailers and wholesalers a live search engine enabling easy diamond sales online.
VirtCert.com has brought together diamond wholesalers who uploaded diamond information, images and certificates from their inventories to VirtCert.com's diamond database. For $90 a month, retailers can use VirtCert.com's diamond search engine as part of their online stores. Retailers can choose which wholesalers to work with and customize the diamond mark-up. Once the search engine is on retailers' sites, customers can search for and purchase diamonds. The search engine can be modified to blend with retailers' sites, so shoppers won't know it's connected to VirtCert.com.
According to VirtCert.com President Brian Gallagher, the system runs itself and e-mails orders to the retailers when customers are ready to purchase or want more information. VirtCert.com offers extensive technical support for members who need it, and it offers other Web site services including design, hosting and programming.
VirtCert.com wants to provide jewelry retailers and wholesalers with the tools they need to do business online quickly, easily and affordably. Retailers can try the service and if they're not satisfied can cancel in the first 30 days and get their money back. Gallagher says no one has asked for the money back yet, and that the site has gotten enthusiastic support from its wholesaler and retailer members.
- by Julia M. Duncan