Friday, February 15, 2013

You Can't Buy Tiffany At Costco

For years Costco has been selling what they call Tiffany rings. For years Tiffany did nothing about it saying they had no idea something like this was going on. Tiffany said it was only last year they discovered from a customer tip that Costco had sold thousands of rings they called Tiffany rings. Tiffany is suing. I understand Tiffany wanting to sue. What I don't understand is how no one from their company or customer or salesperson or anyone else from the company ever noticed what Costco was doing. What it shows to me is that no one at Tiffany does any kind of market research or sees what is out there or why Costco suddenly had a huge share of the diamond sales. I also find it hard to believe that in the past few years no one wondered why Tiffany diamonds were 50% cheaper at Costco and no one said anything to Tiffany.

62 comments:

Amber said...

On the other hand isn't it odd that Costco wouldn't do THEIR research and find that this maybe isn't the most legal thing ever?

Cathy said...

i haven't shopped for jewelry at Costco - were they claiming to have tiffany rings or tiffany-style rings? There's a difference.

LottaColada said...

@Amber, that's what I was thinking too. For some reason I just don't see a Tiffany sales rep clearing the shelves of Costco. They're more likely the kind of people who shop at Dean & Deluca.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I'm guessing that it's more a matter of using a "Tiffany-style" setting rather than actual diamonds from Tiffany, and it's a matter of copyright infringement for using the word "Tiffany" to describe their rings.

BTW, WTF is going on w/Lil' Wayne saying obscene things about Emmett Till in a song that has the latter's family upset? From what I've been able to piece together, apparently he compared the way the poor kid looked in his casket to female genitalia or some such? Does he NOT know his history? Why would it occur to him to even think such a thing, much less be ignorant and heartless enough to actually put it on a song? And to think he's been spawning all those children...looks like it's time to up the chlorination in the gene pool, bigtime. *sigh*

Unknown said...
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FSP said...

@Robin - I may be wrong, but I think he was saying he would f* up some putang the way Till was f*ed up.

Tuxedo Cat said...

I think they should sue too. For years, Costco has been getting the advantage of the ultra-high-end Tiffany name without having to provide the expensive Tiffany overhead. I always assumed that Costco had Tiffany's permission.

FSP said...

….oh, and I went to Jared.

msgirl said...

I don't see any Tiffany labeling on the package, so I'm still not sure if it was "Tiffany Styled." If it was Tiffany, I'm disappointed in Costco, who treats their employees great. I've seen the same people working there for 20 years. I adore their latte freezes!

Barton Fink said...

Maybe everyone at Tiffany shops at Walmart, so they never noticed?

hunter said...

I saw this at Costco and did NOT assume they had permission but that it was simply a marketing gimmick based on name recognition (it is). The fact Tiffany only just noticed is certainly odd though.

AKM said...

I don't know from Costco, but they actually have some lovely jewelry at Sam's Club. ;-)

Robin, that Lil Wayne story is the worst. I hadn't heard about that. What trash he is...SICK. :-(

Karen said...

@FSP, I hate those commercials so much: Jared's, Kay, etc. I told my fiance, that, too, so he went to a local place. I told him casually, of course. You know. Just in case he ever wanted to get me a ring.

Kloie said...

I don't belong to Costco (just my husband and me, no need for bulk purchases), but had I thought they had real Tiffany for half-off, I might have reconsidered!

FSP said...

@Karen - at long as it's not a mall ala Kobe Bryant.

smash said...

Anyone buying a diamond should do their research of where it came from, the clarity, raw value of the stone. If you are buying a diamond at Costco I bet you are not that concerned. I have a few Tiffany items, none with labels on them other then the stamp on the inside, I got them as gifts and love them for the simplicity. But that has been years ago and I try to only buy antique diamonds now.

jennifer hansen said...

anyone who would buy an engagement ring from costco is just trashy. how long until their fingers turn green?

Karen said...

@jennifer, I don't know about the quality of Costco jewelry, but their Kirkland brand of products are actually really good, though I generally just get their food and paper products.

lazyday603 said...

I have an image in my head of a bejeweled Audrey Hepburn in a black dress standing outside Costco peering through the glass doors at 7:00 AM dreaming of all the family pack sized household goods she could buy if she could just marry a rich guy.

LadyWawa said...

This all started from a story from years ago, when 20/20 did an investigation into the diamonds sold at Costco. They compared Tiffany's diamonds to Costco's and the Costco gems were found to be of equal quality but sold at a much greater value. You were essentially paying $10000 more just for the Tiffany name. http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=1197202. Costco has been promoting their "Tiffany"-like diamonds ever since.

Kat said...

:) my engagement ring is from Costco. It's a Canadian diamond. I love it, it makes for a funny story. We got engaged spontaneously and my MIL called the next day not trying to tell us what to do but making us aware that they had good diamonds at Costco. We looked into it and agreed.
Only 2 (funny) problems: finding someone to open the jewelry case (took a few minutes, the guy in the TV section did not know what to do, haha) and hubby forgot you can't pay with a credit card there so we actually had to go all the way home, transfer $, then come back. The cashiers went from being super excited for us to "you can't pay with that" in no time flat, haha. I've had the ring almost 5 years now with no problems and it is valued at higher than we paid for it on our insurance.

ljsmed said...

@FSP lol!!! Those commercials make me crazy!

SusanB said...

I've never bought jewelry at Costco but I have looked and they have some lovely pieces. I love the quality of the Kirkland brand - much cheaper than a name brand and tastes/looks etc exactly the same.

Ruby Soho said...

Ridiculous comment.

marie-ski said...

Guess poor means trashy =(

ReacherB said...

Costco is the most straight-up company out there, we do business with them. I am sure ther is more to this story, tiffany "cut" tiffany "setting" not sure that anyone should care about this litigation, since the person buying the 50K ring at Tiffany's is NOT doing comparison shopping at Costco...

chopchop said...

It might sound crazy, but Costco is pretty well known for having high-end pieces.

I highly doubt this ring will turn your finger green.

LottaColada said...

@ladywawa- thanks for that link

prolixe said...

@Jennifer, rude much?

Those jewelry commercials annoy the crap out of me, too. Every kiss begins with kaaaaayyyyy!

@chopchop, holy cow. I wonder if that's the most expensive thing Costco sells.

iheartgoss said...

Ummm, Costco rocks! And shopping there doesn't mean you're poor, it means you're smart with your money and buy good quality products for less. I've always assumed they weren't selling Tiffany, but that it's a very commonly known Tiffany styled ring made by Costco. I have a feeling Tiffany will lose this considering many companies label their products as "Tiffany" copies.

Rain said...

LMAO @lazyday603

yawnathon said...

@chopchop, that's a pretty fair price for that diamond ring. Impressive.

Nellie said...

Because, as everyone knows, real love needs to be expensive and flashy. It's all about the name brand of your ring.
If he loves you, he wouldn't want to be practical and save money for your life together. He would want to splurge on a rock regardless of your life situation. It's the diamond, not the marriage, that is important.
In case I am being too subtle -

Nellie said...
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Cathy said...

@jennifer - you obviously have never actually shopped at costco. they tend to be located in upper-midle class to upper class neighborhoods and have high quality products.

jbeebs said...

I buy jewelry at Costco!Most of my jewels come from there. Beautiful stuff and great prices. Nothing cheap or tacky about it.

Saw a report a few years ago and the average Costco shopper yearly household income is $125k and up.

Angela said...

Sam's Club does have nice pieces! I was stunned with some of it, trying to find a helpful salesperson,is another story.

Silly Girl said...

It's funny to me that people are saying you're cheap if you shop at Costco. Obviously you've never been there! If you want to know how the economy is doing, go to Costco on the weekend! CRAZY busy!
In all seriousness, I highly doubt Costco is trying to 'rip off' the Tiffany name. They are very well known to be highly ethical, etc. The contrast between Sam's Club and Costco is incredibly huge. Sam's Club is a poor man's Costco. And Costco is NOT cheap. Some of the items may be cheaper, but seriously, can you EVER leave there with spending less than $100?!

Lalaay said...

Every time I hear about diamonds this poster pops up in my head...

Nellie said...

That was a very thoughtless and unkind comment.

Kowalski said...

I bought an engagement ring from a pawn shop...


and wasn't the Lil Wayne song a cover? Not an excuse, just a question.

Sandy said...

If they had just put "Tiffany-STYLE" on the rings they might have gotten away with it. The internet is full of "Tiffany-style" jewelry, all with slightly different designs than the originals so they don't get called on it.

The tip-offs to Costco consumers would have been no Tiffany mark on the inside of the rings, and no turquoise Tiffany boxes.

And while I've never bought diamonds from Costco, I have bought several pieces of simple gold jewelry for myself and as gifts, and none of it has turned anyone's fingers or ears green. The quality is the same as jewelry sold in any middling department store.

Agent**It said...

Per CNN Money, Costco advertised on in-store signs as "Tiffany" diamond engagement rings for sale. Cannot find any verification that the Tiffany trademark was actually on any rings. FYI: at Tiffany, you are primarily paying for the blue box.

yodelay said...

@LadyWawa, don't tell that to Jennifer. Obviously you're tacky unless you are getting ripped off by some mall jeweler.

AKM said...

Every one of my kisses start with Jack Daniel's, actually. ;-)

findme said...

because why would tiffany want to draw attention to the fact that the same thing could be had for half price???

trogdor said...

I went to Costco on Monday to buy nothing but vegetables for a no meat week. It cost me 125 bucks. But I have/had enough to give some to my mom for her cooking. And I brought a bunch to work for co-workers. Insane amount of veggies, probably about 25 to 30 lbs.

The Costco in Concord, Ca said "Tiffany Setting" on the sign. My friend is proposing to his girlfriend sometime soon, so I walked by and remember seeing the sign and checking out a few rings for him.

Love Costco. Because that unholy, terrible, Monsanto of the brewing world - AB InBev trying to buy Grupo Modelo, Costco has stoppped carrying Bud, Bud Light, Stella and Modelo citing the fact that AB Inbev was trying to shake them down. Had a hug sign over their beer display. Gotta love a company that's willing to do that.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore said...
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SugarMomma said...

We bought our wedding sets at Costco... after doing a lot of research (retail, outlet mall, estate, custom jeweler, etc.), no other company came close in offering the quality of diamond & setting that we got from there. It was also a "tiffany-style" ring. We paid close to $10k (not cheap) and the ring is valued at closer to $20K. We did it online and it arrived via courier two days later. I would rate the whole experience as very, very good. Oh! And because we used our Costco American Express card, we got an insane bonus back the following year. Win=Win. Costco has a policy of only adding 11% I think to any item it sells, they make their money in volume. I have a lot of respect for them as a company.

Bridget said...

Costco is one of the biggest diamond wholesalers out there, if not the biggest. The diamonds are appraised and measured by all the normal standards.

A Tiffany setting is 6 pronged setting - the usual standard is 4 prongs. No one going to Costco actually thinks they're literally getting a diamond ring from Tiffany's. There are no blue boxes being sold or anything like that. The only question that I have is if Tiffany's trademarked the 6 prong setting, but I highly doubt it. Sounds like they're just being jerks and looking for some press.

Agent**It said...

Bridget, it was just one woman that complained to Tiffany's. Amazing. Wonder what her deal was.

auntliddy said...

What nellie said.

auntliddy said...

She prob got her ring at tiffanys, and couldnt stand to see it sold in a place like costco in her eyes.

Jenn said...

I don't wear a lot of jewelry, it bugs me, I bump it etc, but as long as it's good quality, I'm not going to pay extra for a brand name.

Mango said...

@ jennifer hansen - Trashy?

Wow, not only was that a sweeping generalization, there was bound to be someone in this broad readership who got their ring there.

You obviously haven't been to a Costco. They're nice stores. Maybe you are confusing them with Big Lots?

Zeeky_Boogy_Doog said...

Here's what I think of when diamonds are mentioned:

http://dennisjudd.com/albums/funpics/diamonds.gif

Well, that and how horrible DuhBeerz is.

Zeeky_Boogy_Doog said...

Oh yeah, I forgot! CNBC did a show about Costco, and I think it was on there they showed some of the super-expensive things they sometimes carry. They had some high-end handbags, and some giant diamonds, similar to that link above.

Mary Anne 13 said...

Does Costco give the little blue boxes too? I LOVE those!

Sherry said...

Oh Gawd LazyDay that was priceless.

Sherry said...

My old boss bought one of his fiancées z diamond from Costco and it weren't cheap! But it was gorgeous. I had the fresh hell of going there last night with hubs and MIL. Since it's just the two of us we typically get out of there for $300 twice a year. AND their tuna is really the best (Kirkland brand) .

Anna Nonymous said...

No one high up at Tiffany shops at costco would be my guess.

AllThose ThingsILove said...

What Bridget said...I think its the Tiffany 6 prong settings...and if you dont think Costco sels high end jewelry, look at their website http://www.costco.com/one-of-a-kind-rings.html