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NCJV warns members on valuation use

The National Council of Jewellery Valuers NSW branch has issued a stern warning to its members regarding the use of valuations in the retail sales process.

Amid mounting concerns over valuations being used in stores and at physical and online auctions to sell products using comparative-price discounting, NCJV NSW president Stephen Diegelman issued the following warning in a memo on July 29: "Any valuer issuing valuations to be used as part of the process of selling – be it through online auctions, live auctions and/or in connection with discounting in traditional stores – be advised that, as of 14th August 2009, any incomplete/inadequate descriptions and or seemingly high values without specific reason will automatically have those valuers required to show cause as to why their membership should not be cancelled."

The move is apparently a means of damage control for the council, as Diegelman went on to point out "the NCJV NSW has noticed a trend of increasing numbers of complaints in connection with valuations from non-registered and registered valuers being used as part of the ‘retail’ discounting process."

JAA CEO Ian Hadassin said he was unconvinced the move would make any difference in eradicating the unethical use of valuations in the industry, mostly because the initiative was only aimed at NSW valuers.

"It’s not a national initiative," he said. "Whatever happens in one state should happen in all states, otherwise you get different standards in different states."

Hadassin also questioned the ability of the valuer to come to an accurate market value when issuing a valuation: "I don’t believe the average valuer has the facilities or the resources to come to a market value."

Hadassin believed the only way to overcome the problem was to prohibit valuers from doing a valuation for an item before it is sold.

But Graham Easy of NCJV NSW disagreed: “The blanket outlawing of supporting documentation in the selling process unfairly restricts genuine cases where for many possible reasons an article may be sold at a genuinely low figure and the shop should then be able to communicate this to the client. How to differentiate the cheating from the genuine circumstances has always been the 64 million dollar question,” he said.

Easy said registered valuers were required to follow guidelines to ensure transparency: “If any paperwork of any kind is used in any part of the selling process in advance of the actual purchase of any goods then this fact must be clearly stated on the document as the proposed use of the document,” he stated. “Through educational seminars and articles in the NCJV Valuer Magazine, members are continually reminded about these requirements.”

Easy said he was absolutely opposed to any form of misrepresentation which he believed was simple cheating.

“I get into trouble sometimes for using my favorite word for these circumstances: ‘fraud’,” Easy said. “Rolling sales and massive discounts from questionable starting prices by businesses are wrong and definitely mislead the public.”

Hadassin agreed: "It does cause a sense of disbelief and a lack of credibility in our industry when people buy objects valued well above their purchase price. Our industry is only going to survive on the basis of trust. If consumers lose trust in our industry, you can kiss the industry goodbye."

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Saturday, 21 September, 2019 02:44am
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