NO ASA Changes Regarding Reverse Auctions


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Costs nothing to be nice!
Jun 24, 2008
Further to Gems' decision to change their way of selling by introducing a timer, and Graham's post here

I contacted the ASA to ask where I could read about the changes they had made and they replied as followed:-

Further to your query, there are no new rules regarding Television Reverse Auctions. There are no requirements for advertisers to put a timer on each auction. The key requirements of the advertising codes in this area are that reverse auctions are not misleading, i.e. the pricing is accurate and the minimum time available to take advantage of an offer is not exaggerated.

Therefore not only did they not change the rules, but like me, they disapprove of the timer as this cuts down the minimum time available to take advantage of an offer and puts undue pressure on people to buy quickly without having time to consider the purchase properly!!!

So Gems, tell the bl**dy truth!! How dare you try to con your long time customers. You were selling items too cheap so you have copied TJC and are now NOT a true Reverse Auction.

I for one will not be back.
I think Gems were really struggling during TJC's million pound clearout, the few times I flicked over, things were taking ages to sell, and going really low. I think that may have been the reason for the recent changes to timed auctions Klos.
Trouble is, they are still struggling now with many items just timing out. The prices are certainly quite a bit higher than they used to be and now with the timed auctions, they have total control over the final price, so they have completely reversed their selling methods. New viewers won't know any difference though.
Mmmmmm naughty to say it was new ASA regualtions if that was not true.
It would have been better to just say they had deciced to change their format.:(

Regarding the timed games though I suppose it was a little bit of a no win situation for them. If prices were going too low then obviously they couldn't survive with that happening, what business could? So I am guessing this is a way to have a reserve price. However if they are giong to lose all you ladies and regular buyers custom then thats not going to work for them either.
I think it has to be accepted that prices are going to rise a bit over the years.

I cannot comment on many of your posts as I have only purchased from Gems since April this year so don't know how things have changed of late, as many of you feel it has.
I would have loved to have been a part of it in the past, if it was even better than now, as I still love the items and the prices.
As a new buyer I am incredibly happy with all my items and the service I have received. I did prefer the non timed games, but like I have said in the present economy I suppose there has to be changes.

I agree, I have seen games end with no stock sold and that does seem really sad, as even if the prices are slightly higher than they were (lots aren't) they are still incredibly low up to high street prices especially for some of the ct weights. I was shopping yesterday and saw some almost identical Fresh water pearls to the ones I received last week from Gems in a well known jewellery chain store. Theirs were 150.00 mine cost 29.00. Like wise for blue topaz I saw some incredibly high prices for no where near the kind of ct weight that is in my ring, and I don't mean from exclusive jewellers, just chain groups. Also the variety of Gem stones. I like to collect many different stones and most cannot be found in shops.

I feel really quite sad at the moment as I have only just found Gems and this site and it was lovely to show off my purchases to like minded people ( most of my friends don't get my fettish for rings and gem stones):D
But now it seems like it might all fold. I for one certainly hope not.
Although I don't like the timed auctions it won't stop me from watching Gems TV. There have been many changes at Gems since I made my first puchase (a Russian alexandrite ring for my daughters' 16th birthday)...some good :); some bad :mad:. I am what I would consider a good customer but they have treated me the same as any other with no extra priviledges, they welcome new customers money as much as mine. For every customer they lose like you klosblue there will be another like Glitzy who will be only too happy to shop with them. As long as there is a market for their jewellery they will survive. There have been some lovely new designs lately and I am especially looking forward to buying some of the turquoise rings in silver, it won't matter if it's a timed auction or not long as the price is right. :D
Hi Glitzy, you do make several good points there.
My particular thing with Gems is that I now have a huge variety of different gemstones I had never even heard of before, and I will always be grateful to them for that.
You're bang on about pricing compared to high street too.
But the move to timed auctions seems like a mad idea to me too, the whole point of falling auctions is to come in when you're happy to pay, and if hardly anyone wants to pay their "reserve" then their sales will plummet. It's a bit of a toughie for them, I completely understand that they can't afford to sell at a loss all the time - but they can't afford not to sell at all either!
I think they could do themselves some favours by refreshing the stock on their website with their new designs, which at the moment all seem to be reserved for TV. I do still have a look in regularly, but nothing new shows up.
I am however concerned that they are misleading customers by blaming ASA for something that appears to be a commercial choice rather than an imposed change - a worrying move from a company that used to be seen as much more transparent than the others.
But hey, us jaded old cynics still love to see all the pretty things the newer forum customers have snagged, and sometimes they even prod us into following suit! Coz at the end of the day, we bling addicts just love a sparkly!
Some excellent points made above and I most certainly respect everybody's viewpoint. But I interpreted the above link from Gems
re. the changes to the auction formats as a response rather than saying they were compulsory.

I don't really have a problem with the timed auctions except to say that the price crashes should begin, at the latest, when the clock starts and not sometime after. I suppose the bit of chat beforehand, so long as it isn't too protracted, gives customers the time to decide if they are interested in the item. But we are all after a bargain and the end price has to be right, and the sooner it's reached the better imho.

After a decision to buy is made.......not everyone is physically capable of grabbing a phone, making the call or getting to a computer in just a matter of seconds. What I'm rather clumsily trying to say is that there should be an adequate time allowed after the final price is reached - for potential customers to start the process of snatching.

And this I believe is the point made by the ASA in the last line of Klos' quote above.
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I think KB is saying that there was no ASA rule change for Gems to respond to in the first place, so changes they have made are entirely of their own volition and not enforced (or not) by an outside party.
I think the irony is that their sales of individual items used to tick along pretty quickly as it was - I rather think the addition of a timer is surplus to requirements. It does in itself put pressure on the view to buy something but only if the price is right - which would have been the criterion without the timer anyway.

It does however give them the luxury of NOT selling items below cost price. After all, they cannot afford to lose money hand over fist on item after item.

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