And to add insult to injury, the HSN ring is part of the popular “Rarities” line. How “rare” are your pieces when your competitor has them on soon after you — at a less expensive price point?
We’ve been watching electronic retailing for several decades now, and we can’t recall two home shopping channels hawking the exact same piece of jewelry.
Here’s the deal. Back on July 15 Carol Brodie, who we love, as HSN’s Today’s Special. It was a ring with peachy pink carved coral roses with white topaz accents, and its TS price was for $90.
We blogged about it.
Well, ShopNBC’s Gem Treasures line by in-house jewelry designer Chuck Clemency had what appears to be the exact same ring, with the carved coral roses.
The only difference between the two rings was that HSN’s ring used white topaz for accents, while ShopNBC’s had white zircons. Oh, and there was that price differential.
The ShopNBC ring went on sale shortly after the HSN one for just $79, compared to HSN’s TV price of $xx. Now, the coral ring is priced at $ 130 at HSN, and $xxx at ShopNBC.
HSN customers were the one’s that tipped us off to this situation. They posted complaints on HSN.com.
Here are some of them:
“Beautiful.. not sure it’s a rarity?…I was thrilled when I received this yesterday, it is truly beautiful piece of jewelry, looks very italian and feminine. Mine was very coral in color, a soft blush peachy pink. I love everything about it and will keep it, however I was a bit dissapointed to see the exact same ring on shopnbc.com (item 320614) for $78.62 (regular price $98.75). It is identical down to the carvings on the side the platinum plating, the white topaz. I thought Carol’s pieces were unique and designed by her, so this makes me doubt if what she is bringing is truly original or if hers was copied. I will keep it anyway, highly recommend!”
Blingrat (we love that name) wrote, “Too oversized to be wearable. And it is not exclusive! Saw it 2 days later on competitor’s channel at $21 less!”
Another poster said, “The ring is pretty but the color is not uniform and it is more expensive than else where. It is $ 78.96 on another network that is their regular price for this exact ring Not a Today’s special. I am thinking whether to keep it or return it.”
We asked HSN and ShopNBC on Monday what gives. That’s why we sat on the story.
ShopNBC said they were looking into it, but never got back to us. We can’t help but wonder, were the folks in Minnesota trying to stick it to HSN by putting their coral ring up for sale right after HSN has it as a TS?
HSN said that its ring had been in production for almost a year.
“Carol Brodie is constantly searching for exciting discoveries to bring to our customers and has had great success over the last year,” an HSN flak said. “Her carved coral and white topaz ring is rated as a ‘customer pick’ based upon online reviews. We look forward to introducing new additions from Carol in the coming months.”
Hmmmn, we are definately thinking that ShopNBC tried to screw HSN, by embarrassing the No. 2 home shopping channel, sticking a pin in the “Rarities” claim and showing it underprices HSN.