Following revolt, the Rapaport Price List will go monthly

Rob Bates

Thursdays will never be the same in the diamond industry.

Following a furor after he lowered prices by an average of 7% on his March 20 price sheet, founder and publisher Martin Rapaport announced that he was changing many aspects of his widely watched price sheet during a webinar on Wednesday first April.

Among the most notable: The Rapaport Price List, which has been published weekly since its inception in 1978, will now be published monthly.

The new frequency will “give the industry time to react [to changes],” Rapaport said. “Leaving a month between price sheets is going to give the industry an opportunity to breathe and give the industry time to interact with us and say, ‘You’re wrong here, you’re right there. Go up here, go down there.’ So we can have more interaction.”

Rapaport said that he tends to wait to change prices anyway, to avoid the trade “chasing [its] tail” by constantly reacting to weekly price decreases or increases.

But he rejected appeals to release his list only once a year, saying that would make it worthless for buyers.

He said he will try to standardize the discounts on the list and keep prices about 30%–40% below the prices on RapNet.

That will be the range you can expect the goods to be in. If it’s below 30%, we should go up. And if it’s higher than 40%, we should go down.”

During the COVID-19 crisis, he will extend the lower range of price sheet discounts to 45%.

He also plans to supplement the monthly list with a weekly “trade sheet” based on RapNet prices.

We have already been publishing the trade sheets online, but now we’re making them more available to subscribers,”  he said. “People are saying, ‘How do we know when you are going down?’ Now, you’ll be able to look at those trade sheets and see where Rapaport is with the price…. You will see a much higher level of transparency than you’ve ever seen before, because you’ll actually see what’s [happening], and we will hold ourselves to certain range of prices.”

He will also form an advisory board to provide ideas and input.

The board “will be very valuable,” he said. “Anytime we’re off the mark, with these percentages, they’ll ring our bell. We’ll also discuss things with them, like what do we do about fluorescence, other issues. It won’t just be the Rapaport team doing these price lists, but we will have a better interaction with the community.”

The moves came in response to an unprecedented revolt in the diamond industry that led hundreds of companies to pull their goods from his trading platform, RapNet.

The revolt seems to have been largely sparked by Israeli dealer Doron Serrouya, who tells JCK he wasn’t trying to start a movement, he was just upset about the March 20 list.

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Source JCK Online