‘We’ve been fighting for this decision for a very long time.’ Jewellers are permitted to sell online

By experts’ estimates, this will allow increasing sales of precious stones and expensive jewellery by 10-15%

Amendments lifting the ban on selling jewellery online came into force in Russia on 12 December. In experts’ opinion, this can encourage the market and allow it to grow by 10-15%. In general, according to forecasts, online purchases of jewellery made of precious metals will account for 25% of total sales. However, it is necessary to lift other restrictions too and stimulate the sector in an integrated manner for the sector’s successful development, players of the jewellery market said to Realnoe Vremya.

“It was nonsense”

A resolution of the government that permitted selling jewellery through online stores came into force in Russia on 12 December. The document signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was published on the official website of legal acts last Wednesday.

If some market players anyway sold jewellery online, they did it despite legislative restrictions. The case is that precious and rare metals as well as precious stones and jewels made of them are on the list of goods whose free sale is prohibited by the Russian president’s decree No. 179 and regulations of the Federal Law No. 41-FL On Precious Metals and Precious Stones.

It was the Ministry of Finance that took the initiative in lifting this ban citing numerous petitions of professional entrepreneurial communities and organisations. As a result, a norm permitting the free sale of jewellery from precious metals or stones as well as certified gemstone cuts to Clause 5 in Rules of Sale of Goods at a Distance.

“We’ve been fighting for this decision for a very long time. I am very glad that the prime minister signed this order because it was nonsense that jewellery couldn’t be sold at a distance. Now, of course, the market will grow and develop, time will show,” Co-Chairman of the Association of Russian Jewellers’ Guild, founder of Almaz-holding Flun Gumerov commented on the novelty for Realnoe Vremya.

“Jewellery was sold online, of course, despite the non-compliance with legislation, that’s to say, these sales weren’t regulated. Now there is permission, there are no restrictions. This is why, of course, sales will go up, and the market will develop. Online commerce in general gains in momentum, and jewellery isn’t an exception,” Director General of Jewellery Commerce CJSC Igor Kozlov.

10-15% market growth

Jewellers are convinced that the abolition of legislative restrictions on online sales to natural persons will enable to stimulate online commerce. Alrosa company forecasts that online jewellery purchases will contribute a fourth of all jewellery sales by 2025 thanks to the cancellation of the ban.

“This is probably very optimistic. Anyway, there are online sales now (all self-respecting companies have online stores). They were complicated, of course, because everything went through the shop, but there were sales. This is why I don’t think that there will be such a sudden growth by 25%, but there will be growth from 10 to 15%,” Gumerov noted.

“Our enterprise isn’t directly linked with rings and earrings, but we have souvenirs with precious metals. For us, of course, online sales were important previously too. We don’t work like Alibaba, of course, but our major sales are also on the Internet. It is very topical for sellers that now online sales of jewellery with diamonds. But from a perspective of the purchaser, it perhaps looks a bit strange — to buy a diamond without trying it on and confirmation. Nevertheless, almost all jewellery companies have online stores,” Director of Almaz VIP jewellery company Andrey Volchkov expressed his opinion.

With a view to exports and Russian Post

The permission for online trade of precious metals will lead to new marketing approaches, experts think. Security issues of online shopping are also under control — every good must have a hallmark, each precious stone must have a certificate, the Ministry of Finance stressed:

“The regulation of the government On Introducing Changes to Rules for Distance Sales of Goods is aimed to enhance the legal certainty in the possibility for online sales of jewellery made of precious metals or certified precious stones,” the Ministry of Finance says on its website.

Representatives of the jewellery industry hope that the permission for online purchases of objects for retail consumers will apply for exports in the future. In addition, they are asking to lift other restrictions impeding the business from developing too.

“You know, online sales are the first step, and a very small step. It is also important for us to work with the post, adopt a law to be able to send jewellery by post. The bill was adopted in the State Duma in the first reading and got stuck. We also need to arrange logistics. While at the moment it is prohibited to sell these goods to consumers by post. There are alternative services, but Russian Post is anyway a more reliable institution in the market. When a buyer knows that the delivery is done by Russian Post, you know, it will also become a serious stimulus. We’ve already discussed this topic with the vice minister of finance, but, unfortunately, the law is still up in the air,” the founder of Almaz-Holding complained.

However, it is necessary to consider a number of factors to adopt the bill, for instance, to agree with the post on delivery time, fix it in legislation: “So that there won’t be a situation that a wedding gift had been ordered and it was delivered, God forbid, when they got divorced,” Gumerov noted.

By Vasilya Shirshova

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