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Six months have passed since eBay Israel entered into a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the Israeli Diamond Exchange
IDE President Shmuel Schnitzer
Credit: GCI Labs

Six months have passed since eBay Israel entered into a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the Israeli Diamond Exchange aimed at expanding the country’s global diamond trade as well as boosting the online role of sellers of the precious gems. To mark this milestone the Israel Diamond Institute met with representatives of GCI Gemological Laboratories & College which runs the eBay course on behalf of the Israel Diamond Exchange to learn about the fruits of this cooperation.


“We are a major world diamond center with increasing levels of polished diamond exports coupled with a worldwide reputation for quality. The Israel Diamond Exchange realized the necessity and the potential of embarking on this venture. It’s a must, not a luxury,” says CEO of GCI Michael Ben Dor, explaining the importance of the eBay-diamond exchange alliance. EBay itself is witnessing exceptional year-on-year growth in sales of engagement rings on eBay, and this alliance seeks to build on that momentum.


“Today it is important to look outside the box and not just focus on diamonds. We need to look forward and we have to explore all the different opportunities for marketing that exist. One needs to be proactive in one’s approach,” explains Yehuda Yacar G.G. G.I.A, General Manager of the Gemological Laboratories, and the chief gemologist of GCI, who is in charge of the eBay course.


So far, hundreds of people have already completed the eBay course and GCI is soon to start its 7th such course. The courses last 12 weeks and consist of a session once every week, and ‘homework assignments’ to reap the benefits of the course. During the course the students meet with eBay professionals, who help them implement their eBay marketing in the most productive manner. “EBay invests in the diamond sector and they help to find the solutions to real problems that exist. It is a win-win situation,” explains Yacar.


credit:Gil C

Running a shop on eBay has similar qualities – and challenges – to running a bricks and mortar shop. There are costs involved, there are rules of conduct, there are fraud issues and “Business costs can amount to 12-13% of your sale,” explains Ben Dor, noting that the younger generation that possesses the ‘guts and chutzpah (courage)’ and the youthful approach combined with initiative to embrace the world of eBay and Internet marketing. To support this view is the fact that GCI’s greatest eBay success story is a teenager now selling hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of goods annually via eBay.


“This teenager was willing to put in all the legwork required to build their business. “It is not just a matter of ‘having a shop and they will come to buy’. If you are not there you do not exist, but you need to learn and invest time, energy and though in order to do it properly. There is definitely a great potential for reaping the profits,” says Ben Dor. “If you learn the rules and how to play, the world is your oyster.”


eBay is taking a leading role in the collaboration with the Israel Diamond Industry, in line with the trend of major online forces (for example Google) recognizing the role of this small but technologically focused country can play. “Israeli sellers are regarded as the best and most loyal on eBay globally. They manage wonderful online stores and lead the sales charts. The diamond sector attracts many Israelis and emphasizes the uniqueness and quality of the products that are exported from Israel. We are certain that this cooperation deal with the Israeli Diamond Exchange will open up more opportunities for additional markets,” Elad Goldberg, the manager of eBay’s business development department in Israel, said upon the launch of the collaboration.


Under the collaboration, members of the Israel Diamond Exchange must meet strict product and service quality assurance criteria, and have necessary certification and references in order to receive training and support to set up online stores on eBay.


Explaining the importance of utilizing the eBay platform, Yacar continues, “The Internet is not the future. It is the here and now. A company that doesn’t take advantage of the Internet, social media and sales platforms such as eBay, has little future.”


Ben Dor concurs with that thinking: “You need to be in the market or you are lost. The world has new rules and a new language that you have to learn.”


GCI is a gemological laboratory that is involved in teaching as well as testing. GCI’s school teaches a variety of courses on diamonds, gemstones and jewelry, as well as marketing of these products.


GCI is continuing to implement new courses that benefit the diamond, gemstone and jewelry businesses. The gemological lab is soon to embark on a coaching style course aimed at developing and improving different skills in the sales environment. “We think and we fire in all different directions,” concludes Ben Dor.

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