My “free” gift from Fifth Avenue Collection Jewelry

A few weeks ago, I attended a local County Fair and stopped by the booth of Fifth Avenue Collection, a jewelry company. I wasn’t too intrigued by the products, but stopping at booths is something you do when you go to a Fair. The friendly woman staffing the booth asked me if I’d like to sign up to win $50 worth of free jewelry from their company. Sure, I said, and I did. Then I walked off and visited the local Red Cross booth, a booth selling pillows, a cellular phone company’s information stand, the local radio station’s live setup, etc. I forgot all about the jewelry booth, but—here I segue into a brief food review, unrelated to jewelry—I did break my pretty-much-vegetarian rule and snarfed down a corn dog. It was perfect. corndog02Just the right amount of fluffy coating, and the “dog” inside was hot. Add a little ketchup to a baby like that, and you’re in business.

So, anyway, the Fair is now over and I’m dieting off all the fat I consumed, and back on my vegetarian diet. The corn dog was worth the extra exercising I’ve had to endure.

Back to the point of this blog . . .  I’d completely forgotten the Fair until a few days ago, when a woman called me and said, “You won!” It was Delise (or whatever) from Fifth Avenue Jewelry. My name was evidently drawn to win the $50 gift certificate. Cool! I’m not really into jewelry, but if they have 5,000 pieces (as she said) in their collection, I can probably find a bracelet or necklace that I’d order for free. The situation initially seemed to hint at a spot of serendipity because I’d been thinking I’d like a new something-or-other to wear if I ever get a job interview. Hey, free jewelry.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, there’s a rub. Delise would like me to come to the company’s Open House in a couple of weeks in order to claim my $50 prize and get my picture taken accepting it. The Open House is in the evening, and it’s in a different town from where I live, so I am welcome to sacrifice a couple of hours of my waning summer (and we have such short summers anyway) in order to claim my prize. And while I’m at it, I can also book a house party if I’d like and get even MORE free jewelry! Did I mention I can book a house party because they’re really fun and I can invite all my girlfriends over to my house to order jewelry so that I can get more free jewelry myself?

I asked Delise if I could just spend my $50 there at the Open House, implying that I am not open to doing a house party. She said, well, yes you can, but she would really recommend having a house party because then I can get even more free stuff.

At that moment, I just about discarded my natural inclination towards diplomacy and professionalism at all “costs” (no pun intended). Obviously, it’s not really a free gift if I have to do stuff to get it, but I didn’t say this to Delise because I realize she’s trying to generate business and this stupid promotion was probably not her idea anyway. I felt the best thing for me to do was to avoid making any commitments, rather than turning her down altogether. Actually, I guess I decided to play their game—if they are going to string me along with an Open House so I can get my “free” gift, I can appear to be thinking about having a jewelry party at my house, even though it’s one of the last things I’d ever voluntarily do with my free time.

Other thoughts:

  • I have enough disposable income to buy a piece of jewelry that I really like. I don’t need free jewelry.
  • My girlfriends are not jewelry lovers, either. Birds of a feather and all that. Plus, they’re working moms, part-time workers, garage sale bargain hunters, and not the type to drop $95 on a necklace that they don’t really need or want anyway. And this is one of the many reasons I love them and spend time with them.
  • Wow, am I ever an idiot to sign up to win something.

I went to the Fifth Avenue website ( and poked around. Not much there. I did find this anklet, which is sort of “me”:

Its corny name is "Beauty Flows Through It."

Its corny name is "Beauty Flows Through It."

But where are these 5,000 pieces? Can’t Delise just send me a catalog and I can order like that? With my uneventful job, I would actually have time to browse their website if there was much on there.

Resolution:  As it turns out, I have a Humane Society board meeting on the evening of the Open House, so I won’t be able to attend the Open House, anyway. I guess I’ll call Delise and explain. I’ll be mightily tempted to suggest that a “free gift” is not free if I have to do something to get it, but I probably won’t. I’ll give her the chance to “be big” and still give me the $50, but I won’t ask her for it. Maybe she can give it to someone else.

Thinking this way makes me wonder how many people “won.” Presumably, everyone who threw their name & phone number in the hat. Nice going, Fifth Avenue Collection Jewelry. You’ll only fool me once.

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4 Responses to My “free” gift from Fifth Avenue Collection Jewelry

  1. Lynn says:

    So sorry that you feel that way…Delise is only doing what we jewellers love to do…give away FREE jewelry. It’s all in how you look at it and we do hope that you will choose your FREE piece and truly enjoy it as it is intended. Congrats!!

    • Clockwatcher 23 says:

      Thanks for reading, Lynn. This happened 4 years ago. To finish up the story, I ended up leaving the sales rep a voicemail, saying that I didn’t wish to have a jewelry party at my home. She never called me back.

      Honestly, I don’t blame her. Why would she give away a free piece if the winner isn’t going to bring her more business? I only wish the “prize” wouldn’t have been called “FREE” when there were obviously strings attached. I guess it depends on how you define “free.”

  2. J says:

    My boyfriend’s mum gave me a set of Fifth Avenue Collection jewellery. I can honestly say they are some of the most ugly and tacky thing I have seen in my life… shame on them to even try to give them away.
    It’s not free if people have to do things to get them and really, they will have to pay me alot of money to wear it. I mean A LOT!!!

  3. Lili Michele says:

    their jewelry is full of nickel and lead. I was wearing it and everytime I take off the jewelry my wrists and neck are all green. Having seen a doctor they said it was lead and nickel. They get their cheap jewelry from CHINA. Be careful. The jewellers get 50% off everything so imagine what the company makes. They have to buy it real cheap. Never ever again buy a piece of that junk.

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