The world of the online marketplace is a dangerous one. It is easy to get ripped off or overcharged for an item which may or may not be worth what its price tag actually claims it is. Jewelry is no exception, and it is very simple for the consumer to be taken advantage of, lied to, and in many cases, treated like a criminal if something goes wrong with the delivery. Thus, it seems like that the consumer is at a severe disadvantage when shopping online for jewelry. Because of this, here are five things someone looking for jewelry online can do to protect themselves.
This is by far the most important thing when shopping online, and this is not just limited to jewelry. If there is a great deal on a diamond ring one site, it is still smart to check it on other websites as they might be offering a ring of equal quality for a lower price or slightly higher. In addition to this, make sure to read everything possible about jewelry, from the settings to metals to different gemstones. This will allow the consumer (you) to know about the stones, settings, and jewelry pieces and be able to judge if the price is fair or not.
Since this is an online purchase, it is not possible to see the jewelry in person prior to purchase. Consequently, be prepared to ask numerous questions, both about the jewelry itself and the company. Ask about treatments done to the stones or the metal. Do not be afraid to ask about the company’s return policy or the availability of GIA certificates. A legitimate online jewelry company like ED Marshall Jewelers will discuss these issues and provide information upon request. If you know of someone who has purchased from that website before, ask to see their jewelry so you can see the quality of their work for yourself.
Get References for the Company
References are important because of the large number of diamond scams in which fake jewelers sell jewelry pieces set with glass or fake gemstones for the price of real gemstone or diamond jewelry. A legitimate online jeweler will usually have feedback regarding how the purchase went. In addition, there are different websites which review online store, and these can be invaluable when purchasing jewelry online since they contain honest information about the store in question. The best thing is if the consumer knows someone who has purchased from that store and can advise you by word of mouth along with a high score from the Better Business Bureau.
Have an Independent Appraiser Look at the Piece
Most reputable jewelers will allow their jewelry to be appraised by an independent party who will tell the consumer what the actual value of the stone is. This is important because most jewelers have in house appraisers who will not dispute the price tag without a valid reason for doing so.
Compare With an Offline Store
Take the information from the online store and compare it with what is in a regular brick-and-mortar jewelry store. This is because the difference between the two prices will allow the consumer to gauge whether the price displayed on the online store is legitimate or not.
Buying Jewelry Online
Is Buying Diamonds Online Okay? What Can I Expect?
Buying a diamond is not a decision one enters into lightly. Purchasing a diamond online offers a safe, convenient, and often cheaper option than purchasing a diamond from a brick-and-mortar store, as long as it is done with careful consideration.
The selection of diamonds available to consumers over the internet is often vastly more extensive than the selection available from a store that has to keep the diamonds in stock. Online you are afforded the opportunity to peruse entire wholesaler inventories. You don’t need to frequent 10 different jewelers in order to view a wide array of options.
You can also feel assured knowing that internet prices of diamonds remain highly competitive and are often lower than the prices of diamonds from a store that has to account for numerous operational costs, as an online dealer does not have to worry about rental space, inventory costs, and overhead.
Buying online can also be extremely convenient as it can be done in the comfort of your own home. With just the click of a button, you can easily compare prices, vendors, and inventories. You don’t have to be hassled with traffic, crowded stores, or even with getting dressed for that matter!
For all these reasons you can be certain that buying diamonds online is not just a trend. When done properly, it can be a convenient, secure, pleasant, and highly gratifying experience. Regardless of the venue, it is extremely important to educate yourself before purchasing a diamond. You should familiarize yourself with diamonds, how to judge their quality, and the 4 C’s: cut, color, clarity, and carat. Although you cannot see a diamond up-close when purchasing via the internet, if you know exactly the specifications, you desire, then you are making an informed purchase. You can always visit any number of stores in order to see the different diamonds for yourself before making your purchase over the internet.
It is not only important to be comfortable with the various aspects of diamond quality, but it is equally important to be comfortable with the online vendor from which you want to make this purchase. You can inquire about their credentials by reading customer reviews and by learning about which professional jewelry associations they belong to. You should absolutely trust they are a reliable source and feel comfortable giving them your credit card information. Once you have fully educated yourself, then you can feel very secure in making your special diamond purchase online.
Online Jewelry Shopping vs. Brick and Mortar
There are a few noteworthy differences in shopping for jewelry online, as opposed to shopping at a brick and mortar store:
- When shopping for jewelry online, you are unable to see the actual product, let alone try it on. Therefore, it is important to carefully survey the product’s listed details and its posted picture. The item’s details and its picture will give you a good estimate of the piece’s quality and will allow you to make an informed decision in regards to your selected item. As such, an item with an unclear picture or with missing details should be avoided at all costs. If you are wary of shopping online, worried that the jewelry will be substandard, then it would be best to refrain altogether from shopping for jewelry online. Shopping at an actual brick and mortar store is the best way of ensuring the quality of your selected jewelry.
- The size of a bracelet, a ring or a necklace can be adjusted. However, these adjustments could cost you extra. When shopping for jewelry online, make sure you know the exact size or length of your selected item. If you are shopping at an actual brick and mortar jewelry store then making sure you choose the right size or length for you is as easy and as simple as asking the salesperson if you could try on the selected piece of jewelry.
- The differences in jewelry prices are one of the major reasons prompting customers to buy their jewelry online. Generally speaking, online jewelry stores offer lower prices and better deals on their products. However, when it comes to shopping for jewelry online, there is always the added risk of being cheated by the online retailer. One way of ensuring you do not get ripped-off is by being as educated a customer as possible. Make sure that you, as a consumer, know as much as possible about the different diamond attributes, the differences in materials and their costs, etc.
- Shopping for jewelry online allows the customer access to an immense selection of jewelry pieces while shopping at an actual brick and mortar store can be somewhat limited in that respect. However, when you elect to shop at a brick and mortar jewelry store, you have access to a professional, well-informed jeweler or salesperson who is there to answer any question you may have regarding your future purchase. Their expertise and knowledge may prove to be invaluable when shopping for expensive pieces of jewelry.
Top 3 Things to Know Before Shopping for Diamonds Online:
1) Be As Educated As Possible
If you are concerned about the quality of the diamond you are purchasing online or the reputation of the vendor you are buying from, then it is important to be as informed as possible. Make sure you understand the diamond attributes, the 4 C’s (cut, clarity, color, and carat weight). It is also important to know how these characteristics influence a diamond’s appearance, quality, and value. Also, make sure to read reviews about the online vendor from which you want to purchase your diamond. You can also look for general information about the company and how they are doing compared to their competitors.
2) Check Out The Return Policy
As you are purchasing a diamond online and you cannot walk into a store to discuss any issues you may have with sales personnel or a manager, you should be well informed of the company’s return policy before you make your purchase. You should feel confident that should you have any problems with your purchase that you will be able to return it and get refunded.
3) Pay Particular Attention To The Checkout Process
Making such a large cash purchase online may make some people wary about the security of their payment and payment information. In order to make sure your credit card information is kept safe, you should read the company’s privacy statement. Make sure they do not use your personal information for anything other than your purchase order. Look to see if they allow you to make your payment through a 3rd party such as PayPal, as you can feel assured that it is secure.
My little sister will be getting married soon; my wife and I volunteer to buy her wedding rings. We like the idea of finding websites that provide feedback from the store we want to buy from. Thanks for the heads up when considering when buying online jewelry.