Wednesday, June 13, 2012

12 Points on How to Buy Jewelry Online

1. Research as much about the store, as possible. If you've found a good deal on an engagement ring or a wedding band, try to first learn about the jewelry store. Call them on the phone and speak to a representative. Ask some questions about where they source their materials (Israel? China/Thailand? Europe?). Probe for information and make sure that they sell only "conflict-free" diamonds.

2. Study their return policy carefully. In case your purchase does not work out, you should always have a reasonable way out.

3. Is it really a discount? With gold prices on the rise and jewelers hunting for profits, be sure that you are getting a quality product for a reasonable price. Large discounts are typically the result of an artificially inflated price on inventory, often with poor turnover, which is then put on sale and given an unreasonably large discount to make it attractive to bargain hunters (Rule of thumb: scrutinize any discounts over 30%).

4. Know the cost. When shopping online, have a general idea of the current cost of gold per gram. This number alone will often help you differentiate a bargain from a marketing ploy.

5. Help the smaller guy. He will love you in return. Be careful about purchasing from publicly traded jewelry companies as they are under intense pressure to increase profits for shareholders, look attractive to wall street analysts and to cut costs, which could translate into higher prices and lower quality for the end consumer.

6. Inspect your items thoroughly. When you finally receive your purchase, make sure that you got what you paid for. Use a magnifying glass and check for the metal stamp (14K or 585, 18K or 750, PT950, etc.). Even better, take your purchase to a local jeweler and have it inspected for quality and accuracy.

7. How about a certificate? Ideally the jewelry you purchase should have a stamp of the manufacturer and a certification along with it. Certified jewelry is worth a lot more then items without certification.

8. Does your purchase look new? Always inspect your items for dents, scratches or any other signs of wear and tear. We have heard of companies shipping out used jewelry that was posted and sold as new.

9. Inspect a setting itself. If the jewelry you purchased has diamonds or semi-precious stones (especially rings and earrings with sapphires, rubies, emeralds, etc.), have a local jeweler inspect to make sure that the stones are properly positioned in the setting and are not likely to fall out.

10. Compare your left earring to the right one. If you ordered a paired piece of jewelry (such as earrings), make sure that both are equal in size, have the same shape and are of the same color.

11. Keep your financial information in safe hands. When you find an online jewelry store, look for signs of credibility. Online stores will often have icons in various places on their websites with logos of third party companies that guarantee the safety of your private financial information (SSL,, Google and etc.), previous customer testimonials and successful conflict resolution (Yelp, Facebook and BBB), and some assurance about dealing strictly with conflict-free diamonds.

12. Receive an additional discount. When you finally decide to purchase, search for online coupons or promo codes on Google, Yahoo or any other search engine. Whether it's a diamond engagement ring, a wedding band or a pendant, there is almost always a coupon out there you can use and save money with. Cheers, good luck and make it a great buy.

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