We cover what you need to know about buying jewelry online.
In this day and age, customers like to buy anything and everything online. From Zappos to Amazon to niche stores, customers are overwhelmingly preferring to shop online. Whether it’s at home in your pajamas or on your phone waiting at the doctors, people are turning to the internet versus visiting brick and mortar locations.
And that goes for jewelry as well. While it’s not totally uncommon to buy jewelry online, and in fact we’re seeing more and more folks do it every day, we urge our customers to take caution while doing so. Here are some of the common tips we tell our customers when they consider buying jewelry online.
Buy from a legitimate jewelry store.
In the jewelry world, the American Gem Society (AGS) is a certifying agency for jewelers and jewelry stores. Getting certified is like winning the Super Bowl with an all-star team. AGS qualified jewelry stores have sales associates that are qualified and knowledgeable in the jewelry industry and follow the AGS code of ethics. In short, these are the type of jewelers you want to do business with.
To check out who’s AGS certified check out their website to learn more.
It’s hard to determine jewelry scale online.
Ever buy something online only to realize it didn’t look like the image at all? I think we’ve all been burned at some point by rushing to buy something we thought looked amazing.
When you buy jewelry online, make sure you have a good description of sizes so you’re not surprised when you receive your package. You could be buying what you think are small drop earrings, but instead get large earrings that would be better worn by Beyoncé on stage than to the office.
Read all the fine print.
Read all descriptions – the title, the short description, the long description, even review other reviews left by previous customers. Read it again. Make sure you completely understand everything you’re reading. When in doubt, turn to Google and do some detective work.
Many online jewelry stores are quick to slip in “synthetic”, “treated”, or “simulated” when describing the gemstone in creative ways that you might not even notice.
Obviously, order the correct size.
When it comes to jewelry, make sure you get the right size. This goes for everything, from bracelets to rings to necklaces. Some items such as necklace chains or bracelets can easily be shortened, but it might not be as easy to lengthen them. Conversely, many rings cannot be sized, or could cost almost as much as the ring itself to size. Always, always, always double check you’re buying the right size.
Try to buy online from a local jeweler.
Similar to a car you drive every day, the jewelry you wear every day needs upkeep. Especially anything with moving parts – such as watches, charm bracelets or lockets, not to mention, anything with prongs and multiple gemstones.
Try to forge a relationship with a local jewelry store and see if they have any options for buying online. You are spending at times $1,000’s, on your jewelry and you want to make sure you trust where you are buying it from and bringing it to for cleaning and inspections. You want to ensure you trust them, and the quality of their work. In short, you want to make sure you’re comfortable leaving your jewelry with a jeweler.
Another important tip is that anytime you can bring your jewelry back to the original place of purchase, you’re better off for multiple reasons. The jewelers know exactly what they are selling, how to service the item, and often how to fix it. And if they don’t, they can work closely with the designer and can get it fixed for you.
Buying engagement rings online.
Considering there’s a variety of options for buying an engagement ring, this can be a tricky thing to do.
Buying diamonds online.
So you see a diamond online, the certificate for the diamond is perfect, it fits into your budget – now what? BE CAREFUL!
Just because you’ve found a diamond for a great price doesn’t mean you should buy it immediately. Remember, the diamond for your engagement ring still needs to be set into a mounting. And bear in mind, many jewelers will not set diamonds they did not sell. This is especially true for setting diamonds into mountings they did not sell. This is not because they are being difficult, it is because in the slight chance that they chip the diamond, they would be responsible for fixing the damage at no cost. Many jewelers simply don’t want to take on the liability.
Having said all that, you can Buy a Diamond on our website. We encourage you to look for your ideal diamond online, and then view it in a store and talk to a sales associate to ensure you’re getting the best diamond for your budget.
Buying engagement ring mountings online.
If you find a mounting online that looks perfect, buyer beware! Just because it looks perfect, it might not be as it seems. Have you ever heard the saying you get what you pay for? This is especially true when buying a mounting.
Many mountings online that you can find for a great price cost what they do because they are lightweight and flimsy.
I’ve seen 2 carat diamonds set in a flimsy $400 4-prong mounting, which boggles my mind. I don’t know about you, but if I’m shelling out the money to pay for a 2 carat diamond, I would want that thing to be secure and stable as possible in a safe and secure mounting.
For example, when you come visit us you’ll never see a diamond put in jeopardy like that. We make sure our mountings are strong and durable. If they aren’t, we’ll tell you that the option you are choosing could cause problems down the line. Most online retailers can’t do this for their customers.
Just like buying a diamond online, we also allow you to buying mountings online as well. You can Build a Ring on our website, but just like a diamond, we highly encourage you to visit us and talk to a sales associate in store to make sure you’re getting your ideal ring.
Buying an engagement ring requires an education.
Most people don’t buy too many diamonds online. In fact, most people probably don’t know much about diamonds besides what you read on websites. When people visit pages like our Diamond Education Guide it provides a great baseline education, but you should really still go visit a jeweler, and see a diamond in person to learn more.
Here at Braunschweiger Jewelers, we have trained sales staff that will educate you on diamond and ring mountings so you’ll feel comfortable and understand what you are buying. We let you know everything about the process, from how long it takes to get your wedding band or engagement ring tips on jewelry cleaning and more.
Simply put, that communication is missed when you are buying online. Sure, you may get a great price, but it could be costly if you match the wrong mounting with the wrong diamond.
Not to mention if you need sizing, insurance appraisals, cleaning – all this will cost you extra when you go to a jewelry store that is not familiar or did not sell you the ring.
Final thoughts on buying jewelry online.
The bottom line is if you buy any type of jewelry online, make sure you are familiar with the business beforehand and it wasn’t just the first online store that popped-up when you googled “cheap diamonds” or “discounted jewelry”. I highly encourage you to visit a local jeweler first, get an education from a knowledgeable, qualified jeweler, and go from there.
To get an education on jewelry from an expert, feel free to visit either of our two New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown and New Providence to talk to an expert, and look at jewelry in person before you make a decision about buying online.
If you’ve already checked out jewelry in a store, or have some questions about buying jewelry online, contact us anytime by emailing us directly at email@example.com or simply fill out our contact form and we’ll answer your questions quickly.