Buying your diamond ring, emerald pendant or sapphire earrings from an online jewelry store can save you a lot of time, money and hassle. But to come away with a great deal you’ll need to ask some tough questions.
How long have you been in business?
It’s not an absolute indication, but it’s a lot easier to have confidence in an online jewelry store which has been online for several years and which has a good track record. Read the testimonials page to see what people think of them. If they’re new to online selling, ask them how long they’ve been in the jewelry business offline instead.
Are you a member of any professional jewelry associations?
If an online jeweler is serious about professional standards, they’ll more than likely be members of at least one, if not several professional organizations. If you’re looking at loose diamonds, for instance, check whether the company you’ll considering purchasing from is a member of a recognized diamond exchange.
Are your sales people professional jewelers?
It’s very likely you’ll have questions about the ring or necklace you’re considering buying. Do the diamonds sparkle? Can you order the same setting with a different shaped stone? Is there a matching pair of earrings for the sapphire pendant you’ve chosen? Use your questions as an opportunity to discover whether you’re buying from experts who can guide you to make the best decisions for your situation. Ideally you should be talking with professional jewelers who can answer your questions quickly and clearly without a lot of sales-speak.
Why are your prices so low?
Many consumers are suspicious about buying from online jewelry stores. A common concern is the low price when compared to a local retail jeweler. Does it seem too good to be true? Listen to the answer you get from the online jeweler carefully. If you’re dealing with a manufacturer then it’s easy to understand why the prices are heavily discounted – there’s no cut for the middle-man. If not, and you have any suspicions whatsoever then dig deeper and ask more questions until either you’ve built up some level of trust with the company or you’re certain you should buy elsewhere.
What is your return policy?
While jewelry prices online are often significantly less than in the real world, you can’t try the item on or often even look at it from different angles. That’s why it’s important to know what the return policy of the company is. Many jewelers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee which gives you plenty of time to decide, in the comfort of your own home, whether you like the item or not.
Why should I buy from you?
It’s the most obvious question but rarely asked. You’ll find that the answer often separates the true jewelry professionals from the wannabes and the fly-by-nights. Next time you’re looking for an online jewelry store, make this your first question. You’ll be glad you did.
Is there anything I should have asked but didn’t?
This is another revealing question. The best answers should revolve around you. What you’re looking for. What you need. And what you can do without. It’s all about the customer so make sure you feel comfortable with your choice of online jeweler after you’ve asked all your questions and made sure the answers made sense to you.
Brad Freiden is a jewelry professional with particular expertise in translating jewelry ideas into beautiful, custom-made items. He can usually be found answering questions on everything from ring settings to diamond cuts at http://www.israel-diamonds.com.