As consumers, we had already embraced online shopping but the various lockdown periods of the early 2020s Pandemic drove it to become even more mainstream, with more than 2 billion people shopping online.
At one time, there was a laundry list of things we would always go to the store for, but we’re now in a position where we are willing to purchase even high ticket items such as cars and designer jewelry from an online retailer.
Online shopping has also opened up a much wider marketplace. We can source globally rather than having to shop in our local area. It’s also a matter of convenience, with items shipped directly to your door.
There are some great benefits of online shopping, but who couldn’t do with a bit of advice to make their experience even more rewarding?
Here are our favorite tips for purchasing designer jewelry from online retailers.
1. Do Your Research
Don’t just decide you want a piece of designer jewelry. Instead, you should invest some time deciding what you want to look for inexpensive jewelry.
Some common questions to consider when purchasing a piece of jewelry include:
- Is it for a special occasion or daily wear?
- Do you have a preferred precious metal? Are you considering alternative metals? Besides the precious metals of white, rose, yellow gold, sterling silver, and platinum, designer jewelry can be made from titanium, tungsten, plated steel, wood, and leather.
- Will your piece include gemstones?
- Are you searching for a “one of a kind item” or something trendy?
- What is your budget, and does the store offer any special financing you can take advantage of?
- What are other consumers saying about the jeweler you are considering? Check their Google reviews.
If you are interested in diamond jewelry, it’s probably even more important to become more educated about your intended purchase.
Diamonds have a unique grading system based on the 4 Cs of diamonds (Cut, Carat, Clarity, and Color). You should also be aware that diamonds are sometimes sold with a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America, which provides the diamond an independent assessment of its quality from the world’s premier gemological laboratory.
Look for online sellers with quality jewelry in your price range. You may already have some jewelry brands in mind. Read their social media reviews, and from the feedback, you will get some idea of their quality. Personal recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues can also help you make an informed decision.
2. Compare Value
The jewelry you wear or give is a personal reflection on you and carries a message or story with it. Consider all the factors that are associated with the item you are considering. For example, prestige, service, and reputation, to name a few. All of these features add value and are important to take into account.
If you are after a unique piece of designer jewelry, it is hard to make a price comparison based on simply the physical components of the jewelry. The craftsmanship, artistic vision, and personal service must all be considered.
Buying the cheapest item is not always the best route to take. You want to be assured that you are buying quality jewelry authentically certificated and hallmarked (if appropriate). Imagine for example, if you purchased an item of jewelry from a retailer with a poor reputation just because they were the cheapest. Would you have full pride of ownership in that jewelry? Would you receive the service and care that is expected with a fine jewelry purchase?
If you find fine jewelry items at prices that seem too good to be true, they probably are. Precious metals and gemstones have a certain market value based on prevailing price and carat weight, so if you see a bargain-basement price, understand why.
3. Determine Your Size
This is most important if you buy a ring but can also be relevant for bracelets (which do not conform to standard size) and chains/necklaces. For the latter, the product description usually gives a length, but it is helpful to know which length you want, so measure where you want the chain to lay on your chest. Shopping with a professional jeweler will provide you the opportunity to have most items, custom fit.
Knowing the ring size required is essential because not all online stores offer a resizing service. This should be remembered, particularly if you buy a diamond ring as an engagement ring. If you can get hold of a ring sizer, it will be an advantage, and you should also check if rings are quoted in US sizing or European sizing, inches or millimeters. You can get your ring size from a local jeweler, or you can find ways to measure ring size online.
4. Check Return and Shipping Policies
This tip applies not just to buying jewelry online but to any purchase made on the internet. One of the main advantages of online jewelry shopping is the convenience of delivery right to your door. However, if you need to return an item, that isn’t convenient.
Reputable jewelry brands like JustDesi will display their shipping and return policy on the website.
Check shipping times because if you are buying something special for Valentine’s Day, you need to know when to order it in time.
Another thing to check when buying a piece of fine jewelry is that the shipping cost includes adequate insurance for the value of your item.
Some jewelers may exclude certain items from their return policy or only offer inflexible options for the physical return.
5. Beware of Fakes
It is much easier to sell low-quality jewelry as fine jewelry online than it is in a brick-and-mortar store. You can carry out all the necessary checks on your chosen online retailer, but there is no guarantee that your item is genuine until you have purchased and received the item.
This is one of the main reasons why you check the returns policy of online jewelers. It is also the best reason to use a credit card for the purchase as you get the card issuer’s guarantee.
When your jewelry arrives, thoroughly check it. Even if it is hallmarked, test it with a magnet. Precious metals are not magnetic, so if your gold jewelry item is attractive, it is fake and made of an inexpensive base metal plated to look like gold.
If you have purchased a diamond or other gemstone, check the GIA certificate and any warranty.
If you have any doubts about the authenticity of your item, take it along to a local jewelry store that can test it.
If you’re not happy with your purchase, send it back for a full refund.
6. Buy Jewelry That You Love
With all the advice offered above, there is one overriding rule, and this is only to buy something you love and are proud to wear. Set out with the idea that you want something exceptional, a piece that no one else in your circle has.
Buying a piece of designer jewelry should be considered an investment, especially if its cost is a significant amount of your income.
Choosing designer jewelry enables you to express yourself and show your interesting tastes and preferences. However, we recommend that you follow the advice above when vetting an online jewelry retailer so that you can make an informed decision and avoid any potential pitfalls.