Buying jewelry is always a blast, and shopping online gives you a wide variety of bling to choose from. There’s plenty of affordable jewelry online, if you can only find it!
But how do you know you’re not being scammed or missing out on great deals? What should you even look for? Here are 9 key factors to keep in mind while buying jewelry online.
You want to make sure that you purchase from a reputable business. This is especially important while shopping online, where almost anyone can create a website.
Aside from the need to avoid scammers and fake websites, you also want to pay attention to the real businesses. Not all businesses are created equal, and many are of better quality than others.
Look at things like the business’ location, how long they’ve been around, and how popular they are. A nationwide chain has some perks, but so does a little mom-and-pop shop. In general, examine the online businesses with the same critical eye that you would turn towards a physical store!
Your Needs and Wants
It’s a good idea to know what you want before you start shopping. If you don’t have a plan in mind, you can get in over your head.
Are you looking for an engagement ring or a nice necklace to wear to a party? It’s a good idea to nail down your specifics before you start shopping, so you don’t waste time or money on things you don’t want.
If you’re unsure how to buy jewelry online, don’t worry! At the end of the day, it’s not that different from shopping in a store. You’ll still pay the store for what you want and end up with a nice piece of jewelry that they ship to you.
You need to find out what kind of accidents, damages, loose stones, and other issues are covered when you buy jewelry. Even if you don’t lose your new ring, it can still be easy for a stone to slip loose or for something to scratch the metal.
A one-year warranty is standard for many pieces, so try to find a place that offers at least that level. Or, if they don’t have that, check on their return policy. You don’t want to end up paying more just because you have to fund all the repairs yourself!
In a similar vein, see what kind of certifications the online stores offer. Do they grade every diamond that they sell, or do they give nothing but general information about a piece?
The certification of your jewelry, especially the included stones, is very important. Find out whether the diamonds in your ring are graded, for example, or if particularly nice pieces are professionally appraised.
If you’re fine with paying less and not getting the certification, that’s fine too. But just realize you’re increasing your chances of getting something that wasn’t what you thought!
Ask About Affordable Jewelry Online
You can also visit physical stores and retailers and ask them for online recommendations. Some will steer you towards their online offerings, but many will know of good websites with cheap jewelry to start with.
This will give you a good baseline for websites and allow you to compare prices online against what you see in front of you. Even if you end up mostly looking at the web versions of the stores near you, it will let you see what kind of offerings to expect if you start looking at websites for stores around the country.
For example, some stores will have a wholesale retailer like WholesaleSparkle.com, where they purchase much of their jewelry. They can possibly steer you towards websites like these, where you can sometimes purchase your own jewelry directly.
Compare the Prices
This is key! You want to price match your items to ensure that you get the best deal on them.
Try to compare at least three websites with similar products as a baseline. If they have identical pieces of jewelry, great! But even if they don’t, comparing items that are close will still give you a good idea.
As you look at the price differences, look for any major discrepancies. Does one store sell things for half the price of every other store? While a discount that good might sound nice, it may also be a reason for caution.
Bear in mind that a big difference in cost often comes with diamonds, depending on if they are synthetic or natural. Be sure you understand the difference and know what you want to get! Some websites only offer one or the other, but many offer both types as an option.
Shipping and Handling
This can sometimes be a big factor, especially compared with shopping in person. Each online store will have different prices for this, and it is very helpful to compare the shipping costs combined with the actual jewelry costs.
If a particular website has a nice set of earrings for $100 and another store has the same earrings for $120, you might be tempted to go with the first. But if the first business tacks on a $30 shipping and handling fee while the second business offers free shipping, you’d be wise to reconsider!
Read the Reviews
Online reviews can be a good way to gauge a company’s products, as well as how they handle customer concerns and needs.
There will always be someone who complains about the customer service they received, but keep an eye out for patterns or common complaints. If half the reviews say they got the wrong jewelry or that the pieces were damaged, you might want to stay away. But if everyone is glowing about the service and the cost, you might be looking at a good deal!
Take Your Time!
A key aspect to saving money online is to not rush things. Take some time to do your research, and maybe even wait for seasonal sales before you pull the trigger and buy anything!
For the most part, jewelry purchases are not urgent affairs. If you can wait a little bit and do more research, you’ll probably save yourself a good chunk of money in the long run!
Find Out More
If you’re interested in learning more tips for buying jewelry online, or fashion advice in general, be sure to check out our blog! We have lots of great articles to help you on your fashionable way.
And if you have any questions or concerns or want to know more about how you can find affordable jewelry online, contact us! We’d love to help you in any way we can.