Online shopping offers one of the best ways to shop for jewelry. You can find quality pieces at outstanding prices. Shopping online is ideal if you want a specialty store that deals only in one product, like men’s luxury watches; you can find an online retailer that has the perfect selection for you.
Maybe you simply want to browse all the options without being pressured by a salesperson? Whatever you are looking for, shopping for jewelry online offers unbeatable convenience, prices, and selection. But, online shopping can pose several risks, from sizing issues to fraudulent items. Here are the steps you should follow to buy jewelry online the right way.
Find the Right Jeweler
One perk of in-store shopping for jewelry is the experience. You get personalized attention and can easily browse the selection. When looking for an online jeweler, keep the shopping experience in mind.
You want to find a site that has an easy-to-use interface that is designed with jewelry in mind. Many retailers offer interactive 360° models of their items. You’ll be able to inspect the jewelry virtually to see how it looks from every angle.
Ask About Authentication
There are a lot of scammers on the internet. Protect yourself and your jewelry purchase by asking about the authentication documents that come with your purchase. Unbiased gemologists working independently in a secure lab issue authentication documents and certificates.
The most common companies that issue gemstone grading and jewelry certificates are the American Gem Society and the Gemological Institute of America. Approach purchases without authentication with caution. If a deal looks too good to be true, it most likely is.
Ask for Additional Photos and Videos
Online jewelry retailers are playing a numbers game. The more products they can advertise on their site, the more they increase their odds of making a sale. This means that many online jewelers don’t have the product listed for sale in their physical inventory.
They could be using a stock photo as a placeholder to advertise a piece they know to be available through one of their trusted suppliers. If you are seriously considering an expensive jewelry purchase, ask the retailer for additional photos and videos to confirm what you are buying matches the photos online. The size of jewelry can often be distorted in online photos. You can verify the dimensions when asking for additional images and video.
Add Tax and Shipping Costs
Shopping for jewelry online opens up so much more of the world for you to shop than locations you would be able to drive to physically. However, this comes at the cost of shipping fees and the possibility of different sales tax laws.
The shipping charge for jewelry is usually small since it comes in a small, lightweight package. Ensure that you check that your package is insured against theft or damage that may occur on its way to you. If you are purchasing jewelry as a gift, check the shipping speeds available to ensure that your gift arrives in time.
Sales tax can add up quickly for a jewelry purchase. Whether or not you pay sales tax depends on where you live or where you plan to ship the jewelry and the company’s location. This means choosing a different online jeweler or a different shipping address could affect how much you pay in tax for your online jewelry purchase.
Check the Warranty Terms
Jewelry is a purchase that should last a lifetime. You want to protect your investment with a warranty that covers the basic maintenance the way a traditional jeweler would.
Look at the terms of the warranty offered for your online jewelry purchase. You should expect to see basic cleaning and polishing included. If you purchased a piece with gems in settings, look at the policies for prong tightening and lost stones.
It’s important to read the warranty fine print to determine what will void your warranty. This saves you frustration from trying to redeem a warranty that has been voided because of a preventable action on your behalf. This is a good time to check out the retailer’s return policy as well.
You’ve done your due diligence to research your purchase, but things can still look very different in real life than they do online in photos and videos. Check the return policy to know that you’ll be covered if you change your mind once you get your hands on your new piece of jewelry.
Look Into Financing Options
One benefit of shopping online will be the many different payment options available to you. Most online jewelers accept credit cards and bank payments, as well as several online-only payment platforms. Before entering your payment information, check the website for a PCI security encryption certificate, usually a padlock on the left side of the URL, to ensure your personal information is kept safe. You should also check that the website uses SSL protection protocols or tokenization.
An unfortunate reality of many jewelry purchases is that such beauty and quality comes with a hefty price tag. Explore the financing options that are available to you. Many online jewelers offer payment plans at very reasonable rates.
Avoid Red Flags
Protect yourself by knowing the signs of a potential online jewelry scam. Look for verified purchase reviews and feedback from third-party websites to verify the legitimacy of an online jeweler. Each jewelry listing should include detailed information about the product. The size, condition, year of manufacture, warranty, and authentication should all be included in the listing.
If anything is missing, contact the retailer for more details. They should be able to provide any requested information if the website is legitimate. Lower prices are a tremendous benefit of online jewelry shopping. However, steer clear of outrageously low pricing or steep discounts on pieces. This could show a retailer that is trying to move an inferior product by presenting a deal that is simply too good to be true.
Online jewelry shopping is a great way to find quality pieces you love. Take your time to explore and find the pieces that you’ll enjoy for a lifetime. When you’re ready to make a purchase, keep these tips in mind to have an amazing experience buying jewelry online.