Sure most people know how to shop online, they feel comfortable and secure purchasing the products they need, in fact, they are used to it. Usually most people search on the internet for the products they want to buy, or to grasp the beast deals the retailers are offering, like the christmas clearance sale; however, what happens when the product they are looking for is not that common for them to purchase?. When it comes to buying jewelry online, most customers are not entirely informed to make the right purchase, making most of them face a dizzying array of choices considering quality, styles and prices. Especially if we are talking about diamonds or precious gems.
In this post, you will find the advice to help you make your purchase and ensure the best online shopping experience. Here are five essential steps to guide you.
1. Find a trustworthy dealer
Of course, the first thing you need to do is find a reliable online jeweler. To do this, you should take your time to research the possible sellers. It is better when the seller has been established for several years. You need to look for the dealers´ reputation, if it has good reviews by previous buyers and good relationships with important suppliers. They should always provide you a way to contact them directly. An honest and professional seller, with a good reputation, will be always available to honestly answer your questions and solve your enquiries.
We can recommend two of the leading companies in e-commerce jewelry shops: James Allen and Blue Nile. Their websites are highly optimized for online shopping experiences. Some websites even have a HD 360 degree camera to help display the jewelry over the internet, since when purchasing online, customers are not able to touch or feel the product.
2. Consider shipping and return policies
Before concreting the purchase, make sure to fully understand the sellers´ shipping and return policies. If you are buying an expensive piece of jewelry, make sure the shipping is insured for the item´s value. Regarding return policies, they should always be clearly presented on the item’s listing, if they are not, you should ask the seller for this information, and also ask them to send you a warranty. Make sure any online seller allows time for returns in case there is something wrong or the product is not what you expected.
3. Ask for authentication and certificates
When you are purchasing jewelry online it is crucial to determine if what you are buying is genuine. Valuable jewelry is provided with authentication documents and certificates to guarantee the quality of the product. Gemstones and diamonds are often graded in reports elaborated by notable companies like American Gem Society (AGS) or Gemological Institute of America (GIA). You need to ask for these documents and make sure they are included in your purchase. In case you are buying from a seller that doesn´t offer you these certificates, you should be very skeptical, for they are probably not genuine.
4. Ask the seller for real photos and videos
As we have already said, when buying online you are not able to handle the item as you would in person at the store. Therefore, it is best to ask the seller to provide pictures of the item, as many as possible (the more, the better), showing it from all angles (front, back, right, left, outside, inside), showing any imperfections or damage (if it had any, like scratched stones, worn shanks, etc) and highlighting the notable details.
5. Check for warranty
It is important for you to find out if the product you are buying comes with a warranty from either the manufacturer or the seller. In case the product wasn’t what you paid for or in case it is defective or has some loose gemstones, the warranty should cover those problems for at least one year. If a warranty is not offered to you, you should mistrust the seller; for you will be on the hook in case of any repairs that weren’t your fault. Therefore, make sure the warranty is granted to you without any additional cost. Most jewelers offer at least one-year warranties, many even offer lifetime warranties covering minor cleaning services and polishing. Some jewelers offer the warranty for a limited period of time, and then give you the possibility to pay for an extension.