Whether you’re purchasing jewelry for yourself or a loved one, it’s likely that you have a “special image” in mind of what you want it to be. And while brick-and-mortar retailers might have some great options, it could be that you can’t seem to find what you want in person. Is it better to purchase fine jewelry in a store or online?
Is It Safe to Purchase Jewelry Online?
First: Many people are purchasing jewelry online today. Some of them are going through online-only stores, but many are going through stores that they know and trust. Purchasing jewelry online only has two potential security issues:
- You need to make sure you trust the vendor enough to give your credit card information.
- You need to make sure the packages are properly insured and sent to the right place.
Other than that, most concerns are related to really knowing what you want. When it comes to an off-the-shelf pendant, for instance, you can always return it. But if you’re trying to get a custom, bespoke engagement ring, you’re going to be committed (in more ways than one).
What Are the Advantages to Purchasing Online?
Why are so many people purchasing jewelry online? It comes down to a few things, which they may not be able to find in their local markets.
There’s a Larger Variety of Materials Online
If you want a rare material, such as a rare gemstone, you might only be able to find it through an online search. This leads many people to look online once they have depleted their local vendors.
Prices Are Generally Cheaper Online
Online sales come with a much-reduced overhead. Online, no one has to pay for rent. Because of this, fine jewelry can often be purchased at cheaper prices online than in the store.
If you’re purchasing something that you’d like to look at alone, such as an engagement ring, purchasing online can be convenient — it’s easier to hide. Likewise, if you’re just purchasing a trinket for yourself, you might not want to head to the store.
It’s Easier to Comparison Shop
For a big-ticket item, such as engagement rings or wedding sets, you probably don’t want to plunge right in and purchase the first thing that you look at. With online shopping, it’s far easier to comparison shop; in fact, you can have twin products on different sites in different tabs. This makes it easier not only to save money, but also to find exactly what you want.
Essentially, people purchase online because it’s convenient and cheap — the same reason people purchase things other than jewelry online, too. But that also comes at a price. Buying a product online isn’t always better.
What Are the Advantages to Purchasing In-Person?
Why might you want to purchase a product in person? It seems as though shopping online is far easier. But there’s a reason that many people still visit their local jewelry store; there are major advantages to an in-person showroom:
In-Person, You Can See Exactly What Something Looks Like
There are countless individuals who have purchased jewelry or clothing online and then received something vastly different from what they thought they ordered. Sometimes this is an issue with quality control. But other times it’s only natural; things look different online than they might look right in front of you. And when it comes to things like diamonds, different diamonds can look vastly different in person, due to their flash.
You Can Take the Jewelry in for Repairs or Modifications
When you work with a local jewelry store, you can take jewelry in for repairs. If the setting gets loose on a ring, for instance, you can take it back in and get it fixed up. This is much harder to do with an online store. You would need to send your jewelry back and forth, which could be dangerous. You will also find it easier to return goods should you choose to return them; you’re not going to need to trust your shipping service both ways.
You Get a Personalized Experience
When you walk into a brick-and-mortar jewelry store, you can tell the customer service representative exactly what you want. They can help guide you to the products they think would be best for you. This type of boutique, specialized service shouldn’t be underestimated, especially if you aren’t current on modern jewelry trends. Additionally, when you buy from a local brick-and-mortar jewelry store, you’re supporting local stores — and you’re more likely to get boutique items rather than mass-produced goods.
You’re More Likely to Receive Higher Quality Goods
It can be difficult to determine how trustworthy a website on the internet is. After all, anyone can set one up. When you deal with a brick-and-mortar store, it’s easier to be assured that the products you’re purchasing are well-designed and well-made. You can see them in person, touch them, and assess them. Online jewelry stores can occasionally get away with selling lower-quality products specifically because no one knows what they look like until they’ve been purchased.
Ultimately, it’s often better to work with a jewelry store that provides both experiences — a physical showroom and an online presence. But when you can’t find what you need in person, there’s less risk than you might think when purchasing online.