Author Topic: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store  (Read 715 times)

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CakeBeret

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Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« on: February 18, 2013, 11:20:06 AM »
So I received some birthday money and have decided to buy myself something shiny. I want a blue diamond ring and have looked both online and in-store.

My options are:

1. Buy in-store and get exactly what I want, which is way above budget.

2. Buy in-store and compromise on something that's pretty and in-budget, but not really what I want.

3. Buy online and get something very very close to what I want, below budget.

Buying in-store has the huge benefit of being able to get a warranty. I love pave-set stones and unfortunately they tend to come loose easily, especially with how clumsy I am. An in-store warranty will cover future resizing, cleanings, stone looseness or loss, re-plating, etc.

Buying online has the huge advantage of price. My #1 choice online is about $800 less than my #1 choice in-store. But, I would not be able to get a warranty. I will have to pay for all future cleanings, re-dippings, and stone re-setting if needed.

To further complicate things, I will probably be moving cross-country in the next several months, so finding a local jeweler is impractical. If I buy in-store it will have to be a chain jeweler.

WWYD?
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

MrTango

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 11:39:28 AM »
Have you considered not buying anything until after you move?  That way, you could search in the local market where you'll be living.

CakeBeret

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 11:57:28 AM »
Have you considered not buying anything until after you move?  That way, you could search in the local market where you'll be living.

I have considered it. The problem is that I don't know when I'll be moving, it'll be anywhere from 2 months to a year. I could go that route, but I didn't want to wait indefinitely.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

half_dollars

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 12:02:41 PM »
Buy it from Blue Nile, if they have what you want.  Their customer service is amazing, and moving will not cause you any problems.

My only "issue" with them was that a local jewelry store wouldn't resize my engagement ring.  (I wanted it done in-house because I heard horror stories of diamonds being replaced.)  so, I sent it back to Blue Nile and had it back within a week.

My DH bought me pearl earrings for an anniversary 4-5 years ago.  The post broke over the summer.  They emailed me a return label, and fixed my earring and checked the second one, all free of charge.  I did not have an extended warranty or insurance on them.

Good luck!  I'm looking at a yellow or chocolate diamond for my upcoming anniversary.  Colored diamonds are so beautiful!

Erich L-ster

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 12:07:07 PM »
I would buy it online as long as it's a reputable company.

lady_disdain

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 12:23:37 PM »
There are a lot of reliable, reputable online jewelry stores that I wouldn't hesitate to use.

I have never heard of a brick and mortar jewelry shop charging for a regular cleaning. It is a quick, easy service that gets the customer in the door and acquainted with the store. Most will also do a quick prong check while they are at it.

How often do you find that you need to redip your white gold rings? Most people only have to do it once every couple of years so even if it is $20 each time (I can get it done for $5 here but I am deliberately choosing a high value here), your savings is enough to cover 80 or more years of wear.

A reputable online store will guarantee their work (pave, prongs, etc) so I wouldn't worry about that.

In short, I would not hesitate to get exactly what you want, cheaper, online, specially considering the move.

Have the stores been upfront about stone treatment with you? A lot will sell "natural blue diamonds" that have been irradiated for that gorgeous blue and, often, clarity enhanced as well by laser drilling. A completely untreated blue diamond is mega-bucks! None of this is bad by itself (although I am leary of laser drilling, myself) but I don't trust any jeweler who doesn't properly disclose treatment according to FCC standards. Unfortunately, non disclosure and misleading statements are way too common in the market.

MrTango

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 12:28:07 PM »
Have you considered not buying anything until after you move?  That way, you could search in the local market where you'll be living.

I have considered it. The problem is that I don't know when I'll be moving, it'll be anywhere from 2 months to a year. I could go that route, but I didn't want to wait indefinitely.

Ahh.  I wouldn't want to wait that long either.

I bought a ring for LadyTango at JCPenney a couple years ago for Christmas, and had a very good experience with them.  The best part was that I was able to have the ring shipped to the store at no extra charge, and I picked it up.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 12:34:33 PM »
I wouldn't buy online without some type of warranty or guarantee. I've purchased pearls online with good results.  I've also purchased loose diamonds and loose gems and had a custom piece designed a few times and am extremely happy with the result as I got exactly what I wanted.

CakeBeret

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2013, 12:47:18 PM »
There are a lot of reliable, reputable online jewelry stores that I wouldn't hesitate to use.
A reputable online store will guarantee their work (pave, prongs, etc) so I wouldn't worry about that.

Even the most reputable online store will not replace pave stones that have fallen out two or five or ten years after purchase, and it's that long term that I'm concerned about. I'm clumsy. I constantly knock my hands into things. I consider myself lucky that I've only lost one pave stone from my wedding ring in the 4 years I've been married.

Quote
Have the stores been upfront about stone treatment with you? A lot will sell "natural blue diamonds" that have been irradiated for that gorgeous blue and, often, clarity enhanced as well by laser drilling. A completely untreated blue diamond is mega-bucks! None of this is bad by itself (although I am leary of laser drilling, myself) but I don't trust any jeweler who doesn't properly disclose treatment according to FCC standards. Unfortunately, non disclosure and misleading statements are way too common in the market.

I know that any blue diamond I buy is going to be treated in some way, and I'm not too concerned about that. Truthfully I don't take any salesman's word on any product, I do my own research beforehand and the salesman's only job is to show me the physical product.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

rose red

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 01:03:22 PM »
I would either buy from a reputable online store, or try to haggle the price at a real store.  I have successfully brought jewelry at a lower price by asking if it's possible for them to sell for "X" dollars.  Be friendly and walk away politely if they decline.

Amara

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Re: Buying jewelry online vs. in-store
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 02:58:04 PM »
I would save the birthday money, add to it until you can get exactly what you want, and then buy that only--do not compromise!--at either a store or online place, making sure that it is reputable. But don't settle. Even if it takes you another year to save for it, in the long run (and short) you will be happy that you got the precise item you wanted. It really will be worth the wait.