Shopping for jewelry online offers the convenience of being able to shop from the comfort of your home and provides endless options, both in terms of selection and price. But, as you would do when shopping for other items online, you need to use caution and common sense when buying jewelry online. While there are many reputable and reliable online jewelry stores, there are also many not-so-reputable ones waiting to scam shoppers. With a little effort, you can enjoy the advantages of online jewelry shopping while feeling secure doing so.
As you would if you were shopping for jewelry in a physical store, educate yourself about jewelry before you buy. Know what all the jewelry lingo means, including the 4 c’s, karat weight, etc. You should also know your budget before you begin shopping. If you’re buying diamonds, you should buy from stores that provide AGS or GIA certificates or grading reports.
Legitimate, reputable online retailers will include detailed content and information about their products and business on their site. Before buying, look for the following information on the jewelry store’s website:
- Look for contact information for the company, including location, phone number, and email address. Can you contact the company with questions about products or if you have problems with your order? Try calling the phone number or sending a message to the email address listed. If you don’t reach anyone or get a reply, which could be a red flag that the site is questionable.
- Do they have a physical store? If so, can you visit that location if there is a problem with your order and you need to either return or exchange it? If they have a physical store, you might also consider visiting it to view any pieces you are considering buying.
- Do they have a secure shopping cart? Look for “https” rather than “http” in the web address on the checkout page to indicate that it’s a secure page and your information is protected, including credit card details, address, and other personal details you provide.
- Look for detailed product information. Reputable jewelry sellers know that customers want specific information about a product and will readily supply it.
- Look for an “about us” page with information about the company’s background and history.
- Do they offer testimonials from other clients?
- What type of guarantees do they offer? Can you return a product if you don’t like it or have a problem after receiving it? What is the return policy? Do they charge a restocking fee?
- Is your order insured by the seller? Do they offer repairs if the piece breaks or a stone comes loose?
- What other services do they offer? Do they offer engraving, gift wrapping, design services, or financing?
- What are the shipping fees?
In addition to checking the retailer’s site, you should also go beyond their site and look for reviews and testimonials online. Go to any major search engine and type in the name of the business to see what search results appear. Look for comments and reviews from other customers. You can also check consumer review websites for information.
Take your time and visit multiple online jewelry stores to find what you want at the best price. But remember, as the old adage goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.