You could always go to a jeweler in person, but what about this vast Internet? Everything else is for sale online; why should this be different? Good news. It isn't! If you follow the guide below, you'll know how to buy jewelry online with greater trust and confidence than you would in person.
Why and How to Buy Online
* You will have written documentation of what the e-tailers are promising you. If they lie to you, you can put a chargeback on your credit card and they'll have no defense.
* Any e-tailer worth buying from will gladly send the piece in question to an independent appraiser before you purchase it. Make that a habit.
* Online stores can offer lower prices because they don't have all the brick-and-mortar overhead costs.
* They have larger inventories and a better selection.
* You can shop at your leisure without the pressure of salespeople.
* You can comparison shop without having to worry what snobby passers-by think of you.
* You can take an online price and go to a jeweler in person and haggle a price further down.
* If the piece is incredibly inexpensive and you can't imagine how you got such a deal, you're being cheated. Don't buy it.
* Gemstones need to be appraised and certified by some objective criteria. Given this, their prices are fairly standardized. If something is much less expensive than its brethren, it's of a lower quality.
* You could possibly cut down on some costs by taking your prospective piece's certificate to a brick-and-mortar jeweler and seeing if you can get a lower price.
What to Look For
Silver and Platinum
Before you fork over any money, make sure to ask these important questions.
* Is this company legitmate? What are its credentials? Its address and phone number?
* Is this real or made in a lab?
* Is it doctored?
** Are the fixes permanent or will they need upkeep?
** How much do the fixes downgrade its value?
** Is the price similarly downgraded?
* Has this been independently appraised?
** By whom?
** Where is the certificate?
** Will you send the piece to an appraiser of my choosing before I buy?
* Will you make this piece to my specifications?