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Should You Buy an Engagment Ring Online?

wedding rings

Should You Buy Your Ring Online?

Photography courtesy of Mark Romine

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You can do so much online.  So, should you buy your engagement or wedding rings online?  Well, quite frankly that is totally up to you but we always feel that an educated consumer is the best customer.   Let’s get a little educated and consider a few things when making such an important decision.  Remember, don’t just look at price, look for the quality.  There is an old saying “you get what you pay for.”  Don’t sell customer service and personal attention short. Personally, I don’t think anything is better than the old fashioned one on one.  You are buying one the most meaningful gifts of your life.  A personal jeweler can answer your questions and even give you things to think about.  I like businesses that are Mom and Pop stores not just a chain.  Small jewelers who have been in business through the years have their reputation and that speaks volumes.  I found this fantastic information on Ring Envy and I thought it brought out some very important points to consider.

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Pros to Buying Engagement Rings Online
A wider selection
is a huge factor.  The internet offers an endless array of merchandise from around the world – accessible at your fingertips.  Some online vendors will even offer the ability to create your own engagement ring.  Fancy websites even have 3-D images of the rings on virtual hands!

The convenience factor is also pretty nice.  You cancel out the pushy sales people and all the other hassles of shopping around.  Plus, if you’ve got your four Cs picked out, price comparisons among vendors is very easy.

The prices on these Internet sites are also very appealing – the comparison capabilities make price gouging impossible.  Plus, diamond dealers online simply don’t have anywhere near the overhead costs stores do, so their prices stay low.  To sweeten the deal, buying a piece of jewelry online from an out-of-state vendor can be tax-free.  No tax can knock off quite a bit of money on a high-priced diamond.

Certificates and appraisals are often part of an online purchase.  Considering there are a lot of jewelers that only hand over a receipt with your ring, a third independent evaluation is a nice bonus.

Credit card transactions make things safer for you.  If you’re not happy with your ring, just call up the merchant and inform him you intend to issue a chargeback unless he refunds your money.  It may take some time to get a refund – but at least you’re not out thousands of dollars!  FYI, too many chargebacks on a vendor’s record means they lose their processing privileges and risk their business.  So, they have a lot to loose by not cooperating with you.

Cons to Buying Engagement Rings Online
Not being able to see the diamonds in person. This isn’t a toaster…you’re not picking out an alarm clock…this is a big deal…an expensive deal, and you’re giving it to a very important person.  It’s nerve wrecking to make a choice like this online when you’re going on pictures.  Build in a little extra time, incase you don’t like the ring when it arrives and you’re running low on shopping time.

Returns may be tricky. Although many online merchants offer wonderful and convenient return policies, you still have to mail it in, and sometimes the fine print makes it impossible for you to comply with their refund terms.  Silly things like “original packaging” might throw you for a spin.  You also should consider that only 2 percent of online retailers survive (Bloomberg Network), so that retailer may not be around to receive that diamond ring.

Treated diamonds are an increasing problem.  To avoid getting stuck with one, make the sale contingent on a breakage guarantee and/or a money back guarantee.

Service may be problem.  If you need to get the ring’s prongs tightened, sized, etc. you’re going to have to mail it in each time.  That is if they even offer those services.  Often times, online vendors are done with you once they’ve made the sale.  Be aware you may have to find a local B&M to care for your ring after the online transaction is complete.

Shipping and Handling fees might add up, nullifying all that money you saved on taxes!  Some jewelers build their profit into handling fees, not the diamond.  That way whether you keep the diamond ring or not, they just made some money.  Avoid jewelers who charge handling fees that are non-refundable if you can.

So you’re getting married? Keep things in perspective, enjoy the moment.

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