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Where to Buy Fine Jewelry? What to look for in a jewelry store or online store?

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Where to Buy Fine Jewelry? (Part 8)

  • What to look for in a jewelry store or online store?

You want to keep in mind that the warning of “Let the buyer beware” is not limited to jewelry stores or jewelers or one country or one anotherRetailers everywhere indulge in the same practices.  Any sales with supposedly large discounts are a common ploy to make consumers think they are getting big bargains and better buy now, before they have a chance to look around, or the bargains may be gone.  The idea is buy now or lose your last chance to make a bargain.

Such stores and people count on human nature, on people wanting to get something for nothing, and on impulse buying.  They should be avoided on general principles, regardless of what you are buying.  As consumer protection agencies warn, your chances of getting your money back should the item be faulty or not what it is supposed to be is slim.  If the item can be repaired, your chances of having that done are equally slim since such stores or people only want to sell and are not interested in keeping you as customer. Above all, you may even pay more for an item than you would for the same item at a reliable and reputable retailer.

So, in looking around, avoid such stores.  At the same time, there are other, less blatant clues you want to check out.

  • Advertising

Advertising is a good way to check out a jeweler, both advertising in newspapers, in-store, and on the Internet advertising, as well as on radio or TV. Sales offering unusually high percentage of discounts are grounds for looking warily at a jeweler. Granted, markups tend to run from as little as 30% to as much as 100% or even more above cost, but fine jewelry is a limited commodity.

Although jewelry is manufactured, perhaps mass-manufactured, the materials used come out of the ground and are limited in supply.  Any time demand is equal to or greater than the supply, as is the case with gold and precious gems today, prices will be high to dealer, manufacturer, middleman, retailer, and consumer.  The basic materials cannot be manufactured or increased on demand.  As a result, neither the retailer nor anyone else along the sales chain needs to offer hue discounts to get people to buy, unless something is wrong.

In short, jewelry advertising should be conservativeMerchandise should not be misrepresented, either in pictures or words or in the availability of jewelry in that price range.

  • The Store

The store should be an established jewelry store with a good reputation for reliability and integrity in the community.  The longer the time a jeweler has been in business, the more you or your friends may know about him.  That does not means that a new store is not reliable, although it may be best to choose one that has been in business at least a year unless you know the jeweler.

Browse the off line jewelry store or browse the online jewelry catalog to see the type of jewelry and the selection. No matter how reliable a jeweler may be, if he dose not carry a selection of what you want, you may be better off going to another jeweler.  Of course, he may have other kinds of jewelry not on display. So, if you like the store in other respects, be sure to ask about what you want.

You want to notice, too, how the jewelry is displayed. The various pieces should be shown in such a way that you can get a good idea of them just by looking at the display. A jumble of jewelry is a sign of a jeweler who does not appreciate quality and value, and probably does not carry it.  Each piece should be displayed in such way that it is protected from being scratched of damaged by other jewelry.

Lighting is an important part of the displaying jewelryThe best gem and diamond lighting is white fluorescent lights or daylight.

Price tags are another indication of a store’s reliability and integrity.  They may not always be visible, particularly in window display, but each piece of jewelry should be marked and marked clearly. Marking in addition to price may vary, although tags on diamonds often include carat weight, color, and clarity as well as price.  A tag that indicates only a carat weight and code instead of a price should turn on a caution light in your mind. A code can be an indication that the price is not fixed and the jeweler is willing to bargain. It can also be a sign of questionable quality, since clarity and color are as important as weight in determining the price of a diamond.

Bargaining is not the way to buy jewelry.  It does not mean that you get a bargain.  The prices of diamonds (or other jewelry) of similar quality and size may vary slightly among stores, depending on settings and factors such as costs and overhead, but the difference is usually not great.  Jewelers know the cost and what markup they must charge to cover expenses and profits, and stay competitive.  Reliable jewelers realize that the average consumer is not an expert, and they neither take nor want to take advantage of consumers. That is why their jewelry has a price tag. A code puts you at a disadvantage, as does the lack of other information to which you are entitled, such as color and clarity in a diamond, in order to make a good decision.

In conclusion, look for tasteful displays, a good selection of the type of jewelry in which you are interested, good lighting that avoids blue light or candlelight, and clear and well-marked price tag.

Customer Satisfaction is of paramount important to The Jewelry Hut.

Buy with confidence at The Jewelry Hut

 

To Web Masters:

The article above can be used on your web site or newsletter.

When it is published, may I request that you include my name and resource box (the bio, contact and copyright information) that follows the article. I would also appreciate if you could send me an email of notification along with a complimentary copy of the publication.

Copyright 2005 Bijan Aziz.

Bijan Aziz is the owner and Web Master for The Jewelry Hut

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