Why You Should Purchase Your Gems and Diamond in Person and Not Online

By: Shmukler Design

When it comes to retail, almost everything is available online, with most items deliverable to your door within 24 to 48 hours. Out of paper towels? You can order them online and have them delivered to your home or office the next day instead of having to stop by the grocery store on your way home. Don’t want to cook? A mobile app can be used to order food and have it delivered from the restaurant of your choice. And best of all, you don’t have to phone for a reservation or wait in line for takeout.

The instant gratification of these purchases is convenient, but in many cases, it takes away from the personal experience you get with industry professionals — especially when it comes to selecting jewelry and gems that are either for yourself or a loved one. When buying a precious gem or diamond, it’s a no-brainer that you should personally see that stone and setting with your own eyes.

Purchase diamonds online

But in this age of online specialty retailers, including those serving diamond buyers, that train of thought goes out the proverbial drive-thru window. By contrast, you should be able to hold a gem or diamond in your hand and have the verification paperwork handed to you by a professional. Being face to face with a legitimate jeweler is the best — and sometimes only — way to get high-quality diamonds and gems.

The benefits of buying from a jeweler directly instead of looking at photos on a website will always outweigh the conveniences offered by the online marketplace. There are so many websites claiming  the opposite — including those offering gems for prices that seem almost too good to be true. Unfortunately, purchasing a diamond or valuable gemstone based on a photo representation is seldom in your best interest.

Even with advanced shopping tools like 360-degree videos and apps allowing you to place a product on a photo of your own finger, wrist, or neck (essentially a fancy Photoshop job), nothing comes close to the real thing. Customer service tools such as emails, or live chat via a website (usually a bot, and not a live person), also result in a mediocre or poor outcome.

Additionally, photos on ecommerce sites are often edited, so the photo you see on the screen may be a lot more spectacular than the item you receive in the mail. So many things get lost in translation online, including customer service. A quality gem setting is not something to leave up to chance.

Other risks that come with online purchasing include the potential for fraud, the possibility of having to pay hefty return shipping charges, being disappointed with the product because there were no pictures to scale on the website, and the human error of receiving the wrong product — a disaster if the purchase is time-sensitive.

And more often than not, a site offering merchandise at discounted prices frequently features subpar customer service and shady return policies. The last thing anyone wants is to order a beautiful ring, only to find that it looks like something from an arcade. Then, adding insult to injury, sometimes the only alternative is to return the gem for store credit. As if there’s going to be anything else suitable in their warehouse.

When you shop in person, you can examine a diamond or the gem yourself, touch it, and compare it to others. This is especially helpful when picking an engagement ring. If you place several gems or diamonds directly in front of you, you can practice what we call Reviewing the Four C’s — clarity, color, cut, and carat. Only then can you make an informed choice that you’ll truly feel confident about.

And if the shop you visit doesn’t have the setting you have in mind, you can likely collaborate with the jeweler on creating on a custom setting. You’re much more likely to walk out with exactly what you were looking for — or perhaps something even more wonderful and cost effective. No waiting for a mystery online purchase and then maybe waiting longer to exchange the product and get a new one sent back to you. No back and forth emails where the customer service agent responds with canned answers and doesn’t directly address the exact issue you’re emailing the company about.

Another important factor to consider when it comes to online versus in-person purchases is the ring size. Despite websites claiming they can accurately find the perfect fit, there’s just no way to verify that their ring sizing chart is correct. Fitting in a jewelry store takes all the guesswork out of the equation. You can compare the ring to the size of your finger or estimate the finger size of the person for whom you are purchasing the ring by pulling in a substitute — usually someone who works at the store. And if the size is off, you can just take the recipient back to the jeweler to get it resized immediately. Much preferred to sending a ring back to an online retailer for a resize and the headaches that painful adventure entails.

While the rise of online shopping is forcing many brick-and-mortar jewelers to close up shop, that can actually prove to be advantage for you. That’s because the business owners who still own their own locations are highly motivated to provide top-notch customer service and go the extra mile for their new customers. Jewelers who have seen their business decline in the past few years due to online shopping will be thrilled to see you walk into their shop and ask for help. Jewelers, like other industry professionals, are passionate about their craft and have vast knowledge to share.

Shopping in person guarantees you’re talking to a businessperson who is highly skilled at what he or she does, and part of what you are paying for is that expertise. Anyone can create a fake certificate that promises authenticity, but when you walk into a jeweler, the owner is often someone with years of experience who lives right in your own community. They know everything there is to know about gems and precious metals, which is especially necessary for a first-time customer.

When you purchase from a jeweler in person, you have a partner for the life of the piece. Maybe you need a deep clean, or you want to add some stones to a ring setting for an anniversary. Perhaps the gem was damaged, and you need them to salvage it, or the setting is damaged, and you want the gem transferred to a new setting. No one ever regrets having a relationship with a reliable jeweler.

For more information about purchasing quality gems and diamonds, or creating a custom setting that makes the stone you choose in person sparkle and shine, call us at (949) 870-9915 or use the online contact form on the Shmukler Design website. We promise to work our tail off to surpass any experience you could have when buying a stone online.

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