When it comes to buying luxury jewelry, consumers today have an endless array of options. As if all the brands, trends, and types of jewelry available weren't enough to contend with, shoppers now have one major decision to make for everything they purchase, and that is whether to shop online or in-store.
Each method comes with its own set of pros and cons, with one not necessarily being better or worse than the other. Whether you choose to purchase your luxury jewelry online or in-store really comes down to personal preference and what's most important to you in a shopping experience. Luxury jewelry is a major investment, and should not be approached the same way one might approach purchasing less significant items like makeup or costume jewelry. After all, losing a few dollars to a faulty or falsely advertised lipstick is much easier to handle than receiving a piece of fine jewelry only to find out it's a fraud.
The point of purchasing a luxury adornment is to add a precious piece to your collection, one that will remain treasured and timeless. So choose wisely, starting with how you decide to buy. To assist you in this decision, we've created a guide that includes the best things about both in-store and online jewelry buying, as well as the not-so-ideal aspects of each.
There are certain people who already know they wish to purchase their luxury jewelry in a store. It's something they're already comfortable with, and they have reached the conclusion that online shopping just isn't for them. Others are more conflicted, and that's why we've created this guide. Here are the pros and cons of shopping in-store for luxury jewelry.
Seeing the item yourself.
This is by far one of the biggest advantages that in-store shopping has over online shopping. In a store, you can literally reach out and touch the jewelry piece. In-store shopping affords you the opportunity to see the jewelry in all its glory, and best of all, try it on before you commit to buying. There are no surprises- what you see is what you get. And that's pretty important to know when you're investing in something as lofty as luxury jewelry.
The human connection.
When you're shopping for luxury jewelry in a store, you've got sales representatives on hand to answer any questions and offer knowledge, wisdom and service that online retailers can't quite compete with. While many online retailers do offer a quick and comprehensive customer service response, it's not quite the same as speaking to someone in person, and absorbing the in-depth knowledge that a well-staffed jewelry store offers. A good jeweller will understand the provenance of a piece, and can share information with you that goes beyond your average online product description.
The experience itself
Many people really enjoy the experience of shopping for luxury jewelry in a store. Not every jewelry store offers the same experience, of course, so it's important to find the right store for you. But the presentation, design, people, and ambiance of the right jewelry shop can truly enrich the shopping experience in a way that clicking a button from your living room simply can't.
The reliability factor.
Provided you're shopping with a reputable store, you're going to rest easier knowing you've picked up an authentic luxury jewelry piece when you've done your shopping in-store. Having said that, many respected jewelers do also offer their own online shops on their websites, in which case their online guarantee is as good as their in-store reputation. With those cases put aside though, the general consensus is that purchasing in-store is less of a gamble than purchasing online. Since certain pieces are becoming more and more difficult to authenticate, and because many third party sellers aren't able to authenticate at all, a trustworthy shop is usually a safe bet.
The disadvantages of buying luxury jewelry in-store really are not overly abundant. There are a few things to point out though, and these may be significant to some in the case for buying online.
Perhaps your nearest reputable jewelry shop is too far to justify the trip. Maybe it's not that far at all but your busy lifestyle doesn't allow you take time out for in-store shopping. There's also the cost of gas and parking to consider. Either way, shopping in-store definitely means you've got to leave home. For some, that's a disadvantage.
Now, we're not saying social interaction is a negative thing, but the reality is that not everyone wants an in-store experience and not everyone wants to make eye contact and conversation. For those with social anxiety, shopping in-store can be downright impossible. In these situations, the social aspect of in-store shopping can be a disadvantage to shoppers.
Shopping online is nothing new (though of course, it's got nothing on the decades upon decades that in-store shopping has under its belt), and most everyone has shopped online at some point. However, buying luxury or designer jewelry online is a whole different ballgame. There are major advantages and conveniences but there are inherent risks as well. The following are the pros and cons is purchasing luxury jewelry online.
This is probably the most advantageous aspect of purchasing your luxury jewelry online. How easy it is to sip your coffee in your pajamas on Sunday morning and click that BUY NOW button. Yes, purchasing luxury jewelry online is certainly convenient, as you can literally do it from anywhere at any time. Shopping online eliminates the need to leave your house and opens up flexibility because you no longer have to work within a store’s hours of operation.
The variety and selection of luxury jewelry online is endless. The truth is, odds are that you can snag that luxury jewelry piece in the metal, color, and size you want even if it's not in stock or available in-store.
Comparison shopping made easier.
You can comparison shop with greater ease online than you can in stores. Rather than going from store to store and trying to compare cost and quality, you need only to shift from page to page in your internet browser- which is a lot less time consuming.
There are some drawbacks to purchasing luxury jewelry online, and some of them are deal breakers for certain people. Making an informed decision is important with an investment like this, so understanding the good and bad side of both shopping methods is crucial. Here is the downside to buying fine jewelry online.
Identity theft is rampant in this day and age, and thieves and hackers love nothing more than to use the online marketplace as their playground. Every time you enter personal information like your credit card number, phone number and mailing address into a website, you are unfortunately putting yourself at risk. There are ways to secure your information, and if you're shopping with a credible source you will doubtless be in a safer position, but there is always at least a small risk. Click here for an article on how to better protect yourself when shopping online.
Cost of shipping
The cost of shipping can be downright astronomical, unless of course if it's free. That's something you don't have to worry about when shopping in-stores. Of course, the price of the item itself may be more expensive in a store, but when you add shipping, you may actually be paying more to shop online. It's a good idea to weigh the cost of the item in-store, travel time and transportation cost against the price of the item and shipping online. Then decide which one is more cost effective or which one is a better fit for you.
Receiving the wrong item or an inauthentic item. With in-store shopping, there's no chance that you'll get an item you didn't pay for. And the chances of walking away with a fraudulent luxury jewelry piece are far lower (yet not entirely absent) when you shop in a store. Online, however, is another story. No matter how trustworthy the seller you buy from may be, accidents happen, things can get switched, mistakes can be made and the wrong item can end up in your hands as a result. This leads to time consuming and often costly returns and exchanges.
Wait time. With online shopping, you have to wait for your order to be received, packed, shipped and sent to you.This can take anywhere from a few hours to a days. The waiting game is eliminated in-store (unless you've got to put something on order). So whether or not you have patience for waiting is definitely something to consider.
We hope this helps illustrate the benefits and drawbacks of both in-store and online shopping for luxury jewelry. It really comes down to what you value, what you prefer and understanding the ups and downs of both so that you can make an informed decision.
Where will you purchase your luxury jewelry? We hope the answer is now a little more clear.