The rise of online shopping means that the modern consumer can purchase virtually anything on the internet. This can be a very rewarding way to shop for many people, and it certainly comes with a multitude of benefits. Some of these include not having to brave traffic or crowds to do your shopping, getting to shop in your pj's, and completing your shopping in significantly less time.
The convenience of it is frankly irresistible, but online shopping does not come without a few cons, particularly when it comes to larger purchases like luxury jewelry. Security and identity safety, fraudulent sellers, and receiving something totally different from what was ordered are common concerns. These concerns are valid - the internet can unfortunately double as a breeding ground for scammers and hackers.
But don't let that deter you from shopping online! Many trusted online jewelry shops offer consistently authentic pieces, priding themselves on customer service. This guide will keep you informed so that you can protect yourself and enjoy a positive, successful online shopping experience.
1. Get to know the sellers. There are a surprising amount of frauds out there, especially in the online marketplace with respect to luxury jewelry. Don't simply buy from the first seller that pops up after a google search. Shop around and get a feel for what you're looking for in a jewelry seller. Read the About and FAQ section (an online jewelry retailer that has both on their site is a retailer that takes their online marketing and customer service seriously, which is always a good sign.)
The more you know about the seller, the more you can gauge what the experience is going to be like, but don't stop at their web content. Every serious jeweler will of course want to project the image that their company is top notch, so you can't rely solely on their promises. It’s always good to get an idea of what it's like to actually follow through on a purchase from the perspective of a customer. Do this by searching the company on Facebook to review their timeline, reviews and images.
Typically Facebook pages will give you a decent picture of how the seller runs things and what the general customer experience has been thus far. Check instagram and twitter too, as both of these platforms, when properly engaged, can provide a telling glimpse as well.
You could even take your security a step further by checking that the seller is in good standing with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau. The bottom line is this; the more you know about a potential seller, the more likely you are to make a safe, authentic luxury jewelry purchase online.
2. Understand the return policy. This information should be readily available, and if it's not, don't buy a thing until you've reached out to the seller and received a response with respect to their return policy. If they don't have one, that's a major red flag. It shows that they don't stand by the authenticity of their product selection. There's no reason in the world that you shouldn't be able to receive a refund if the jewelry you order isn't what you expected, or worse, is found to be a fake. Luxury jewelry is a major investment, so make sure there's a solid return policy. You don't want to shell out a ton of cash only to be stuck with a fraudulent piece!
3. Read the product description thoroughly. If it's overly vague, or doesn't exist at all, run! A trustworthy seller will include well-written, informative and in-depth descriptions of the products they sell. You need to know exactly what you're going to get before you purchase luxury jewelry online. Imagine thInking a ring features emeralds, and finding out when it arrives that the stones are synthetic. If the product description doesn't specifically tell you that the ring includes emeralds, the responsibility unfortunately falls on you, and not the seller. A good jewelry product description should contain all materials (metal, stones, etc.), cut, color, clarity, carat, sizing info, condition, hallmarks, weight, any inconsistencies, and the brand. The more details offered, the better. It also means that the seller is serious about ensuring their customers are well-informed, a trait that is very reassuring.
4. Secure your information and identity. Ensure that the seller offers a secure checkout and check that HTTPS precedes the website in your address bar. This is an instant way to check that your payment information is safe. If there's no HTTPS in the bar, close the window and shop elsewhere! Identity and personal information theft is a serious and growing problem, and it is more important than ever that consumers take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Make sure you’re one of them!
5. Images matter. Online shopping means you can't see or touch the item before you purchase, which is why sellers rely on two major things to get the message of the product across - words (as discussed above) and images, both of which are of equal importance. Words tell the story of the product with specs and features, while images paint the visual picture so that you can see what you're buying. The goal of product photography is to present the jewelry piece in all its glory.
Good lighting, a pure white background, and multiple angles all contribute to images that communicate an accurate likeness of the luxury jewelry piece. The more images, the better an idea you can get for what your jewelry is going to look like. Very small, low resolution, grainy, poorly lit or otherwise unprofessional looking photography is a warning sign. If a seller is willing to invest in quality images, it's safe to say they want to offer shoppers the most in-depth glimpse possible. Bonus points for lifestyle photos and photos of models wearing the jewelry!
6. Details, details, details. Buying a luxury jewelry piece online is not something to take lightly. Luxury jewelry is a fairy substantial investment, so while it's fine to be impulsive with those half-price boots at the mall or that new shade of lipstick, this type of purchase should be carefully planned and thought out. Once you've found a seller that resonates with you, pick a few pieces that capture your attention and add them to your cart while you mull it over for a week or so. Revisit your cart and see if your selections still speak to you.
Once you decide, make sure you take a careful look at the sizing info and measure yourself in accordance. Be sure you’re settled on the metal, stones, colors, and style.The idea of luxury jewelry is to invest in dazzling, high quality, adornments that stand the test of time, so select something that you love every single detail of- not something that's going to collect dust in a drawer after being worn once.
Shopping online for luxury jewelry doesn't have to be an arduous task. In fact, it can be a satisfying and laid-back experience. It all comes down to who you buy from and how much research you've done before you make your purchase. A trustworthy seller with a good reputation is key. Once you've locked that down (and, as you now know, there are many ways to tell if a seller is worthy of your business), you should be able to purchase luxury jewelry online without any issues. Follow this guide and your online shopping experiences should be smooth, stress-free and successful!