Olivia Fleming

Mistakes to Avoid when Buying Jewellery Online

Olivia Fleming
Mistakes to Avoid when Buying Jewellery Online
Image by lakshNmark via Flickr

Image by lakshNmark via Flickr

Post contributed by Katrina Fernandez

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Just a couple of generations ago, our forbearers had little choice when they wanted to buy jewellery for a special occasion – for an engagement, wedding, anniversary, birthday, graduation, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or Christmas. In the 1970s, you had – maybe – the choice between a local mall chain and a mom-and-pop shop. The former sold jewellery en masse, the quality was questionable and you ran the risk of getting the same piece as any of your local friends.

Today, you have, literally, the world of jewellery at your fingertips.  You could spend hours, days, and weeks perusing the many pages offering jewellery for sale online. Tactically, shopping for jewellery shouldn’t be any dramatically different than for other things you easily shop for online, be it, kitchen items, decor, furniture, bedding, clothing and shoes. The main difference, is, of course, price. As much as a denier might claim it, you often do get what you pay for.  Therefore, it’s essential that you look towards quality and reputation and use your common sense.

The large online retailer Overstock.com, for example, sells jewellery (although its primary sales are in furniture and clothing; jewellery is a tiny bit of an afterthought – this is not scientifically concluded, just an observation). There are a grave number of comments/feedback/reviews that decry, “Much smaller in person.” This is not surprising since most jewellery is very beautifully and carefully photographed. A skilled photographer can take a photo of a ¼ ct. ring that looks like – appears to be – the size of a whole carat. This means, it’s extremely important to review all the details and all the text describing the pieces.

Moreover, it’s important –if you plan to buy jewellery online— you buy from a reputable dealer; this is especially true for items of great import, which is basically any piece purchased for a loved one. You may be able to find discount websites that sell jewellery at a discount, but it is almost as though you were buying blindly. For example, you wouldn’t buy reading glasses from a second-hand store (unless you wanted to challenge your eyes, or open yourself up to impetigo, or both!).

The bottom line:

      Choose a reputable dealer when looking for jewellery online

      Read all provided material for each piece carefully (this means know before you click on the “buy” bar exactly how that size carat or that type of metal looks in person).

      Read reviews. Bear in mind there are always those people who always write about negative experiences. They’re more likely to take the time to write and upload. However, if you scroll carefully enough, you’ll begin to see common threads in the reviews – and you should give those more weight.

How To Spot Fake Antique Jewellery

It’s one thing buy paste or faux jewellery on purpose – perhaps it’s for your daughter’s middle school dance or even a senior prom. Purchasing fake jewellery is perfectly fine if you’re looking for something that glitters, looks good in photographs and has the potential of being lost. However, you need to learn how to spot fake antique jewellery if you want to make sure you get the best one. You may want to double check. Bring out your loop.

What constitutes “real” gold, both white and yellow? How can you tell the difference between silver, palladium white gold and platinum? The answer is to do some research.

o      Look for the metal carat-count stamp

o      Look for the assay office hallmark

o      Never buy sight unseen. You should have a good photograph of the actual item.

o      Find out if they accept returns

These are just a start, but a good base in buying the real deal. 

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