5 Do's & Don'ts Of Buying Jewellery Online
The popularity of online shopping has skyrocketed in the last decade, with online sales growing by a whopping 326% compared to in-store sales that have grown by just 13% in the same period. Whereas 15 years ago it would be fairly uncommon to buy something online, people now use the internet to buy anything and everything from items of clothing to their weekly groceries.
One of the industries that has been impacted the least by this shift is jewellery. It seems that you just can’t beat the experience of going to your favourite jewellers’, browsing the abundance of jewellery in stock and being able to ask a specialist any questions that you may have.
Saying that, you can understand why a lot of people do prefer to buy their jewellery online. Less physical stores means lower running costs, so you’re more likely to find better deals online. There’s only so much that you can fit in a jewellery store too, therefore you’re likely to find a much wider variety of jewellery online. In addition, the convenience of being able to buy high quality jewellery without leaving your house understandably appeals to many people.
As you can see there are many benefits for shopping online, but there are some crucial unwritten rules that can help you avoid any mishaps. Here are 5 do’s and don’ts for buying jewellery online.
DO: Find a reputable dealer
There’s nothing worse than spending hundreds of pounds on a piece of jewellery, only to find out that it’s not what you were expecting – or even worse, that it doesn’t even turn up! We’d always advise reading some reviews of the retailer that you’re considering shopping with to avoid any unexpected surprises. Whether you look at a trusted review website such as Trustpilot or another review outlet such as Facebook or Google, this should give you some sort of idea of whether the retailer is genuine.
A sneaky trick that some less reputable online retailers use is failing to highlight that their jewellery is gold-plated. This type of jewellery is often known as “costume jewellery” or “fashion jewellery” (compared to fine jewellery, which is solid gold) and is made using metals such as brass or silver, with a thin coating of gold. One way to avoid falling victim to this is by reading the full description of the piece of jewellery that you’re considering buying; more often than not it will mention whether the piece is genuine 9ct, 18ct or 22ct gold, or simply gold-plated. You can also find out whether a jeweller only offers fine jewellery by searching for them on the Assay Assured website or locating their Assay Assured Trustmark.
DON’T: Buy the first thing you like
When shopping online it’s so easy to get over-excited and buy something without thinking it through. We always advise our customers to research certain products before buying them. For example, if you were browsing the chains section of our website you may see a gold belcher chain that you particularly like and proceed to buy it. But if you take the time to research gold chains first, then you may realise that you actually prefer curb chains to belcher chains. Why not take a read of our full jewellery blog for some of our most popular jewellery tips and tricks?
DO: Ensure returns are possible
Following on from the last point, if you have made the mistake of buying the first piece of jewellery that takes your fancy, it can be devastating to find out that the retailer you ordered from doesn’t offer returns. Even if you haven’t made this mistake, it’s not too uncommon to order something, only to discover that it’s not everything you expected when it arrives. Always read an online jeweller’s returns policy before placing an order with them. You won’t regret it.
DON’T: Overlook the benefits of shopping second hand
There’s always been somewhat of a stigma around buying pre-owned jewellery, mainly around the assumption that it will be lower quality than new jewellery. But this simply isn’t true! Shopping second hand can lead to incredible savings without sacrificing quality – all reputable jewellers will polish and refurbish any pre-owned jewellery to ensure that only the highest quality pieces go on sale. At Hatton Jewellers we take this a step further; all of our used products are hand selected and go through a rigorous inspection by our goldsmiths, with any items showing wear being disregarded.
It’s also a fairly unknown fact that most high-street jewellers have a mark-up in excess of 300%! If you choose to shop second hand, you’ll be able to get the same high-quality products at a much lower price.
DO: Ask the jeweller any questions you may have
One of the main benefits of buying jewellery in-store is that you can see a jewellery expert in-person and ask them any questions about the product that you’re thinking of buying. Most reputable jewellers will aim to replicate this experience online, through ‘Live Chat’ functionality. This consists of a pop-up on a website that links customers to jewellery experts at the store; you can ask them a question and they will usually reply within a matter of hours, if not sooner. If this isn’t enough, most jewellers are more than happy to discuss any queries that you have over the phone. Why not call us or use our live chat feature to speak to one of our jewellery experts?
It really does help to follow these unwritten rules when buying jewellery online. Of course, if you’re still unsure about buying a piece of jewellery, we’d always recommend to visit a physical store and browse the jewellery in-person.