How To Spot A Trustworthy Online Jeweller
With so many jewellers selling their gorgeous gold pieces online, it’s more important than ever to know how to select a reputable, dependable retailer.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring or investing in a stand-out gold chain, you can find the finest pieces with just a few clicks. But this makes it even easier for shady sellers to try and pass fake jewellery off as the real deal, which isn’t only a massive disappointment but could also cost you dearly.
In this blog post, we’re sharing some tips on how to spot a trustworthy online jeweller, so you can have complete confidence when buying your next piece of stunning solid gold jewellery.
Should I Buy My Jewellery Online?
If you’ve only ever bought your jewellery in-store, it’s understandable to be nervous about taking the leap into browsing the web for your new gold pieces. There are many great reasons to buy jewellery online nowadays, so it’s no wonder so many people hit the search engines rather than the high streets.
- There’s an extensive choice of jewellery online.
There’s only so much gold you can fit in a jewellery store, so you’re likely to find a much wider variety of jewellery online in a range of different styles. From fine jewellery such as ladies’ earrings and delicate bracelets to heavy jewellery styles such as iced out pendants, you’ll find it all in a quick and simple search.
- Shopping online is often more cost-effective.
Browsing online means you’re able to look out for special deals and discounts online, rather than traipsing into several stores to find a piece of jewellery at the right price point. Fewer physical stores means lower running costs for the jeweller, too, so you’re more likely to find better deals online.
- You can always find the right ring size to suit you.
Physical stores are limited to the number of pieces they can stock in each size, meaning you may have to get your jewellery resized if you shop in-store. When you buy your jewellery online, perhaps a stunning gold ring, you can select the right size using our guide to make sure it’s the perfect fit from the moment it arrives!
- All the information, all in one place.
When you shop online, product pages will give you images, descriptions, specifications and customer reviews all in one place. You don’t need to ask a shop assistant for advice or hunt for additional information elsewhere - everything you need is included in one page to help you make an informed choice. However, if you do need help whilst browsing, our easy-to-use chat bot is available any time.
- Shopping online is often more convenient.
The convenience of being able to buy high quality jewellery without leaving your house is understandably appealing. Whilst a good old-fashioned high-street shopping spree can be good fun, browsing online at home or on the move is a quick and easy way to find what you’re looking for.
Is Buying Jewellery Online Safe?
It is generally very safe to buy your jewellery online, as long as you do your research and only purchase your gold pieces from a reputable, accredited seller. Follow our tips below to boost your knowledge on spotting reputable online retailers!
Make sure you don’t get caught out by sneaky sales messaging and temptingly low prices - if a site and its costs look too good to be true, that’s probably the case and you should investigate further.
Consider which payment method you want to use, too - reputable businesses should accept all major credit cards and debit cards plus offer other secure ways to pay, such as via PayPal, Apple Pay & Google Pay. You may also find some online retailers offer finance options. If the retailer charges ridiculous interest rates, think twice - reputable jewellers may offer interest-free finance which will help you to spread the cost of your purchase without accruing significant costs for later down the line.
How To Find A Good Jeweller
So you’ve decided to shop for your sparkling new piece of jewellery online. It’s important not to dive straight in and buy one of the first eye-catching chains or sparkling rings you see. Never take a ‘supermarket sweep’ approach to buying online (tempting though it may be!) - always do your research to make sure you’re only ever buying gold from a trustworthy source.
Here are our eight top tips on finding a reputable online jeweller:
1. Find and Read Recommendations
What better way to find out more about the service an online retailer provides, than to read about other customers’ real-life experiences? A reputable jeweller won’t shy away from receiving reviews as it’s often the easiest and most effective way for customers to find out about the quality of products and services. It’s a serious red flag if an online retailer has a string of poor reviews or, worse, no reviews at all!
Many trustworthy jewellers will display reviews on their website; at Hatton Jewellers, we have a dedicated testimonials page that shows our most recent reviews from Trustpilot. You should also try searching for a store’s social media pages to highlight how a brand interacts with its customers, which could give you an indication of the jeweller’s reputation.
2. Search For Professional Accreditation
In the UK, trusted high street jewellery retailers belong to the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ). But did you know there’s also a body specifically for online jewellers? Formed in 2012, Assay Assured aims to protect people buying from jewellery shops online by performing regular audits, testing authenticity and ensuring all members comply with its code of conduct.
If an online jeweller is a member of an accredited body or certified by a third-party, they should display this on their website. Here at Hatton Jewellers, you can find the Assay Assured logo on all of our product listings. Alternatively, you can use the Assay Assured retailer search or locate their Assay Assured certificate to find out if a company is credible before completing checkout.
3. Discover Their Contact Information
Just like professionals working in a high street store, an online jewellery retailer should be willing to answer your questions. Does the jeweller have a submission form where you can send an email, or a contact page that displays their phone number? If so, don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask them any questions that you might have about an individual product or their general service. A swift, friendly and professional response will demonstrate the jewellers’ expertise and reliability.
Reputable jewellers may also have a ‘Live Chat’ functionality. This website pop-up links customers to jewellery experts, enabling you to ask questions and receive a reply within a matter of hours, if not sooner. Why not use our live chat feature or call us to speak to one of Hatton Jewellers’ experts?
4. Look For Post-Sale Service
In today’s overcrowded and highly competitive online marketplace, it takes more than great products and low prices for online jewellers to stand out. So, look out for other services jewellery retailers may provide that goes a step beyond their competitors, such as offering additional post-sale services like ongoing jewellery maintenance, repair, polishing and engraving.
Just like a jeweller with a physical store, many online retailers employ skilled craftspeople to personalise or alter pieces if you need to resize your jewellery. If you’re not sure of a person’s ring size or you select a size that doesn’t quite fit, a reputable jeweller may have the resources to make alterations - it should be easy to get in touch with your jeweller and arrange to have your piece resized.
5. Check The Fine Print
When you’re choosing a gemstone necklace or diamond earrings in store, a member of staff is likely to run you through the company’s terms of sale and refund policy at the point of purchase. However, when shopping online, it’s your responsibility to check the fine print which means it can be easier for a dodgy jeweller to avoid putting their refund policy front and centre.
While you may have scrutinised the photos in detail, you have no chance to try on an item when buying online. If the colour of the stone isn’t quite what you expected or the piece doesn’t fit right, a reputable business should allow you to return it for a refund (providing it hasn’t been worn). Similarly, if the product you’re purchasing online comes with a warranty, check if this covers accidental damage and what kind of repairs are offered.
6. Inspect The Jewellery Listings
It can be harder to assess a product’s level of quality when shopping online. Before adding the product to your cart, take a closer look at the listing. Check that the written description includes detailed information about the weight and quality of gold, and if it features gemstones, the four Cs. Ask yourself:
- Are weights and measurements listed?
- Does the listing display the type of gold used, and the carat?
- Is there any detail about gradings or valuations? This is crucial for diamonds, which is why all of our gemstones are certified by the World Gemological Institute (WGI).
- Does the product come with a certificate of authenticity and insurance valuation, plus assurances of a hallmark stamp?
Just because a listing states a piece of jewellery is gold, doesn’t mean it’s always crafted from solid gold. Shady sellers often deliberately fail 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).
One way to avoid falling victim to this is by reading the full description of the piece of jewellery that you’re considering buying - a reputable jeweller will state whether the piece is genuine 9ct, 18ct or 22ct solid gold. If there’s no mention of this, the piece may be gold-plated and you’ll need to investigate further. To find out more, check out our blog on the difference between real and fake jewellery or read our hallmark guide.
7. Zoom In On The Images
Product photos should be high-quality, allowing you to zoom in and properly inspect the piece without the image becoming grainy. Ask yourself: Do these photos show different angles of the piece? Is the hallmark stamp visible? It’s a bonus if the jeweller’s site also displays detailed videos of the piece, as this will give greater insight into the size and style of the piece.
If you’re looking to buy second-hand jewellery online, the images should also highlight any imperfections. Never buy from a jeweller who seems to disguise detail - transparency and honesty is an absolute must.
8. Check Out Their Resources
Customer service is everything. As you don’t get a chance to have a chat face to face with an in-store expert, an online store should be packed full of resources to help guide you when buying your jewellery. From size guides to hallmark charts, a website should be packed full of all the useful information you need to know. Think of a jewellers’ site as their shop window for information, or an in-store expert in written form!
We always advise our customers to research 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 checked out our gold chains guide first, then you may realise that you actually prefer curb chains to belcher chains - you just needed to know the difference between the two. Why not take a read of our jewellery blog for some of our most popular jewellery tips and tricks?
Where To Buy Jewellery Online
Now that you’re armed with all our tips and tricks, you can be much more confident when searching for a reputable gold jewellery retailer. If you’re unsure where to start, you could use the Assay Assured retailer search to discover a list of reputable online jewellers, or simply type in the type of jewellery you’re looking for into the search bar and browse through the sites that pique your interest.
As a jewellery retailer that prides itself on delivering exceptional customer service, the Hatton Jewellers website is a great place to start if you’re looking for a timeless piece of gold jewellery to add to your collection! Of course, if you’re still unsure about buying a piece of jewellery, we’d always recommend visiting a physical store to browse the jewellery in-person or contacting the online jeweller to have a chat with an expert to put your mind at ease before making a purchase.