Is it safe to buy diamonds online? To ensure minimal risk, knowledge and due diligence is necessary.
As with any purchases, there are advantages and disadvantages to shopping online. Here are some pros and cons of buying diamonds online.
- Wide Selection
If you walk into your typical jeweler and ask to look for a specific loose diamond, chances are they don’t have any and say that they have to bring some in. Online jewelry stores seem to have endless inventories. They are able to show all of their wholesaler stocks, giving customers a large selection. Buying diamonds online means you have access to a wide selection of diamonds from larger and well-known companies.
- Great Deals
Online jewelry stores have lower operation costs and save on overhead cost. They can pass on the savings to consumers. Generally, you will find lower prices from an online store than in your local jeweler. Since there are hundreds of online stores to choose from, competition arises. Consequently, they are lowering their prices to attract customers.
You can shop for a diamond at your convenience and without having to deal with traffic, other shoppers, and pushy salespersons. You don’t have to feel pressured into buying a larger gem, especially if you already know exactly what you are looking for in a diamond.
- Sales Tax Savings
Buying a diamond online from an out-of-state vendor can save a lot of money. In some places like Texas where the sales tax is 8.25%, buying diamond jewelry online worth $10,000 will save you $825. Just ensure that the credit card charges, handling fees and shipping charges will not eat up this legitimate cost saving feature.
How can you be sure that you are actually getting what you are paying for? Some people are not even sure if they will get the right product at the right time. This uncertainty is one of the reasons why people don’t take the risk of online shopping.
- Inability To Compare Diamonds Physically
Online jewelry stores use different types of photo editing software and lighting on the diamond themselves. What you will see are full-color, high resolution images of diamonds. It is similar to ordering a red shirt online only to see that it looks pink or orange when it arrives. It can be very frustrating and disappointing. How much more disappointed would you be when you receive a diamond that’s not what you ordered?
The internet is a vast unregulated marketplace with good and bad merchants selling good and bad diamonds. There is the possibility that you get a diamond that is worth less than you paid for or worse, if you get a fake diamond.
- After Sale Services
Most online jewelry stores don’t offer a longer-term relationship for extremely important after sale services like cleaning, sizing, tightening, and upgrading.
How can we be sure that we are getting our money’s worth and not fall victim to fraud? Here are some ways to buy diamonds online safely and securely.
- Find a Reputable Vendor
Do your homework and research on the company first to ensure they have an astounding reputation. Don’t just settle for a few online reviews. Search for unpaid customer testimonials. You can also post questions about the company on forums and through social media. Also, check their credentials and services. Do not hesitate to ask about a vendor’s credentials if you cannot find them on their website.
- Check Their Policies
Make sure you understand the store’s policies on returns, guarantees, and terms and conditions. Have the store email you copies of their policies before buying. Take pictures or screenshots of all relevant information such as the diamond you are purchasing, the vendor’s contact information and policies to serve as proof in case something goes wrong.
- Educate Yourself
Before you buy diamonds, whether online or a physical store, take time to educate yourself about diamonds. What makes one more valuable than another? Learn about the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity and carat weight) and get a better understanding of how to buy diamonds.
- GIA Report
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the most well-know institute who do diamond grading. They are considered as the most consistent and reliable in their grading. As you are shopping for diamonds, the grading report for each diamond should be visible. If it is not, ask to see a copy of it. Make sure that the GIA report comes with the diamond you purchase.
- Get Independent Appraising
Take the diamond you purchased to a independent appraiser within the timeframe the vendor allows for returns. They will ensure that the diamond matches the independent grading lab’s report. They can also check for structural problems within the stone and evaluate the diamond’s beauty and value.
Buying diamonds online can be a pleasant experience. If you don’t feel comfortable in making your purchase online, you can use diamond sites as a way to educate yourself about diamonds. If you decide to buy your diamonds online, practice your due diligence to avoid risks and problems. There are several reputable companies out there; waiting to make your diamond dreams come true.