All the cool kids (and their parents and grandparents) are shopping on-line these days, but it can still feel a little bit scary to buy something as important as a diamond engagement ring over the internet.
What if the ring is hideous, or poor quality? What if it never arrives? What if the seller runs off with your money and uses it to buy a troupe of performing monkeys?
In truth, there are risks to buying diamonds on-line. But if you buy from a reputable, established jeweller, those risks are all but negated. A reliable on-line retailer will do whatever it takes to provide you with a safe, feel-good buying experience.
Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you’re buying from one of these awesome diamond retailers and not just someone looking to fill a capuchin-sized hole.
- Carefully study the website. A professional jeweller will have invested lots of time and money into their site so avoid anywhere that looks like it’s been knocked up in a day. There should be helpful advice and, most important, easy-to-find contact details - not just an email address or contact form. If there’s a telephone number, call it to make sure someone answers. If there’s an address, look it up on Google Street View. Does it look like a place you’d feel safe buying diamond jewellery from? Can you visit them to view a diamond in person before you buy?
- Check out their customer service. Be wary if a retailer is all about persuading you to buy, without any mention of what happens afterwards. For such an important purchase, you should be in no doubt about the company’s policy regarding delivery, returns and complaints. How much does delivery cost, how long will it take and is it insured? How long is the returns window? Is free resizing offered for rings? It’s also important to check their attitude. Don’t hesitate to ask silly questions. A good retailer will be courteous, patient, helpful and not in the least bit pushy.
- Find out what others think. Reviews and testimonials are essential and should be displayed prominently on the website - a good retailer should have nothing to hide. Reviews are more reliable if they’re handled by a third party, such as TrustPilot, who only collect reviews from actual customers. Don’t just accept what they want to show you - search on-line for them also. Glowing reviews are great; but reviews which mention how the retailer responded when there was a problem are much more helpful. Problems do happen - and a good retailer will make them go away as painlessly as possible.
- Only buy certified. There are oodles of good reasons why you should only buy certified diamonds (if you want to know what they are, read this see this post). However, some retailers still sell un-certified or self-certified diamonds. Why would they skip this important step unless they’re more interested in their profits than your peace of mind? Don’t risk it.
- Look for good value. There’s no doubt buying a diamond on-line will save you a LOT of money. But there is no such thing as a cheap diamond. Diamonds are a rare and precious commodity. A diamond that is ‘cheap’ will be cheap in all senses of the word - in all likelihood flawed, artificially enhanced or fake. You can, however, buy diamonds that are good value and your retailer should be happy to use their expertise to help you find one - and be happy to price match. Your goal should be to walk away with a beautiful, high quality diamond at a price that’s lower than you expected to pay.
- Demand high quality. Quality in diamond jewellery can be difficult for the layperson to gauge but it can help to think about how you measure it in other products. Has it been made by a skilled, trained crafts-person? Is it made to order or sold off-the-shelf? Where is it made - in Britain, or overseas? What materials are used? If these questions aren't answered on the retailer’s website, ask. You can also use the Four C’s to ensure the diamond you’re buying is the very best you can get - whatever your budget.
Buying jewellery on-line is not only safe, it also gives you the best of both worlds. When you buy from a reputable jeweller (such as, cough, Quality Diamonds) you get the same knowledge and customer care that you would expect from a high-end Hatton Garden jeweller. But you also get access to a huge range of styles and customisation options that just aren't available on the high street. And you can save an enormous amount of money, which you can use to buy your own troupe of performing monkeys!