Whether you shop for jewelry online or in local stores, there are a few tricks to getting a good deal and having a satisfying shopping experience. Before you get out your credit card, be sure to review these five helpful tips.
Five Jewelry Shopping Tips
Since jewelry often represents a major investment, it's a good idea to do your research before you buy. If you keep these tips in mind, you'll make wise jewelry shopping choices.
Know What You're Buying
Before you purchase any type of jewelry, be sure you understand as much as possible about the piece. Ask about the materials used. Is the jewelry made of gold? If so, make sure you know what karat it is. Are there any gems in the item? If there are, find out about whether they are genuine or lab-created. Additionally, inquire about the brand name and the craftsmanship. Even if you're buying costume jewelry, it's a good idea to make sure the quality is what you expect.
Understand Your Style
There's nothing worse than buying an expensive piece of jewelry only to have it linger in your jewelry box unworn. To avoid buying something you won't wear, it's wise to know a bit about your style. Do you typically wear casual clothes? If so, you won't get much use out of a sparkly cocktail ring, no matter how beautiful it is. Similarly, if you wear mostly suits and dresses, a casual necklace won't get much use. Before you buy, ask yourself how and when you'll wear the item.
Shop at the Right Time
Fine jewelry can be costly. However, when you shop at the right time, you can save a lot of money. Even if you're shopping for inexpensive pieces, you'll see significant cost savings at certain times of the year. If you're looking for a good deal, shop online or in jewelry stores at the following times:
- Right after Valentine's Day, when unsold merchandise is on sale
- In the late summer, after designers have released their fall lines
- During promotional sales at specific retailers
Buy from Reputable Merchants
When you see a good deal, it can be tempting to get out your wallet. However, you'll save yourself some potential headaches if you get a little background information on the seller. Whether you're buying online or in person, you should only purchase jewelry from merchants you trust. For in-person shopping, check out the business with the Better Business Bureau and find out about the company's return policy. If you're shopping online, make sure you're on a secure site. Secure sites will have "https" in the URL on the checkout page. For online sales, the return policy is even more important. Sometimes things look different online, so you may need to return or exchange an item that doesn't meet your expectations.
Don't Forget About Custom and Unique Designs
If you're looking for a special piece of jewelry, consider buying a one-of-a-kind or custom piece. You can buy unique, artist-made jewelry online at marketplaces like Etsy, or you can buy custom pieces locally. To find a custom jewelry artist, ask around at local boutiques and college art departments. If you see someone else wearing a unique piece you really love, ask her where she got it. Often, the artist can create another beautiful piece for you.
Trust Your Instincts
Perhaps the most important jewelry shopping tip is to trust your gut instincts. Do you love a piece and know you'll want to wear it for years to come? Then it's probably worth the investment. Do you feel good about your interactions with a merchant? Chances are, you'll enjoy your purchase from this seller. Your instincts will almost always lead you in the right direction.