Many of the best deals in the diamond industry can be found online. With better selection, prices and convenience, it is no wonder that more consumers are opting for this method of buying. And, as with most products these days, diamonds can be purchased online safely and with ease. With some education and helpful tips, consumers can purchase with confidence and find a beautiful diamond to last a lifetime.
Buying Diamonds Online vs. In-store
Just as with any purchase, there are pros and cons to buying online. Here are a few main points to keep in mind:
Advantages to Buying Diamonds Online
1. Great prices and selection. With low overhead (rent, security, inventory, no roaming salespeople), diamonds can be sold at substantially less than in bricks and mortar stores. As well, online companies can have diamonds drop shipped directly from the wholesalers who have a vast inventory of tens of thousands of diamonds at their fingertips.
2. It’s safe (if not safer). This may come as a surprise to many people, but it’s a fact that there are simply more safeguards and guarantees that come with buying diamonds online these days. Why? Everything purchased with a credit card is 100% protected against fraud and consumers always have the option to charge-back purchases that were not “as advertised”. In fact, if an online company receives a certain number of charge-backs from a customer’s credit card or bank, their selling privileges are revoked–at the risk of going out of business. There are also excellent modern security measures on all reputable jewelry websites.
3. It’s easier and faster. Shopping for that perfect diamond in the comfort of one’s home is a big advantage for many consumers. Without physically having to go from store to store and dealing with high pressure, commissioned salespeople, you can shop any time and anywhere. There are many stores to choose from with excellent diamond databases and education centers. Some of the large retailers even have 24/7 online chat and phone support.
4. Fancy new technology. Many online stores are coming up with “live ring try-on” apps, virtual jewelers loupes, excellent detailed pictures and other ways for you really inspect a diamond. For instance, Tiffany & Co. has a beautiful engagement ring finder app. James Allen has a fantastic virtual jewelers loupe to help customers see what a jeweler sees.
5. Excellent educational information. While bricks and mortar jewelry stores can have some knowledgeable sales staff, some may try to up-sell and use fancy terminology. These days, a consumer can find valuable information online about every aspect of a diamond and are better educated and prepared when making such a large purchase.
Ways to Resolve Possible Drawbacks to Buying Diamonds Online
1. Being unable to see diamond in person. There will always a percentage of people who need to physically see the diamond to make their decision. Yet if a diamond is purchased from a large, reputable online company such as Blue Nile or James Allen, they will have all of the same industry specifications as the jewelry stores. In fact, it is a fairly straightforward process once you have found your price range, desired cut, color and clarity grade. One option is to visit a local jewelry store to see different carat weights and diamond grades, find your required specifications and then purchase the exact same stone online.
2. Returns and Exchanges. Most large, reputable online jewelry stores offer excellent warranty and return policies. Some may feel it is a drawback when one needs to package and mail back the stone (and find it easier to go into a store), while others account for this possibility with the lower price difference online. Either way, it depends on what each individual is comfortable with. Be sure to become familiar with the policies before buying.
The diamond industry has seen a boom in online sales with the continued growth of the internet. With this growth has come added measures of security which offer peace of mind to those making a purchase of a lifetime.