Jump to content

Online or retail outlet?


Recommended Posts

I am about to make a purchase of a diamond engagement ring and I am having a bit of trouble deciding whether to go thru an online dealer or a local jeweler. The prices seem to be drastically different between Union Diamonds (as best I can see from my research the most reputable online company I can find) and a local chain store. I want to give my future bride the most ring I can for the money I have available but am, of course, skeptical about buying sight unseen online. Is there anything in particular I should look for when looking at diamond stats to insure that it is what I expect when I receive the diamond or is it best to just pay more and see what you are getting?


Thank you in advance for the help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I purchased my Diamond through Union Diamond and had an awesome experience. But I did give my local jewelery store an opportunity to compete with their price. Unfortunately, a B & M store has a higher overhead. I hope you also do give your local store an opportunity as I did. But I also believe if you buy from Union Diamond you will also have a great experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm no pro, and I'm sure there are as many opinions on this subject as there are people to express them. That all having been said..


I don't think there's anything at all wrong with online vendors. Many will look at the diamond and give you a real opinion on if it's a good stone or not. Many will ship the diamond to a local appraiser so you can meet and greet it in person and make up your own mind. Many have awesome return and refund policies so even if you take a chance and have one shipped to you, you can send it back and get your money back.


Just as with B&M stores, do your homework. Check around, ask questions and be comfortable with the store and the person from whom you are buying.


This is a big decision to make - and usually an expensive one, too!


There are lots of them! I can recommend AngelDiamond, that's where I bought mine. they are an online retailer who have a physical location in the diamond district of NYC.


Good luck and happy shopping!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

If you're considering an on-line vendor, make sure that they either have the diamond in-house or that they can call it in and examine it for you, e-mailing you photo's, Cut analysis, and light analysis information.


Buying a diamond off a Virtual Diamond Database where the diamond is drop-shipped directly to you is not the way to go.


More here: http://www.diamondvues.com/archives/2005/1...net_virtua.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there anything in particular I should look for when looking at diamond stats to insure that it is what I expect when I receive the diamond or is it best to just pay more and see what you are getting?

This is not an either/or question. Part of the cost of buying a diamond is associated with inspecting at it and you should never buy a diamond without inspecting it. At a traditional B&M store, at least part of this is built into the price and it includes the showroom, the salespeople, the secure environment, use of the microscope etc. From the out-of-town stores this comes in the form of shipping fees - FedEx gets their money no matter what you buy. Watch out for online dealers who will also charge a restocking fee in addition to the shipping if you decide to return it (note 1: Union is very reasonable about this and I mention only for the benefit of other readers who are still shopping for their dealer). If you want expert assistance in choosing the correct stone, you will end up paying for this separately in the form of an appraisal but this is true of B&M purchases as well so I don’t generally include it as part of the cost of buying online since I think you should be doing it anyway. There is also sometimes a cost associated with tying up your money or credit availability while you examine the stone and consider the purchase from a non-local dealer. Lastly, the whole shopping process is, generally, a bit slower with a jeweler who is far from home because of the logistics of the whole shipping/appraisal/return shipping/setting process.


The tradeoff is, as you have noticed, that most of the online dealers have pretty attractive prices even after you add a few FedEx bills and an appraisal or two. If you can get the right stone the first time it will save a bit of time and aggravation but the cost of shipping it back and looking at another one has remarkably little effect on the bottom line price. If the local cost and the online cost are similar enough that a few FedEx bills will make the difference, buy locally. If you buy online and you only have one shipping fee, count yourself lucky. The reputable online dealers are really pretty good at getting it right the first time if they actually have the stone and if you’re upfront with them about what your criteria are but not everyone is looking for the same things and it makes for a less stressful experience if you’ve already budgeted the money. It feels like a bonus if you come out with an extra hundred bucks in your pocket when you add up all of the bills and it’s annoying if you feel like you’re being dinged by extra fees that you didn’t expect.


I’m curious how you came up with Union. I’m not disagreeing with you that they're a fine company but you mentioned research that led you to them as the most reputable company online. For the benefit of their reputable competitors, including some of the fine folks who are giving you advice here, can you tell us about your research process? (note 2: I don’t buy or sell diamonds. I’m asking this because there are others here who do and it would be tacky for them to ask this question. I’m sure it would be helpful for their own marketing purposes to hear from customers about how they do their research. Effectively you can give back some free advice in exchange for the advice you're asking for.)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...