Today no one needs convincing that shopping online is very convenient. You can look at the goods in a quiet setting, think however long you want, and have the products delivered to your door. Of course, remote purchase of jewellery has its points. When you buy a beautiful thing without seeing it live, you may be disappointed with what you get. You also cannot guess the shape or size of the jewel. However, all these difficulties are solvable, and the pleasure from an unlimited choice of jewellery on the internet and saving the energy of walking around a mall more than makes up for it.
However, there are some disadvantages of buying jewellery online:
- you won't be able to feel, try, properly look at the goods, or make sure that they have no faults
- sometimes it is difficult to determine the actual size of the product on the screen, even if it is available in the description
- colours of enamel inserts and stones are distorted on the screen - they depend on the monitor and the quality of the photos
- delivery time is sometimes delayed (if ordering a piece as a gift you can be late).
- even if you know the right size, the product may still not comfortably fit.
Advantages of shopping for jewellery online:
- online stores are never closed. You can shop 24/7
- you can buy jewellery from anywhere in the world, choosing from all imaginable styles and designs, not from a limited selection in your local shops
- there is no need to spend hours or days browsing shopping malls to pick up the right piece
- choosing jewellery in an online store is much easier - no queues and crowds (especially on the eve of holidays). You can examine all the available pieces for as long as you need, and a shop assistant will not look askance at you.
- the cost of jewellery in an online store is much lower than in a brick-and-mortar store, as online stores do not pay rent and in most cases have less staff to pay salary to
When buying jewellery in an online store there are two main points to consider. The first is how to buy safely - which store to trust. The second task is how to buy quality jewellery choosing based only on the picture and description.
Which online store to trust when buying jewellery?
Online stores are different from brick-and-mortar ones because there is no chance to talk with their employees in real life. We collect a lot of information about whether to trust the speaker through physical expressions, looking into the eyes, and watching the facial expressions. You also often do not have the opportunity to go to the store's office and evaluate the situation. To reduce the risk of buying from a fraudulent shop you need to be able to get the necessary information in other ways: by reviewing the site and communicating with consultants online or by phone.
So you typed your query into a search engine and stumbled upon an unfamiliar jewellery site. How to determine whether it is worth buying jewellery from it?
Basic and necessary requirements for an online shop
- check that there is the legally required information on the site
- the "contact" or "about the store" sections should contain the seller’s full name, address, and registration information (ABN if the store is registered in Australia). You can dig deeper and check if the ABN is real.
- check if there is information about payment, delivery, and returns of goods and if it’s in line with your expectation
- all materials from which the products are manufactured, types of gemstones and inserts, finishing and plating should be indicated in the product description
- other information that may influence the buying decision such as terms of purchase, delivery time, packaging, and warranty period should be easy to find.
By the way, do you like it here?
Look through the pages of the store and listen to your intuition. Even if all the formal requirements are met, you may intuitively feel that something is wrong. The store should give the impression of a place that is maintained. In this sense the online store is no different from the usual jewellery shop. Photos of poor quality? Last update/news half a year ago? Are the texts written for search engines, not for visitors? For example, phrases that do not make sense are repeated too much? A lot of technical issues, errors and broken links? All these are signs to reconsider buying anything on that website.
Finding out the policy of the online jewellery store
Look for information about the conditions of return of the jewellery. Under the consumer law you have rights to return the goods without explaining the reasons. Many online jewellery stores do not accept return of earrings for hygienic reasons. You would not want to wear earrings that someone tried and would prefer to buy from a store that takes hygiene seriously. In a traditional shop a customer can ask to try earrings from the display, and the earrings are not thrown out if they are not bought. It is better to ask if there is a sanitising solution in the store, and it will be even more reliable to disinfect the earrings yourself before putting them on, regardless of whether you bought them in an online or brick-and-mortar store.
It is also important to remember that if you return a product of proper quality because you simply did not like it or it did not fit, but you have no complaints about the seller, then all costs of return shipping will most likely be at your expense, unless the seller indicates otherwise.
What else to consider?
Just in case, it's worth checking what others say about this store, and searching a phrase such as "store name reviews". Even if you suspect that positive reviews about the store can be written by the sellers themselves, it's at least worth checking that there are no negative comments on review websites.
How to buy high-quality jewellery in online stores
Since trying is not possible, make sure that you clearly understand how the piece will look in reality and on you.
It is advisable to be sure that a certain type of jewellery is exactly right for you and fits well. For this it is worth finding the opportunity to try different types of jewellery and remember which shapes and lengths of earrings are "yours". You can also study stylists’ tips about accessories for different types of faces and figures. It is also good to know your ring sizes, the measurement can be done in a jewellery store or at home using one of the many methods which can be found on the Internet.
Look at the photos to imagine the accessory in as much detail as possible. It's ideal if the product is photographed from several sides. It's bad if the photos are heavily retouched. In this case surprises are possible. If the photos are not enough, do not hesitate to ask the seller to send additional photos.
Carefully read the product descriptions and pay attention to weight, dimensions, materials, coatings, and features. Take a ruler and try to figure out what the actual size of the product and the insert stone are. A big plus is a photo on a model - in this case the proportions are more obvious. Once again, it is worth reconsidering buying if the description gives little useful information.
If all looks alright, feel confident to press the buy button and start looking forward for the beautiful box arriving.