Many people with credit and debit cards and internet access don’t think twice about buying something online. You simply add an item to your cart, enter your payment information, and wait for it to arrive in the mail.
However, not every website you come across is going to be legitimate, which means you may be at risk of being scammed out of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Fortunately, buying jewelry online can be safe and convenient, especially if you do the following things.
1. Shop With Reputable Jewelers
You may be able to enjoy much-needed peace of mind when shopping online if you choose a jeweler you already know plenty about. For example, Love & Promise Jewelers has an incredible online presence, but they also have a bricks-and-mortar business in Chicago, Illinois, that thousands of people visit annually.
Knowing that you can choose to visit a physical location if you have any queries or concerns may give you more confidence to make any jewelry purchases online.
2. Look Out for Contact Information
If you are nervous about making payments over the internet, identifying the business’s contact information may ease some of your nerves. The most reputable online businesses like jewelers offer multiple ways for current and future customers to contact them.
They might provide a local or national phone number, an email address, and a physical address. Some also have social media accounts that allow even more methods of contact.
If you’re still unsure whether purchasing engagement and wedding rings and other jewelry online is the right decision for you, consider making contact through any available methods to confirm their authenticity.
3. Check Out Online Reviews
Even if you know a particular jewelry website is legitimate, there is no harm in reading reviews from other customers. Doing so can give you insight into the customer service you can expect, product quality, pricing, and more.
Both happy and dissatisfied customers are often more than happy to share a detailed description of their experience with a particular business. In the event that it’s not good news, those businesses often have the opportunity to share their side of the story so that you can make an informed choice.
4. Read Through Their Policies
Even though most website policies don’t make for the most riveting use of your time, they can be worthwhile reading when you’re about to spend a significant sum of money on a ring, necklace, or something of equal preciousness.
A jewelry website’s policy can include information on their return and exchange policies, repair packaging instructions, payment plans, and payment security, warranties, and more. In particular, warranty information can be worth reading to ensure that whatever you purchase from a reputable jewelry business is covered for a set period for any manufacturer faults.
Some jewelers also offer free tightening and check-ups for the lifetime of particular products, so look out for details pertaining to such offers as well.
5. Consider Ethical Sourcing
Most consumers are conscientious enough to know that not all diamonds come from reputable sources. Even though we’ve seen the back of most brutal civil wars, some diamond mines are still fraught with problems such as human rights abuse, forced labor, violence, and more.
A significant part of shopping for jewelry safely online involves ensuring that the supplier has ethically sourced their diamonds. Most reputable jewelers outline this information on their websites. If you can’t find it, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Look out for mention of the Kimberley Process, which was developed by the United Nations to stop conflict diamonds from making their way onto the mainstream diamond market. All diamonds under the Kimberley Process are certified and come with certificates to authenticate them.
6. Identify Payment Security Features
The last thing you want is for your credit card to end up in the wrong hands. While banks have strict security measures in place, that doesn’t mean scammers and hackers don’t pull out all the stops to steal your money and banking information.
When you visit a jeweler’s website and add an item to your shopping cart, there are a few things you will want to look for before typing in your credit card information.
Firstly, pay attention to the padlock icon in your browser window. This icon represents a secure connection identifying that your passwords and credit card numbers are private when entered into the site. This lock symbol should also be accompanied by ‘https’ rather than ‘http’ and is typically one of the first things most new online businesses prioritize.
It can also be worth checking out the authenticity of the payment methods being offered by the site. The safest and most secure are credit cards, which come with encryption and fraud monitoring features on top of what is already available from the trustworthy website itself.
7. Compare Prices
We’re often told that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. You might think you’re getting a bargain with rock-bottom prices, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, scammers simply find it easier to lure people in with low prices rather than playing the long game with higher prices.
A low price tag isn’t always indicative of a jewelry website you shouldn’t trust. Sometimes, honest sites have sales to clear old stock. Therefore, it’s worth ensuring that these other safety features above have been checked out before you assume anything. You may even like to look for similar jewelry online to see if the advertised price is in the ballpark of what other businesses are charging.
8. Returns and Refunds
If you are going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money on jewelry from the internet, you want to be sure that you can return it for a refund if you need to. This information is present on the majority of reputable jewelry websites so that you can make your purchase with complete confidence.
In most situations, you’ll likely find there is a returns and refunds window after your jewelry arrives. However, you may not be able to receive a refund for anything custom-made, engraved, discounted, rushed, or made in specialty sizes. This is standard practice in many businesses, not just those selling jewelry.
Shopping online for big-ticket items can be completely safe. It’s also a much more convenient way to purchase goods if you lack time to go shopping and can’t make it to your favorite store. However, before you get out your credit card, consider the information above. The more homework you do, the more confidence you can have to buy new jewelry online.