The holiday season is upon us – and that means a lot of people are getting engaged. Statistics show about a third of all would-be spouses pop the question between Thanksgiving and Christmas – and that means from now until New Year’s is also the most popular time to shop for an engagement ring.
Of course, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are also popular with scores of other holiday shoppers. And that means you might be tempted to avoid the crush of the crowds and bargain hunters by doing your ring shopping online. You do most of your other shopping online; why not buy your ring online too?
Well, for several reasons – but they can pretty much be summed up like this: While Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals on toys, electronics and other gift items can be great bargains when bought online, fine jewelry is another matter entirely. And if you trust your engagement ring purchase to an online retailer, you could be setting yourself – and your fiance – up for some big disappointments, financial hassles and major headaches. (Not exactly how you want to start out on your life’s journey together, eh?)
The Pros and Cons of Online Ring Shopping
Pro: It Seems Convenient
Probably the biggest “pro” for online ring shopping is the one just mentioned: convenience. There’s something awfully tempting about sitting at home or in your office and scrolling through options without having to step foot in a store – no crowds, no salespeople, no traffic or parking to worry about. And for sure, shopping online can be a great option for plenty of purchases.
Pro: You Might Strike a “Deal”
The second biggest “pro” is probably the perception that when you shop online, you can “score a deal,” simply because there’s a lot of competition and a lot of hype floating around – and because online retailers don’t have the overhead expenses that come with operating a brick-and-mortar store. Plus, plenty of online retailers offer coupon codes to make the lure just that much stronger. After all, while you don’t want to “cheap out” on your engagement ring, you’re all about getting the best deal, right?
Con: That Deal May Cost You Overall Quality
The problem is, when it comes to truly getting the best “deal”, there’s a big difference between getting a cheap ring and getting a beautiful, high-quality ring you and your fiance – and even your kids and grandkids – can be proud of for years and even generations to come. When all is said and done, this isn’t “any” ring – in addition to being a beautiful piece of jewelry, it’s also a symbol – a pretty big one.
When you buy an engagement ring, you’re also buying an heirloom, one that can be passed down for generations. That may seem far off now, but buying a high-quality, heirloom-style piece is a major consideration when choosing an engagement ring, especially if your fiance is the sentimental type. And of course, when the ring you buy has poor workmanship or an imperfect stone, it’s no “deal” at any price.
Advantages of Buying In-Store
Pro: What You See is What You Get
When you buy online, you’re essentially buying sight-unseen. Yes, there are plenty of pretty pictures to look at. But photos can’t tell the whole story. In a photo – even one with the highest resolution – it’s difficult to truly assess the quality of workmanship that’s gone into the design and fabrication of the ring and setting. What looks detailed and intricate online could wind up looking clunky and poorly-crafted – even downright cheap – in person.
But evaluating the setting is just part of the problem. There’s literally no way to examine the diamond (or other stone) “up close and personal.” And considering the quality of the stone makes up a very large part of the ring’s price – not to mention its beauty and value – buying online can be extremely risky.
By contrast, in a brick-and-mortar store, what you see is, literally, what you get. The setting is there in all its glorious detail so you can be certain of the quality of the workmanship and the materials, and you can examine the diamond for color, clarity, flaws and every other characteristic – plus, you have the expertise of the retailer at your disposal. A skilled diamond expert can provide you with a wealth of information about the stone so you understand what you’re paying for and feel confident in the stone’s value.
Pro: You Receive Expert Advice
And the benefits of buying your ring in store don’t stop there – they extend far beyond the sale. The success of any brick-and-mortar store depends on the satisfaction of its customers – and jewelry stores are no exception. At Janvier Jewelers, we work very, very hard to establish strong relationships with our customers right from the start because we know that when a customer is happy with the jewelry and the service we provide, they’ll turn to us for future purchases – and maybe even recommend us to others.
Pro: You Can Gain a Jeweler for Life
We also know that an engagement ring is often the first major jewelry purchase a person makes. And that means the customer probably has a lot of questions and concerns about how to select the best setting and stone – and to do it within their budget. As diamond and fine jewelry experts, we’ll take the time to educate you on your purchase so you feel confident your money’s well spent – and your significant other will be proud to wear your ring for years to come.
And if there’s any problem down the line, we’ll be ready to help then, too. Because unlike an online retailer that could be gone next year, next month or next week, we’re in it for the long haul – heck, we’ve been in business for more than 40 years. It sounds corny, but it’s true: We’re not just looking to make a sale – we’re looking to make a lifetime customer.