You have just completed an order online, and as you wait for the merchandise, a gnawing worry starts to set in. Will the product turn out the way you anticipated? Or will the purchase be a total waste of money? You have probably just seen too many expectations versus reality memes, but still, the anxiety is real.
And when you’re investing in pre-owned jewellery, the hesitation could exponentially amplify. What if the item was a fake? Worse, what if it was a stolen piece? Anyway, how sensible is it to buy a product you have never seen in person, let alone examined?
All these apprehensions make purchasing jewellery online daunting.
But if you weigh in the pros (because yes, there are advantages to shopping online), you will realize that the transaction is worth the risk. For one, buying jewellery online saves you from the hassle of driving to an old school brick-and-mortar shop, on a rare free Sunday morning. It also allows you to browse a variety of selections tailored to your design preferences and compare prices without hopping from one store to another. When you’re ready to finalize the transaction, you can do so in a few clicks.
But then again, caution is the key to successful online shopping. As for buying jewellery online, you need to pay attention not only to the product but also to the nuances that go with the process of purchasing. What are the fundamental factors you need to consider before ticking on Add to Cart? Read on to find out.
Reasons for Buying Second Hand
Why should you buy pre-owned jewellery, and what are the benefits? Let’s go straight to the point. Buying second-hand jewellery allows you to save lots of money. We’re talking around 30 to 50% less than the price of brand-new ones, without sacrificing the value of the item.
Most used pieces are not only made of high-grade materials but also better crafted than mass-produced commercial ones. And yes, vintage is trendy. As a bonus, many second-hand pieces are formerly exclusive period ornaments that come in either timeless styles or distinct designs. So, whether you want something classic or prefer one that is unique to a specific era, the second-hand market is your gold mine.
All of the advantages above are benefits you, the buyer, enjoy. Opting for second-hand jewellery, though, is not only good for you and your savings but also the environment. Choosing to purchase pre-owned luxury jewellery pieces means less demand for new jewellery. Less demand means less manufacturing, which helps minimize mining for precious metals and minerals and prevent further destruction of various landscapes and vital ecosystems. There’s nothing better than a sustainable and eco-friendly purchase. So, when you’ve done that, that Art Nouveau ivory and aquamarine bracelet, know that you’ve done your part for the environment.
Think Carefully About Where You Buy From
Always – and we can’t stress this enough – always buy from jewellery dealers who have a solid record of offering not only quality pieces but also excellent customer service. Research their background, read customers’ feedback, access social media channels, and visit third-party review sites. Ask questions, plenty of them. Honest sellers will be able to answer your questions about the history and provenance of their merchandise and back up the story with documents, whenever available.
Many jewellery buyers, especially traditionalists, prefer to touch and feel the item before deciding on the purchase. For this reason, reputable vendors provide plenty of high-resolution images, such as 360-degree snaps that display all angles of the product, even show imperfections like scratches, loose prongs, or worn shanks.
Go over the retailers’ return policy as many times as necessary. And that fine print you find too tedious to read? Now is the time to pour over them, especially on the sellers’ terms of sale. Trustworthy vendors should accept returns or exchanges, no questions asked, within a reasonable time frame, usually 7 to 30 days. The absence of a clear and transparent return policy could indicate the sellers themselves do not believe in their products. If they don’t, why should you?
Lastly, check for a warranty. Although the warranty period is limited, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the seller has lifetime coverage for polishing and cleaning services.
Make Sure the Jewellery is Authentic
What is the big deal about physically examining the jewellery you want to buy? Authentic jewellery bears hallmarks, which indicate the purity and fineness of the materials. For high-end pieces, such as Cartier, Chopard, and Tiffany & Co., search for brand marks. If you want a more rudimentary approach, a quick Google search will give you a list of DIY physical tests. There is the famous magnet test (gold and silver are non-magnetic), the classic fog test (breathe hot air into the gemstone; genuine diamonds don’t retain heat), and the somewhat vague skin test (real jewellery doesn’t turn your skin green).
The hitch is, you can’t do all these when you are buying online. But don’t worry; these are not necessarily fool-proof methods of verifying the authenticity of jewellery.
When you’re buying online and have no physical access to the item, the most reliable proof that it is authentic is the paperwork that goes with it. Any valuable jewellery, particularly those that contain diamonds, have some form of certification from established, independent companies such as the International Gemological Institute (IGI), Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and European Gemological Laboratory (EGL).
More so, ask if the piece underwent valuation, wherein experts appraise the worth of the product. Although valuation is mainly for insurance purposes, having valuation documents proves the jewellery is neither counterfeit nor stolen.
Then, we go back to the first point: how trustworthy is the seller? If you purchase from a reputable vendor, especially one that frequently verifies their listing, you don’t have to worry much about receiving a fake. Remember, ambiguous product descriptions, certificates riddled with spelling and grammar errors, and blurred images are red flags.
Second Hand Engagement and Wedding Rings
The Internet has a large and impressive collection of pre-owned engagement and wedding rings for sale. What is the advantage of choosing used pieces over brand-new ones? The answer is simple: a pre-owned piece comes with a fascinating background. Whether the story ended in a happy-ever-after or a heartbreak, the fact remains that the ring is a symbol of love — and that is something cash can’t buy.
If you want to look at the practical aspect, think of getting the best value for your money. We don’t mean cheap; as a matter of fact, a used ring may not always be less expensive than a new one. An ordinary, commercial brand-new engagement or wedding band costs an average of £1,471. For more or less the same price, you can buy a beautifully crafted piece, with a priceless history to boot.