You may have one or more pieces of jewelry. Most of them were probably given to you, either passed down from generation to generation, or as a gift from your spouse. Nevertheless, you are lucky enough to have such a collection. However, if you are thinking of buying one for yourself or as a gift for someone else, then your job is for you. With the number of jewelry stores in your area and online, the search can be daunting. So the first important thing that you need to do is find the best jewelry store.
There are many types of jewelry stores. There are the designer jewelers like Cartier and Tiffany & Co., chain stores that are usually found in shopping centers and malls, independent merchants who offer more unique and classic but understandably more expensive pieces, and the online retailers who are, of course, found online. Given these different types of jewelry stores, your preference of store may be affected by several factors:
• type of jewelry
• history, referrals, or recommendations
• free time
• budget or price range
• distance or proximity
• level of security
• preferred mode of payment
Narrow down your search using the above-mentioned factors. Covering the basics would help you cut down on the unnecessary time wasters like going to an artisan or independent merchant when you really need a more modern piece which you can find either online or at chain stores, or trying to scour several online stores when you were already given recommendations by friends or relatives.
After covering the basics, it’s time to dig deeper. Know the store and the person you’re buying from. Even if you do decide to go to designer jewelers like Tiffany & Co., do your research still. See if the store nearest your house has already received complaints, if their affiliations with authority organizations like Better Business Bureau are up to date, if they’re known to sell only authentic pieces validated by accredited groups, if they have master gemologists, if they give appraisals, warranties, certificates, and more.
Choose a store that has very knowledgeable, efficient, and trust worthy staff members. Again, you have to do your research. There are unpaid and authorized reviews on jewelry stores available online. For example, Top Consumer Reviews has released their list of 2011’s 10 best online jewelry stores based on selection, cost, and customer service.
Follow your instincts. If you’re having qualms about giving away your credit card number to an online store, then don’t. If you prefer the traditional way of shopping for jewelry like physically going to a store and talking to a person face to face, then do it. There are online jewelry stores that do have secure connections and sites, but if you’re really not that comfortable, then forget it. At the end of the day, it’s your decision.
There really is no set of codes or commandments in choosing the best jewelry store. People have varying preferences. What works for some may not work for others. In the end, all that matters are your needs.