If you’re thinking of purchasing fine jewelry you’ll want to take into consideration where you make your purchase. Department stores can be a decent option for relatively cheap pieces as long as you expect to get what you pay for. In general, you’ll be better off avoiding the department stores if you want a quality piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime. Instead, we suggest shopping with a local jeweler who specializes in creating, maintaining & restoring jewelry of all kinds. The following are seven reasons to go local and pass on the department stores:
Quality: If you want to be sure about the quality of the jewelry you are purchasing, you have a better chance if dealing with a reputable jeweler instead of purchasing at a department store. Department stores offer pieces that haven’t been stamped to let you know what quality the gold or silver is, which may end up leaving you with the bad end of the deal. Diamonds at department stores are often ones with flaws—albeit small ones. Still, if you’re looking for quality jewelry and paying department store prices, why settle for flaws?
Knowledgeable Staff: A clerk at a department store may be able to tell you what looks nice on you—or at least flatter your ego—but most salespeople behind the counter in the department store know little to nothing about fine jewelry. Often, the clerks are simply bouncing around through different departments—anything from jewelry to purses to makeup. Going to a reputable jeweler can ensure you make an informed purchase, in turn helping your purchase to truly become an investment.
No Guarantees: A jeweler may offer a guarantee on the watch or gemstone purchase whereas most department stores do not offer such assurances. Department stores may offer return policies, but they don’t usually guarantee the quality of work or that you aren’t buying blood diamonds.
Extra Services: Jewelry stores will often throw in little extras that are very convenient if you plan on keeping your jewelry for a lifetime. Many jewelers are happy to clean your item for free if you purchased it from them. They also can help to re-size or fix the item as the need may arise. Generally you can expect to find a higher quality of customer service and personalized care at a jewelry store.
Specialization: Department stores stock items they think will sell most easily. Sometimes this means they are offering mostly trendy styles that aren’t likely to withstand the test of time. If you’re simply looking for a trendy piece of jewelry this can be a perfectly acceptable option, but if you’re looking for a classic piece of jewelry (or a watch) you’ll want to check out stores that specialize in stocking the kind of style or item you are interested in.
Getting a Unique Piece: If you want to find something truly unique for an engagement ring, for example, then you must NOT shop at department stores. This may sound obvious, but think about the fact that major department stores are huge chain stores that carry basically all the same products. If you want your future fiancée to wear a ring for the rest of her life that millions of other women have, a sure way to accomplish that is shopping at a department store. If you want something as unique as your beloved, go to a jewelry store and find something truly special.
Resale Value: Since jewelers will often guarantee the fine quality of their pieces and/or they come from well-known designers, the resale value is much higher than if you buy jewelry from a department store. If you are buying jewelry it’s always a good idea to think about its possible resale value as you never know when you might need the cash more than a beautiful piece of jewelry. It’s a wise idea to consider you may at some point in the future want to sell the piece.
While these seven points can you give you a general idea of why it may be a good idea to avoid department stores, the best way to be really satisfied with your purchase is to be well informed. Do a little research about fine gold, silver, and gemstones before you shop so that you have confidence you’ve made the right decision. Whether you are looking for the perfect engagement ring or need to fix up a cherished piece, pass on the little brown bag and visit our store today.