Should You Buy An Engagement Ring Online?

In years gone by, tradition saw happy couples and nervous fiancés walking into ‘brick and mortar’ shops to buy their other half that all important ring. This nerve racking process means testing, talking and comparing rings to find the best one for your partner. Nowadays, busy lives and budgets have people turning to the online world. The truth is, buying online can save you the pennies and be very convenient – but are they worth it? Here are a few things to consider when looking to buy an engagement or wedding ring online.

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The Advantages

Buying online is super easy, you have no pushy salesperson attempting to up your budget or other customers trying on the ring you want. Not to mention the lack of queues! The ease of looking and comparing huge selections of rings makes online ring shopping super convenient. Another benefit of shopping online, is you can generally get more for your money. The low overheads from operating online means you can still afford high quality rings.

Shopping online has more variety and can also educate you along the way. Many engagement and wedding ring websites have category choices using the correct term for the ring style, making it very easy to differentiate and determine which style you like the most. This is much easier than going from shop to shop and describing the look of a ring to the salesperson! With online, if you get the ring and it isn’t quite the style or quality you desired, most online ring retailers offer good returns policies that don’t include an exchange or restocking fees. These policies could catch you out, instead getting a refund you may find yourself having to swap your ring or paying a percentage of the ring price. To avoid this, do be sure to check the fine print before you buy.

The Disadvantages

The biggest problem with buying online is that anyone can set up a website and start selling.  This unregulated marketplace may push buyers to go into high street shops where they can confidently purchase a ring with a stunning diamond from a reputable source. With online, all the information regarding the ring is written on the page, which may or may not answer your questions. Buying from a shop means you get the attention and knowledge of the ring specialists who can answer all of your questions.  

The inability to try on a ring purchases online, makes it nearly impossible to test the quality and sizing. Online shops usually don’t have the high level of quality control you would need when trying to distinguish a good diamond from a bad one. Also, unlike other products, customer reviews do not really give an insight into the quality of the ring or the diamond itself. The quality of a diamond can only really be determined by a merchant who can evaluate a diamonds quality and value using the correct tools.

Another disadvantage is that, unlike online, high street shops offer insurance and ring care. The proximity of high street shops would also make it super easy to pop in and have your ring cleaned or fixed under the insurance. Buying online removes that personal level of care. However, it can be worked around by maintaining and storing the ring in jewellery boxes or the original ring box. Another point about buying online, is that you remove that instant gratification of walking out a shop with a diamond ring in your bag!

Mixing and Matching

So, you have brought the ring online, it’s from a reputable source with a solid refund policy. Now is the time to check if you have received what you paid for. Take the ring and any paperwork to a diamond specialist to get it independently appraised. Do this within the returns window, and if it turns out to be not as high quality as you were told, you should be able to return it with no problems.

Another tip if you are trying to save money by buying from the web, is to only buy part of the ring online. Buying a band online is a brilliant idea if you want to avoid bad diamonds or badly set jewels. Take the band to your local jewellers to source a quality diamond before getting it set with an experienced jeweller.

It’s true, you may not get the same level of personal service that you would in a physical shop. However, with time being of the essence and budgets tightening, online shopping could be your best friend. Ultimately, it is up to you where you purchase a ring, offerings can be just as high quality as your high street jewellers. Engagement and wedding rings need to stand the test of time, so be sure to shop around, do you what you are most comfortable with and don’t forget to read the fine print!