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A Jewelry Shopping Survival Guide For Men

Almost every woman loves to wear jewelry, but there are many men who find it very difficult to buy jewelry due to lack of knowledge. Jewelry shopping for a loved one is not exciting, but confusing for them. This article is a survival guide for men who want to buy something good for someone special. Shopping for jewelry can be a very exciting and fun filed experience for women, but it is not the same with men. It is not easy for them to buy jewelry that their girlfriend, wife or daughter will cherish forever. If you also find it difficult then there is nothing to worry because you can follow certain rules that can increase the chances of identifying a good gift easily:

Homework

Recon work

“Biting the Bullet”

Pre-shopping

Homework:

For a man, nothing can be as intimidating as trying to buy a good piece of jewelry for the woman in his life. This is the reason why they prefer giving simple gifts like chocolates and flowers. But the ones who really want to make an effort and buy something special should do some homework before going to a jewelry shop. There are few areas that need to be studied like:

Precious stones

Types of metal and their values

Semi precious stones

Settings in which gems are placed

The 4 C’s of diamonds

Pattern of pricing

Trends that are popular

Retailers on a local level

It is not necessary to spend weeks learning about these factors, but it is always good to know the basics before you enter a jewelry shop, in order to get something that is special and worth your money. You can be taken for a ride by the jeweler if you come across as an inexperienced buyer.

Recon work:

Men interested in knowing what their women want, should try to observe the existent collection. If you just see her wearing gold and not diamonds then try to find out the reason behind it. Is it because she still has to buy diamonds or is it because she doesn’t like them? Sometimes women stop wearing a particular piece because of a missing stone. You can either ask her casually or take a look at her jewelry box when she isn’t around to find out what type of jewelry you should buy for her as a surprise gift that can be cherished forever.

Pre-shopping:

Once you are done with checking her jewelry box and have decided what you would like to buy, do some homework about the stones and settings that you intend to indulge in and decide on few shops from where you can get a good variety. Take help from your friends or family in finalizing some shops where you can find quality as well as quantity. Even the Internet can be of some help to you in narrowing down some names. Search engines will provide you a list of jewelry stores in your area.

“Biting the bullet”:

Biting the bullet for men who want to shop for jewelry means purchasing a piece that has some quality instead of buying a cheaper option. Since jewelry represents your love and admiration and it is something that stays forever, make sure that you buy a good piece.

Online Diamond Jewelry Shopping – Pros And Cons Of Virtual Inventory Models

Information Overload

Every consumer shopping for diamond jewelry is faced with endless diamond details and combination possibilities. In fact, if you are shopping online you may be seeing the exact same diamond on numerous web sites at different prices, or the identical picture of a ring offered by many merchants at varying price levels. The Internet, while offering consumers so many more choices with in-depth education, has also introduced the concept of “virtual” inventory for merchants. You only need a website, picture and database and just like that you are in business. The barriers to market entry are so low; the Internet is inundated with jewelry web sites to the tune of more than 600,000 online jewelry retailers!

False Branding

For loose diamonds what this means is that most online retailers are all selling the same diamonds. Think of it this way, there is one database where all “wholesale” diamond dealers list their inventory and a price, the online retailer gets a feed of that inventory and presents it on their web site with their mark-up. Thus to differentiate the product, the retailers have developed branding to create the illusion that it is different than what their competitor is offering, so when you see “Signature Collection” or “Premium Cut” realize this is only branding and should have no impact on the price for any given diamond with identical characteristics, the 4Cs are the 4Cs. If you’re planning to make an online purchase of fine quality jewelry, then the differentiating factor to look for is added value of service.

Mass Marketing, Mass Production

For diamond jewelry, virtual inventory is created when wholesale jewelry manufacturers create electronic catalogs and then give them to their retail partners. The retailer’s job is then to mass market the product as best they can; the only differentiator is price. I refer to this jewelry as “mass produced”, typically it is manufactured overseas in large quantities and the quality is typically much lower. And unfortunately like any industry this model is vulnerable to “bait-and-switch.” Consumers should beware of web sites that have limited detail about the product or are vague about the diamond quality, such as using ranges VS-SI or near colorless. In mass produced jewelry the diamond quality is usually very low (I2-I3) and actual metal alloys used can be suspect. Mass produced jewelry has a place in fashion, but has no real long term value. Fine quality jewelry is never mass produced.

Many brand name jewelry manufacturers are resisting the virtual inventory model because of the price dilution and susceptibility to “knock offs.” Shoppers need to beware of web sites with brand name claims that are not commonly available on the Internet.

Made-to-Order Virtual Inventories

Another kind of virtual inventory that is great for the consumer and is growing on the Internet is that of CAD design. This is where a real jeweler develops his/her designs on a CAD design system and renders an image of what the piece will look like. Watch a CAD design video demonstration to learn more. The consumer is able to modify the design if needed and the diamonds and gems are hand selected for highest quality, the precision of this approach results in a superior piece of jewelry.

This virtual inventory, made-to-order model is the most desirable for fine quality jewelry shoppers because they get the best of both worlds, high quality, service from a jeweler and the best price. This is the approach we use at Diamond Design Co.

Summary

As with any business model, there are pros and cons to “virtual” inventory. The benefits are obvious; better prices for shoppers due to price competition and lower overhead equals less mark-up. The downside of course is finding trustworthy merchants, sorting through the minutia can be daunting and sometimes frustrating in a crowded marketplace. You can start by eliminating the businesses that don’t offer a full range of services and/or are not jewelers, but just resellers of virtual inventory.

If you are shopping for a fine quality piece of jewelry online, my advice is this; if you merely shop on price then you will get what you pay for. A better approach is to develop a relationship with a merchant who you can trust, who can answer your questions about selecting the right diamond, and who can provide the services you need, like annual inspections, appraisals, and resizing or redesigns. Only companies with staff jewelers can do this well. For more information, learn how fine quality jewelry is made.

Virtual inventories are here to stay; the smart shopper will know how to choose the right online jewelry company and benefit from it.

Tips for Smart Jewelry Shopping on the Internet

Over the last few years, the Internet has quickly become one of the most important venues for purchasing all types of jewelry in all price ranges. There are great opportunities for a smart buyer to find some fabulous deals, but also the possibility of being overcharged or outright defrauded if you are not careful. Dealers selling jewelry online have much less overhead than traditional jewelry stores and they often have more direct sources for their products. This means that they really can sell for less. But buying something that you can’t see in person and touch from somebody that you don’t know is obviously fraught with danger. This article will provide you with some of the basic things you need to consider before you go shopping on-line for the ultimate jewelry bargain.

First of all, just as if you were buying in a brick and mortar store, you need to inform yourself ahead of time about the product that you are buying. If you are interested in buying gemstone jewelry, do some research on the internet regarding what makes one gemstone better than another. Learn a little about what the 4 C’s mean. Briefly, they stand for color, clarity, cut and carets. Those are the 4 attributes of a gemstone that determine its quality. Its quality combined with supply and demand, determine its value. Armed with a little knowledge, you’ll know what attributes to look for in the ads and listings you come across and you’ll know what questions to ask. The ruby in a particular ring may be large and a nice shade of red, but if it has serious inclusions (flaws) or it is not well faceted to achieve maximum brilliance, it may not be worth much. Also do some research on gemstone treatments. Many if not most gemstones on the market today have been treated in some way to enhance their color or clarity. Some enhancements are considered acceptable. Some are not! Some may not even be permanent. Dealers must disclose any treatments done to the gemstones they are selling. Be sure and ask.

Also familiarize yourself with common jewelry related terminology. For example make sure you understand the differences between 10 Karat gold and 14 Karat gold, Gold filled and gold plated, etc. The differences in value and quality are considerable! Make sure you understand the meanings of terms like genuine, natural, simulated, created and imitation. The differences are often subtle, but important. Read all the sales copy carefully.

As much as possible, know who you are dealing with. If you are shopping on eBay or some similar site, check the seller’s feedback carefully. If it is an independent website, look to see if they have any professional affiliations. Find out how long they have been in business. Do they list a phone number on their site so you can call them directly if there is a problem or question. Also note where they are located. If they are doing business in another country, they may be trustworthy, honest people, but if they aren’t you may not have any recourse once they have you’re money. You can often get a much lower price buying from some less developed country, but in my opinion, the risks are much greater.

Third, make sure the seller has a reasonable return policy. You are buying something that you can’t see or hold in your hand. Even the most honest seller is trying to present his merchandise in the best light. Even the best photographs don’t tell the whole story. Colors can vary from one computer monitor to another. It is fair and reasonable that you should have the opportunity to return your purchase if it doesn’t live up to your expectations. You will probably be responsible for paying the shipping for returned merchandise and some dealers charge a restocking fee. Just make sure you know before you send your money, what the seller’s return policy is.

That’s about it! Do some research, ask questions and use common sense and you’ll be able to pick up some terrific bargains when buying jewelry on the Internet.