The best way to select your jewelry wisely is by shopping around. It is a good idea to go to several jewelry stores, gallerias, and websites. Compare the services they offer, the quality of their jewelry, the knowledge of their sales staff, and the their pricing. This will give you a good idea as to the market value of the jewelry you are looking for. Whether you are shopping in a store or on the phone/email with an online salesperson, there are seven important questions to ask.
The first thing you need to know is how long the company has been in business. A check with the Better Business Bureau or the local Chamber of Commerce may reveal whether or not the business has received significant complaints.
Second thing you want to know is the gemological credentials of the jeweler, manager, owner, or salesperson. Is there a gemologist on staff? If so, does the company have an onsite laboratory?
Third, what special services are provided? Does the purchase of your costume jewelry come with custom design services, educational programs, engraving, or lifetime cleaning?
Fourth question you want to ask is how would you describe the storefront window or website? Is the jewelry displayed in a quality manner? If you are shopping online, do the photos of the costume jewelry look professional? Is the website easy to navigate?
Fifth, how would you describe the overall environment of the store in which you are shopping? Are the sales people professional, respectful, and helpful or are they pushy and intimidating?
Sixth, what is the policy with regard to returns? Do you only get store credit or do you get a full cash refund? How many days after the purchase are you allowed to return the costume jewelry? What is the basis for return or is there a circumstance that will not allow a return?
Seventh, does the company have a lifetime guarantee on their costume jewelry? Does the company have a repair or replacement policy? You want to make sure that the jeweler will stand by any defective pieces. If you are not clear about this, be sure to get something in writing that explains the guarantee policy.
If the company cannot or will not provide an answer to the abovementioned questions, you should continue shopping around. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by a salesperson who wants you to trust them without getting all your questions answered. Remember that you are buying a fine piece of jewelry, not a used car. You will always be in a more advantageous position if you have been able to shop around and get all your questions answered. Unless you are a professional, it is important to shop around, ask questions, and examine the costume jewelry. After going through this process with several jewelers, you will be able to buy with the utmost confidence and feel good about your purchase.