You purchase antiques from eBay, novels from Amazon, concert tickets from Ticketmaster and hotel reservations from Travelocity, but should you really shell out a few thousand dollars for a diamond online? Experts say that it is risky at best to purchase diamonds online, especially if you’re going through a web site you’ve never heard of before. So instead of pulling out your credit card to buy an engagement ring, consider, these reasons why you shouldn’t buy diamonds online.
There have been thousands of diamond jewelers and retailers who have set up shop online-only to disappear six months later, setting up shop under an entirely new name and domain. Unfortunately, the diamond industry isn’t easily regulated, and you never know if a store is going to be open next week. You shouldn’t buy diamonds online unless you’re sure that you’re going through an established, reputable retailer who has many satisfied customers.
2- Return Policy
If you look at the return policy before you buy diamonds online, you’ll find that the language is often non-specific and incredibly biased in favor of the store. For example, they might accept returns within seven days, but only guarantee a partial refund. You shouldn’t purchase any jewelry online unless you know that you can return it for a full refund in a reasonable span of time. Anything from two weeks to thirty days is usually considered standard.
When you buy diamonds online, you have to pay the full price for the stone and whatever else you purchase, and you might be asked to buy insurance for its safe delivery. However, if you buy insurance through the diamond retailer, you mind wind up in the hole should your package not find its way to your home. Furthermore, damage can occur en-route, and the language of shipping insurance sometimes doesn’t work in favor of the buyer. This might be okay for a ten-dollar book, but not for a thousand-dollar stone.
You know those pretty diamonds you see on retailers’ web sites? They might not actually be the diamonds that they are selling online. Many retailers use stock photography of comparable diamonds when advertising online, but ship something entirely different when the buyer makes his or her purchase. This is another caveat of the aforementioned return policy; what happens if you don’t get what you paid for when you buy diamonds online?
Full disclosure is not something you’ll encounter often when buying diamonds online, and you have to be careful what you purchase. The FTC has contacted many online jewelers, according to their web site, to advise that they publish more information on their sites about treatments and enhancements of stones. If there isn’t much information about the history of the stone, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting.