In this day and age more and more people are shopping online instead of going to actual stores. In the U.S. you can even buy a car online and pick it up at a vending machine!
So, how should you go about purchasing a gemstone online and know you are getting what you paid for? Here are some tips to help.
1. The obvious first pro is ease of shopping. There are literally hundreds of thousands of gemstones for sale on-line these days.
2. Even if you are looking for something specific, say a 2 ct blue Sapphire, you can find many options to choose from.
3. Prices are lower online, or should be, due to no retail overhead.
4. There are many different websites you can shop on. If you shop in an physical store you are limited to the selection they have at that location.
5. You have direct communication with the seller/website/owner. Not a sales person that just started yesterday.
6. No pressure to buy
7. Protection for your purchases by paying through 3rd party sites like PayPal.
1. How do you know you are getting what you paid for? The absolute best way is research. Check out ratings, how much business they’ve done, how long have they been around, are they members of any large gemstone associations, what are people on social media saying about them?
2. Read the fine print. All good sellers should offer a money back (usually minus shipping) guarantee within a certain time frame. NEVER buy something that cannot be returned unless you have agreed to that ahead of time (like a custom piece).
3. How do you know a gemstone is authentic? Again, research the sellers. You can always ask for a stone to be certified and if it comes back as something other than was stated when you bought it you get your money back. Get that in writing from the seller.
4. Stick with a few sellers that you know and trust. Once you have established that a seller and their product is outstanding, stick with them! Hopping around and buying anything that catches your eye is a sure way to get scammed.
5. Make sure the communication with the seller is quick and efficient. Read the responses to your questions. Do they explain things in a way you understand? Do they sound knowledgeable? Can you talk to them on the phone? The more open a seller is about discussing their product the more secure you can be in your purchase.
Have fun! You can get some Great deals on-line, just do your homework. Plus you have access to many stones that you would Never see in a store!