Online shopping offers customers the convenience of shopping at their fingertips in addition to the comfort of sitting at home, but like all shopping, this can come with some risks.
As many of us have probably encountered, it’s a challenge determining whether the item you order will match what arrives in the mail or if a delayed, poor-quality alternative will surprise you after ten days of shipping. After all, that sweatshirt you got for grandma last year during the holiday season only lasted one wash before shrinking down to nephew Timmy’s size. That is why it’s vital to research the mistakes of online shopping before making an important purchase—especially for something as significant as online ring shopping.
Whether the ring you purchase is for a special someone or you want to add something fancy to your night out on the town, know what you are buying before you give over your hard-earned money. By learning from common online mistakes others have made when purchasing rings online, you can leverage that knowledge to ensure a successful and secure online jewelry shopping purchase with your first attempt.
Mistake #1: Not Knowing Your Budget
Shopping with a budget is very beneficial to your purchase. Though window shopping is undoubtedly enjoyable before purchasing, proceeding without a clear budget can lead to unrealistic expectations. You don’t want to end up disappointing yourself by accident.
By underestimating your budget, you unknowingly narrow your options too far and end up discouraging yourself. When you overestimate your budget, you may end up falling in love with options you can’t afford, and then suddenly, you are stuck between the feeling of ‘settling’ for something you don’t like or feeling bad about dishing out the extra cash. On both ends, without a properly estimated budget, you may end up with something that is not what you are looking for.
When assessing your online ring shopping budget realistically, there are some questions you can ask yourself that will help, which are:
- What are your financial goals, and how will you cover the cost while maintaining these goals?
- What aspects of the ring are non-negotiable? (Limit your answer to your top two or three non-negotiable items.)
- In the event you end up going over your budget, are you open to exploring alternative materials or designs that might better fit your budget? List out the elements you are more likely willing to negotiate.
- Are you considering the possibility of future resizing, insurance, or maintenance?
After answering these questions, take the answers and do the research. See what the market would price your ring for. For example, if the type of stone is non-negotiable, see how much a single carat in your ideal stone is going for in the current market. Do this for all the non-negotiable materials and the possible alternative materials while factoring in insurance and maintenance costs if they are part of your considerations.
Mistake #2: Not Researching Reputable Brands
Another mistake shoppers make while online ring shopping is not researching reputable brand options. It can be exceptionally frustrating when something goes wrong with your purchase. We've all heard the horror stories. Whether your purchase gets lost in the mail and the brand's customer service puts you on hold for five days, or the product is not as expected, it's just best to avoid these issues as best as possible. The best way to do this is by identifying and purchasing reputable brands.
While the presence of a fancy website and professional product images may suggest a reputable brand, those aren't the sole indicators to consider. It's highly recommended to review customer feedback while conducting brand research. While reviews can help guide your research and decision, it's important to read each review objectively.
A 2013 research study by Zendesk, a cloud-based software company, found that customers are more likely to leave reviews after having negative experiences than after positive experiences. This is important to note while performing research. A common misconception is that a product/brand with many negative reviews is overall bad. While this may be the case in some instances, it’s not always true.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when reading customer reviews.
- Determine which reviews are authentic
- Check to see that the reviewer has a history of other reviews. This indicates authenticity.
- Ensure the reviewer’s account is not new. New accounts could be bot accounts.
- Look for the ‘verified’ button next to the reviewer's name.
- Identify red flags such as incoherent grammar or extremely short reviews. These reviews could be fake reviews or bot reviews.
- Identify patterns within the reviews (good or bad)
- Are there multiple reviews by different authentic reviewers stating the same thing? The stronger the pattern, the more valid the statement may be.
- Look at reviews from different sources
- Oftentimes, the reviews that are shown on the brand's site are hand-selected by the brand themselves.
- Don’t focus on overall ratings
- The overall ratings are based on a combination of both positive and negative reviews. Instead, focus on the content and context of individual reviews.
After reading all the customer reviews, it is beneficial to generate your own rating based on your impression of the quality of the product and brand. This 'impression rating' should be split into different categories, including the product itself, the delivery system, the refund policy, and the brand's customer service resources. Based on your individual needs, one of these categories may be more important to you than another. The low impression rating you give for their refund policy may matter more than the high impression rating you give for delivery, and it may end up swaying your opinion to not purchase from that brand. These ratings can also provide insight into any additional decisions you may need to make if you decide to purchase from that brand. For example, if the products all have a high impression rating, but the company has a low impression rating for their delivery process, you may want to look into getting extra insurance on the ring because that may insinuate their lack of responsibility in getting you the ring you bought.
It can also be helpful to look up the brand’s name and see what articles written by other organizations mention it. If the leading articles on Google featuring the brand's name consistently bear titles similar to "Top Picks for Event-worthy Rings," it's probable that this brand has a strong level of trust within the general population.
Mistake #3: Getting The Wrong Size
While this is an obvious mistake we all want to avoid, it’s unfortunately very common with online ring shopping.
The size of the ring is one of the most important aspects to identify. After all, a ring can only be worn if it fits. Although determining your ring size is easy while shopping in person, it can be quite difficult with online ring shopping if you are not provided with the right resources.
The best way to avoid this mistake is to look for a size chart on the brand’s site. Size charts can vary from vendor to vendor, just as it does from country to country, so while knowing your general size may help you a bit, it’s always better to verify with the vendor's sizing chart.
If you do not even know a general idea of your ring size and are looking for ways to get it sized at home, the string method is an easy way to size your finger with common at-home materials.
This issue can also be avoided by speaking with a consultant. Most sophisticated ring vendors will have a readily available consultant you can speak to in the event of an issue. This is true even for online ring vendors. It’s always better to ask than to purchase the wrong size. After all, these professionals are there to help you. Utilize their knowledge when you can.
In the event you purchase a ring that does come in the wrong size, make sure you are aware of the vendor's policy. This includes their return policy and any resizing or maintenance fees. It may also be beneficial to purchase insurance on the ring to be extra safe.
Mistake #4: Not Reading The Fine Print
As mentioned above, reading the fine print and understanding your purchase is vital to secure online jewelry shopping. The fine print on the product or the vendor’s policies may be the difference between you purchasing or not.
The two main policies to read before purchasing a ring online are the return and insurance/warranty policies. These policies will break down the what and how of procedures you may need to follow in the future.
Return policies will identify:
- Whether the product can be returned at all
- For what reasons the product can be returned
- Refund policies and procedures
- The steps you would need to take while making a return
- Alternative options you may have instead of a return (e.g., exchange)
Insurance/warranty policies will identify:
- What the vendor will cover
- The different coverage options
- Possible extra charges
Along with policies, it’s also important to read product descriptions to understand the product's condition, provenance, and/or certification. This information will identify the integrity of the product you will receive and provide more details to help you make your final decision.
Mistake #5: Making The Decision Alone
Another common online ring shopping mistake is when customers make the decision alone. While the decision is ultimately yours, the help of another can be precious and provide an additional perspective you need to see the whole picture.
Oftentimes, the purchase of a ring can be a big decision and an expensive one. There are professional jewelers and consultants who can help you make the right decision for what you are looking for. While research can provide a lot of insight, consultants can assess your individual situation and provide more specific insight that the Internet may not be able to provide.
Mistake #6: Rushing The Process
Rushing the process is another detrimental mistake to make when online ring shopping. The process of selecting the perfect vendor and ring, as well as the process of creating the ideal ring, can not be rushed. Rushing the purchase and creation can lead to unintended consequences that will leave you disappointed and could possibly end up wasting both your time and money.
The convenience of online shopping often misleads customers into thinking the process itself is quick but sophisticated, beautiful rings take time to make, especially when custom-made. If a custom ring is sold with a short turn-around time, it could insinuate the use of cheaper materials or bulk creation.
A ring embodies the person who wears it. Make sure the purchase is carefully considered.
Purchase With Confidence When Online Ring Shopping With Grogan Jewelers
In the world of online ring shopping, avoiding common mistakes is pivotal to ensuring a seamless and satisfying experience. From overlooking ring size details to neglecting the importance of reputable retailers, the pitfalls can be numerous. However, for those seeking a trusted destination for their online ring shopping journey, Grogan Jewelers stands out as the go-to choice. Grogan Jewelers combines quality, expertise, and reliability by offering a vast selection of meticulously crafted rings, precise size guidance, secure transactions, and a rich legacy of customer satisfaction.
When in search of the perfect engagement ring, watch, or custom design that encapsulates love and commitment, navigating the world of online ring shopping with Grogan Jewelers is a step towards finding the ideal symbol of everlasting love and cherished memories. Trust in Grogan Jewelers to guide you in making the best ring purchase decisions and ensure a memorable and gratifying shopping experience.