Diamond rings, to buy it online or in store? There are always the pros and cons of purchasing something via online or in store and with diamond rings, this can get a little more intricate. With the rise of ecommerce, this however, has become quite an appeal to ring buyers.
Thinking of proposing to that special someone? Thinking of rewarding and pampering yourself with a nice shiny rock on that finger? Whichever the reason may be, diamond rings have come a long way. In the past, diamond rings were actually a symbol or ownership. Women were given gold rings by their husbands, and metal ones to wear at home, to show that they belonged to their husbands. But let’s be clear, nobody owns anyone. This of course has changed and evolved over time. Rings, diamond rings especially, are now synonymous with love and mutual commitment. Today diamond engagement rings can be seen in practically every culture. However, as times change, people are moving further away from the traditions of the past and embracing a new world of individuality. Fancy colour diamonds are also favourite alternatives for the traditional white diamond engagement ring.
There are certain things in this world that have become icons, for whatever reason. In the realm of engagements and marriage, a diamond ring is by far the biggest and most important icon. Why is this and when did it start? More importantly, why are diamonds specifically used for engagement rings? Wedding rings have been worn since ancient Egyptian times. It dates as far back to 1477, when Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. This sparked a trend for diamond rings among European aristocracy and nobility. While this was the first documented case of a diamond engagement ring, it is by no means the first engagement ring. That tradition has roots that date back to ancient Egypt when reed rings were placed on one another’s ring finger to symbolise their betrothal. It was believed the vein in this particular finger ran up directly to the heart, thus symbolising love. Although this is a myth that has been dispelled by scientists, nevertheless the symbolism is still something couples like to hold onto because of its romantic meaning. Adding a diamond to your wedding/engagement ring is the perfect way to symbolise your commitment and partnership. Through the centuries, this gemstone has proven itself to be a great symbol of strength and durability. This is exactly the kind of message your diamond ring is sending – one of a strong marriage based on loyalty and love.
Nonetheless, when it comes to purchasing something in today’s tech-savvy modern world, even for diamond rings, there is always the debate on buying it online or in store. Ecommerce has practically made it so easy for buyers to purchase just about anything while sitting at home in their boxer shorts. Ecommerce is a goliath industry. It’s also an industry that is ever-changing. Trends are constantly shifting in an attempt to shape the way that people in every corner of the globe purchase products, and we are not talking cheap stuff, this applies to diamonds too. Amazon, the same place where you buy your video games, kitchenware, and dog food, has engagement rings for sale for over $75,000, though shipping is free. Around 10% of diamond engagement ring purchases now occur online. That’s not a ton compared with clothes which are nearly 60% of which are purchased online. But it’s possible that the number will continue to rise as more traditional brick-and-mortar jewellers shutter.
Jewelry is like the perfect spice – it always complements what’s already there.
– Diane Von Furstenberg
Physical vs Online
The Internet has drastically changed the nature of businesses in the 21st century. In the digital age, a business is no longer limited to its physical location or confined to the usual retail opening hours. And for consumers, eCommerce has benefited us with the ability to compare products, pricing, and other features instantaneously. But when it comes to buying a diamond ring, is it better to buy online or in-store? Wherever you are, even in Malaysia, there are some factors to consider before making a purchase. As eCommerce continues to surge rapidly in Malaysia, the trend of buying diamond rings online is still slowly growing. It is expected to grow within the next few years but right now, it is a rocky balance.
It could probably be just a matter of time before brick-and-mortar stores fade out in favour of an even bigger shift towards online shopping. It’s undeniable that the growth of online shopping is far outpacing the sales from brick-and-mortar stores but this doesn’t mean that physical stores are not valuable assets for brands with eCommerce presence.
Both options can work. Both can be safe. Buying online has its pros and cons, the same goes for in-store purchases.
In most cases, engagement rings are 30-40% cheaper online than they are in physical stores. Because of the way diamonds are sold and distributed, diamonds are less expensive for online vendors. Online stores, in theory have very few overheads. There is no rent, inventory expenses, storage costs, insurance, staffing costs, and even sales tax. This allows them to be more competitive in pricing as they have significantly lower markups compared to physical stores.
Buying a diamond ring online also lets you do a comparison shop. By shopping online, you’ll get a large selection of conflict-free diamonds and beautiful settings at competitive prices. You can’t beat the selection and it’s easy to compare diamonds from different merchants. Because most rings purchased online are custom-made, it makes it possible for online shops to offer a much larger selection of designs. It is very different buying diamond rings online compared to buying a pair of pants. With online jewellers, they come with refund policies, pages of diamond buying advice and info, and often display their customer service number prominently. They make it easy to call. They know that their customers are looking for guidance.
Life is fair, where there is good, there is also evil. The internet is, well, the internet. It’s a vast unregulated marketplace with good and bad merchants selling good and bad diamonds. If you don’t have the necessary knowledge or information that you need, you can make a terrible and expensive decision. Most online stores simply list the inventory that their wholesalers are holding. In most cases, the store does not edit or quality control the stones as they usually don’t ever see them or take possession of them, so it is crucial to buy only from trusted jewellers. Another disadvantage of online stores is the inability to see and touch the stone. A diamond on its own always looks great. Diamonds need to be compared and contrasted for the average person to form an opinion about whether one is more pleasing to the eye than another. Online stores don’t let you compare and contrast diamonds to understand the trade-offs or to assess the beauty of the diamond.
So it comes as no surprise why there are still people who prefer buying a diamond ring at a traditional jewelry store. With physical store, you can obviously touch, see and feel the diamond you are buying. There’s absolutely no substitute for seeing the diamond in-person. Plus, you can get immediate gratification and walk out of the store with the diamond in your pocket. Additionally, physical stores nowadays do offer credit plans for long-term financing and you might find stores with buy-back or upgrade policies which allow you to trade-in or trade-up the diamond at some point in the future. When you start a relationship with a physical store you’ll have someone to go to for sizing, cleaning, and prong tightening.
Nothing beats seeing the diamond with your own eyes. Sure, some sites have technologies to make it appear that you have the ring before you, like 3-D revolving imagery and can be very impressive but none of these gimmicks are as good as, like said, seeing it with your own set of eyes. Prominent online jewelry stores who understand this are increasingly opening up their own physical locations. When you buy an expensive diamond ring, do you honestly want it to be transported via a delivery service company? This may be okay with other products but a diamond ring? Not everyone is cool with it.
As much as there are advantages of buying diamond rings in store, there are also the disadvantages. You can be misinformed and misled, both intentionally and unintentionally. Prices are also higher than those offered online due to physical costs and because storage of diamond rings are expensive, most physical stores have a limited selection of rings available.
Having said all that, both brick-and-mortar and online stores both offer relevant advantages and disadvantages. Which option fits you best depends on your personal preferences. Whether you decide to buy online or from a traditional retailer, the basic recommendation is to shop around but preferably opt to buy from a trusted jeweller, especially one with both online and offline presence. The jewelry experts at Venessa Diamonds understand that your diamond ring is the most intimate piece of jewelry that you will ever own. Venessa Diamonds is more than just another diamond jewelry store, both physical and online, they work with the finest designers in the world, bringing you unique styles and designs that are combined with the highest quality of craftsmanship, gemstone, and precious metals.