Buying jewellery online with confidence
Jewellery is one of those fantastic items where you can see some sizeable discounts simply by shopping around online. However, it is also very difficult to discern the difference between different metals – for example, sterling silver and white gold, 9K and 18K yellow gold – if you aren’t an expert and are only looking at a picture on a screen. One-dimensional photos also mean that it is easy to cover up inclusions in gemstones or dents in pearls. Buying pieces from online jewellery stores is often a matter of trust… so how do you know which you can trust? We give you a guide to finding scrupulous Melbourne jewellery stores and online jewellery stores today.
Brands You Know
One easy way to be sure that you’re getting what you expect is to look for the online jewellery stores of brands that you already know. If there are any issues, these well known stores are more likely to offer refunds and exchanges, even if the description was accurate.
Look for Australian Sites
It is safer to buy from jewellery stores in Melbourne or other major Australian cities than to buy from overseas… although prices are sometimes a little more. This is not because there is a lower proportion of scammers in Australia than anywhere else in the world, but purely because if you have any problems it is much easier to have your Office of Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs Department look into them.
Should I Buy Jewellery from eBay?
There are some reputable online jewellery stores who make a living through eBay. Unfortunately, though, an easy signup process and the ability to manipulate feedback means that eBay is where most of the scammers can be found. If you want to buy a piece of jewellery on eBay, look for:
- The eBay store of a well-known retailer – a few exist! Verify using their site that they are actually involved in eBay selling
- Stores with very high feedback rating – well over 500. Click through to the profiles of some of the users that have left them feedback, and check how many other items they have bought.
- Truthful titles. The item title is the place that unscrupulous sellers are most apt to put misleading information. If the title doesn’t say anything dodgy or misleading, you have a better chance of getting a good item.
- Photos from every angle.
- Descriptions that don’t use abbreviations – abbreviations are often used to mislead eBay buyers
Should I Buy Jewellery From Amazon?
Many major US retailers sell on Amazon. However, many smaller and less trustworthy companies do also. If you are going to buy jewellery from Amazon, either buy from Amazon itself, or from a seller that you can verify as a major retail brand in the States.
A Physical Address and Phone Number
Make sure that your Melbourne jewellery store or other online jewellery store lists a physical address and a landline phone number. Verify using the phone book that these match up, and see if you can talk to customer service staff on the phone prior to jewellery purchase to check out refund and exchange policies for the online jewellery store.