Often times people come to me saying that they are scared to buy a diamond online. They fear that by purchasing online they will not get a good deal, or maybe get something totally different. This is not the case if you know and understand diamonds. Normally the people that are in fear are usually ones that are not educated about diamonds.
The reality is you can get a great diamond online, oftentimes cheaper than you would at a brick or mortar store because the inventory costs are far lower. The downside is you don’t get a chance to see the diamond in person. Meaning if you are border-line on a clarity grade where it is possible to see flaws with the naked eye, then it is best to make a purchase in person or at least boost your clarity grade slightly. We will go over pro’s and con’s later.
No matter where you are in your purchase stage, the first step is to understand and learn about diamonds. The next is understanding about going through the purchasing decision prior to the purchase. Let me discuss a few things you need to keep in mind before you purchase a diamond online.
Your own personal comfort level online
One of the biggest tips for advice I can give you is if you are not naturally comfortable with purchasing items online, or don’t do it often, you probably want to stay away from buying a diamond online. Even if the price is great or things look attractive, if you personally are not comfortable with online purchases, it will create stress, doubt, and worry at various times and that is just simply unnecessary. Stay away from it if you are not 100% comfortable with online purchases.
Research the Retailer
Do not forget to do your homework about the retailer and that they have an outstanding reputation. You do not want to deal with a company or business that has a tendency to not be so friendly, especially on a purchase that is so critical and sentimental in value. Google them, find reviews, see who else dealt with them, post in the message boards, and do your homework. There is no excuse to skip this.
Check Return Policy, Insurance, and Upgrade Policies
Double-check their return policy, insurance policy, and any upgrade policies they may have in place. Make sure that they have at least a 30-day return policy if you are not happy with the diamond. A fee may be incurred, but its better than being stuck with the diamond.
Check the insurance policy and see if you need it. If you are thinking about upgrading in the future to a larger stone, check the upgrade policy to ensure you can upgrade without much cost or can sell back the diamond that you purchased initially. You can also take a look at shipping policies at this point as well.
Communicate with the Retailer or Dealer
When you are buying online, I would definitely do a random phone call once or twice throughout the day and just call to ask questions. This gives a sense of company vibe and the importance of customer service. See how willing they are to answer your questions and take note accordingly.
Obtain a GIA Grading Report
When purchasing the diamond, be sure your diamond has a GIA Diamond Grading Report. When you are comparing two various diamonds – make sure to compare the same certificate from the same laboratory, however, if you stick with GIA you shouldn’t have issues.
Pay by Credit Card for Added Protection
For extra added security and protection, pay by credit card. Not only can you get points, if something happens during the transaction process, but you can also always dispute it with your credit card company or have them handle any issues. It just gives you an extra layer of protection. However, never purchase a ring or diamond with the intentions of making monthly payments on it. It will just chew away at your bank account and hurt your ability to create wealth.
Get Laser Inscription
When diamonds are certified, some get laser inscribed. Not all diamonds are laser inscribed, however, if you have the option to inscribe the diamond, then it may add another level of protection by having a report number, or a unique phrase added to the girdle. Usually there is an added fee, and it is not fully permanent as it can be buffed out, but still, it makes it that much harder to bait and switch a diamond later.
Before making a diamond purchase online, it is most important to be comfortable with online purchases. After that due to your due-diligence on the online retailer like you would for any company before trusting them since diamonds are not something you buy consistently most of the e-retailers you probably never heard of.
- Check the store policies about returns, insurance, and upgrades
- Pay by credit for added protection
- Make sure to have a GIA Grading Report to verify the authenticity
This article was contributed by Frank Fisher.