Welcome to ODBA. Let me guess, you’re a first time diamond buyer right? Hmm, well you probably found ODBA because you were randomly doing a google search for various jewelry store reviews or wanted to gain some more information about diamonds and their confusing characteristics. I know what you are thinking, “There’s so much stuff out here!” “How do I know who to trust?” “Where is the best place to buy a quality engagement ring?”, etc. etc.
First of all, I know how you feel. There is a ton of information out there and I know it is difficult to wrap your head around all of it. Especially when it comes to buying a very expensive and ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ item like a diamond engagement ring.
Only 10% Purchase Diamonds Online
Well, let me congratulate you. You are in the minority my friend. Did you know that only about 10% of all diamond buyers purchase online? That’s right. Most people still purchase diamonds from their local jeweler or mall retail store. This is true even though most people recognize that they can conveniently buy books, music, or toys online for far cheaper prices. Still today, in 2015 there is a strong stigma of purchasing a high value item like a diamond via the internet. Why?
Well, the most common concerns that people have fall into one of three categories (maybe you can relate to one of them?):
1) Most people just want to see the diamond or ring in person
2) Most people want a physical store to go to in case something goes wrong
3) Most people just like that personal attention
However, I’m going to dispel a few myths for you. Seeing a diamond ring in person at your local jewelry store fulfills the emotional aspect to purchasing jewelry and not necessarily the rational aspect. When it comes to shopping, humans love to touch and feel physical objects because it stimulates our brain to automatically think of possessing it. Car salesman know this all too well. If they can just convince you to get inside and test drive that new Porsche 911, they know you are more likely to make an emotional decision quicker than you would have otherwise.
This is simple psychology. Jewelers know this too and take advantage by showcasing their most expensive items in their store windows and front jewelry cases. Once they entice you inside, you are in their territory and tend to think more emotionally when trying on or wearing a particular jewelry item. Why do you think they have so many mirrors for you to check out what you look like?
This is in direct contrast to purchasing a diamond online. Sure, diamond retailers have fancy websites and show their most beautiful and popular jewelry on the homepage with a loved up couple sharing their romantic ecstasy for all to witness, but this only goes so far. The consumer is much less influenced emotionally and much more rational in their decision making. Searching through a list of diamonds and flipping through magnified images is much more logical rather than emotional. And this is an advantage to the consumer since they have the added benefit of sitting at home conveniently perusing any number of online diamond websites not feeling pressured by sales reps or unduly influenced by fluorescent lighting or deals of the day.
Are You Motivated By Fear?
I don’t need to tell you that many of us are motivated by fear. This too is another sales principle that many brick and mortar jewelry stores employ in order to get you to purchase from them. For example, if you were to go shopping at your local mall jewelry chain store, they will have signs up advertising their ‘extended service plan’ or ‘warranty service’. When you ask the jewelry professional what this is all about they tell you that this will cover the regular wear and tear of your jewelry and service it if a stone falls out or gets scratched. You immediately think that diamond engagement rings are vulnerable to everyday wear and think it is best to purchase from a store that is near your home.
However, these service plans have stipulations that you must physically go into their store a certain number of times a year in order for them to ‘check’ your ring. But in reality, they just want to get you in their doors so that you see what new inventory they have and entice you all over again with the emotional psychology of buying. The bottom line is you don’t need an extended service plan or warranty service. Normal wear and tear of course happens but it’s not necessary to pay for retail ‘repair’ insurance. Just insure your diamond ring with your homeowners insurance or specific jewelry policy (for theft or loss) and you’ll be fine. If something does need repair just get it fixed when necessary, it’s nothing to be paranoid about.
What About Customer Service?
Personal attention and epic customer service is the bread and butter to any business. Hence it isn’t a surprise that many people like to know they can go to their local jeweler for that one-on-one attention. However, as we move more and more into the digital age we understand that online businesses have to go the extra mile when it comes to customer service. They cannot afford to keep a customer waiting in line or only attend physical store hours. Online businesses go above and beyond by providing 24/7 service, live chat, and toll-free phone numbers to speak with a human being about any of their issues. If you don’t believe me, just look at how well Amazon has mastered their online fulfillment. They are the absolute masters of making their customers happy – no questions asked. Many online diamond vendors follow the same thorough process.
For most people purchasing their diamond from a brick and mortar store is still the only option, but for the 10% of you that are thinking of purchasing online, you are a rare breed; the pioneers of future diamond buying in the 21st century!
The Online Experience Is Different
Shopping for diamonds online is a different experience entirely. It is more of a cerebral experience rather than an emotional one but it has the benefit of both. You see, shopping for diamonds online requires a bit of technical eye and caters to the individual that wants perfection and the highest quality product available. If you are one of those people then I’m not surprised you are here and reading this page.
You probably already know that buying diamonds online is cheaper and more convenient than purchasing in a store. That’s pretty obvious. However what isn’t obvious is the level of transparency you get when you shop online. Remember I said that diamond vendors have to offer exceptional customer service in order to entice the average consumer? Well a clear example of this is the magnified images of loose diamonds and HD videos that are now being offered online for buyers to evaluate in the comfort of their own home (see ODBA’s diamond search tool as an example).
If you were to shop in an average mall jewelry store, they do not provide this level of examination and evaluation for a loose diamond. Additionally, they most certainly do not have light performance images for a consumer to review. What’s light performance? Well, I discuss that in depth in my diamond cut article, but in a nutshell it is the ability to evaluate a diamond by it’s brilliance or ‘sparkle’ and this is directly related to how well a diamond is cut. You most likely won’t find this information from a local jeweler because until now they haven’t needed to supply the public with this additional evaluation information, but if you shop for diamonds on the internet this information is almost standard.
My Recommendation To You
My #1 goal for you as a first-time-diamond-buyer is to get informed and learn what to look for so that you can invest in a quality diamond that offers great value for money. I hope that this little introduction into the the world of buying diamonds online has offered some important food for thought. If you’d like more information to help you navigate your diamond search, I encourage you to join my email subscriber list so that you can get weekly tips, advice and diamond recommendations for free. I share only the most important and insightful material with my readers because I know your time is precious and I want you to get the most out of your diamond purchase.
And, when you are ready, I invite you to check out ODBA’s Diamond Search. I created this search tool for my readers and clients so that they can search the top recommended diamond websites and their current inventory for an easier search experience. Only diamonds with actual images are part of the search which makes your shopping and searching experience much easier. You can choose to search for diamonds with HD videos, ASET images, or ideal-scope images only or even limit your search to a particular vendor.
First time diamond buyers can also benefit from using The Diamond Genie by limiting your search to only the best ideal cut diamonds that are cut for maximum brilliance and sparkle. All you have to do is enter in your desired diamond shape, carat weight, metal setting and maximum budget. Once you click ‘Get My Diamond Results Now’ you’ll be brought to ODBA’s Diamond Search to show you only the best ideal cut diamonds recommended only for you. There is no other diamond search aid on the internet that does this for any consumer and obviously I’m quite proud of that. But most importantly, I’m happy to make shopping for diamonds online both super easy and convenient for any diamond buyer.
I wish you a joyous and stress free diamond shopping experience! As always, if you have any questions or would like a complimentary consultation with me for personal one-on-one service, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions. I look forward to hearing from you!
Happy Diamond Buying!
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