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With so many people turning to the internet to buy goods and seek advice, brick and mortar stores have become a bit “old fashioned.” When it comes to jewelry, people do not start their research by walking into a store like they did 10 or more years ago. Instead, like looking up reviews for a restaurant, they start by sitting on their couch at home or at their desk at work, and educate themselves on every aspect of the purchase, especially when it comes to high-end merchandise.
While this is a great thing, it also does the average purchaser a disservice because they don’t get as much inside advice as they do online as oppose to talking to an expert with decades of knowledge.
So, just like having a favorite hair stylist or barber, we always encourage people to find a jewelry store they know and trust, and stick with them. But, many aren’t sure how to find a good jeweler, or what makes a good jeweler different from a bad one.
Many people we talk to know it’s important to form a relationship with a local jeweler, especially one they trust, but how do you go about doing that?
When looking for a jeweler I would start by asking some of your friends or family. Word of mouth is often the best place to start!
Once you have a few jewelers in mind, it’s research time! I encourage you to check them out online. Do they have active social media accounts? Is their website current and up to date? Do they have reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or other sites?
What’s the company’s history? How long have they been around? Are they an established business? Is there anything they do (or don’t) specialize in?
Doing this research can help you to determine the stores status, if they are an honest and upstanding business, if they have deep roots in the community or if it looks like they could be closing their doors soon.
The second step is to visit the locations. Stop in, look around, and talk with the sales associates to get an idea of who they are.
Do you feel like you can trust them? Are they friendly? Do they treat you how you would like to be treated as a client?
This will all go into how you interact with your jeweler down the line and how they will interact with you. You want to make sure they listen to you and aren’t just in it to take your money for something you aren’t really looking for.
While you are there you can ask if they have a certified gemologist on site for appraisals and gemstone identification.
Don’t forget to ask if they have a bench jeweler. If their jewelry repairs are done in-house it means your jewelry will be traveling through less hands, never leaving the store and will be repaired quickly.
If you feel comfortable use this time to make a small purchase, some jewelry cleaner or a watch battery.
This is a great opportunity to see how the sales associates interact with you. Are they trying to sell you more then you need or are they giving you advice on how to use your new jewelry cleaner or educating you on how long that new watch battery will last?
If you don’t feel comfortable buying something, or don’t really need to make a purchase, ask them to take a look at your jewelry. Bring in something for them to quickly look at, and play “dumb”. Ask them what they can tell you about your ring, bracelet, or other piece of jewelry. You could even take it a step further and ask them to clean a piece of your jewelry, since most reputable jewelry stores are able to clean and check your jewelry on the spot while you wait.
While you may not know it, the American Gem Society can accredit jewelers. Generally, these jewelry stores are the best of the best. The AGS states the following about these jewelry stores:
The firm must hold a reputation for unquestioned integrity in the business community and must be operated in a way that will enhance the confidence of the public in the jewelry industry. The owners and principals must demonstrate that they are genuinely interested in operating their business in accordance with the highest ethical standards and that the firm exemplifies this belief. The firm must have been in the retail, supplier, or independent appraisal business for at least two years and must demonstrate financial stability.
Lastly, choose a jeweler. The most important feature your jeweler must have is your trust.
If you don’t trust your jeweler you will never feel comfortable leaving your jewelry for repair or buying something from their store.
Choosing a jeweler is like choosing a hair stylist. Not only do you need to trust they are capable of doing their job and have your best interest at heart, but you need to like them and feel comfortable with them. This is a much different relationship then other retail businesses you come across.
One piece of advice, don’t choose a jeweler because you are getting a “deal.” If there is a jewelry store that is always having a sale and handing out discounts that is a red flag.
Their either over pricing their merchandise or are trying to make a quick buck. Regardless, they’re not concerned about educating or taking care of you as a client.
Stores like this often go out of business quickly or do not have honest business practices.
There is no exact science to finding the right jewelry store for you. You might stumble into the right store on accident. Conversely, it might take a lot of trial and error to find the right store.
If you’re in the market for a jeweler and you’re located in Northern New Jersey, feel free to visit either of our New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown or New Providence to see if we can be a good fit.
If you’d like to talk to someone at either of our jewelry stores you can contact us online anytime by emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply fill out our contact form and we’ll answer your questions quickly.