Online jewelry stores vs brick and mortar stores: which one to choose?

Jewelry shopping in Rancho Bernardo is an interesting experience. Because of the nature of the small community, there is an assortment of people who like doing their shopping online and those who like the physical brick and mortar feel when shopping. Both options are workable, but how do you compare them and how do you choose the store that works better for you?

Online Jewelry Stores

Virtual jewelry stores offer you a variety of merchandise to browse at the click of a button. Online stores are “open” 24 hours a day, so you can shop at your convenience. Peruse at your leisure without anyone hovering nearby. Get familiar with pricing so you know what’s in your budget, although pricing can vary widely from website to website. You can often view the details of the items for sale in writing, although some websites are too skimpy on those details.

These online jewelry stores also have some downsides. The issue of internet fraud becomes a major setback when it comes to the nature of how these stores transact. When it comes to jewelry shopping, the internet is perceived as the ''unregulated marketplace'' and you have to identify the merchants who are selling the good jewelry and steer clear from the ones selling inferior products.

Also, there are security risks transacting with a store that has no physical location as issues such as fraud, identity theft and other internet crimes might occur. Or you might fall victim to a failure to deliver what was promised – there is no location to visit to get someone face-to-face in case your item wasn’t delivered, or what was delivered isn’t as pictured online.

Another negative to the online jewelry store is that you are not in a position to interact physically with the jewelry that you intend to purchase. You are left to rely on descriptions and images, not nearly as effective as actually touching, feeling and trying on the jewelry to see how it looks on you. In short, as an online customer, your purchasing decision is based purely on the two dimensional information provided.

Lastly, online jewelry stores don't usually offer convenient after-sale services. After purchase, a customer might need services such as repair, cleaning, upgrading, and sizing among others. It can be awkward to bring your online purchase to a local jeweler for alterations, and they will obviously not be done free of charge.

Brick and Mortar Jewelry Stores

One of the advantages of visiting a physical jewelry store is the physical experience. You will see the diamonds or jewelry first hand, you will have your on-the-spot inquiries answered, and you will be educated face-to-face on the technical qualities of the pieces. A professional salesperson can give invaluable advice on how to get the best value for your money, whether you are buying something for yourself or shopping for a gift for a loved one.  

Another positive for physical jewelry stores is that you are able to get your pieces as soon as you purchase them. You do not have to wait for it to be shipped to you, as is the case with online plans that could take some days to have the jewelry delivered to Rancho Bernardo.

Returns are obviously simpler at actual jewelry stores – no mailing off your valuables and waiting to hear back from some virtual store that you can’t visit if anything goes wrong.

Lastly, fine jewelry like any precious possession requires maintenance. A physical jeweler gives you the assurance that they will be there when you need additional services even after purchase. At Leo Hamel’s, we have in-house master bench jewelers on hand to expertly take care of your resizing, altering, cleaning, and repairs.

A physical store limits you to shopping within a certain time frame; you will not be able to shop or purchase 24 hours a day. If you are housebound, you cannot easily shop and have items delivered to your doorstep. And particularly in the case of chain stores, the selection may be more limited than what you can search out online.

As a modern jewelry shopper, you face many options when it comes to the modes that you use to buy your jewelry. Online stores or brick and mortar stores, each carries its positives and negatives. Work around the negatives and take advantage of the positives to end up with what works well for you. Industry leaders such as Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers provide both options for their customers, so you can get the jewelry that you want at your convenience and with all the support that you desire.