In a world where you can buy almost anything online, from clothing and electronics to groceries and pets, there is one thing you should always purchase in-store: fine jewelry.
While buying jewelry online may seem attractive because of its speed and convenience, the average consumer cannot verify critical factors like precious metal content, gemstone quality, etc. The value of fine jewelry depends on more than just the naked eye appearance of the piece. Imagine your disappointment if, after a year or two, you discover that your piece is only gold plated over a base metal, and now your jewelry investment is unsightly and a fraction of the value.
Our jewelers at East Towne Jewelers in Mequon appreciate our customers being fully informed. We are a trusted community member here to help you receive lasting value and enjoyment from your fine jewelry purchase. At the same time, we know the internet is a great place to access valuable resources such as educational materials, reviews, and comparison tools to make informed buying decisions. In fact, we have invested in your “Jewelry Education” by creating this and other online articles to help you make wise decisions.
However, knowing the potential downside of online fine jewelry shopping is essential. You’ll encounter everything from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of search results to the risk of compromising your personal information. Additionally, the significant wait times and potentially expensive shipping and insurance costs should be taken into account when perusing an “affordable” online jewelry store. Our society often promotes the idea that shopping online will result in a better deal, and while that may be true for certain things, it won’t hold up when it comes to diamonds and other jewelry. For example, even at the best online jewelry stores, shopping for diamonds doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best value or sparkle for your money.
While online shopping is incredibly convenient for many things, visiting a brick-and-mortar store for fine jewelry is the best way to go. Here are some reasons to think twice before purchasing your fine jewelry online.
Why you should avoid online fine jewelry stores:
You may find many retailers offering advice about how to buy jewelry online, but ultimately you can’t beat the in-store experience. If you’re still on the fence about where to buy your engagement ring or other fine jewelry, take a look at these 8 reasons why an in-store experience at East Towne Jewelers is the way to go.
1. You’re risking product quality
Did you know fraud accounts for 4.5 percent of online jewelers’ sales? That’s a staggering $10 billion market! This rate is more than double the average for the e-commerce industry, according to Forter, a provider of fraud detection services to online retailers.
It turns out that jewelry is the most desirable item for thieves to steal online. In fact, transactions exceeding $400 (the average amount spent on online jewelry purchases) have a 35 percent higher risk of fraud.
Online shopping can be a risky business, especially when it comes to the quality of the products you receive. Trusting reviews and doing research doesn’t always guarantee legitimate diamond jewelry. Unfortunately, dishonest sellers deceive customers to boost sales, resulting in sub-standard or misrepresented products being sold online. This is particularly true for products like jewelry—which can be difficult to judge without seeing in person.
Falling for a counterfeit jewelry scam not only means losing your hard-earned money, but it can also lead to undesired consequences. The first sign that you’ve been scammed may be tarnishing of the jewelry, followed by breakage due to poor quality materials. In the long term, these low-quality materials can even cause skin irritation.
You may think you’re scoring a great deal when you find inexpensive jewelry, but do you know what it’s really costing you? The Ecology Center conducted a study in 2012 and found that many pieces of costume jewelry contain unsafe chemicals like lead, chromium, and nickel. While we’re not saying that wearing cheap jewelry will cause your finger to turn green but, it’s important to be aware of the potential risk of getting far less value than the price warranted.
When you patronize a reputable jewelry company like East Towne Jewelers, you can be confident in the quality and legitimacy of the product you receive.
2. Flexibility of styles
While it may appear that you have access to a wider variety of styles online, you are actually limited to an inventory of pre-made designs. You don’t have to fret that you are limited to our in-store jewelry collection at East Towne Jewelers. Even if the piece you are looking for is not currently in stock or available in-store, you can still get the exact metal, color, and size you want—your choices are virtually limitless. In fact, we specialize in custom jewelry! Our concierge jewelers offer a personalized experience, something you will miss out on with online jewelry stores.
Jewelry customization is a growing trend among consumers, and we’re here to meet it. By offering in-person customization, we give you even more options to choose from. You can customize multiple aspects of your jewelry, creating a truly unique piece that reflects your individual style. Even the best online jewelry stores can’t offer the personalized experience of taking your beloved heirloom jewelry and creating something truly unique. (Read about one customer who we helped to repurpose several pieces of new jewelry from old.)
3. You miss out on added services
You will experience the full range of services and benefits when you shop at East Towne Jewelers. We offer incredible options like customizable jewelry, exclusive event sales, free cleaning when you stop in and checking the prongs for loose stones or damage, and repairs. We even offer gift wrapping, which is great for your Christmas list!
When you visit us in-store, you can learn about our return policies and get answers to any questions about our products before making a special purchase. This is especially valuable when considering significant pieces like engagement rings, anniversary gifts, or jewelry with precious gems like natural diamonds.
While browsing in person, you can closely examine the items that catch your eye, and inquire about stone quality and preferred cuts and carats. Explore different pieces, select your preferred precious metals, determine the ideal weight, and customize every detail to suit your preferences—all made easier with the products right in front of you.
East Towne Jewelers provides a comprehensive range of services, from small heirloom jewelry repairs to complete reconstruction or repurposing. Our goal is to restore the beauty of your heirloom jewelry and consider who will be wearing it and how they will wear it. Choosing an online jewelry store will deprive you of these extra services and personal attention.
You may encounter online fine jewelry stores that claim to offer repair or repurposing services, but you’re taking a huge risk if you go that route. Before we make any changes to your piece at East Towne Jewelers, we conduct a thorough inspection and evaluation to determine the best approach for repair or redesign. We understand that heirloom jewelry’s monetary and sentimental value is immeasurable, so we take extra care in approaching restorations.
4. You miss out on fun!
There’s no denying the thrill of jewelry shopping, whether for yourself or as a gift for a loved one. Even the best online jewelry store can’t offer you the fun of in-person “retail therapy!”
Let’s take a minute to dive into the science behind retail therapy. Endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brain, are released when your eyes are dazzled by gleaming rose gold and vibrant semi-precious gemstones. Endorphins reduce pain and promote pleasure. Combined with dopamine, the “happy hormone,” each shopping adventure unleashes a flood of mood-enhancing chemicals in your brain and body.
Don’t settle for scrolling through your phone late at night or during your lunch break—embark on an exciting treasure hunt at East Towne Jewelers. Explore the beaming possibilities and be amazed at every turn!
5. Bringing romance into shopping
If you’re shopping for an engagement ring or other piece for a significant other, there’s no doubt that shopping at a brick-and-mortar store is much more romantic. Unless you’re planning on a big surprise, shop together! It’s far more memorable and intimate than staring at search results on a screen. By visiting East Towne Jewelers, you’ll also open your mind to unique custom engagement rings you may have never considered.
If you are planning a surprise pop the question and need a stand-in ring until she can choose one she likes later on? We can do that too. We’ll work with you to make it special.
6. Customer service will be lacking
You’ll receive an unparalleled customer service experience at East Towne Jewelers. Unlike a chain or online jewelry store, our team of professional jewelers is here to address all your buying concerns in person. Whether you need help choosing a style or determining the carat weight for your ring, we’re dedicated to ensuring your satisfaction.
As a local jeweler, we value our customers like family. We are deeply rooted in our Ozaukee, Washington, Milwaukee, and Waukesha county communities, having lived and worked here for nearly 40 years. Our goal is to provide you with fine jewelry that will bring you joy for years.
At East Towne Jewelers, our staff goes above and beyond to make your jewelry-buying experience enjoyable. We share our expertise, making you feel confident in your purchase.
7. Mass-produced jewelry doesn’t last
Mass production of a popular jewelry brand may offer lower costs, but what about the quality? When items are produced on an assembly line, the focus is on quantity, not perfection. This means “affordable” fine jewelry may not receive the thorough inspections needed for durability. That beautiful yellow gold anklet can easily break after just one wear.
On the other hand, handcrafted products are crafted with pride and attention to detail. Each piece at East Towne Jewelers is created with time, talent, and energy, ensuring the highest quality. When you give an engagement ring, you want it to withstand the test of time—decades or possibly a century! If you’re looking to propose, your love will be reflected in a well-crafted piece that will last a lifetime.
While gold-plated brass and titanium engagement rings may be tempting due to their affordable price point, they lack the durability required for daily wear. Sterling silver pieces are prone to tarnishing, and titanium cannot be resized if necessary. Instead, consider investing in a quality solid gold or platinum ring from East Towne Jewelers that can withstand being worn as everyday fine jewelry.
8. Mass-produced rings and other jewelry aren’t a good investment
Investing in a mass-produced engagement ring from an online jewelry brand may seem like a good idea, but in the long run, it can end up costing you more. Instead, consider buying a high-quality ring from East Towne Jewelers as a true investment.
Well-made engagement rings, made from precious metals like gold, not only retain their value but can even increase in worth over time. They can become cherished family heirlooms, passed down through generations. And down the line, if you choose to upgrade or add to the design, we can easily work with you to create something new. Imagine going to have your online jewelry appraised months or years later only to find out it wasn’t what you thought it was?
When looking to invest in modern jewelry, one of the key factors to consider is its intrinsic value compared to its price. A great piece of jewelry will have considerable value from its components, like gold, silver, and gemstones. With careful searching, you can find modern jewelry selling for around twice its intrinsic value.
Another important aspect to consider when shopping for contemporary jewelry styles is uniqueness. In a world of mass production, handmade jewelry is a rarity that tends to appreciate in value more quickly than factory-made pieces. The creative artistry and craftsmanship put into handmade jewelry make them more like miniature works of art than mere accessories.
Furthermore, custom jewelry is meticulously finished to a much higher standard than chain store jewelry. Artisans put great effort into ensuring their work is flawless and visually appealing. You won’t find any imperfections like pitted metal, poorly-cut gems, or bulky prongs in fine jewelry from East Towne Jewelers.
9. Your ring won’t be as meaningful
Make your special occasion, gift, or wedding jewelry as unique as you are! At East Towne Jewelers, we understand that every detail of your special day should reflect your personal style and meaningful relationship. That’s why we offer the opportunity to design your own one-of-a-kind pieces.
Sit down with our expert jewelers and let us help you create a ring, bracelet, or earrings that perfectly capture the essence of your romance. From selecting metals to choosing the perfect stones, the possibilities are endless. We want your jewelry to tell your unique love story.
Forget about cookie-cutter options at big-name online jewelry stores. Design the bridal jewelry that fits perfectly into your wedding dreams. Whether you want to make small tweaks to an existing style or design a completely custom piece, we have a wide range of customization options to bring your vision to life.
Personalized jewelry isn’t just for the bride—we can turn your heirloom jewelry into something special that even the best online jewelry stores can’t provide. Our custom jewelry offers more than just a beautiful accessory. It reflects your personal style up close and allows you to share meaningful details of the history behind it. Choose a favorite birthstone, incorporate a family symbol, or honor your cultural heritage. Your jewelry will become a conversation piece!
Custom jewelry also makes a thoughtful and sentimental gift choice. Each piece is tailored to the recipient, whether it’s their birthstone, initials, or another sentimental memory. The gift of custom jewelry will be cherished for years to come, reminding them of your special bond with every wear.
Will I save money by buying my engagement ring online?
While it may seem like online is the way to go if you’re trying to save money, there are pitfalls in online ring shopping at online jewelry stores like James Allen, Blue Nile, Brilliant Earth, or similar. Many times, the ring you will receive won’t meet your expectations. The setting may be higher or lower than it appears online since there may not be pictures of the ring from that angle on the website. As a result, you may end up losing a significant amount of money due to non-refundable stone-setting fees.
Even with online stores, human error is still a possibility. The band may be slightly misshapen or the diamonds might not be centered. In person, our East Towne Jewelers will ask about preferences and make sure everything is just right the first time, saving you time and money.
Sure, online shopping may seem tempting when looking only at the price, but be prepared to lose out on vital aspects of the jewelry buying process. Ultimately, the choice between online and local shopping comes down to what truly matters to you. However, you should understand the initial savings may ultimately cost you in the long run. If budget is a concern for you, let our East Towne Jewelers know and we will help you find fine jewelry options that are within reach.
Is it safe to buy engagement rings or other precious gemstones online?
Before you make that online purchase, take a moment to consider the risks. You might find a great deal, but what if it’s too good to be true?
First of all, once that diamond arrives, you’ll need to verify its authenticity. Don’t just take the seller’s word for it. Visit a trusted gemologist at a local jewelry store to get the facts. You’ll want to know the actual carat, color, cut, and clarity of your new ring.
And don’t be fooled by grading certifications. Just because a diamond comes with a certificate doesn’t mean it’s accurate or from a reputable source. Many grading labs have lower standards than the well-established Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Don’t settle for anything less than the best.
But it’s not just the quality of the diamond that’s at risk when buying online. There’s a chance you could end up with a fake altogether. Those amazing deals can come with a heavy price.
Even if you do find a reputable online seller, they may still try to mislead you. Important information could be hidden in the fine print, making it easy to overlook. For example, one online jeweler advertises their clearsight diamonds. There is contention that if you cannot see the flaws with your naked eye, that is ok. It may be that actual value is not important to them, only your hard-earned dollars are. (Note, there are local brick-and-mortar jewelry stores that also specialize in larger but lower quality gemstones.) You’ll need to be diligent in reading every part of the site to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Don’t let yourself become one of the many people who have been disappointed in the long run. Do your research and choose a trusted source like East Towne Jewelers for your diamond engagement ring.
Is it ethical to buy jewelry online?
Are those online diamonds ethical or tainted by conflict? Conscious consumers are crucial, with so many diamonds mined in unsafe conditions. While large companies employ advanced technology for open-pit and underground mining, alluvial mining is often unregulated and relies on manual labor that can be exploited. All of our diamonds and gemstones at East Towne Jewelers are ethically sourced so that you can shop with a clear conscience.
Even government certification doesn’t guarantee ethical or conflict-free diamonds. Loopholes exist, allowing diamonds that fund violence to slip through and into that online jewelry store you’ve been perusing.
To ensure your diamond is ethically sourced, it’s best to turn to quality jewelry at East Towne Jewelers. We can provide detailed information, supporting certifications, and documentation so you can enjoy the shopping experience with complete peace of mind!
Why even the best online jewelry stores can’t compare to East Towne Jewelers!
Experience the perfect jewelry for your style at East Towne Jewelers. With a wide selection of custom, designer, and everyday pieces, we have something to suit every taste. Whether you’re looking for a special gift or treating yourself, our friendly staff is here to assist you. We can even create a unique piece just for you.
For over 30 years, we’ve been the go-to destination for discerning buyers on the North Shore of Greater Milwaukee. Our stellar reputation is built on our commitment to exceptional customer service and enjoyable interactions with each and every customer.
Our knowledgeable staff goes above and beyond to ensure your jewelry-buying experience is a pleasure. We share our expertise to help you feel confident in your purchase.
At East Towne Jewelers, we stand by the quality of our jewelry and strive to build lasting relationships with our customers. Online jewelry stores will never bring the relational aspect of fine jewelry that’s so important.
Visit us today at East Towne Square Mall in Mequon and see what you’ve been missing out on by shopping online!
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