These days, it’s pretty common to shop for jewelry online, even when it comes to bigger purchases like engagement rings and wedding bands. Whether you’re looking for yourself or a special woman in your life, there are a lot of advantages to shopping online — the selection is virtually limitless, the convenience can’t be beat, comparison shopping is super easy, and you’re more likely to find a better deal than in stores.
Of course, there are several potential pitfalls to watch out for when shopping online. Some people worry about the security of online shops or hesitate to invest in a piece of jewelry without seeing it first. But a few simple guidelines are all you need to make buying women’s rings online a safe and pleasant experience. Here are a few helpful tips that will help make the process go smoothly:
1. Covering Your Bases — Before You Buy
DO make sure there is a return policy. This is the number one rule of buying rings online, especially when you’re investing in fine jewelry. Since you won’t be able to see the ring in person before purchasing, a reliable return policy gives you the peace of mind that if you don’t absolutely love your ring, you aren’t stuck with it. The Bradford Exchange, for example, has a generous 120-day satisfaction guarantee on all rings, with free return shipping.
DON’T just guess your ring size. Even with a good return policy, it can be a hassle to return your ring for a different size. At the very least, it means you’ll have to wait to wear your ring. Make sure you get a ring that fits the first time by measuring your finger. Here’s a ring sizer you can print and use to determine your ring size.
2. Decisions, Decisions — Selecting Your Ring
DO choose something original. The beauty of shopping online is that you’re more likely to find women’s rings that are truly unique. Rather than buying a mass-produced department store ring, take advantage of the Internet’s vast selection to find something out of the ordinary — like unique designer rings or custom-designed personalized rings, for example.
DON’T neglect to take her taste into account. If you’re buying a ring for someone else, remember that it’s about her taste and her style, not yours. This might seem obvious, but I’ve fallen into this trap myself. It’s easy to do, because we naturally gravitate towards the things we like, and we forget that we’re not the one who is going to be wearing the ring. So if she’s pretty traditional and tends to wear understated jewelry, don’t get her the colorful cocktail ring, no matter how much you love it. Trust me, she won’t wear it, and while it’s the thought that counts, it’s a lot more fun to get a gift you’ll actually wear. For more about different styles of rings, check out this Man’s Guide to Buying Women’s Rings I posted earlier this year.
When in doubt, DO choose something classic. If you’re truly not sure what her style is, you can’t go wrong with a “classic.” The key to selecting a classic ring is simplicity. Sterling silver and diamond rings are elegant yet easy to wear, and they never go out of style, so that’s a great go-to gift idea for any woman.
3. The Bottom Line — Paying for Your Ring
DO know your budget. Sure, what girl wouldn’t want to wear the biggest and brightest diamonds? But no ring is worth going broke for. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it. One of the benefits of shopping online is that you know the price of every ring you see, so you can rule out options that are out of your price range immediately. Plus, you have a virtually limitless selection at your fingertips, and once you begin shopping, I think you’ll find that there are a lot more options in your price range than you might have thought.
But DON’T measure a ring’s value by price alone. It would be easy to assume that a higher price tag means a better ring. Just because a ring is expensive, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice. When you judge a ring by its price tag, you’re forgetting that a ring isn’t just about showing off. It’s about feeling beautiful and special and unique. Whether you’re looking for a personal expression of style or a powerful symbol of love, you’ll be happier with a ring if you have an emotional connection to it, regardless of how much it costs.
DO look for sites that offer financing options. If you do fall in love with a ring that seems a little out of your price range, some sites offer financing options that let you spread the cost over a period of time. The Bradford Exchange offers interest-free installment plans that let you pay for your ring in several monthly or bi-monthly installments. If you shop elsewhere, make sure you understand the terms of any financing options, so you don’t end up paying an arm and a leg in interest.
What’s the last piece of jewelry you bought online? Share your experience with me in the comments — I always appreciate hearing from you. And if you found these tips helpful, please share the post with your friends!The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Women’s Rings Online by Ann Kelley