With over 30 years of experience in the jewelry business and as one of the largest, if not the only, online store dedicated exclusively to hoop earrings, we know a bad deal when we see one - and we are seeing way too many lately. While everyone is flocking to daily deal sites trying to get the latest products for a song and a dance, the daily deal retailers are laughing all the way to the bank because you might be an uneducated consumer. Don't take it personally though. Spend 5 minutes, or even less if you are a fast reader, with us and we will tell you the top 5 things the jewelry daily deal sellers don't want you to know so that you can be better educated and make more informed and reasonable decisions when you shop online for jewelry.
1) Do you really know what you are buying?
This is where 90%+ of online jewelry purchases that get returned go wrong. The best way to get the best deal is to know exactly what you are buying. This means that you should spend a little bit of time learning jewelry terminology and the definitions of different jewelry characteristics. If I were to quiz you right now whether 10K gold is more pure than 24K gold, would you know the correct answer? If I asked you why white gold is white and not yellow, would you know why? In both cases, I'm not going to tell you. Open a new tab, fire up Google, and start learning a thing or two about jewelry for yourself.
2) Do they really know what they are selling?
Now that you are on your way to becoming a jewelry expert, put your knowledge to the test against those selling it. If the seller isn't offering adequate information in their specs, then it's a good idea to take a pass. One of my college roommates decided to buy a pair of hoop earrings from a popular daily deal site because they were only $3. His girlfriend wears hoops frequently, and he thought that it might be a nice way to surprise her on the cheap. Well, he did surprise her - just not the way he wanted to. He opened the box only to find that the hoops were 12mm in diameter (huggie size) - which turned out to be far smaller than what the original picture on the site looked like. Looking back at the email receipt and the page where he bought them, he realized that the seller never even told customers what size they were (much like the example below, which also doesn't even list diamond color or clarity). These daily deals sites are focused on taking advantage of a consumer's lack of education, by thinking all that matters are low prices - which brings me to...
3) Fake pricing is very real.
I would like to tell you that jewelry pricing is a secret combination of spreadsheet magic and diamond dust, but it is not. As a general rule, wholesalers suggest that their retailers markup the pieces anywhere from 200% - 500%. Actual markup depends on a few variables (brand name, components, intricacy, materials) but most retailers fall somewhere on this spectrum. There are, of course, discounters who undercut the suggested markup (we do!), but there are also plenty of other stores out there that use this wide pricing range as a way to trick customers into thinking they are getting a better deal than the actually are. Take a look at the example below:
So, they want you to believe that you are getting 96% off when in reality, the actual retail price of the pair featured at any "normal" retailer would still be nowhere near $359.
4) Pictures are pretty, and often deceiving.
Sometimes I think magazine covers have consumers permanently conditioned to seeing cleaned up and digitally enhanced images to a point where it becomes difficult to differentiate fantasy from reality. As you can see from the daily deal listing pictured above, the earring the featured wasn't even represented with an actual photo of the earrings - it is a digital rendering! But, once again - if it looks kind of pretty, and the price is so low people lose their mind and have to press "buy". Spend some time at your local jeweler's store and look at the pieces on display. Make it a point to recognize detailing, so that you can spot the real stuff from the fake stuff in the future.
5) Reputation and reviews.
Much of the purpose of daily deals is to trigger impulse buys based on extremely low prices and time constraints. This often pushes customers into buying an item before they even think to read up on what others think of the item, as well as what others think of the retailer. Many of the daily deal websites that sell jewelry on their own stores also sell jewelry on eBay. Take a look at what customers think of them:
Would you still buy from them if you read these reviews first?
We are tired of seeing people get excited about daily deals on jewelry, only to end up disappointed with what they get in return. With a little self-education, and a level head - you can find really great deals on jewelry. If you really want a good daily deal on jewelry, try Gilt or RueLaLa. They carry trustworthy brands, offer comprehensive details about the products, take editorial quality photos, and their pricing structure is transparent and easily understandable. If you are looking for jewelry, especially hoop earrings, that come with a quality guarantee and lowest average price compared to other retailers, then buy something here at LooptyHoops. We promise, once you give us the chance to delight you - you will wonder why you ever went for that daily deal in the first place...