Online Gem Shopping Tips - Privacy and Security GemSelectWith the online shopping becoming more and more popular, we would like to share with you some helpful tips for buying gems and jewelry online. Doing your gem and jewelry shopping via the internet is a great way to avoid crowded shopping malls and save time. If you are planning to treat yourself or a loved one to a gemstone or piece of jewelry (Valentine's Day is just around the corner!), these helpful suggestions may help stop your online shopping experience from turning sour.
First, when buying online, GemSelect recommends using only payment methods that offer good buyer protection policies such as PayPal or a credit card. Try to avoid giving bank and other personal details over the phone or by email. When entering in personal information through a website form, we recommend to always check for evidence of good web security. One way to ensure you are on a secure page is by looking for the padlock sign near the web address shown in your browser. Often there will also be a green line highlighting the secure site address in the browser (see image, below). If you are unsure about the website, it doesn't hurt check out some genuine customer reviews from 3rd party websites such as the BBB or Bizrate verified reviews.
Check the delivery times and always assume that the shipment will take the full time given. If the time-frame given is 3-5 days, it is best to expect it in 5 days. For this time of year, express shipping is recommended. If you do not receive shipping confirmation, contact the seller to make sure the item has shipped.
Check the company's return policy and make sure they allow enough time to return the gemstone or jewelry item in case you or the intended gift recipient is not satisfied with it. Reliable online suppliers always have a solid return policy, with the best offering 30 days for inspections. Also check the fine print to ensure there are not hidden fees for returning items, such as transaction or restocking fees or credit card processing fees. Most companies do not offer refunds on original shipping costs unless an error was made on their part, which is pretty normal. Buyers should also be responsible for the return shipping fees so you'll need to bear this in mind.
If you are sending a gift directly to the recipient, contact the seller to request that the invoice be removed from inside the package. Exported shipments must always provide proper paperwork, but the invoice inside the package can be removed if required. The gemstone can also be presented in a box if desired (see image, below).
If you are planning to make jewelry, the gemstone can be presented as a gift and then the jewelry design can be planned. Involving the recipient in the design process can be fun and ensures that they will be happy with the final piece. They will be able to add their own personal touches too. After the New Year, jewelers often offer discounts and good deals, so this can also be easier on the budget.