Jewelry Shopping? 5 Insider Tips from Expert Gold Buyer
As is usually the case, jewelry retailers are screaming bloody sale! While the usual “50% off” and “Clearance” characters are out in full force, this year feels even crazier than most.
The jewelry industry, in particular, goes extra sale-loony during the holidays. “A strong holiday season is critical for jewelry stores,” explains Romie Salem of National Jewelry Buyers, a leading gold buyer in Albuquerque. “Jewelry stores depend on the holiday season for almost a third of their entire year’s sales.”
While Salem agrees there are many great deals during the holiday sales events, he insists there is a smarter way to shop for jewelry. “Focus less on the type of sale or event, and focus more on the actual business you’re buying from,” he says. “Just because something is 50% off does not make it a great deal, since that store’s original retail price may have been outrageous to begin with.” Salem stops short of naming any particular brands or stores, but suggests that big box jewelry retailers, in general, will rarely be the best place to shop. “They have huge overheads and expenses, so they must charge higher prices to stay in business. It’s simple math.”
“On the other hand,” smiles Salem, “why not get similar quality jewelry for 50% off of their 50% off price?”
National Jewelry Buyers staff members share five tips for getting the best value when buying gold and diamond jewelry:
1. Avoid Big-Box Retailers. “It’s not that they are bad or deliberately overcharging. Their business models involve high payroll, advertising, rents, and other expenses that get built into their prices,” explains Sheda, National Jewelry’s top gold buyer.
2. Shop Local Pawn Shops & Gold Buyers. “Smart shoppers won’t buy jewelry from anywhere else!” exclaims Sheda. “Pawn shops buy jewelry for less than it costs to manufacture. Plus, they have low expenses and overheads. It’s the ‘perfect storm’ for great value.”
3. Shop Specialty Retailers. “For customized engagement rings and wedding bands, places like Acredo offer great value, selection, and personal service. For GIA-certified loose diamonds, visit Blue Nile. Their prices are far less than most retailers,” says Gada, a part-time buyer and college student.
4. Shop Online Marketplaces. Salem explains that Amazon and eBay can be excellent places to shop, but some vigilance is required. Be sure to read the product details carefully and ask the seller for clarifications if you’re unsure about something. Also be sure the seller offers a full money-back guarantee.”
5. Avoid Tourist-Traps. “Obviously, popular vacation spots and expensive resorts aren’t the best places for value. Those irresistible diamond earrings from Vail, Colorado, may keep the memories of that wonderful trip alive—but those memories will cost you extra!” laughs Sheda.