Ahhhhh, back from the holidaze…..

When you purchase jewelry for yourself or someone else, how do you usually buy it?  Physically, as in at the store counter, via a paper catalog, online, or eBay?  Is your decision affected by who the piece is for?  Does how much you’re planning on spending play a role in your decision?  Do you have a store or site that you’ve been purchasing from for years, and you automatically just trust them?  Do you hunt down unique pieces or try to get the best price possible on eBay?

Initially, it can be difficult to purchase jewelry online, especially if you’re not familiar with the site.  If you’re doing the same with a new seller on eBay, I think it’s even more difficult, because all you have to go by are other people’s reviews.  How can you be so sure that what you see is what you’re going to get?  If you found the site through a  search engine such as Google or Yahoo, does that mean the sites on the first page are going to be better than one on, say, page 10?  This is especially confusing when the search engine gives you some ridiculously high amount, like 100,000 sites.  How do you know that what is found on the first page a better bet than page 37,634?

When one does a search for jewelry, say Google for example, different results will come up depending on the wording of your search.  The first several in the shaded area are sites that paid to be the first 3 or 4 sites from that search.  Does paying to get a site advertised before all others make it more or less appealing?  There are so many different directions we could go with this topic, so let’s start with the sites that pay to be in the #1,2, or 3 slots.

Let’s put this to the test.  I go to Google and do a search for ‘diamond jewelry.’  It comes up with three paid sites: 

‘Diamond Ring Sale’ from www.worldjewels.com.  “A special gift for your loved one. Save up to 75%.  No sales tax!”  

The second is ‘Blue Nile Diamond Jewelry’ from www.bluenile.com.  “Forbes Favorite Online Jeweler. Free FedEx & 30-Day Returns.” 

Finally, we have ‘Diamond Jewelry to Browse’ from www.sohogem.com.  “Fine boutique and designer jewelry to browse and buy with style.”

So what does this mean?  WorldJewels is a very ‘busy’ site, as if it is trying to cram everything it has onto the first page. Blue Nile, with its rich blue background, is less busy, and with both left and right side panels focusing on educating the consumer, you don’t feel as much pressure to purchase RIGHT NOW.  Sohogem has a very different look, sleek and artistic.  It’s navigated by three modern lines, where one can search by designer, trends, price.  It has a very different feel to it, as if you are already familiar with different artist’s diamond creations.

Well, which do you choose?  Do you tend to skip past the paid sites?  Would you go for the promise of paying less, the reputation of an established jeweler, or check out a more esoteric site and learn more about what the trends are right now?

Please, post your comments!  What do you think?  Where do you go?  Do you always go to the same place for every type of gem?  Don’t worry, I have a feeling we might be talking about this some more…