Don't buy from the mall....But where else?

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bridetobeMLE Posts : 6 Registered: 1/2/09
Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 4:53 PM

I have heard many people mention, and have read several times, that one should avoid chain jewelers, such as ones at the mall, because of the ridiculous mark up in the cost of the rings. My question is, if one is to avoid such places, where else is there to shop. Can you suggest any online retailers that you were satisfied with? Or are there some type of online directories of private jewelers?
Thanks for your help!

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 5:14 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

I heard the same thing.

Then we went ring shopping for our wedding bands, and found that the smaller, independent stores charged AT LEAST TWICE AS MUCH as the stores at the malls. (I don't know if this is the norm, but in our city, it certainly was)

I would be very uneasy about ordering a ring online...I'd look at malls, look at small, independent shops (check your phone book) and price compare. That will give you a better idea of who has the better deals.

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 8:07 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

My FH got my ring from the mall. It was from Zales, I don't know if you count that being from the mall since it's an independent store aside from the mall. But we got a great deal on the ring. If you have a Zales around your area I recommend you going there :)
                              


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LisaSummerBride2B Posts : 126 Registered: 8/10/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 8:45 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

I've heard the same thing. And unlike Bird, I found the exact opposite.

When we were shopping for rings we went to "mall stores" but we ended up going with a independent/family owned store in my area. They have a couple stores in a 50-100 mile radius of the city but none outside of the state.

My ring is custom built and the mounting cost the same as a "mall store" mounting. It's about a 4 week process but they make a wax mould of the ring and you are able to tell them exactly what you want. Also, they were informing us about different diamonds and there's was much cheaper than some of the "mall store" diamonds for the same quality/cut, etc.

Good luck finding a ring. I too would be a little hesitant about ordering online only because when we first started looking at rings, we saw some that looked good on the computer screen but it was alright when we saw it in real life.

 -Lisa-
Deployment survivor!

wedding websites


 

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carebearny1999 Posts : 1,253 Registered: 9/21/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 8:52 PM Go to message in response to: LisaSummerBride2B

Here in the Rochester area the stores IN the mall are more expensive. However, we have 2 jewelers NEXT to the mall and they are very reasonably priced. Mine came from Charisma jewelers, which does do some online sales.

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Heidibride30 Posts : 1,201 Registered: 4/16/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 8:52 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

We bought my ring from a small local store that also does a lot of business online. Their website is www.raru.com. I HIGHLY reccommend them. The thing that really got me about the mall stores was the quality. For example, they don't actually use white gold. They use yellow gold and dip it. You will have to have your ring redipped at least once a year forever to keep it silver looking. Where we went, the compound is in the gold so it never needs to be dipped. The ring is white gold. The band is also much thicker and sturdier than anything we found in the mall, and the price was really competetive. We worked with a gemologist who personally buys every stone that they use. I was really impressed and I LOVE my ring. :)

 

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CBM09 Posts : 121 Registered: 3/7/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 10:55 PM Go to message in response to: Heidibride30

We got my ring at Jareds. I didn't know at the time, but it is actually the home store to all the stores like rogers, ostermans...ect. We looked at places like rogers, zales, kays..even small local jewelry stores, but I didn't see anything I liked until I looked at Jareds. I'm not sure if Jareds is more expensive than the mall stores but one of the main reasons I liked them so well was because they do all their repairs in house. They don't ever have to send your ring out and a lot of times the work can be done that same day. Like I said as far as pricing goes, I'm not sure but my appraisal was higher than the price FH paid...I think that is a good thing! Good luck with whatever you chose and hope the experience is a good one:)

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Franko Posts : 128 Registered: 11/15/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 1:31 AM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

I agree with you 100 %, we wanted to buy a ring in the store near our place, but a friend recommended us better deal with online store, you can check the wonderjewelers.com if you want.

I payed 40 % less for the exactly same ring, same shape, color, brilliance, cut

But you can search for some other vendor, there are many on the net

 

I bought our rings @

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KPM Posts : 577 Registered: 1/20/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 1:56 AM Go to message in response to: Heidibride30

HEIDI -

I also got my ring from raru.com - but we did it via e mail. I live in Houston, Texas. We worked with them to custom design not only my engagement band, but both our wedding rings. The staff at Raru were incredible! I was shocked to see my ring on thier website after we recieved it.

We looked around and didn't find any rings that really hit both of us. We wanted something a bit different. I was not set on having a diamond - had a finger full at one time in a previous marriage. FH wanted a set for me. We ended up custom designing a ring that has an incredible amount of meaning for us. We both love purple - so we decided to get a purple sapphire. We each have 4 children, so there are 4 diamonds on each side of the sapphire, symbolizing our children.

I would strongly recommend raru.com. THEY are awesome!!!

 

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cheesecake in one hand, rum in the other, body totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!

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Heidibride30 Posts : 1,201 Registered: 4/16/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 8:43 AM Go to message in response to: KPM

KPM, I'm so glad someone besides me used them!! Their actual store is TINY, LOL. When we first started looking, we went to the mall and didn't find anything we liked. I had seen them in Renaissance Magazine and knew that they were only about 20 minutes away from us so FH suggested that we go. They were so nice. Even though we told them that we were not going to buy for several months, they still took like an hour showing us stones and going all the different things they could do for the bands. We will be getting our bands there as well. :)

 

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LinzZ Posts : 683 Registered: 12/13/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 10:26 AM Go to message in response to: Heidibride30

The best thing to do is shop around. Don't leave the Mall Stores out, Sometimes, they're cheaper, sometimes they have sales. I think the lifetime warranty they have for most of their jewelry is a great deal that you don't get with private dealers. Mine includes free redipping, free resizing, and covers the loss of any diamonds for life. That's a pretty good deal to me.

My DH bought my e-ring at JBRobinson. I wouldn't go back there for jewelry. I'm not putting down the whole chain, but our local one was not very helpful. They did not explain to my DH about the need to redip white gold. If they had, he would have saved longer and bought platinum. There was something else, some other kind of trouble they gave us, I don't remember what, but it pushed me away from their store for good.

We bought my wedding band at Marlo's Jewelers in the same mall. Now, they are a jeweler in the mall, but this is their only location. They were super friendly, very informative/ helpful, no pressure, they often remember you when you go in. I was very happy with them and the ring we bought was cheaper with them than down the hall at JBR, Kay, Zales, Osterman, or Alvins (we have a lot in our mall).

We didn't look at online places for my rings because I wanted to be able to see the diamonds, I did, however, buy my husband's titanium ring from TitaniumEra.com. We were very pleased.

Again, my advice is to shop around.


 

Always kiss me goodnight

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 10:30 AM Go to message in response to: Heidibride30

My BIL is a jeweler, so we buy most jewelry directly from him. He made my engagement ring, as well as both of our wedding bands.

He doesn't trust chain stores, so I listen to him and avoid them. If we want to buy something and don't have time to contact BIL and have him make it for us (such as my Xmas gift - DH had a hard time figuring out what to get for me this year and finally decided to replace a pair of fire opal earrings that I had lost), we buy from a private local store.

Sometimes chain stores can offer lower prices than independent stores, simply because these have more stores. It's the same economics that allows Walmart to offer lower prices than local Mom-and-Pop stores. Personally, I would rather support local businesses. I also generally trust that smaller businesses take more pride in the quality of their work than larger mega-chains do, so I am more comfortable buying from independent jewelers.

Also, you can usually find more original designs in independent jewelry shops. My BIL has worked at both, and recently took a pay cut to move from a larger name jeweler to a smaller one that will allow him more creative freedom. If you want anything custom-made, I think independent jewelers are a MUCH better bet. In that case, your jewelry will be made on premises, and if there's any problem, the same jeweler who made it will be the person to fix it. With mall stores, specifically, no work is done on premises because there just isn't enough space to have a jeweler working there. Your work will be sent out somewhere, and if there's a problem with it, who knows whether it will go back to the same jeweler? Personally, I like doing business with a jewelry shop that will remember my piece of jewelry several years after purchase. (Over Xmas, I took a necklace for repair at a local shop in MA where DH had bought it for me six years ago. When I picked it up, the saleswoman told me that their two jewelers had both remembered the piece - it was a custom piece - and took special care to fix it exactly the way it had originally looked. This was AWESOME, as I had previously taken it to another jeweler for repair and they had BUTCHERED it!) Anyway, that's just my opinion, based on having a family member in the business.

As for the question of how to find local shops, I'd try the phone book rather than an online directory, though I'm sure one of the gemological associations might have a directory of private jewelers. Also, talk to people in your area and get recommendations. Lastly, I wouldn't buy something as expensive and sentimental as engagement or wedding rings online. For me, that's just too big a risk to take. I'm not paying that amount of money until I've seen what I'm paying for in person.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 7:33 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

Dear MLE,

The advantage to buying from a locally-owned shop is that you will get more service. This is true of almost any walk of life. The only thing locally-owned small businesses have to compete with the giant chains and box stores is personal service.

My suggestion to you is to talk to your friends and relatives and see if there is a locally-owned shop that they like. Then, visit them and see what they have to offer.

Next, visit a few chain stores in and out of the mall, and see what they have to offer.

Go with the one that best suits your needs.

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independant2406 Posts : 58 Registered: 12/8/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 10:44 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I bought from a local jewler who has been in business in my home town for over 50 years. They are old friends of my family and it was so nice shopping there.

Prior to today FH and I shopped in the mall and I was turned off by all the high pressure. I was also horrifed by the price. They tried to sell me a Leo Diamond which cost $2299. We went to the local jeweler today and got the exact same design ring (without the name brand stamped on it) and it was so much cheaper.... and so relaxing.

If you want to be able to hear yourself think, and have your own opinion on what kind of ring you should have, and how much you want to spend. Find a local friendly jeweler!!!

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HLYflute Posts : 1,282 Registered: 2/5/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 11:08 PM Go to message in response to: independant2406

They tried to sell me a Leo Diamond which cost $2299.

Most Leo Diamonds ARE overpriced, but that doesn't mean everything in the mall store will be. The Leo actually refers to a special CUT of the diamond; it doesn't mean that the actual diamond is good. (Actually, many of them are quite bad). They also cost more because they are certified, but a certified diamond is not necessarily better than a non-certified one. It just means that you're paying more because a diamontologist looked at it and gave it a grade :-). If you go to Kay's to buy a one carat solitaire, you've got three pricepoints, non certified, certified, and Leo. The non certified diamond may be much better quality yet cheaper than the other two.

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