BBB Offers Tips on Choosing a Jeweler for Valentine’s Day
Feb 09, 2018 | 433 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

 

Money cannot buy love, but it can buy jewelry, the most beloved gift received on Valentine’s Day. A total of $19.6 billion will be spent this year on Valentine’s Day and $4.7 billion will be spent on jewelry according to the National Retail Federation. Better Business Bureau serving Central East Texas urges consumers to research a jeweler before purchasing that special gift for Valentine’s Day.

In 2017, consumers filed almost 3,500 complaints with Better Business Bureau against jewelry stores and several hundred complaints against pawnbrokers. Some consumers allege they placed an order online and received the wrong product, a fake jewel or didn’t receive the gift at all.  

“It’s important to do your research before making any purchase, particularly big-ticket items like jewelry,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB serving Central East Texas. “Not doing so could leave your loved one empty handed on Valentine’s Day.”

BBB offers the following tips when buying jewelry for this love-filled holiday:

  • Research the jeweler. Common complaints to BBB against jewelry stores include poor craftsmanship, issues returning items and problems with guarantees and warranties. Before you visit any store, go to bbb.org to find a trustworthy jeweler near you. Read through a business’ complaints and Customer Reviews to see past customer experiences.

  • Learn the language. When purchasing a diamond, it’s important to remember the four C’s (cut, color, clarity and carat weight). Many gemstones are treated to improve the appearance and durability, but some treatments may lower the value or require special care. If purchasing gold, make sure the item is clearly marked with karat weight and manufacturer. Be sure to know whether the pearls are natural, cultured or imitation before purchasing.

  • Visit more than one store. Your first steps should be to decide on a budget and expectations. Some jewelry stores are high-end, while others have great deals. Be clear with store employees about your price range and avoid making unplanned purchases.

  • Be cautious shopping online for jewelry. While online shopping may offer good values, remember you won’t be able to examine, touch or try on the jewelry. Be sure to get the address and phone number of the business in case any issues arise after the purchase.

  • Read the fine print and ask questions. Before making a purchase, read the refund, warranty and guarantee policies carefully. If you or the gift recipient don’t like the item or realize it doesn’t fit, confirm how long you have to return it. What happens if the watch breaks or a stone on the ring comes loose? If the store advertises a “lifetime guarantee” policy, ask for the details.

  • Keep the receipt. Just in case something does go wrong, retain a copy of the receipt for your records. You can also request a certificate of replacement cost or an appraisal listing the qualities of your gemstones or precious metals to accompany your receipt. If your jewelry comes with a geological certificate, be sure to get the original and keep all sales documents together. This can help with reselling in the future.

For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please call BBB at 903-581-5704 or use BBB ScamTracker.



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