How-To: Buy Jewelry Online.

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One of my recent purchases — a magical moonstone and labradorite necklace by local artist and small business owner Taneisa @_theopaque_photo taken by me

Ever since I started my metalsmithing and beading journey, I’d say its been about a year since I’ve made an in-store jewelry purchase. Why? Well, with all the local artists, small businesses and major brands at your fingertips — there’s so many options for you to choose from online! I’m here to tell you how you can make smart decisions when purchasing your jewelry online.

  1. Research You might have had your eye on a piece of jewelry for a while or seen one that stops you in your Instagram scrolling tracks. It’s an exciting feeling — but don’t pull your purchase trigger finger just yet! Before you add to cart, make sure you do thorough research first. Depending on the type of company you’re looking at — whether it’s a local artist, small business or a major brand — browse the shop a little further before deciding.
  2. Compare You’ve done your research, perused the online store and narrowed down your options. Now it’s time to compare! Make sure you look at the size, shape, color and see if the style resembles something you already have in your current collection. There have been times where I’ve looked up similar pieces and suddenly preferred one over the original piece I was set on. If you’re torn between two, take a step back and revisit them later. Still feeling unsure? Ask a friend or loved one for their opinion!
      • Pro tip: If you’re looking at a piece of jewelry that features a gemstone or crystal, make sure to check what other pieces with that stone are priced at.  Some stones like labradorite, amethyst or moonstone may be used in more pieces because of their commonality so their prices may vary. Other stones like citrine and turquoise can be fake as most sold in the market are actually heat treated amethyst or dyed howlite. So, just be aware and make sure you’re buying from a verified seller.
  3. Check the Material Used and How It Will Affect You Brass, nickel, sterling silver, gold, gold or silver filled — the possibilities are endless! However, some people are affected by one or more of these materials when it comes in contact with their skin. It’s important to check what the piece is made of and how it will affect you before purchasing it. If you know a certain material affects you — ask the artist if they are able to create a custom piece in the same style for you, or check the brand website to see if they make the piece in another material for an additional charge.
  4. Measure This step is crucial! In my first few online purchases, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I received a piece that fit longer than expected, was too small or sometimes didn’t even fit! One of the things to keep in mind when purchasing jewelry online is that a lot of the images you see are enlarged to show you the details of each piece. This is why measuring yourself is so important so you can order the size that is right for you!
  5. Read the Shop Policies Last but not least — when purchasing a piece of jewelry online, you need to make sure you read and understand the shop policies. Purchasing from a local artist or small business is a lot different than purchasing from a major brand. Each will have their own set of return and exchange policies, as well as prices. The local artist or small business might only make one of a kind pieces or have a limited release while the major brand might produce larger quantities. If the price is a concern for you, ask to see if there is a payment plan option available. A lot of local artists, small businesses and major brands are implementing them and is a great option to look into.

Now you’re ready to go shopping online and add some beautiful new jewels to your collection! Remember these 5 steps and you’ll be satisfied with your purchase every time.

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