A few weeks ago I wrote about this Tech Crunch article for RLJ. It was about how to keep an engagement ring secret…except it wasn’t. Because for the vast majority of adults, keeping an engagement ring hush hush isn’t mindblowingly difficult. Rather, it was meant as a rebuttal to the (also somewhat off topic) title of the article “Buying an Engagement Ring Online Ruined the Surprise.” Cue defensive e-tailer knee-jerk reaction: “No it didn’t! The Etsy vendor did!” Which I still stand by, although in a more gentle manner – said Etsy vendor didn’t mean to ruin the surprise. And I’ve already explained how to circumvent the identity-revealing listing titles (code names, obv.) But I want to go back to another facet of the article I didn’t really delve into, in a futile attempt to remain on topic. Buying an engagement ring online is the easiest way to buy an engagement ring. I like to think I’m somewhat impartial here because RLJ has an e-store and Brick and Mortar showroom. So really, either way you buy your engagement ring (from Raymond Lee Jewelers) I’m happy. But here’s why I think you should go all digital for your diamond.
Why? Shopping brick and mortar stores for en engagement ring is fun. I tried on engagement rings everywhere from mall stores to Tiffany before I worked for RLJ. Once I was surrounded by rings all day every day, I had a blast
shopping Instagramming strictly for work purposes. When ladies come in with their Moms, sisters, their best friends, or on their lunch break to play a little dress up, it is so much fun. They ask as many questions as they want, they can try on every diamond in the showcase, and they can take their sweet time debating the finer points of split shank vs. not. When it’s a couple, I’ve noticed 2 things, among others: 1. The guy might be completely silent, overwhelmed, eyeing the exit and visibly sweating. I don’t think it’s necessarily because he’s not ready for marriage, he might just be not that into shopping in the first place, let alone shopping for something this expensive, listening to the salesperson speak what doesn’t sound like English. In the opposite direction, he might not.shut.up. He’s asking things that have his girlfriend rolling her eyes. He’s cracking insensitive jokes. He’s trying to haggle on price (“Wait, is he buying it today?? With me right here?!”- his lady friend.) Which brings me to 2. He and/or she feels uncomfortable about losing the element of surprise. I know this isn’t everyone, I’ve seen plenty of happy couples happily shopping together and either buying the ring on the spot to be surprised later, or walking out grinning having narrowed it down to a style or 2 the groom will choose later. But for the sake of ease: engagement ring shopping in store with your friends, at your leisure, is a lot more fun and easier without a groom who hates shopping. Or who you hate shopping with. Even easier? Pinning your favorite rings for him to choose from.
Who? Buying an engagement ring online might scream Millenial to you. And thanks to major online engagement ring sites making it the norm, it’s an option that Millenials are more and more comfortable with. But so is everyone else. Ladies who know what they like, experienced diamond shoppers, and women with a particular set of standards are more than happy to buy their own engagement ring online, be it an upgrade, anniversary present, or a longed-for engagement ring that’s been a long time coming. Anyone can shop online for diamonds because you have the entire world at your fingertips. You can explore Trapeze Cuts and Trillions, Gallery options and basket settings, east-west…wait…what?
What? The research possibilities are endless. If you’re journeying into diamond buying for the first time, checking things out online allows you to educate yourself in-depth. This is infinitely better for people like me, who will nod and smile as the salesperson explains something, knowing full well I’m not understanding/retaining, and thinking “Yeah I’ll just Google this later.” Visual learners. This also helps if you do decide to do the heavy lifting online then buy the actual rock in-store. You’ll still be better prepared than the guys who go in blind.
Where? Anywhere. Everywhere. Maybe you want something totally different than the jewelers near you carry. Maybe you don’t have any jewelers near you. I was working with the sweetest couple from rural Georgia. The lady had fabulous taste, and discerning standards. She and her beau had been ring hunting to no avail at their nearby jewelers. Enter the RLJ Facebook page with our big diamonds for days, and she found a ring she loved in no time. As long as they offer secure shipping to your location you’re golden, no matter how far away you are. And if this makes you nervous (don’t blame you), suss out a reputable online jeweler with the acronym LOVE:
- Longevity: Decades of happy customers don’t lie.
- Open Communication: Do they call you back? Facebook you? Text you? Direct message you videos of rings on Instagram when you request?
- Verifiable: Do they have Yelp & eBay reviews? Will they show you proof of a diamond’s certification?
- Easy Returns: Clearly stated, black and white, simple for you in case you or she doesn’t like the ring. Easy exchanges too if you want to try option B.
When? Do it at 2 am, do it when she’s on vacation, do it after she goes to sleep – you don’t have to carve out time to sneak off to the store. Just make sure you delete your browser history, or save your favorites in your email rather than bookmarks.
How (Much)? Gone are the days of hoofing it around town to compare prices on hopefully similar rings. Open three tabs, search for the exact same shape, carat weight, and GIA grades of color, cut and clarity. Buy the cheapest. Or, if one retailer stands out to you, or one diamond speaks to you, let them know you found a better price – 99.9% of the time they’ll match it.
Seriously guys: the easiest way to buy an engagement ring is online – would you?