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Archive for October, 2007

Searching for Treasures: Wholesale Jewelry

Monday, October 8th, 2007

You have a style all your own. You won’t settle for the same trends as everyone else. You love to shop for unique accessories. That’s why wholesale jewelry can be your perfect fit.

When it comes to buying wholesale jewelry, the Internet offers a world of options. There are countless retailers and jewelers offering unique pieces for sale online. Just spend a little surfing the web and you’ll be able to find the perfect piece to suit your style and fit your budget.

When shopping on the Internet, you need to be able to appreciate the difference between an online jewelry store and an online wholesale company. Wholesale companies sell jewelry at below-retail wholesale prices. Online jewelry stores, on the other hand, offer pieces that are usually priced slightly below regular retail.

You can purchase directories of wholesale companies over the Internet, but this really isn’t necessary. You’ll find access to the same information through free search engines like Google. If you’re looking for an engagement ring at a wholesale price, for example, simply type ‘engagement ring wholesale’ into the search box and you’ll find links to a string of wholesalers.

In your search to buy wholesale jewelry, you’ll find many wholesalers that sell only in bulk orders. It’s important to be patient and persistent as you shop around. Some wholesalers do offer individual pieces at discounted prices.

Not everyone is interested in shopping over the Internet. There are other options. Discount and savings clubs, such as Sam’s, sell jewelry and other items at deeply discounted prices. While the price you’ll pay will be a little more than the base wholesale cost, it will certainly be lower than retail.

“Buyer Beware” is a good rule of thumb when dealing with wholesale companies, particularly when shopping online. Always be sure that you’re buying the real deal. Scam artists are out there, and they will try to sell you a so-called “authentic” piece that’s actually made of synthetic materials. Read the product description very carefully, and make an educated decision before you agree to purchase the item. Look out for terms and phrases like ‘realistic’ and ‘gold plated’, sure signs that the jewelry is made of fake stones and substandard metals.

Finally, make sure that the company has a refund or exchange policy before you agree to purchase. Only buy if you are offered a 100% money back guarantee. This protects you in the event that the jewelry does not meet your expectations, or if the quality is not what you were promised.

eBay can be great route for cautious shoppers to buy wholesale jewelry. The great thing about eBay is that it allows consumers to rate the sellers they deal with. Buyer feedback will warn potential customers against shady sellers and faulty merchandise. Check the seller’s feedback and ratings before you commit to your purchase, and make sure that you are dealing with a reputable person or company.

If the jewelry is an important or expensive piece, use the escrow service that eBay recommends. Even if you have to pay the escrow fee yourself, it’s worth the security knowing you’ve protected your investment.

If you’re bored with the same old fashion trends, buy wholesale jewelry. You will find that a world of unique choice is available to you, often at well below retail cost.

How To Buy Genuine Diamonds And Gemstones On Ebay?

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Purchasing a genuine diamond or gemstone – not a “faux” or “simulated” stone – on eBay can be a scary prospect. Unlike going to a jeweler, you can’t examine it in person and assess how it looks on your ring finger before you shell out your hard-earned cash. There’s the very real risk that you’re not going to get what you paid for.

But these concerns can be addressed by being a smart eBay shopper. After all, when you buy on eBay, the savings can be huge and you can find really unique jewelry items!

Before bidding on any diamond or precious gem (such as emerald, ruby or sapphire), make sure you understand how value is determined for that particular stone. There’s no excuse for not being an educated shopper. If eBay sellers don’t address these characteristics in their auction listings, click on the “Ask seller a question” link and get answers before you bid!

Determining Value

For diamonds, that means evaluating the four Cs: clarity, color, carat and cut.

Clarity is the term used to describe the size and number of inclusions (minute traces of non-crystallized carbon) in a diamond. Most are invisible to the naked eye; the larger and more numerous the inclusions are, the less valuable the diamond.

Diamond color grades start at D and go up through the alphabet. Truly colorless stones, graded D, are extremely rare and very valuable. The closer a diamond is to being colorless, the rarer and more valuable it is and the more it will shine.

Carat is how the weight of a diamond is measured. The larger the diamond (the rarer) the more expensive per carat it will be. Carat refers to weight, not size or diameter, although diamonds of identical weight can look larger or smaller depending on the cut.

The cut of a diamond determines how it refracts and reflects the light; a well-cut diamond will seem brighter and properly cut.

To find the best diamond that fits within your price range it essentially comes down to a compromise between the 4Cs and your consideration of which factors are most important to you.

There is a “fifth” C, or Certificate. A certificate diamond has a “report card” that grades the four traits mentioned above, including listing specific items about that particular diamond that are unique to it. A certificate goes a long way towards establishing the trustworthiness of an online diamond seller.

Gemstones such as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires usually undergo treatments to enhance color and fill cracks. The jewelry industry considers treatment of these three gemstones standard practice. Such treatments include oil and resin treatments; heat treatment, and chemical or “diffusion treatment.”

Most eBay sellers will provide details about any treatment applied to their gemstones. If they don’t, request the details before bidding on the item.

As you can see, what to look for specifically depends on the type of stone you’re looking for – and it’s not possible to explain all that in one article – but this is the type of info to look for, especially if you intend to spend very much money.

Finding Deals

Finding a deal on a diamond or expensive gemstone requires some counter-intuitive thinking. You’re looking for listings that won’t attract a lot of bids. Lots of bids mean lots of competitors and a higher final price.

How to find these less-popular listings? Try searching for misspelled words (e.g. “dimond” instead of “diamond”). Look for items that end at odd times (say, 3:00 AM), when most bidders are in bed. And listings without pictures don’t attract as much attention, either – you may find a real “gem” by taking the time to look.

Who to Trust and What to Look For

As with any eBay auction, the seller’s rating is extremely important. This is an aggregate score based on how other customers have rated them. Look for sellers with a very high rating (I suggest over 98%) and look at the customer feedback they’ve gotten. Sellers with lots of happy customers are pretty reliable.

Second, check for any return or exchange policies. A reputable seller wants repeat business and repeat business means happy customers who leave positive ratings. Getting that means they need to bend over backwards on returns and exchanges to avoid getting negative ratings on eBay’s services.

Third, see if the seller has an “About Me” page (look for the word me in blue and red letters in the “Meet the Seller” section) or an eBay store (there will be a link that says “Visit seller’s store”) or an “About Me” page.

Many times, the store or About Me page includes further information on the eBay seller. Often you’ll find addresses or phone numbers of a physical brick-and-mortar store, which can be very reassuring. Don’t hesitate to call and ask questions!

Protecting Yourself When Paying

Figure delivery costs into your final price – and look for suspiciously high shipping costs (a sign of an unscrupulous seller). If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.

When paying, use a credit card – preferably through PayPal. PayPal allows you to pay securely with your credit card and it’s owned by eBay, which makes it the preferred payment mechanism for eBay sales. And there’s additional protection when buying through PayPal, up to $1,000 in value.

Following the steps above should help ensure a hassle-free diamond or gemstone buying experience on eBay. Good luck!