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Did E-tail Kill the Local Jeweler?

Imagine for a moment that you’re a young engagement ring shopper (or maybe that person IS actually you). The first place you will go is not to your neighborhood jewelry store – nope, you’re hitting your keyboard looking for things like “what is the best diamond for your money” or “how to buy a diamond” or “what engagement ring is in style”… you get the idea. Most engagement ring shoppers are not well-versed in buying diamonds, they simply want to find the best diamond ring for their money.

With so many online options and so much free information, why in the world would a buyer feel the need to visit their local jeweler? After all, a diamond is a diamond is a diamond, right? Hardly. Then there’s the response: “But the diamond has a GIA report and I read that an ‘F’ color is white and a ‘VS2’ is clean and this was the cheapest one I could find and the video thingy that I saw online looks great.” Now here’s the rub: if they had seen that diamond in person and compared it next to several other options in various sizes, qualities and price points, would they still have chosen that same diamond?

Our store is in Houston, TX. Houston has its fair share of engagement ring stores and as a major metropolitan city, there are plenty of jewelers to choose from. With the amount of time people spend researching diamond and jewelry information online, it’s equally important, if not more so, to do your homework on the store itself. Through online reviews, conversations with the staff and some basic but thorough credibility checks, you should be able to find the best engagement ring stores Houston has to offer.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • How long has the jeweler been in business?
  • Do they have a large inventory of loose diamonds to choose from? You would be surprised how many so-called diamond stores really don’t have their own inventory in stock.
  • Do they actually know what they’re talking about? Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions because a knowledgeable diamond expert should be able to easily answer any questions you may have.
  • Are they competitive? Remember, just because two diamonds have the same grade doesn’t mean they are comparable. Be sure your jeweler has several options to show you the difference.
  • Are they nice? Buying an engagement ring is a milestone occasion and your local jeweler should never lose sight of this. It’s both a process and an experience that should leave you with a smile.

So did e-tail kill the local jeweler? Nope. In fact, many of the market-disrupting online jewelry giants are now moving in reverse and beginning to open up physical locations in shopping centers. More than ever, we see Houston engagement ring shoppers choosing to shop local, not just because they want to support local businesses (although this certainly does factor in) but they realize that with the right homework, they can find a jeweler who checks all the boxes and will ultimately help them select the very best ring for the money and will be around for all those special gift-giving moments down the road.

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