The Perils of Online Shopping

Just a few more clicks and your awesome new bracelet will be on the way! Ease of browsing and convenience make online shopping so desirable, but buyer beware, e-markets are not always as they seem, and your love of online purchasing could damage the local economy.

By limiting purchases to online shopping, you reduce your community’s appeal. According to the 3/50 project, for every $100 you spend locally, $68 is returned to the community, through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. That revenue generates a booming economy, leading to better homes, better schools, and happier people. Buy that bracelet online, however, and your local community will see $0 returned.

The recent buzz of online companies faking their reviews should also warn you of the perils of online shopping. The simple search “online order mistake” produces more than 43 billion results on Google alone! So, what makes online shopping so dangerous?

Satisfaction is not always guaranteed. Designers apply specific terms and conditions to their unique collections to ensure jewelry is protected from counterfeiters and unauthorized retailers. Generally, online purchases are not covered by a designer’s warranty, despite e-retailers’ guarantees they are.

Now you see me, now you don’t. Technology allows online stores to operate at the speed of light, switching domain names as quickly as we change socks. This could be trouble for anyone hoping to receive a refund for an online purchase. The universal rule to protect consumers is to avoid purchasing anything more than $500 online.

What you see is not always what you get. Images of beautiful and bright jewelry seen throughout an e-retailer’s site could very easily be the property another designer, who has no knowledge of the shared pictures between websites. Online jewelers may also represent a variety of designs with one generic picture, inevitably leading to customer dissatisfaction.

You deserve the real thing. Although your computer is three-dimensional, the great knuckle ring you’re eyeing online is not. Chances are, you won’t even know how well it fits until it arrives in two weeks. Holding a jewelry piece in hand is the only way to truly assess its size, cut, and clarity. Plus, what better way to have any questions answered about the necklace’s background or designer than on the spot with our friendly and knowledgeable experts?

But it’s so much quicker online! We won’t argue with you, here. Online retailers have the ability to show thousands of items with just a single click. However, social media and company websites have allowed brick-and-mortar stores to showcase their favorite jewelry pieces online as well. Even better, many stores offer special prizes for their dedicated friends who follow them online, through networks like Facebook and Instagram!

Despite their perfect fit in our hectic lives, online retailers take away the beauty of shopping. You won’t experience the exceptional service or genuine charm of a store online. So before you hop online, ready to surf your usual sites, try stopping by your local jewelers to take in the environment and appreciate what the real world can offer.