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How to Save Up to 50% on Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

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Engagement rings and wedding bands are seriously expensive – but they don’t have to be. Here’s how to save 50% on your major jewelry purchases.

The engagement ring and wedding ring you select for your fiancée are obviously a crucial part of getting married. The typical person spends around $4,000 to $6,000 on an engagement ring alone.

However, just because you’re spending a lot of money doesn’t mean you should be wasteful. Why pay more if you don’t have to? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what people are doing when they buy engagement rings and wedding rings every day.

Do you want to avoid overspending on your next engagement ring or wedding band purchase? Find out how to save up to 50% on engagement rings and wedding bands by following the tips outlined below.

Before you buy, find an online jeweler you trust—preferably one that specialized in engagement rings, like James Allen.

Avoid Buying from Nationwide Jewelry Chains

Nationwide jewelry chains are some of the worst offenders when it comes to markups on engagement rings and wedding bands. Common chains like Kay, Zales, Jared, Tiffany’s, and others can be found in plenty of malls – but they rarely offer the best customer service or prices.

Nevertheless, these stores continue to make billions of dollars a year because people continue to walk into malls and approach the first jewelry store they see. These stores depend on people like this for business.

It makes sense why these chains continue to be popular: nationwide jewelers spend millions of dollars a year on advertising. They have thousands of locations around the world, and they’re easily accessible online or offline. They’re also widely-known, reputable companies with decades of industry experience. When you’re spending thousands of dollars on a piece of jewelry, all of these things can give you valuable peace of mind.

So why don’t we recommend shopping for engagement rings and wedding bands at these nationwide retailers? It’s because they have some of the highest markups in the industry. It’s not unusual to see diamonds and jewelry pieces sold at twice the price you’d find at other retailers.

Obviously, stores have to make money somehow. Nationwide chains have huge amounts of overhead: they need to find a way to pay for all that retail space, all those employees, and the other costs of running a multinational business. But that doesn’t mean you should be okay with paying 50% to 100% more for your ring.

Still, some people find it helpful to shop at nationwide chains to get an idea for what’s out there. Sales staff can be helpful in many cases, and they can explain the basics of buying an engagement ring.

Too often, however, you’ll encounter staff who act more as salespeople than as diamond experts. When you combine that with paying an enormous markup, it’s easy to see why you should avoid nationwide retailers if you’re trying to save money on an engagement ring or wedding band.

Where Should You Shop to Save Money on Engagement Rings?

If you’re not shopping at nationwide retailers or jewelry stores for wedding rings, then where should you shop?

Today, many thrifty consumers are turning to the internet to find affordably-priced rings. Online diamond jewelers are as reputable, secure, and trustworthy as brick-and-mortar retailers. Some of the biggest players – like James Allen – have been serving customers since the 1990s. Over the years, these companies have helped tens of thousands of customers safely buy engagement rings, wedding rings, and all other types of jewelry.

Why are online jewelry stores cheaper than brick-and-mortar stores? The answer is simple: brick-and-mortar stores have high overhead costs, while online retailers do not. Online retailers can maintain an enormous selection of jewelry without paying for electricity, security, salespeople, rent, and all other costs associated with running a physical business.

That means lower markups, better prices, and savings of about 40% or 50% over brick-and-mortar retailers.

Before you buy, find an online jeweler you trust—preferably one that specialized in engagement rings, like James Allen.

How Much Can You Expect to Save?

Cost savings vary widely between online and offline retailers, and they vary widely between jewelry pieces. Some jewelry pieces are particularly susceptible to markups, and some jewelry makers are particularly bad offenders.

Across all companies and jewelry pieces, however, you can expect to save quite a bit of money by buying online compared to buying in store. There’s a significant difference in the business models for online businesses and brick-and-mortar businesses, and those differences leave you with double-digit savings on your jewelry.

A report from MoneyUnder30.com, for example, found a simple 4mm platinum comfort fit men’s wedding band listed at $780 on James Allen, while it was listed as $1,450 at a local Jared the Galleria of Jewelry store. That’s nearly double the price.

Now, there’s no disputing that buying jewelry in-person can be a better customer experience. You get to handle the jewelry yourself. You can ask the salesperson questions. It’s easy to return or replace an item if there are any problems.

But the question you need to ask yourself is this: are these advantages worth a markup of nearly 100% over online retailers?

The savings get even more significant when you’re buying jewels from third party retailers and auction websites like eBay, where you can purchase jewelry for a fraction of the cost of conventional jewelry stores. Of course, you’re also taking on a bit of risk when buying from these retailers. Fortunately, some retailers will allow you to escrow the payment, then wait for an appraisal from an independent jewelry store to confirm the quality of the piece.

The short answer to how much money you can save by buying online is: a lot.

Other Ways to Save 50% When Buying Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

It’s no secret that online retailers offer cheaper prices than brick-and-mortar retailers. We’ve seen this effect in virtually every industry – from books to video streaming.

But what if online shopping isn’t for you? What if you don’t feel comfortable buying a ring online? In that case, there are three additional ways to save big money on your engagement ring or wedding band:

Shop at Independent Jewelers

Independent jewelry stores can help you save a considerable amount of money over nationwide chains – but not always. Typically, these jewelers provide better craftsmanship than nationwide retailers, as well as a more unique engagement ring.

Some people will buy a diamond online, then visit a local independent jeweler to create a custom fitting. Ask around your city or talk to friends and family: jewelry is an art, and there are plenty of good jewelers around the world who can offer magnificent engagement rings and wedding bands at a competitive price.

Nevertheless, it’s still very difficult to find an independent jeweler that offers cheaper prices than online jewelry stores. Some will also charge higher prices than nationwide jewelry chains, because they don’t have the advantage of ordering diamonds in bulk.

Contact Diamond Wholesalers in your City

Buying from a diamond wholesaler is a cheap but intimidating way to save money on your engagement ring or wedding band. To buy from a real diamond wholesaler, you’ll need to live close to a major diamond industry center – like New York, Chicago, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London, or Antwerp. Then you’ll need to visit the diamond district and talk face-to-face with diamond wholesalers.

Using this method, you can save thousands of dollars off the cost of a diamond. However, these people are used to dealing with professionals, and they might take advantage of a naïve newbie.

Another issue with diamond wholesalers is that they typically only deal with cash. You can read stories online about people who walked through downtown Manhattan with a briefcase filled with $10,000 cash, for example, because they wanted to save a few hundred dollars on their fiancée’s engagement ring.

Ultimately, you don’t have to be James Bond to buy diamonds from wholesalers in your city. It’s not quite as intimidating as people claim. If you know what you’re doing, and you’re confident in your ability to appraise jewelry, then you can walk away having saved a considerable amount of money. Remember: these are the same wholesalers where jewelry stores and diamond retailers purchase their products.

Don’t Buy a Diamond – Buy an Alternative Stone

There’s no rule that your engagement ring needs to be a diamond. In fact, before the 1940s, most engagement rings were not diamonds. In the 1940s, that trend started to shift. Diamond companies like DeBeers launched advertising campaigns pushing people towards diamond engagement rings. They’re the company you can blame for making the rule of spending “2-3 months’ salary” on an engagement ring.

Today, most engagement rings are diamonds. However, a growing number of people are taking a non-traditional approach by buying engagement rings fitted with other gemstones. In many cases, these engagement rings are just as beautiful – and one-tenth the price of a diamond ring.

If you plan on taking this approach, make sure you talk to your fiancée before to make sure they’re okay with the idea. Some of the popular gemstones on the market today include morganite, garnet, moissanite, tanzanite, Oregon sunstone, tsavorite, and azurite.

By following the tips above, you can easily save 50% or more on engagement rings and wedding bands!

Shop now: Visit James Allen, our recommended diamond jeweler.

About Johnson Hur

After having graduated with a degree in Finance and working for a Fortune 500 company for several years, Johnson decided to follow his passion by embarking on a path to the digital world. He has over 8 years of experience with large companies setting marketing strategy and he likes to workout in his spare time.

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