by Cristina Miranda
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Nothing says “Be My Valentine” more than a box of chocolates, flowers, and a poetic love note.
Unless it’s a heart-thumping piece of jewelry!
If you’re thinking about buying jewelry for your sweetheart, there are a few things to know about platinum, gold and silver, and gemstones, diamonds and pearls. A little knowledge can help you avoid buyers’ remorse.
1. Set expectations. Decide on your budget and the type of jewelry you want to buy before you shop. Avoid impulse purchases.
2. Research jewelry sites and stores before purchasing from them, or shop from those you’ve had experience with. You can check a site or store’s reputation online by entering “complaints” and its name in a search engine to find any red flags.
3. Understand the terms manufacturers use to describe the jewelry. If you know the terms that jewelers use to describe markings or what the jewelry is made of, you’ll be better able to evaluate it and decide if it is truly worth the price.
4. Know the refund and return policies before you buy. Make sure the phone number is visible on the sales receipt in case you need to call with a question or a problem. Sales receipts also should have details about the item, which might include a gemological report from a laboratory.
Most issues with jewelry purchases can be resolved by contacting the jeweler. However, if you still aren’t satisfied with the outcome of your purchase, file a complaint with the FTC, the Better Business Bureau, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Service, or contact your state Attorney General.