Are Jewelry Prices Negotiable?

Are Jewelry Prices Negotiable?

Buying fine jewelry isn’t the same as buying a T-shirt from a fast fashion chain, which is why it makes sense you’re wondering if jewelry prices are negotiable. 

The jewelry industry is actually notorious for having fat profit margins and charging overly inflated retail mark-ups (as much as 70%!). So, you better believe jewelry prices are negotiable—more so than you’d ever imagine. 

Here’s a complete breakdown of all the factors you need to take into account when buying fine jewelry and how to use these useful nuggets of information to negotiate a huge discount. 

Always Do Your Research

When negotiating jewelry prices, you always want to do your research—the more thorough, the better. There’s no need for you to feel pressured to buy on the spot. Depending on the type of jewelry you’re buying there are different elements you want to learn about beforehand.

Before Buying Gold Jewelry

When buying gold jewelry you want to check the authenticity by checking for the hallmark stamp first. This is a tiny stamp usually engraved on the clasp of the item that indicates the purity of gold either in percentage or karat weight. For example, 14 karat gold jewelry will have a tiny 14K engraved on the clasp or a tiny 585, reflecting 58.5% gold purity. 

You also want to know the exact specifications of the jewelry piece you are interested in. For example, the width and length of the gold chain necklace you like. And, most importantly you want to ask the jeweler for the approximate gram weight of the item. This will help you gauge if you are getting a good deal or not, based on the true value of the piece and help you compare apples to apples pricing with different retailers. 

Before Buying Diamond Jewelry

You’re always better off learning the basics like the 4 C’s before buying diamond jewelry. The 4 C’s are short for: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight. Not only will this help you determine if the deal you’re getting is worth it, it will also make you less vulnerable to greedy sales-people when it’s clear you know what you’re talking about. 

Another tip for getting a great deal on diamond jewelry is buying diamonds that are slightly under the quarter carat weight mark. That’s because the price jumps significantly once the carat weight hits the quarter “mark”(0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1, etc.). For example, if you are looking for a 2 carat diamond ring, buying one that weighs 1.98 carats instead will get you a huge price discount while maintaining the same size visually. 

Check the Current Market Price 

Precious metals like gold have market prices that fluctuate daily. Knowing the average price per gram weight during the time period you are shopping for jewelry will help you understand what the approximate rough cost of the item is. That is also why it is so important to ask for the weight of the item you're interested in before buying. 

For example, if you are looking to purchase a 14K Gold Chain Necklace that weighs 1.5 grams, and today’s gold price for 14K gold is $45 per gram, then you know your necklace’s rough cost is approximately $67.50. Of course, this doesn’t factor in the cost of labor for manufacturing the necklace, the cost of shipping the jewelry from manufacturer to retailer, or the other miscellaneous overhead costs that need to be factored into the final retail price of the necklace. However, you now know that the closer you get to the rough cost of the item, the better deal it is you are getting!—or vice versa. 

Know WHERE to Buy

When you buy a diamond necklace at Tiffany’s, the only thing you’ve accomplished is getting ripped off. Buying from small mom and pop style businesses will almost always get you a better deal price-wise for the same high quality jewelry pieces—if not better!

Overhead costs for large brand name retailers is much higher than for small businesses. All the marketing, PR, celebrity stylists, and advertising that large brands invest in get factored into the final price of the jewelry you buy. Not to mention how impersonal big brands can be with the hundreds of hands the jewelry passes through before it makes it to you as the consumer. 

In contrast, small jewelry businesses have smaller costs and deal with the products directly and lovingly before shipping each one to their customers. They also have the bandwidth to give superior customer service in the case you’d like a customization or need something replaced or repaired. 

Know WHEN to Buy

The jewelry industry is very much seasonal—with the winter holidays, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day being their most lucrative sales periods. In between those peak seasons are when sales slow down and retailers scramble to sell their inventory. 

In particular, the month of March or the Summer season are the best times to shop for fine jewelry and when you’ll find the biggest discounts.  It may take a little planning in advance but it is well worth it to do your research plan to buy all your fine jewelry must haves during these times. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to your favorite retailer’s Email list or SMS subscription so that you’ll get notified as soon as their huge sales begin.

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