When it comes to choosing a jewelry store located in Farmington, NM, you've got choices. The goal of this article is to help you decide what kind of jewelry shopping experience is right for you.
1. Independent Jewelry Store or Chain Store?
The first choice to make is whether you'd like to buy from a chain store or a local, independent jeweler. There pros and cons for each.
Chain Jewelry Store Pros
The major pros for chain jewelry stores are that the prices tend to be lower and they carry (and create) all the latest trends. If you want a low-priced piece of jewelry that fits all the latest trends, chain stores are often the way to go.
Another pro (depending on your personal preferences) is that chain stores are typically in malls. You can wander in, browse, and leave without having much contact with a sales person.
Chain Jewelry Store Cons
There's a saying in the jewelry industry: "You get what you pay for... Or less." The pro of jewelry being less expensive in chain stores comes with the con that the jewelry is generally of a lower quality.
The jewelry of the latest trends is typically made with "promotional quality" diamonds and gemstones. That means the manufacturers select gemstones that make it possible to promote the jewelry at a specific (typically lower) price point. They are not selected for quality.
Most chain stores also don't offer their staff much in the way of professional training. Very often, there's not much difference between a jewelry chain store clerk and the salesperson selling jeans next door in terms of gemology knowledge.
One last con is that if your jewelry needs to be sized or repaired, they will typically ship your jewelry off to a service center for repair. This can take weeks.
Independent Jewelry Store Pros
Independent jewelers are often individuals who pursued jewelry as a professional discipline and opened their own stores --- Much like a lawyer or dentist masters a specific knowledge set and opens a practice.
The best independent jewelers go through years of training with organizations like The Gemological Institute of America or The American Gem Society.
The result of this is that independent jewelers tend to stock a higher quality of jewelry and gemstones. They know what to look for and typically hand-pick every piece of jewelry that goes in their showcases.
It also means they can give you expert advice in choosing a high-quality diamond, or choosing a diamond alternative when getting engaged.
Independent jewelers also often employee a master in-house bench jeweler. So if you need your jewelry sized or repaired, it doesn't have to be shipped away for service, and the work can often be completed in a few days instead of a few weeks.
Independent jewelers also often have a larger network of professional connections that can be used to your advantage. If you want something specific, rare, or unique, jewelers can often track it down for you through their professional connections.
Independent Jewelry Store Cons
Because independent jewelers lack the massive corporate buying power of chain stores, independent jewelers tend to stock fewer, well-chosen pieces instead of a large volume of jewelry. That can translate to a lack of selection in some independent jewelry stores.
On a similar note, because most independent stores lack the bottomless funding of chain stores, return policies are often less flexible (typically limited to something like a 30 day return policy).
Because independent jewelers tend to offer a higher quality of merchandise, that also means you will pay more for that quality.
2. Buy Online or Offline?
For many jewelry purchases, there is no reason to not buy online. It's fast and convenient. You don't have to talk to a salesperson. (That's why we started selling jewelry online in 2016).
If you're buying a small gift, or picking out a new fashion piece for yourself, buying online is a wonderful way to shop.
If you're making a major purchase --- like an engagement ring, significant anniversary gift, or a piece you plan to keep and pass down to kids or grandkids --- these are often better made in person.
If you're buying a piece of jewelry you're going to wear for the rest of your life, or at least several decades (like a diamond engagement ring), it's hard to justify making that purchase sight unseen.
As a professional jeweler who's been buying and selling diamonds for over 30 years, I've been burned enough to know you don't buy diamonds without physically seeing them first.
The times that merchandise isn't quite what the seller said... Happen too often in the jewelry industry. That's sad but true.
And if you're buying a fashion piece for a low price, that might not be a big deal to you. If you're about to propose to the love of your life, chances are you'll care a lot about the quality being "as advertised."
The internet has come a long way but, unfortunately, has't arrived at a point where it's totally safe (or smart) to make a significant, family heirloom purchase sight unseen.
I hope this article has been helpful to you and helped you sort through the differences between types of jewelry stores in Farmington, NM.
There are of course differences between independent jewelry store --- just like there are differences between a mall jewelry store and supermarket jewelry departments --- but that's a topic for another day.
If you choose to go the independent jewelry store route, come see us!
We're excited to serve you and help you make the right jewelry purchase for you.