Post # 1
So I’ve been engagement ring shopping for about 6 months and have gone into all different types of stores from well known jewellers (Michael Hills & Prouds) to little unknown medium – high end gems like (Moi Moi).
Let me try & paint a picture of what I look like; I’m in my 20s, 4″10 slim jeans, converse shoes & a tshirt (nothing flash pretty simple) I’ll start with a positive first experience i’ve gone into stores like Moi Moi dressed casually like I’ve describd and been treated extremely well,even though I’m just there to get a quote, find out what I like & what their payment methods are. They spent a good 20 minutes listening to what I like, suggested to me about what size and stone shape would look good on my fingers and factored in my lifestyle they also told me a carat would be TOO BIG. And they also emailed me everything we spoke about – great experience!
When I’ve gone into other stores like Prouds for example I was stared at upon entry. I was approached and asked what I was looking for and I said “an engagement ring” the answer I got was “we have a few that might suit your price range just over here” – I didn’t give her a price range. I was led to a selection of rings that were in the $35+ range…?? (Dress rings/mock jewellery) I thought maybe I hadn’t explained myself properly and told her I was after an engagement ring in platinum or white gold and immediately was asked what my price range was…I said $5k and immediately her whole face lit up and she became attentive and polite. I felt very uneasy and left.
I had another experience at another store (this was not prouds or Michael hill but a family business) , where I was quoted a price and was questioned to no end about my engagement ring, price, carat and the type of jobs we do. I was pressured into purchasing the matching wedding band and when I said for the third time I simply wanted a quote, it was as though the manager had turned off, her attitude changed. I asked if I could keep the piece of paper she wrote down my ring size details on and quote and recieved a swift “NO, that’s not for you that’s for me” I felt like a child and somehow inferior… I left that store. I wish. I had a come back but I’m not ballsy like that…
please let me know your experiences…
Post # 2
I’m sorry you had such bad experiences. My FI and I both look younger than we are (26), so I’m surprised we didn’t get the side eye. I have heard similar experiences to yours though where I’ve heard people say the sales clerks are trained to look at appearance and other accessories, etc to judge the “seriousness” of a customer. I have no idea if that’s remotely true, but I wouldn’t doubt some sales clerks operate under that practice.
Post # 3
Wow, I’d be displeased too. Do you think they think a woman is less likely to buy an e-ring than a man? Was it purely socioeconomic profiling?
FI and I looked at rings together at a well-known local jewelry store, and the salespeople were very friendly and knowledgeable even before we gave them a price range. When we went to a chain store at the mall (to compare despite FI already picking the ring, unbeknownst to me!), the salespeople respected us though they seemed less warm and more formulaic.
Post # 4
WTH people are so rude. How upsetting for you!
Do you have a very young-looking face? The Prouds person probably thought you were a teenager based on the way you were dressed (not judging, I wear converse shoes and jeans too but it does make people look younger). Still, rude. People should not make assumptions.
And I’ve had that same experience as yours at the family business, except not for a ring. But the same experience where they switch off when they realise they’re not making a sale that day. RUDE and they’re the ones missing out on a potential future sale if they just had a little patience!
When it comes to retail customer service reps in general, you never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes there’s the nicest, chattiest people, other times they can be judgmental, cranky or rude. And I say this as somebody who worked in retail for years.
At least it’s easy for you to decide who you’re actually going to buy from… a company with sales reps who treat people with a little respect.
Post # 5
We went to Birks and experienced the best service. Our sales person was attentive, brought out as many rings as I wanted to see and provided us with a lot of education about their diamonds. He respected our price range and we never felt judged even though we were dressed casually and it’s a high end store. While my FI was buying the ring I wandered over to People’s, stood in front of the engagement rings and the sales woman couldn’t be bothered to even look up from her computer screen or acknowledge I was there. I left and she never said a word.
Post # 6
- Wedding: February 2015 - Mount Hermon
FutureMrsBex: my FI typically wears fairly old jeans and geeky t-shirts. I’m pretty sure that’s how we walked into Shane Co. I was wearing a striped sweater and Ugg boots (knockoffs actually) and we didn’t receive the side eye at all. We look younger than we are (22 at the time) also. Shane Co was so welcoming and easy. The lady at the door asked what we came in for, we said engagement rings, she congratulated us and led us into the engagement ring section, where a sales person approached us to help within 5 minutes. We bought a Robb that day!
Post # 6
I am sorry you had a bad experience, walking into the store where I got my ring from I felt very odd and like I was getting stared at, that maybe they assumed FI and I couldn’t afford to buy a ring there. We luckily didn’t have to go ‘ring shopping’ as such, as I knew exactly what I wanted and FI liked it too (especially after seeing it in person). So we just went straight there, pointed to the ring and said we wanted a closer look at it, I tried it on, checked the specs and the price, then a couple of weeks later FI went in and put it on hold and paid half, then picked it up just before Christmas and paid the other half.
I agree with PP. Unfortunately some places and clerks will judge you by your appearance and determine your ‘seriousness’ based on that, or whether you are just trying on for fun, like a little kid playing dress up. I definitely think other stores would be more helpful, if you really like the rings at Prouds and Michael Hill maybe try a different location? Or try a different store altogether, you deserve to be treated better than that. Good luck OP!
Post # 7
My FI was the one who did the ring shopping, but from what he tells me he had a great experience. He went to a small local jeweler as opposed to a chain store.
I have been shopping for wedding bands though and have been having some mixed experiences like you did. I went into a Fred Meyer Jewelers and the woman working there was very nice, friendly and helpful, but once she realized there wasnt anything she was going to say that would get me to buy that day she kind of hurried me off so she could deal with other customers.
Another place I went to wouldnt let me try on any of the bands, and when I said how would I know how they looked with my ring their solution was for me to give them my ring and theyd put it on the little velvet finger things with the different bands. Uh, no.
I went into a Kmart (not to look at jewelry but stopped because I saw they were having a sale) and the girl there was very nice, let me take my time and try things on and didnt try and pressure me into one thing or another. Their selection was quite small though so I didnt have a lot to choose from.
I went into another mall jewelry store (theres seriously so many I cant remember all the names) and when I mentioned that I was having trouble finding something I liked to match my engagement ring (I dont personally like the gap and yellow gold isnt really “in” right now so not a lot of places have anything outside of plain bands) they said I should reset my diamond into one of their matching wedding sets. Again, uh, no.
I’ll probably end up going to the place where my engagement ring was purchased and see what they have, since my FI had such a pleasant experience there
Post # 8
My FI had an extremely positive experience when he was shopping at Michael Hill. He went to a few other places but felt most comfortable with the service he got from that store. I think it’s really down to the type of person working in these places at the time. Just like when you go clothes shopping; there’s always going to be some judgemental biatch on the otherside of the counter.
Post # 9
Annalee3970: FI and I both look young, and we’re only 23. We tend to not be dressed businessy at all – he’s usually in cargo shorts and a t-shirt, and Im usually in jeans and a t-shirt. We’re both also relatively successful. We just don’t look it! So we run the risk of having that side eye.
FI said he went to a couple chain stores, and then a smaller, more family-type store. Apparently his ring budget was around $5k or so (which to me is ridiculous, but whatever). He went into Kays, Jareds, and I think two other big name stores, and they were rude. They either refused to talk to him, or would only show him rings way below what he wanted to spend – like $100 rings. Nothing wrong with those, but FI wanted a very specific type of ring, and there was no way it was going to be only $100. He also apparently got laughed at by a clerk at one store for asking to see their blue diamonds. The family store sat him down, offered him a glass of water, and asked specifically what style, what color, what exactly he was looking for, and gave him the run down from there. That store is where we’ve now gone for any piece of jewelry we’re looking for – the Diamond Center. They’re fantastic!
I went into Kays, Jareds, etc looking for a pair of blue diamond earrings in my usual attire and either could not get someone to talk to me no matter what I did, or they would only show me blue CZ. CZ is great – but I wanted diamond studs. Every time I’ve been in a big box store they’ve talked down to me. I’ve asked about customizing necklaces for my bridesmaids, and had the obligatory warning of ‘well…we do them, yes….but they may be out of your budget.’ You know, it’s wonderful that you’re concerned about me, but I think I can float the fee, thanks. There was also the time at Kays where they wouldn’t take the band I wanted to see out of the case – even for them to hold while I looked at it! It was so obvious they didn’t want to work with me! It really could just be the general staff in my area, but it was so very strange to me that any big store gave me a stink eye. They lost out on about $6k work of sales by now, and will continue to lose any sales from us in the future. We’ll only be going to the Diamond Center, because they treat us like people, and aren’t concerned purely about what they think we have in our wallets.
Post # 10
- Wedding: A very pretty church.
Annalee3970: Are you in Perth or Sydney? (I am guessing one of those based on the stores you mention) I could recommend a couple of places in Perth where you are less likely to be patronised. I have had a different experience, having a smaller budget and receiving appalling service in one store and awful advice in another.
I know that you shouldn’t feel that you need to dress differently to persuade people that you’re worth serving properly, after all it’s their loss. On the other hand however if there aren’t a lot of options near you then to have the most options it may pay to dress a little more formally or be a bit more assertive. Take a notebook with you, ask for their name, write it down, get them to write down the quotes for you.
The other option I would recommend is the internet. Mostly because even with import taxes diamond jewellery is often cheaper in theStates, but also the internet doesn’t know how tall you are.
Post # 11
The worst experiences that the FI and I had ring shopping occurred when we went to Michael Hill. And they happened at two different stores in two different cities. The first wasn’t too bad – we just felt incredibly pressured to purchase a ring right then and there and they were reluctant to tell us the specific specs for that particular ring.
The second was worse. I had decided to look into getting other gemstones other than a diamond for the centre stone and asked about sapphire rings. Now I get that they get commission and that diamonds are the big price items for god’s sake that is no excuse to go to a potential customer “Eww a sapphire? Why would you want that?” I’m quoting in verbatim. I retorted back with “Well European royalty don’t seem to have an issue with using it for their rings”. Ugh needless to say, we didn’t end up buying from them. Their loss too – I got FI an engagement watch and a wedding band, and he got me two engagement rings and two wedding bands. If I was petty, I’d pull a “Pretty Woman” on them.
That being said, one of my best friends got her engagement ring (with a sapphire centre) and wedding band from them, and she had a great experience with them We ended up buying online.
Post # 12
I asked to see a ring in one of the stores we went into and the salesman had the gull to ask if we could afford it! In those exact words. We actually ended buying a ring of similar price somewhere else.
Post # 13
Taiki: a notebook is a great idea! I’m from Sydeny 🙂 we are going to go with Moi moi the service was great, slightly more pricy but it fits within our budget i’m panicky about buying online since I have small fingers size H
Post # 14
Annalee3970: Make sure you are armed with questions and knowledge about diamonds too. My husband said that when he went into shops they tried to push certain rings onto him, they were quite suprised though when he questioned them about the quality of the diamonds and thier specs etc. He felt that he knew more about the diamonds than the sales people! In the end he ended up getting one online though, as he felt the quality for price was much better. I’m very happy with my ring 🙂 I’ve had expereinces like that too though when we were shopping together for our wedding rings – some sales people completely ingored us! We just walked out.