(Closed) Why not mall jewelers?

posted 4 years ago in Rings
Post # 2
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

According to consumer reports the diamonds are less quality and are at a less value than the price warrents 

Post # 3
2506 posts
Sugar bee

The quality is terrible. 

Post # 4
4531 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

More often than not you are paying premium prices for non premium diamonds. 

I do understand the attraction of trying something on and then getting the item immediately. I have a set that is from a mall jeweler as one in my rotation, and I think it is beyond gorgeous, but I never would have paid original asking price. (I paid approx a 1/4.)

Post # 5
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Overpriced and underquality diamonds, uninformed “jewelers” (salespeople), and no longevity for customer service or repairs. Even if don’t like any of the local options and make a special occasion to drive out to a different jeweler or goldsmith, it’s worth not going to a chain/mall store. You and your ring will be around a long time. There’s no guarantee the mall store will.

Post # 6
1607 posts
Bumble bee

raezilla93:  Mostly because of the quality of both diamond and setting and the ridiculous price. 

I went to a chain store with the design I wanted and they wanted £7k with a rubbish quality diamond! I ended up going to an independent and managed to get a better diamond and custom made for £2k. Huge difference! And you don’t even get decent customer service in them most of the time over here, if you have a problem they don’t want to help. You also don’t even get to pick the individual diamond, they end up just giving you a randomly chosen diamond. Yea they may have a couple of pretty settings but aside from that they don’t have a plus here other than be accessible. 

Post # 7
2146 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

here in the UK its common… I dont know anyone with a custom ring (although it maybe more common in london, I think they have a custom area)

Post # 8
2342 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Mall jewellers are not jewellers in the traditional sense, they are just jewellery retailers. They have little knowledge or care for the product. When you buy jewellery from them, most of the price you pay goes towards the cost of the company paying rent and rates on the hundreds of stores it operates in high cost retail locations; the wages of the staff; the vast marketing and advertising spend. . A tiny amount goes on the poor quality stones (usually “internally” graded by the company) and poor quality setting mass produced in China or India. 

When you buy from Blue Nile, White Flash or James Allen, you can search for GIA or AGS verified stones only, and their overheads are far, far, lower than retail stores so much more of your money goes towards the product itself. You can easily find Blue Nile’s gross margin online, it’s a matter of public record. 

Custom jewellers will make a higher margin than mass online retailers but they are still often probably cheaper like-for-like compared to mall jewellers. They don’t always have premises in high end locations and they don’t spend a fortune on marketing. A real problem with many mall jewellers is they simply won’t carry any really excellently cut, good clarity diamonds on their inventory. It’s just not their end of the market. (Grading labs like EGL IGL etc just don’t compare to GIA, AGS or HRD).

Can mall jewellery look beautiful? Of course it can! However it will not be good value for money or represent the best quality that customer could have bought at the price they paid. Ridiculous appraisal values help perpetuate the misapprehension that people have got a good deal. Should their ring be lost when insured, they will get a nasty shock when they learn the real replacement value (assuming that is the basis of the insurance).  

Post # 9
1111 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

raezilla93:  and yet, many people have beautiful rings from mall Jewelers and live happily ever after. 

Post # 10
2342 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Just to add: mall and custom jewellers also share the significant advantage of not having to fund a large inventory of (very expensive) stones. A lot of their offering is “virtual inventory” ie the stones exist and their specs are available, but they remain in the hands of brokers/ wholesalers who list their stock and make it available to trusted retailers until the custom jewellers or online retailers call them in. Because they are repeat customers, the brokers are happy to dispatch the stones on an approval basis and will take them back should the end customer reject them. 

Post # 11
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

We did go to Zales and loved a ring — and bought it! But after news of their deceptive business practices came out I couldn’t bear worrying about my ring any time I took it in to be serviced, or the thought that we’d overpaid for what we bought, so we returned it. Signet (the parent company of Zales, Kay, Peoples, Jared) has been accused of systemically swapping diamonds.  There have been many reports and complaints from consumers about this issue. We ended up going to Brilliant Earth, which has an amazing reputation, and uses ethically sourced diamonds and recycled metals. However, it’s not the only good place out there. A good jeweler will have a good reputation, and is worth doing research into before putting down all that money!

Post # 12
5159 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

Drizzle:  This. Mall jewelers (and I mean chains, not local independent jewelers who may be overpriced but will still usually have certified stones, in store goldsmiths and gemologists, good quality and so on) generally are incredibly uninformed, sell very low quality stones as something they are not and for way more than they are worth, sometimes also have poor quality settings, and even may downright be shady (check out some complaints about Kay’s). 

If you MUST go local, look for an independent with its own bench and so on in store. Where you can talk to educated goldsmiths, gemologists, and not just salespeople. They can do custom, sure, but they can also get you stock settings and some designer settings. Make sure you get a certified diamond, and compare prices like for like online. 

Personally, I have a great local independent I use for maintenance and so on, but I always recommend getting educated (go to Pricescope) and buying online, as I do myself. Even with taxes and duties, you can get a much better quality ring for the same or lower price.

Post # 13
523 posts
Busy bee

I didn’t go to a mall jeweler because they wanted a lot more money for something that was smaller and lesser quality. Their diamonds were uncertified and heavily included. 

Plus, there’s that whole switching out diamonds issue that bugs me. 

Post # 14
1936 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think it’s a geographical thing.

We don’t have many (if any?) one chain, non big box, independent jewellers here. 

My city is snobby. IF it doesn’t have a big sign with polished floors it won’t last here. A little mom and pops shop in which they’ve been in the industry for generatons also don’t survive. They end up being pawn shops!

The most expensive ring in my city (apart from estate sales) has been found at Costco!


Post # 15
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

I’ve had mall store jewelry in the past. Crap quality diamonds at premium price. Ignorant sales people. They pay overhead on all that inventory and pass that cost on to you. Those rings sit there for months or years. You will buy a ring hundreds of others may have tried on.

Heck, I even found out that my “new” ring was previously worn because I found the markings blurred where it had been resized!

I don’t trust their business practices, I don’t trust the quality, and I don’t trust the sales people. 

My local jeweler knows me by name when I come in. They custom make jewelry, show you loose stones so you can inspect them before you choose one to have it set. They give me free cleanings and inspections and give me take home cleaners whenever I need it. I can’t say enough about the differences between mall stores and independent local jewelers. 

I don’t judge others for their choices, I’ve had mall jewelry, as I said, but I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone.  Jmo

The topic ‘Why not mall jewelers?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors