(Closed) Zales? Kay? Gordons? Samuels? Local jeweler?

posted 7 years ago in Rings
Post # 64
Member
293 posts
Helper bee

If you don’t stay away from maul (yes! they maul you with BS!) jewelry stores due to the horror stories, at least stay away bc they don’t have on-site benches. If you need any resizing, fixing of prongs or ANYTHING, they need to send it away for weeks at a time. #1) mailing it to another location just adds more risk of it getting lost, risk of it being in more people’s hands, risk of it disappearing and 2) who wants to wait WEEKS when a jewelry sture with its own bench can do the same thing, most of the crime CHEAPER, and within hours?! I do all my rhodium plating, resizing, and tightening of prongs locally. I drop it off for a few hours, and come back and pick it up. It never leaves the store, and I’m rest assured that it doesn’t get lost or switched!

 

 

I remember when Zales first started carrying Vera Wang. I was so excited for some quality stuff. man, I didn’t even have to take out my loupe to see how crappy the melee in the setting was! So many inclusions, it looked like frozen spit. I was sorely disappointed.

Post # 65
Member
293 posts
Helper bee

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@FutureMrsHolmes:  they don’t have benches, so if they are willing to, they’d have to send it out. Find someone that’s going to set it right there with you. Most won’t let you IN their bench area due to liability and insurance reasons, but they’re RIGHT THERE. I can see my jeweler working through a glass window. Setting take only a few minutes.

 

 

Post # 66
Member
182 posts
Blushing bee

My first engagement ring (the one I was proposed to with) was from Zales. HORRIBLE experience with them, I returned it within 2 months and went to a local jeweler for my ring. Zales has very finicky exceptions to their guarantees and policies so beware of that, and also you should look which companies are affiliated with Zales because they too have the same policies. Also, many of their diamonds have inclusions, and the sales people will tell you that, even the Vera’s. The price to quality or value for what you get, including the not so great policies and customer service isn’t worth it. I’d do local, you’ll find MUCH better customer service and they’re more likely to give you a deal and make sure you get what you want and are happy. My local jeweler called to wish me a happy birthday and gave me a $25 gift card (not a coupon, a gift card) to their store to celebrate it. They also call every so often to make sure I”m happy with my rings and see if I need anything. Best customer service and I’m so happy to be working with a local company.

Post # 67
Member
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Local or regional jeweler.  I would not do a big chain.  

I’d recommend using the local or regional jeweler that has the best warranty.  My jeweler replaces lost/missing stones, or fixes any damage forever.  And I don’t have to take it in for a check every 6 months for that warranty to stay in place.  

They also can do repairs on site, and can usually do them in under an hour, if needed.  None of this shipping the ring off to someplace to have work done.

Post # 68
Member
630 posts
Busy bee

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@vorpalette:  Agreed! I love the people at my local Kay’s. We’ve been shopping there since we bought my Engagement Ring in 2009 and they know us by name when we walk in the door and always help us pick quality items and give us great pricing.  The ONLY issue I have with them is that they have to ship my stuff every time I need repair or dipping. It’s inconvenient – but at least it’s free!  I will continue to buy there!

Post # 69
Member
3656 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

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@Apple_Blossom:  I agree that complaints about mall stores will be all over the web because there are a lot of those stores.

I bought a cheap enhancer for my solitaire at H-berg’s and I love it, the design is brilliant! But I don’t expect a whole lot of it, it’s a mall store ring.

I distinctly remember see the mall store products 25 years ago when we were e-ring shopping. The specs just were not good. We bought from a family owned stsore and I still love my e-ring.

Were I doing it today, I might buy online from Blue Nile or one of those places, as long as I could send it back. IT is critically important to see fancy shapes in real life before buying. But there is real value in seeing multiple lose stones at the same time to compare, that’s how I chose mine. Can anyone provide that experience other than family jewelry stores? Do mall stores ever show loose stones?

 

Post # 70
Member
2453 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

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@FutureMrsHolmes:  WHOA WHOA WHOA!  Back up there!  That escalated quickly.  Here’s what I wrote:

“It’s a very individual experience.  I think ruling out chain stores right away is a bit…  Well, snobby, honestly.  If you try it and don’t like it, fine.  But to hold them away without seeing it in person?  Premature judgement.”

What I think you thought I said: YOU (as in FutureMrsHolmes) are snobby for not going to a chain store even though you looked at them.

What I intended: You (as in a general you, written to anyone reading) are snobby for automatically ruling out chain stores based on heresay and not on actual experience, because it comes off as if they’re saying “I would NEVER shop at a chain store, they are just not good enough for me!”

Obviously it’s important to ask others’ opinions, but it will NEVER replace a real experience.  It’s like saying some type of food is disgusting before you even try it.

You said you looked at mall stores, and if you didn’t like what you found, that’s perfectly OK.  They are not for everyone.

Post # 71
Member
630 posts
Busy bee

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@FutureMrsHolmes:  I don’t know about your stores locally, but I do business at my local Kay store.  They know me and DH by name, know our story, sent a card when we lost my teenage son.  They do all my dips/sizing/repairs free.  They also set “foreign” stones at a very resonable price.  I just sent the stone out of my mother’s engagement ring off with them to be made into a small bezel stacker ring. (It’s .25 carat). Materials and labor AND lifetime warranty for the bezel ring is just under $200. I’m good with that.

 

I think you get different service at different places, period.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a chain store or local store – it’s the employees at each place. I probably could find a Kay that had crappy service/employees and wasn’t near as personable or maybe I got lucky.  I know that I got a good quality diamond because I researched it and got my paperwork (G color, VS1 clarity eye clean at 3x) – and I was comfortable with the price I paid.  I also know that I’ll be able to get it repaired/inspected free no matter where I move because they are everywhere.  That made it worth it for me.

 

Find what makes it “worth it” for YOU and go with it! Remember – prices are negotiable EVERYWHERE.  We have never paid “sticker price” even though we shop at a chain store.  Considerably less, actually!  Happy Hunting!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 73
Member
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

My ring is from Ben Bridge and they have the BEST customer service. I showed my Fiance the ring I loved and the sales lady remembered us when he went in by himself months later to purchase the ring. Plus they have bent over backwards to fix a loose stone issue I have had with my ring. 

If they are in your area, I higly recommend checking them out. 

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