Support your local jeweler (Op-ed with Ted)

I find it amazing how little confidence some consumers have in their traditional home town jewelers fearing big retail mark-ups, while being perfectly willing to hand over their money to strangers on the internet or television.
True, having a physical store for you to shop in and hold actual merchandise carries more overhead than a virtual store, but what most consumers don’t realize is that many of the on-line and on-tube stores aren’t always saving you money. In many cases you are getting ripped off.
Before I alienate the legitimate virtual jewelers, let me say that there are some. The legit sites tend to offer GIA and AGS laboratory certificates on their diamonds and have a reasonable return policies. When the seller has a restrictive or no return policy, avoid them. If you are buying from an individual, maintain similar options, but remember most internet jewelry is being offered by dealers whether they represent themselves as such or not. E-bay transactions are notorious for misrepresentations often backed by fraudulent documents.
So, why not include your local bricks and mortar jeweler when price shopping with other sources? Many who buy loose stones elsewhere, end up at their local jeweler to set it, so give them an opportunity to provide it as well You may be pleasantly surprised with their response.
Wherever you buy, make sure your selected appraiser (that would be us) checks out your purchase and provides documentation for insurance.

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