A new wrinkle in retail?
Buying diamonds online wasn’t even someone’s wildest dream when I first started out in the jewelry business back in the 1970’s. Today, it is amazing that a person can sit down at a computer and actually go shopping!
Many key events had to occur in order to make buying diamonds online even possible.
First a little background….
The idea of going to a central marketplace with stores that specialize in only certain items goes back thousands of years. However, the idea of a company offering their products to customers who live far from the company’s shop and showroom did not start with the Internet!
Having a customer order an item (without touching and without seeing the actual item!), and then having that item shipped to the customer’s home is not really a new idea. Shopping on the Internet is just a slight variation on a form of shopping that goes back hundreds of years! Probably the best example of this type of retailing is the Sears catalog.
It is really an amazing story of how R.W.Sears took the idea of the mail order catalog and built an empire! A lot of Sears success is because of his exciting marketing concepts but it also had a lot to do with many new technologies coming together at the same time.
The completion of the transcontinental railroad, the explosion of American farms, the growth and improvement of telegraph system, improvements in the mail delivery systems, and the inefficiency of the traditional retail distribution systems.
This is a prime example of how a company and consumers can benefit by “cutting out the middle man” and making the system of bringing goods and services to a higher level of efficiency.
What’s so special about buying diamonds online?
So what made buying diamonds online really take off? There are a few things that came together at the same time….
- Cable TV shopping went a long way to introduce alternate ways to buy jewelry, gems, etc.
- The Internet became faster more accessible at home and at work.
- Friends and coworkers started buying diamonds online and it worked out well.
- More and more people became used to purchasing items online as Internet shopping became more trusted.
- Diamond grading reports became more commonplace because of the increased number of Gemological Labs and Gemologists in the marketplace. This had the affect of “commoditizing” diamonds.
You will need to do a little homework if you want to save some money!
Even though the Internet has matured and has become a more mainstream element of everyone’s lives it can still be a pretty wild place…. this is especially true when it comes to buying diamonds online.
On the Internet you will be able find a ton of information on just about any topic however a good percentage of that information will be mis-information. Shopping online has allowed companies to sell products to customers around the world but it has also allowed some people to do some bad things to other people.
Buying diamonds online does require a basic understanding of the diamond grading systems in order to make an informed decision. Each diamond is slightly different, so it is not like buying a Canon camera online. Shopping online for that Canon camera is really pretty easy because every single camera of that particular model is exactly the same.
Since the mid 90’s I have seen the growth of online diamond retailers and in my previous position as the Head Gemologist for an online jewelry retailer I did end up working with all of the large online diamond retailers.
This is why I can wholeheartedly encourage anyone who is considering buying diamonds online to take a look at JamesAllen.com, not only are their prices generally the lowest but they are the only online diamond retailer with real pictures of the diamonds they sell.
This means you will be able see the actual diamonds that they have to offer and best of all, you can always contact me for my opinion of the diamond that you are considering, before buying it. I might be able to give some suggestions about some different diamonds to consider.