Let me start out by saying that coming up with a list of trusted sites proved a little harder than I had anticipated. My goal was to find ten diamond websites that I could recommend with full confidence that they would bring delight to an online shopper. I eventually realized that I needed to make several lists as one company might excel in one area, such as loose diamonds, and another might be the preferred site for preset diamond rings, and yet another would excel in providing a mixture of diamond and precious gem jewelry.
When I started out with this project I was very surprised that there weren’t more diamond sellers online. Most jewelers do not sell online. Many have websites, but without any way to buy from them through their website. Soon the reason became clear that this is due to the simple but unchangeable fact that jewelry shops with actual shop window displays, shop assistants, security, rent, and local advertising budgets have considerably higher overhead expenses than an online shop would. Also one of the advantages of an online-only diamond seller is that they can sell diamonds for less by having a special arrangement with the wholesale company to hold the diamonds until they are sold. A brick and mortar shop will have the diamonds they are selling right there for customers to inspect. They have high overhead costs, therefore as a result trying to sell their diamonds online would mean that they can not compete effectively online without undercutting their own in-shop prices, which would be problematic for their viability as a business. The brick and mortar jewelers still have some advantage in one regard, and that is there is no substitute for seeing a diamond with your own eyes. But if you’d prefer to buy a diamond rather than not buy a diamond because of the cost factor then these websites recommended here are the way to go.
During the course of my research I became acquainted with the work of Robert Hensley, founder of Diamond Helpers who instantly won my respect and admiration as his work encapsulates the type of guidance I want to give my readers. I recommend using his fantastic FindMyJeweler TM service if you do not want to buy online but would rather locate a jeweler who has passed the secret shopper tests and has proven to be providing excellent value.
The sites I list in my top 10 diamond website lists are places you would choose if you want to purchase online.
The criteria I put my candidates through was similar to the above mentioned tests, with the added bonus of being able to verify this by checking online feedback left by thousands of customers.
The selected websites I finally ended up with were chosen after having passed in the following areas.
- Conflict free diamonds only. What this means is that we only chose from vendors who deal only in diamonds that were purchased from legitimate sources that were not involved in funding conflict, and therefore are in compliance with United Nations resolutions.
The customer service test.
If a company showed that they dealt respectfully and promptly with customer concerns we investigated further to find the overall policy that the company was exuding. As there are now a number of consumer contributed review websites it will soon become clear how the company is dealing with any complaints. We believe that there is no justifiable reason for a customer to feel cheated and that the outcome of any dispute should be that the company gives the customer the benefit of the doubt. There are occasionally unreasonable customers who seem to complain no matter what. These were of particular interest as the company has the opportunity to apply their customer relations skills to appease and mollify the customer rather than justify the company’s actions.
Happy customer reviews on independent review sites.
The sites all stood out for exceptional customer satisfaction. There had to be overwhelming positive feedback or we would not consider including the company in our list.
We applied common sense when analyzing customer reviews as there is the ever-so-slight possibility that a negative review is placed by an underhanded competitor. Most review websites have methods of detecting such unethical behavior and rate the trust factor accordingly. If the reported event did not occur then the company should eventually be able to flag the review as suspect. This is why we conducted our review on a very broad scale. When a company responds to a negative review this shows that the review is authentic. The company can only benefit from replying as the company’s reply can give a fuller picture of what occurred. Many complaints occur in late December when customers are impatient for their delivery, and yet December should be expected to be one of the busiest times of the year. Just like you would not go in to a diamond jeweler’s shop late Friday afternoon and expect a loose princess cut diamond mounted onto a platinum ring to your specifications on the spot, it is wise to allow some extra time ordering online during the busy season.
Customers getting what they ordered.
If there are reports of a customer not getting what they ordered and then having trouble getting it exchanged we were not willing to include that diamond company on our list as this is not the sort of trouble anyone can stand. The high price tag of diamonds make this even more intolerable.
Good and reasonable return/refund policy.
All the sites that made the grade also offered more than the standard 7 day return policy.
- Diamond Grading Reports.
All sites we selected only sell diamonds that are accompanied by a detailed diamond grading report.
- Easy-to-use, well designed secure websites.
It’s no use shopping online only to get frustrated with the checkout process. We made sure to recommend only those diamond sellers who had taken the time to make their customers shopping experience safe and user-friendly.
- Would I recommend it to my closest friends?
I had to be able to answer an unhesitating YES to this question in regards to any site I was going to list. Without full confidence in being able to recommend a company/online jeweler to my closest friends, the site would not be listed here. Period. No exceptions. The slightest hesitation and I did not include it since I felt that the only way this list would become trusted is by having this test placed on the sites I list.