Saturday, September 25, 2010

5 Steps to Buying Jewelry - The Jewelry Buying Process

All jewelry shoppers follow a five step buying process. How this process plays out and over what period of time totally depends on the type of jewelry purchase that you are making. It is important for jewelry shoppers to understand this process in order to get the best deals and best jewelry designs. An inexperienced salesperson will have you believe that best deal and design is dependent on time and place (in other words luck). But the fact is that luck has very little to do with finding the best design that you want at the best price that you are willing to pay. Below is the short guide to the buying process that you always follow (knowingly or unknowingly) and if you understand this process better then it will help you get the best jewelry designs at best affordable prices.

You are in one of two categories of jewelry shopper - either (1) You are in the market to buy that next piece of jewelry that will make you look great.  OR (2) You already have a collection of jewelry designs that makes you look great.

Step 1 - Identify the jewelry you want
It is important to figure out what you type of jewelry do you need before you proceed to the next step of the buying process. How you look for the best designs and best deals is totally dependent on what type of jewelry are you looking for. If you need a pair of earrings then you should understand if you need those in gold or silver.  It is not easy to figure out what is the next jewelry piece that you want and this is the step where you will spend the most amount of time.

The better you understand what jewelry you need, the better you will be in having a satisfying buying experience. To better explain this process, I will use the following example- you decided that you need a cuff with bold ascent to go with a wonderful evening gown that you just bought.

Step 2 - Gathering information (Window shopping is your best friend)
This is the step which helps you refine your understanding of needs. For example, if you decided that you need a cuff with bold ascent then the next step is to gather information about the cuffs that are in style and the locations where they are available. This step will then allow you to further refine your need. Suppose you choose to buy a gold plated silver cuff then you will need to do online research to find the best deals on that gold plated silver cuff that you need.

Step 1 and Step 2 are iterative process. The more expensive the jewelry that you buy, the more iterative the process will be. In case of an impulse buy, you will not spend more than 5 minutes on these steps.

Step 3 - Narrow your choices and evaluate
Once you have gather all the various choices available to you regarding your gold plated silver cuff, you want to evaluate the various choices. This is the place where you consider other very important aspects of your purchase such as price, brand, quality and service.

If you have spent enough time in steps 1 & 2, you will most likely narrow your choices to your initial goals of getting the best design that makes you look good and finding the best deals. If for some reason you are not satisfied with the pricing of your choices, then you can go back to steps 1 & 2 which is akin to "continue looking".

If you walk into a jewelry store then an experiences salesperson will try to get you to narrow your choices and move directly to step 4. On the other hand, a good salesperson will focus on your needs and provide you as much information as possible.

Step 4 - Closing the deal
Deciding to buy and closing the deal is more of an event in the jewelry buying process than a step. Once  you have understood your needs, gathered all the info and evaluated all the choices, then closing the deal is a mere event. Most experienced salesperson know that and there they only focus on the first three steps.

Step 5 - Assess your jewelry
After you buy the jewelry that you so carefully selected, it is very important to continue to assess how it is looking and fitting you. This assessment will help you immensely when you set out to buy the next piece of that great polki earring.
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