As a person who lives remotely, I have become somewhat of an expert at buying items online. Options – for anything – in Juneau are, ah, shall we say, limited. So if I want to see the most options and get the best deal, I have to buy nearly everything online. It’s not a perfect system, but it is what it is.

There’s always the chance when you’re shopping online that you might be getting ripped off. Nowhere is this more true than when buying jewelry. So, how can you tell if you’re getting genuine jewelry and not knock-offs?

Here are three tips to avoid getting scammed when buying jewelry online:

  1. Check the price – Ah, good old capitalism. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. For a *general* reference, you can expect that a set of turquoise for earrings or a single, larger stone for a ring probably cost the jeweler at least $20. That’s just the price of the stone, nothing else. As of the time of this writing, silver is about $30/ounce. Your earrings or ring probably have at minimum $10-$15 worth of silver in them. So, base cost for just those two materials will be a minimum of $30-$35 dollars. This doesn’t include any other materials, tools, time, packaging, taxes, etc. If you’re paying an amount that seems like a steal for a finished piece, buyer beware.
  2. Get to know the artist – I recommend getting to know the artist you’re buying from. Develop some trust. If you don’t know anything about the artist, if they post blurry photos, if they don’t tell you where the turquoise came from, if they don’t answer your questions – you may not want to spend your money with them. Trust your gut here. Also – getting to know the maker is part of what gives extra meaning to your jewelry. Go the extra step here.
  3. Check the guarantee – If the condition or quality of the jewelry is not guaranteed, or if the seller does not accept returns (within reason), that’s a red flag to me. Any artist of handmade jewelry who is worth her salt will take exceptional pride in their work and they will want nothing more than for you to be satisfied. So if a seller is dodging a guarantee of work or refuses a return, it’s worth considering if you have a fake on your hands.

My promise to you:

I care a great deal about the quality of my craftsmanship, and this starts with my materials. I hand-pick my turquoise, doing my best to ensure that it’s high-quality, genuine, and ethically sourced. Each piece of jewelry is handmade by me in my studio in Juneau. I’m proud of my work, and I hope it shows.

Best of luck to you out there in the online world!

This is the second part of a series on how to avoid getting scammed. For part one, please go to this link

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