We all want value for our hard-earned dollars. But just what is value? I think many people equate price alone with value. I’d like you to consider that those things are not always the same.
Low Price Good Value
Low price and value can exist together. I shop at a small community market where I know I can trust the food. They stock mostly organic and they label conspicuously. One of the first places I check when I walk in is the “distressed” veggie bin.
I love all kinds of peppers and cook with them in most of my dishes. And for some reason this market pulls peppers with only tiny blemishes from the regular shelves. Sometimes I can’t even find a blemish on their distressed peppers. Since I’ll be cooking with them soon and am perfectly capable of paring away any small blemishes that I find, buying these cheap peppers make sense to me. They represent a great value! In this case, cheap is good and instead of paying full-bore for organic peppers, I buy great “distressed” organic peppers for a fraction of the cost.
Now let’s look at another scenario. You find the love of your life and in our culture a ring is often used to represent dedication and love to the world. You are shopping for an engagement or wedding ring. There is a plethora of options from local boutique jewelers to on-line overstock re-sellers…and everything in-between. In this case, while your budget is, or should be a factor, does it really make sense to just shop price?
Probably not…but you still want value. And in this circumstance where do you find it?
You Get What You Pay For…Maybe
Can you pay too much for jewelry? Certainly. No question that there are jewelers and jewelry companies that play on your emotion while they play up their brand. And you end up paying more for attitude and a fancy box than you might have paid for the jewelry in that box. And that doesn’t even begin to address how well the jewelry was made.
On the flip side of that coin, there are many companies out there that will try to convince you that their cheap stuff is great and represents the best value. I suspect that lightweight, poorly-conceived designs manufactured without quality control are not what you want to represent your commitment to another human.
Fortunately, the majority of jewelry “makers” out there sincerely want to provide you value in a well-made product.
What to Do
Buying jewelry is often an emotional experience. Honor that and try to remember that you may be vulnerable to making a costly mistake. Take a little time to clarify your goals first. Set both your budget and your priorities for your purchase. Then look around and check your options. Price shopping may make sense if you are comparing apples to apples; a 6-gram 14K yellow band with another 6-gram 14K yellow band, for example.
And for anything beyond a simple choice like that, rather than buying something pre-made, you may want to consider having someone custom-craft your treasured jewelry item. A custom jeweler should consider many factors in designing your jewelry and be willing to work with you on all of them. Your lifestyle (level of activity), personal style (aesthetics), and budget can all be considered as a project is discussed and initiated. A custom jeweler can make something that perfectly fits you in all these ways.
Custom Jewelry, Trust & Integrity
Finding someone you can trust for this process is easier now. With the preponderance of social media ratings, it’s not hard to check reputations these days. How long have they been in business? What do clients say about them? Even a good store can get an occasional bad review but note the trend in the feedback you encounter. And your judgment is important too. Do you feel comfortable in the establishment? Or is both phone and on-line communication personable and clear?
Find someone that listens to you and communicates clearly about each of the important parts of your project mentioned above. A good designer/goldsmith will not let you make poor choices, they want you pleased *and* your return business!
How does it work?
Each custom jeweler/goldsmith may work through the process differently.