Jewellers in the UK have a fantastic history of producing some of the most stunning work available anywhere in the world. This means that you are spoiled for choice when it comes to fantastic jewellery options here.
However, some people are tempted by the idea of buying jewellery abroad. It might be that they have heard that a particular destination offers stunning quality jewellery, or it could be they believe that they can get a better bargain or more for their money if they go overseas.
In reality, while it is of course possible to buy jewellery from abroad, there is a key question that you need to ask yourself: is it worth it. There are downsides to buying from jewellers abroad, and benefits from sticking with UK options.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the reasons that you should think twice before buying your jewellery from abroad.
Quality concerns when buying jewellery from abroad
If you are thinking of buying jewellery abroad, it is worth remembering that depending on where you shop, you may not always get the same level of quality control you might expect from jewellers in the UK. If you are shopping in a market or even in independent shops, if you don’t know the reputation of the seller, it could be possible that they are artificially inflating costs for inferior products.
It is even possible that sellers could be knowingly selling fake or counterfeit goods. And if you are thinking of buying from world-famous brands and designers to counteract – these manufacturers have stores in the UK as well, so what do you really gain from going abroad for them?
The hidden costs of buying jewellery from abroad
When you buy jewellery from abroad, there are several hidden costs that you may not have considered.
Firstly, there may be import duties, taxes, and handling fees that you will have to pay when the item arrives in the UK. These costs can quickly add up and make the purchase much more expensive than you initially thought.
Secondly, you may have to pay for the item to be appraised or valued once it arrives in the UK. This is because jewellery from abroad may not have the same hallmarking standards as UK jewellery, which makes it difficult to verify its authenticity and value.
Thirdly, if you need to return the item for any reason, you may have to pay for shipping and handling fees to send it back to the seller. This can be particularly costly if you are sending the item back.
Finally, if the item requires repairs or adjustments, you may have to pay for these costs yourself. This is because the seller may not have a UK presence or may not be willing to cover the costs of repairs or adjustments.
From our resident germologist and valuer, within 2-3 days.
The risks of buying jewellery from unscrupulous sellers
When you are buying jewellery abroad, you are unfortunately at a much greater risk of dealing with unscrupulous sellers. You are not always going to have the same protections that UK companies provide as standard. It is not always possible to thoroughly research those you are interested in purchasing from.
This can also put you in a compromised position when attempting to resolve disputes. Not being sure whether a company will follow through on any repair or refund can make it much riskier for you.
Ultimately, any time that you go abroad, you need to ensure that you are taking the same risks and precautions you would at home. If you see a price that seems too good to be true, you really have to ask yourself why that is the case.
The misconceptions about buying jewellery from abroad
There are a range of different misconceptions about buying jewellery abroad, and it is important that we take a look at them.
- Myth: It’s cheaper – as we have discussed, when jewellery prices are significantly cheaper abroad it is often because the quality of the product has been misrepresented, or because the product is fake.
- Myth: You can make a profit in the UK – if your only motivation to buy jewellery abroad is to take it home and sell it for a profit, you should stop now. Any cheap jewellery that has been passed off as expensive jewellery will be immediately spotted by skilled professionals. “I paid £1,000 for it” doesn’t mean anything to a jewellery specialist, sadly.
- Myth: Favourable tax rates in some countries – it is true that some countries have lower sales tax rates than the UK – but purchases must be declared when you enter the UK.
The benefits of buying from local jewellers
When it comes to buying jewellery, there are many benefits to choosing a local jeweller over purchasing abroad. One key advantage is the quality assurance that comes with buying from a reputable local jeweller. UK jewellers are required to adhere to strict regulations and standards, ensuring that their products are of the highest quality.
In addition, local jewellers often have established reputations within their communities, making them accountable for the quality of their products and services.
Another advantage is the expertise and advice that local jewellers can provide. Many local jewellers have years of experience and knowledge about the industry and can offer valuable insights and guidance when it comes to choosing the perfect piece of jewellery.
Buying abroad for a low price can be inherently risky, and we would always recommend opting for a quality product that you know you can trust. At Cry for the Moon, we have years of experience in selling fine pieces of jewellery, and would be delighted to provide advice of any kind before you buy. Whether you are looking for a specific type of gemstone or need advice on which metal to choose, we would be happy to help. Get in contact with our experienced team to learn more.