Wedding Ring Shopping: Online vs. In-Store

Harry Merrill & Son RIng Shopping Onlinve .vs. In Store

The internet has made our lives easier in so many ways.  Right now, you’re browsing Philly In Love looking at gorgeous photos and imagining the fun of planning your own wedding, choosing flowers, invitations and the dress!  We live in a digital age where the click of a mouse or a tap on a phone screen can have a package delivered to our doorstep from Amazon within two days through the magic of international shipping.  It’s amazing, when you stop to think about it.  However, there are certain unique experiences that can never really be replaced by the ease of shopping from your couch, like purchasing an engagement ring.

The emotion and excitement leading up to your proposal is something that cannot be replicated by typing “engagement ring” into a search engine and clicking on the first few results.  That’s not to say that Google doesn’t have a place in the process; one of the first questions that we ask clients is whether they’ve done any research and what questions we can answer, in order to provide the best customer service and establish a “jumping off point,” so to speak.  Increasingly, we find that couples are coming in together to begin their search, and we often hear “I saw these rings on Pinterest and I really like the style” or “I fell in love with this ring on a blog post.”  The internet has become a valuable tool in helping us to collaborate with clients in choosing or designing the perfect ring.

Harry Merrill & Son

That team dynamic operates best when we’re able to get to know each other on a personal level, which is why it is still so important to spend time forming a relationship with a jeweler whom you trust.  Buying an engagement ring is a momentous occasion, both emotionally and financially.  Not only have you found the person with whom you want to spend your life, but you are also about to make a substantial purchase.  It can feel overwhelming, and having a trusted professional to help you through it is key.

Harry Merrill & Son

A good jeweler will break down the sometimes confusing amount of information that comes with buying an engagement ring.  You can research the Four Cs online, but seeing them applied to an actual diamond is really the best way to understand them.  As Denise pointed out, “My husband went to the local jeweler 3-4 times before he purchased.  At the time it was a lot of money for him so he really wanted to make sure he knew what he was getting.  They taught him all about the cut of the diamond and the clarity.  After he gave me the ring, he was excited to tell me about the process and what he learned and how he made the choices he made. It definitely made my ring feel more special knowing how much time and effort he put into it too.”  That’s an intangible factor that doesn’t come from clicking filters on a website.

Harry Merrill & Son

There is a certain sense of security in knowing that the diamond you see in front of you is your diamond.  It’s not figuring out certificates or photos online and trying to imagine how it will look in the ring; it’s quite simply the one that gives you the feeling of “yes, this is the one.”  Most of our clients choose a ring because something about the center diamond and the setting together just clicks for them, and there’s no other way to really explain it.

Finding a jeweler whom you trust is incredibly reassuring, as well.   When I asked why she and her husband chose Harry Merrill & Son for their engagement and wedding rings, Jen said “We definitely wanted to work with someone we could build a relationship with.  We looked at other options before going to your store, and that trust wasn’t there!  After working with you, Robert, and Iris, I was like ‘ok yes, this is where I want to buy, come to get my rings cleaned and checked, etc.’

Harry Merrill & Son

It is still possible to combine the ease of online shopping with the reassurance of a personal relationship, of course.  For one thing, our custom design process utilizes CAD (computer-aided design)  and we send renderings to the clients via email, even when we’ve initiated the design process in-store.  We can communicate easily regarding questions, revisions, and approval while working together, as opposed to us just designing a ring and saying “here you go.”  It’s a great way to make the process both comfortable and collaborative.

Harry Merrill & Son

Brandi lives out of state and chose Harry Merrill for both her engagement and wedding rings, and was happy to share her reasons.  “I was able to still buy from home and have it shipped quickly (so quickly in fact that it was in the house at least a solid week before I ever had any idea!) so buying from a store doesn’t take that away. What eBay can’t do is create a custom design and answer all 98 questions that we had.  That’s invaluable.  Knowing that the people you’re working with know what they’re doing and can really guide you.  I’m still in shock I told you what I envisioned and the very first thing you showed me was exactly correct.  You guys know what you’re doing.”
Once you have that connection, you can relax knowing that you’ve found the perfect ring and go back to browsing Philly in Love for more fun ideas!

Harry Merrill & Son

Photography by Jessica Cooper

Wedding Ring Shopping: Online .VS. In-Store

written by Nicole Fuscia

GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional

Harry Merrill & Son, Inc.


Photo credit Cheyenne Gil