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Smart Tips for Buying Jewelry

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Smart Tips for Buying Jewelry 

Some of the topics covered below include:
  • Researching and Comparing Items
  • Selecting and Reviewing Your Items
  • Getting to Know Your Seller
  • PayPal Buyer Protection Program
  • eBay Security and Resolution Center
You can also take our Buy With Confidence Audio Tour for further information on many of the topics discussed above.

Researching and Comparing Items

Shop around on eBay to compare items and prices to ensure you get the piece you want at a good price from a seller you are comfortable buying from. Here are some tips to help you do so:
  • Buying Guides - Read our Buying Guides to quickly learn about the basics of jewelry, watches and specific gemstones so you know exactly what you're bidding on and ask the right questions.
  • Completed Listings - Research how much other buyers paid for similar items on eBay. Use the Advanced Search function to search for items and check the "Completed listings only" box to see prices for completed listings.

Selecting and Reviewing Your Items

Once you've found an item you're interested in buying, review the item description carefully and thoroughly. The description of the jewelry you're buying should be detailed enough so you know exactly what you're getting. If it isn't, you might want to ask the seller for more information.
Consider the following information as you read through the description:
  • Photos - Make sure you can get a good sense of the product from the photos. Are the photos high-quality and do they provide you with several different angles of the item?
  • Main Product Attributes - Read through the description to ensure the seller is being forthcoming and clearly stating the product's main attributes and features. Good descriptions should make it easy for you to get this information.
  • Diamond Quality - If you're shopping for a diamond, look for information that clearly describes the quality of the diamond such as the four Cs: carat, color, clarity and cut. Also look to see if the diamond is certified/graded. Is the certification from a reputable lab? Does the diamond come with a copy of the lab certificate? To learn more about shopping for diamonds, see our Diamonds Buying Guide.
  • Sizing Information - Depending on what you are purchasing, check to make sure the sizing will work for you. For example, if you're shopping for a necklace, are you looking for a particular chain length? Or if you're shopping for a ring, what size do you need? Read our Sizing Guide for more information.
  • Material - Understand what material the jewelry is made out of (e.g., yellow gold, gold plated/filled, silver, etc.) and what the different qualities and grades are. Read our Precious Metals Guide for more information.
  • Item's Condition - See what condition the item is in. For example, if you're looking for a completely new item, check to see if the seller says the item is New or New In Box (NIB). If you're shopping for vintage jewelry, see how the jewelry is described to determine if you would be happy with its current condition.
  • Warranty - Does the item you want come with a warranty or guarantee? For example, if you're purchasing a watch, is the watch covered by a warranty? Learn more about the details behind the warranty. Is the warranty backed by the manufacturer or seller? How long is the warranty coverage period? What damage is covered by the warranty?
  • Gift Box - If you're purchasing jewelry to give as a gift, does the jewelry come with a gift box?
Read the entire listing thoroughly to make sure it's consistent throughout. If you have questions about the jewelry that are not answered in the item description, ask the seller by using the "Ask seller a question" link located in the "Seller Information" box at the upper right-hand corner of the item page.

Getting to Know Your Seller

Take time to learn more about your seller. Below are a few ways eBay helps you learn more about your seller so you can buy with confidence.
  • Review Seller's Feedback - The Feedback score is a member's reputation on eBay. It's a powerful tool enabling you to know more about the seller before you make a purchase. For each transaction, eBay allows both the buyer and seller to rate each other by leaving feedback -- either positive, negative, or neutral and a short comment. The "Feedback Score" represents the number of eBay members that were satisfied with their transaction with that member. The "Positive Feedback" score estimates the percentage of time the member received positive feedback. To be a PowerSeller on eBay, you must maintain a 980ositive feedback score. Click on a seller's feedback score to read the comments left by other eBay members. Also, check to see how long the seller has been selling items similar to those you are looking at.
  • Check How Long The Seller Has Been on eBay - The "Seller Information" box shows "Member since" information. This gives you an idea of how established a seller is in the eBay community. If a seller has been a member for a long time and has a high feedback score, this tells you he or she is an established eBay seller and might be selling on eBay for a living.
  • Read the Seller's About Me Page - On the About Me pages, sellers have the opportunity to tell buyers more about themselves. Sellers will often describe how long they've been in the jewelry business, what types of jewelry they specialize in, and explain their policies such as their returns and shipping policies.
  • Check if the Seller is a PowerSeller - Sellers with the PowerSeller icon next to their User ID are among the most established, most successful sellers in terms of dollar sales and customer satisfaction on eBay. To qualify for the PowerSeller program, sellers must consistently sell a significant volume of items, maintain a 980ositive feedback rating and provide a high level of service to their buyers.
  • Check if the Seller Accepts PayPal & Offers PayPal Buyer Protection - Check to see if the seller accepts PayPal as a form of payment. PayPal is an easy, safe, and convenient payment method. In addition, when you use PayPal to purchase from qualified sellers, you are protected for up to $1000 in free coverage and you can also, depending on the seller, receive financing.
  • Check Seller's Industry Associations - Check to see if sellers are members of known trade organizations like the JVC or third-party arbitration groups like SquareTrade.
  • See if the Seller Has an eBay Store - Check to see if the seller has an eBay Store. Established sellers tend to have an eBay Store.
  • View Seller's Other Items - Click the "View seller's other items" link on any listing page to see what kinds of other items the seller is offering and how many items they have listed. For example, you might feel better buying a diamond ring from a seller who specializes in selling diamond jewelry.

Know Your Seller's Policies

Every seller has different policies that you should be familiar with before you bid on or buy anything from them. Here are the some of the policies you should pay attention to:
  • Payment Policies and PayPal - Make sure the seller's payment options will work for you. PayPal is the easy, safe, and convenient payment method that also offers you up to $1,000 free buyer protection coverage on qualifying items. Most sellers offer more than one payment option on eBay. Some options offer more protection than others; so be sure to select a method of payment that makes you comfortable. Read more about the Benefits and Risks of Various Payment Options. (Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.)
  • Return Policy - On eBay, sellers set their own return policy. Learn whether a seller offers returns and what the terms are before you bid on or buy the item. Some sellers offer money back guarantees while other sellers may offer return policies for varying durations (e.g., up to 7 or 30 days). Also, check to see what type of refund the seller provides (e.g., money back, item exchange, etc.), if there's a re-stocking fee, and who pays for return shipping and handling.
  • Shipping Costs and Duration - Shipping details (e.g., who pays, cost, methods, item location) are some of the most important details to know. This will help you avoid any surprises. Depending on the size of the item and where the seller is located, shipping costs can differ. If you'd like the seller to insure the item when shipping it to you, ask about that ahead of time if it's not mentioned in the item description.

Buyer Protection

Pay safely with PayPal -- PayPal enables you to pay without the seller ever seeing your bank account or credit card numbers. In fact, PayPal protects buyers 100% against unauthorized payments from their accounts. Plus, with PayPal Buyer Protection, your purchase can be covered up to $1,000.

eBay Security & Resolution Center

Visit the Security & Resolution Center to learn how to protect your account and use eBay's quick and efficient resolution tools. You can also find a link to the Security Center at the bottom of every eBay page.