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Thursday, December 8th
Signet Jewelers owns four brands in our review, including Jared. Jared focuses on "accessible luxury jewelry" , especially pieces that convey singular expressions of love that make the world a better place (who knew jewelry could be so powerful?). With over 200 retail locations throughout the United States, chances are good there's a Jared store near you - but you'll have even more to browse in their online shop.
Lots of diamond studs, but not many solitaires
As a comparison item, we looked for the most extravagant diamond stud solitaire earrings sold by the jewelers in our review. Jared came in high, with 4 ct. tw. round stones in 14k white gold for the impressive price of one cent less than $24,000. There were several other options in different cuts and gold types in the $10,000 to $20,000 range, if you're so inclined. Among the nearly 450 diamond stud earring sets offered by Jared, there were no options under $100 but quite a few for less than $200 (although many of them were more novelty styles like diamond letter earrings and not the traditional solitaire studs).
Reasonable selection and pricing
Jared definitely seems to focus on the middle range of jewelry: not the cheap costume-like stuff, but not the really over-the-top, $100K-and-up statement pieces either. Engagement and wedding sets range from $400 to $24,000, for example. You'll find the widest variation in the Bracelets category: would you like a $25 anklet or a $52,000 diamond tennis bracelet...or any of the 1700+ items in between? Two categories where Jared shines (get it?) are Personalization and Charms: we found jewelry here that wasn't available with other stores.
Average returns, but exchanges are only available in-store
There's nothing special about Jared's return policy: you've got 30 days from the date you placed your order to make a return or an exchange. In-store returns are your easiest option - and your only choice if you want to swap out your jewelry for something different. Plus, you can get it gift wrapped for free by a store associate when you pick it up.
Free shipping on most jewelry
On the other hand, Jared has a more generous shipping policy than some of the jewelers even within their own brand family. You'll get free UPS 2nd-day on orders of in-stock, non-personalized jewelry. Of course, you can also get your items delivered to any Jared location, which is a smart way to keep your jewelry from getting stolen from your box or doorstep and to keep it a surprise.
Shopper comments go from bad to worse
We wanted to know more specifically about Jared's reputation, but it gets obscured by the relationship with parent company Signet. Signet itself has an "A+" and accreditation from the BBB, but Jared's shopper feedback doesn't reflect that at all. Doing some online sleuthing, we found almost 200 people who gave Jared an abysmal one star out of five - some reviewers said they wished they could actually give this retailer negative stars. We read hundreds of complaints about horrible quality, hostile customer service reps, and missing shipments. Granted, some shopper experiences related strictly to the retail locations, but there was no shortage of online disappointments either.
Too much room for improvement
Jared's reliability is absolutely in question. Could you get something you love here? Sure. Is it going to last long enough for you to pass it down as an heirloom? No, it might not even stay untarnished or unscratched for a month, let alone a lifetime. It's our recommendation that you buy your jewelry from a store with a much higher rating and spare yourself some grief. Jared has work to do to prove they deserve your business in the future.
You might be wondering if you should buy your next piece on the internet. Is it safe? Will I get something that's not good quality? Can I trust buying jewelry online? Rest assured - not only is it safe - it's actually a great idea to buy your jewelry from an online store! In fact, it's one of the most common purchases that shoppers are making, while they transition from brick-and-mortar retailers to digital storefronts.
Why the big increase in popularity? It's for all the reasons you would expect. First, there's no local jeweler who can compete with the inventory of an internet retailer: you'll simply have more options online, and that makes it more likely you'll find exactly what you're looking for. Plus, your neighborhood jewelry store has overhead costs that get passed along to you in higher markups, while an online-only retailer can often give you significant savings. That's a win!
Another obvious reason is convenience. Do you have time to visit several jewelry stores on your days off from work, driving from one to another in the hopes you'll spot something you love? We don't either. Like every other thing we all shop for online, jewelry is faster and more fun to buy whenever we feel like it, in our jammies at home or on-the-go between errands. Why not?
There are a lot of possibilities for getting jewelry online. Where should you start? Your primary consideration may be whether or not it's important to you to have a physical store nearby: maybe you want to have your fiance's engagement ring shipped there for safekeeping and not to your home (where she might spoil the surprise), or you feel more comfortable buying online with the backup of in-person returns if needed. If those aren't a factor for you, don't hesitate to buy your jewelry from an online-only retailer - as long as the business has an established, positive reputation, of course.
What other criteria can guide your decision as you buy jewelry? Here are some things to keep in mind:
To help you find all of the earrings, watches, bracelets and other jewelry you're looking for, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and rated today's most popular online stores. We're confident that this information will make it fun and easy to add to your collection or choose a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special!
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