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Friday, December 9th
Zales began in 1924 in Wichita Falls, Texas, originally specializing not just in jewelry but also in cameras and even appliances. There are now over 700 retail locations throughout North America and Puerto Rico, in addition to Zales' online store. Zales is owned by Signet Jewelers, the parent company over three other jewelry stores we evaluated.
Thousands of options, even just for diamond stud earrings
For every jeweler we evaluated, we took a look at the most expensive diamond stud earrings they carried. Zales didn't have the costliest pair on the market, but their 4 ct. tw. solitaire studs in 10k white gold were still pretty impressive at $17,499 - marked down from an original price of $25,000 and only available for purchase online. There were quite a few pairs in the $10k and up price range, among the more than 2,200 options in diamond studs alone. On the other end of the spectrum, we found lots of "diamond accent" earrings that would make a nice, sparkly gift without the hefty price tag; these were all priced under $50.
Extremely high-end pieces here if you want them
There's no way to shop all jewelry at Zales at once, so you'll have to go into each category to see what their biggest-ticket pieces are (if you're interested, that is). Get a head start by clicking on the "Over $5,000" link in the dropdown. Here's a hint: try looking in the Serena Williams collection; where else would you get the finest tennis necklace known to woman?
Plenty of budget-friendly and mid-range options too
Of course, not everyone is looking for a statement piece like that. Zales has more than enough to choose from in their inventory of over 50,000 jewelry pieces. Browse at will, or use the Jewelry Inspiration, Gift Ideas, Create Your Own or Clearance sections to spark your imagination. There are even some fun quizzes to help determine your jewelry style (or someone else's!).
Check out the item descriptions
Each item's description walks you through all of the pertinent details, like clasp type or chain length, plus recommendations for keeping it clean. You can also view estimated delivery times, or in-store availability if you want to order online and pick up in person. Because Zales is so well-known, much of their jewelry has customer reviews you can factor into your purchase decision as well.
Be sure to understand the extended care plans
This jewelry store made some changes to their jewelry protection plans in late 2021, so if you've previously purchased from Zales you might need to read up a bit to understand how their new coverage works. You'll get complimentary protection on any diamond purchase of $200 or more, and an in-store inspection is required every 6 months to stay eligible. You can also get add-on protection for your other jewelry (and for the metal components of your diamond ring): just look for those options on the item page for pricing and coverage details.
Shipping isn't free without a promo
Zales comes off a little stingy when it comes to shipping fees. The only way you'll get it for free is if you have your jewelry sent to your local store for in-person pickup. That's cool if you have a location near you; otherwise, expect to pay $6.95 for delivery in two business days or $21.95 for one business day. If you're having it sent to a PO Box, you'll pay $7.95, and there's no option for express delivery. All that being said, during our visit to the Zales site they were offering free shipping on any order (PO Boxes excluded) with no minimum purchase, "for a limited time" .
30-day returns and 60-day exchanges
If you'd like to return the jewelry you bought from Zales, you've got 30 days for a refund or 60 days for an exchange. That's a little more generous than some of their competitors in the industry. They extend this timeframe over the holidays: if you buy jewelry between October 15 and December 24, you'll have until January 24 to make a return.
Some complaints are to be expected
Zales gives you a lot to choose from. If you've got an in-person location near you, your options are even bigger with simplified pick-up and returns too. Even if you don't, you can still keep Zales on your "take a peek" list for your next jewelry buying experience.
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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