High-end jewelry is a big investment for most people. The average engagement ring costs around $6,000, which is often two to three month’s worth of paychecks. However, one company has begun making waves with lower cost, high-quality jewelry sold solely online. James Allen is a company under Signet jewelers operating exclusively virtually.
As of 2017, James Allen is one of the top online jewelry stores, yet they still offer lower costs and higher selection than their competitors. Today, we’re going to explore how James Allen consistently sets an example for low prices and great service that other companies are rushing to emulate.
First and foremost, because James Allen is an online retailer, their sales tax policies are a little different than a brick-and-mortar store. Not only can they vary the sales tax charged according to state, but they can also forgo sales tax altogether. Sales tax may seem like a small charge, but when you consider the price of an expensive piece of jewelry with an added 8% sales tax, the price can increase quickly.
As of now, there are 16 states where James Allen does not charge sales tax, but you can check their FAQ section to check if sales tax is charged where you live. In any case where you’re buying an expensive purchase online, be sure to check the sales tax policy to make sure that you know what you’re paying for.
Should you buy a lab-grown diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds are manufactured by humans, made by placing a small piece of a diamond into a chamber with carbon-hydrogen, which will replicate the structure of a real diamond after it is left to grow for a month. These lab-grown diamonds cost 30% less than a natural diamond of a similar size, making them perfect for diamond hunters on a budget.
James Allen offers lab-grown diamonds in the same settings as all of their regular diamonds. So if a customer wants an immediately lower price for the same setting and the same quality of a diamond, a lab-grown diamond is a way to go. James Allen continually sets the standard by offering the same options for both natural and lab-made diamonds.
Online Business Model
The online business model offers a much tighter margin for a customer in any market. No inventory, salespeople, physical stores, and maintenance makes for far lower prices than an in-person store. The same rings true for James Allen, who offers the same diamonds for far lower prices than a typical jewelry store. In comparison to their fellow online jewelers, James Allen still offers pretty competitive pricing.
In addition to a lower margin, online jewelry stores, in general, provide a much better atmosphere for customers. If you have ever been inside a regular jewelry store, you know that salespeople are pushy, convincing you to buy expensive jewelry that you can’t afford or don’t want. Online suppliers offer a buying experience where the buyer can browse slowly, cross-reference information, and even wait on buying a product for months at a time.
James Allen has consistently stayed on the more modest side of price, but one factor that more jewelers should implement is price matching. If a consumer finds a similar diamond or piece of jewelry for a lower price from another store, you can send the information to James Allen and they will match the price for you.
This is similar to a big box store’s policies on groceries or other small items, but the fact that James Allen does this with diamonds is ground-breaking. With this policy, a consumer can be sure that they’re getting the absolute best price on a diamond, no matter the source. It will be interesting to see if other jewelers begin implementing this, and how the price of diamonds will be affected in the future.
James Allen offers lower prices than not only in-person showrooms but several of their online competitors. In the future, it will be interesting to see how other jewelry stores implement the policies that have worked for James Allen. The era of technology has improved jewelry buying exponentially, and James Allen is leading on that front.