First, go through the websites of both the retail stores and the online jewellery stores and make a shortlist of items you like that are within your budget.
Next, get all the product details and costs for each piece. For example, if you are looking at a traditional 7 or 9 stone diamond earring, get as much information as possible on the diamonds, making charges, wastage, taxes, and total costs. Ask for the gold weight and the stone weight separately. The more information you are able to collect at this stage, the easier it is to compare and make your decision later.
Bring all your metrics for a similar piece on to a single page, by comparing the details across stores. Arrange these points of comparison items vertically (no. of stones, grade, carats, etc) and the store names (store 1, store 2) horizontally in a table or excel sheet. Add the values for each item carefully. Put the costs (making charges, wastage, tax, total) in the last rows.
Now examine your table carefully. Which store has the diamond earrings which are most expensive? Why are they the most expensive? Is it the value and number of diamonds, or is the tax adding a huge difference? Which store offers the least wastage and tax? By asking and answering these questions, you’ll be able to get a picture of which store is giving you a good deal.
Call a few of the stores and find out what would be the value of the same piece if you got it made with better quality or lower quality diamonds? If several stores have low wastage and one seems abnormally high, find out why. Let them know their wastage is higher than every other store, and they may try and make it competitive to sweeten the deal for you.
Once you have all this information, you are ready to make your decision. Eliminate the stores which have the less satisfying cost/quality combination, first. Keep eliminating till you have only 2 or 3 options left.
At this point, you may want to visit the stores and try on the pieces. Or if you are purchasing from an online store, talk to their diamond experts. Get all your doubts and issues clarified, and let them know if you have any concerns with the piece you are purchasing. The merchant or expert may have alternate suggestions for you, which match your requirements perfectly.
Now that you’ve done all the homework, it’s time to once again take your taste and preference into consideration. Is there a piece you are leaning towards? Does instinct tell you which one to choose?
When you’re finally done with all the research and negotiation, go ahead and make a final decision with confidence. You can be sure you’ve gotten the best offer and are bringing home a spectacular piece of diamond jewellery.