One thing everybody notices about top quality pearls is their price. Comparing prices, however, can be a pretty thankless task, especially when you shop retail. Generally speaking, retail jewelers work on basically the same margins, with some variations depending on their suppliers.
Online, however, it’s a real free for all. On some sites, you will see discounts which seem to be surprising, but if you look a bit closer, you’ll also see “sold out” on at least a few items. This is no coincidence. Online jewelry shoppers are extremely fussy, and they can compare prices quite easily.
In the pearl jewelry market, price has another meaning which isn’t obvious to consumers. Prices often dictate sales. Jewelry which doesn’t sell isn’t exactly an asset. Online jewelers are therefore very price conscious. While a brick and mortar jeweller might only get a few more customers by lowering their prices, an online store can
You can actually do a little experiment to see whether or not online prices are better. It’s pretty simple:
- First, check the brick and mortar prices for something that’s easily comparable like a pearl necklace.
- Next, compare online prices, finding a similar pearl necklace.
You’ll notice a major difference. Since there is less upkeep in an online store, you pay far less than you would at a brick and mortar establishment, because you aren’t paying for things like the rent of the retail store.
Quality is another thing that you get when you shop online. Top quality pearls are not cheap by definition, but they will absolutely be cheaper online. Top of the line pearls, like Akoya, for example, have a huge, thoroughly deserved reputation for quality, and their pricing can often become inflated when you find them in a brick and mortar store. If you are searching for a particular brand of pearls, it can be incredibly difficult to find what you want as well. This is especially true when searching for brand names, as many stores will only have limited space, and therefore a limited number of brand name pearls in stock.
Are online pearls cheaper? Yes. When you have such a wide selection to choose from, you get better deals and you can take your time so that you find exactly what you were looking for.