Jewelry is often seen as an extravagance, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you’re interested in pampering yourself with a sparkly piece or you’re buying jewelry for someone you care about, the costs can be steep if you don’t know how to find a great deal. From gold and silver to rubies and diamonds, you can find cheap jewelry with a few simple strategies.
Know When to Buy
Saving big on your jewelry purchases doesn't just mean finding coupons, sales and deals. The first strategy in your jewelry buying process is knowing when to shop. Although you’ll find more circulars and advertisements around the holidays, that may not necessarily mean you’ll find the optimal deals during that stretch of time. Many retailers will advertise their least-expensive pieces to attract buyers during these time periods, but since those sell the most quickly, they could be gone by the time you get to the store.
You’re better off hitting the stores right after the holidays, which is when jewelers are typically more eager to rotate out the remaining holiday inventory and bring in new items. Although you may not have an abundance of cash lying around in early January, it is a great time to find steals on jewelry.
Keep in mind that the December holidays aren’t the only time of year when this is true – the period right after both Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day can also be a great time to check out the best clearance prices on your favorite jewels.
The same is true for summertime, which can be a slow period for jewelers. This time between Mother’s Day and the holiday season often prompts jewelers to post their lowest prices and to send out coupons so you can save more on your jewelry purchases. If you're hoping to buy jewelry for someone for the holidays for Valentine's Day, plan ahead and make summer your jewelry-hunting period.
Don’t Hesitate to Hesitate
If you’re in the market for jewelry, you should get comfortable with the idea that you may not be buying anything on your first store visit. Clancy Martin, who once owned a chain of jewelry stores in Texas, advises shoppers to “always leave without buying.” This gives you the opportunity to comparison shop, research other prices online and think about whether you really want that product or if perhaps you might want something else.
Once you’ve seen the price range for the items that appeal to you most, set a maximum budget for the jewelry piece and don’t go a penny over that. There’s nothing wrong with negotiating with a jeweler to try and get the price down, but some reports say you have a better chance of successfully haggling with independent jewelers rather than national chains. Some shoppers have reported saving between 10 and 15 percent by negotiating with the jewelers.
If a jeweler says he or she isn’t able to meet that ceiling price, then it’s okay to leave the store. One of the best things about jewelry is that you don’t typically need to have it, so you can wait until you come across a better price before you actually open your wallet.
Find Coupons, Discounts
If you’re seeking coupons and discounts from independent, local jewelers, your best bet is to look in your hometown newspapers or direct mail coupon sources like ValPak. If you’re seeking deals from national retailers like Kohl’s, Kay Jewelers or Zales, you’ll want to go to the online coupon sites like RetailMeNot, Coupons.com and others.
You can also typically join mailing lists at jewelry stores – both local and national – so they’ll send you an email when they’re planning to have a sale or offer new discounts. If you do get such an email about a sale, or if you see a sale advertised on jewelry via a newspaper circular, check the couponing sites to cross-reference whether any of those stores are offering promo codes to save money off of your purchases. Combining sales and coupons will allow you to get deeper discounts and save more.
If you can combine all the strategies in this article -- shopping at the right time of year, haggling, leaving without purchasing and stacking coupons with sales -- you're likely to see the deepest discounts on jewelry.