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If one thing is sure, e-commerce has become one of the most important sources of income for many retail businesses since the pandemic hit in 2020. Our business, Khazana, is the oldest family-run Indian boutique in Switzerland. Since 1989, we’ve specialised in all forms of artisanal products from the Indian subcontinent, most notably jewelry. Our products are handcrafted in India by artisans who have learned their crafts from generations of experience. But buying jewelry online is difficult. Will the pieces you receive look the same as in the pictures? What about the quality? Is it really the metal that’s been advertised? Here’s what 30+ years of selling jewelry has taught us.
1. Ask questions beforehand.
It’s impossible for retailers to truly know what every client wants to know before buying. We encourage our clients to contact us before any purchase if they have any questions and concerns. This will allow us to not only show our expertise but also help build a rapport with the customer. Any retailer that refuses to do so, should not be trusted.
2. Experience and know-how.
This is not to say that new retailers don’t know what they’re doing but unlike other industries, the jewelry trade is not heavily regulated. As a result, a number of scams and fake gems have flooded the market setting a very negative image for the industry as a whole. Going with a retailer who has experience and know-how is a good indicator of the authencity of the products.
3. Make sure the retailer respects legal guidelines.
Although barely regulated, most Western countries have rules pertaining to metal quality. In Switzerland, silver has to fulfil the following two criteria:
- No nickel or cadmium
- Hallmarked accordingly
925 silver is the standard quality of silver sold on the market. This means that 92.5% of the metal needs to be silver (known as ‘Sterling silver’). The remaining 7.5% is often copper. In order for it to be sold legally, a 925 hallmark will be on the jewelry (for example, on a ring, it should be on the inside of the band).
We hope this helps when choosing a brand or retailer from which to buy your jewelry from. Should you have any questions, just send us a message below.