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From The Archives

Buying Jewels On the Net:
What To Expect or Not

Market Trends:

The phenomenon of the increase of collectible costume jewelry availability on the Internet has its explanations. Before the miracle of online sales web sites and personal Net communication by email, collectible costume jewelry could be found in just a few secondary marketplaces. Collectors were limited to the choices there, as well as subject to the whims of dealers as far as arbitrary and capricious pricing.

Here is where everyone used to buy vintage jewelry before the Internet, and, of course, it is still done to a very large extent:

Antiques shops and antiques malls

Periodic shows, fairs, and exhibits


Estate sales

Private sales, yard sales, thrift shops, and flea markets.

Those areas were pretty much it. Dealers would also travel and buy from other dealers for fresh merchandise. Collectors would have swap meets where they could buy, sell and trade for more desirable pieces.

Then the Internet arrives. Suddenly there is another marketplace, with websites and electronic auctions, where costume jewelry changes hands with the speed of email.

A collector in Japan reads on an email list that a desirable name piece is on eBay online auction. She clicks and bids, and the piece is hers. A week or so later, the jewelry is in her hands thanks to credit card convenience and The U.S. Postal Service Global Priority mail.

If the item is offered on a catalog website, there is not even a need to wait for the end of the electronic auction. With a credit card charge, the piece can be shipped immediately. Could she have obtained this very piece some other way? Perhaps. But rarely with such ease and speed.

Click image to enlarge

Buying and selling collectible costume jewelry on the Web can be a lot of fun. To see a piece that one has been trying for years to find suddenly pop up in an image on an online web store is pure joy. To be able to acquire this piece by supplying either a check in the mail or a credit card and get it delivered to one's door is convenient and exciting. Shipping expenses can be considered the only additional expense.

Keep reading:
Shipping Expenses 2
Clear Customer Information 3
Expectations, Return Policies 4
The Jewelry Collector Net Community 5

Photos by Liz Bryman or as credited.

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