Living in Jacksonville, Orange Park or Middleburg, Florida means that we are only a few hours, if not minutes, from boarding a big cruise ship and sailing off to an island paradise. We leave our problems, worries, and stresses at the dock. And sometimes we leave our good sense too. Which brings me to the topic of this article. Cruise ships entice us with the opportunity to purchase jewelry both on and off the ship. You may be made to think that a special piece can only be found on board the ship or in the Caribbean, Bahama’s or any other beautiful port of call. And, of course, who doesn’t like a good deal? Most of us are in a vacation “Happy Place” while cruising. Everything is wonderful. The sun is warm, the drinks are cold and the deals are hot. So why not splurge and take advantage of one of those vacation “good deals”??
Because, maybe those deals are not so great and we eventually have to return home to reality. A few days later and upon further reflection, your decision to splurge may not of been the smartest thing that you could of done. We see it all the time! What you thought was a smart purchase turns out to be not so good. What if you discover that there is a defect or damage in the piece of jewelry that you purchased? How do you return/repair your “good deal”? What if that ring needs to be sized? Was that piece of jewelry properly represented? How do you contact the vendor? Will there be additional shipping charges? How long do you have to wait? Most importantly! Can you trust the vendor to honor your request? The list goes on and on…..
Though there are stories of vacationers having a good experience with “out of country” jewelry purchases. You could still end up like this young couple that came into our store recently; They were on a cruise and were enjoying a port of call. It was here that they purchased a diamond ring set, at a large diamond store, in the Bahama’s. Upon returning to Jacksonville, they brought there new found purchase to us to have both rings sized and appraised for insurance purposes. Upon inspection, we found both rings had some structural issues that required some additional work, BEFORE they could be sized. Common with the invisible set style rings. But this was not disclosed to the buyer while in the Bahama’s. And to add another insult, the independent appraisal came in at a lower value than was the original purchase price. This left the customer having to contact the original store and dealing with all the headaches of shipping, waiting, contacting again, more waiting and then some additional charges. The whole process took over 2 months and still left the customer feeling upset.
The lesson to be learned is that the trust you develop with a local jeweler CAN’T compare to the few dollars in cost savings. And the idea that that unique piece of jewelry was only available on your cruise or at a foreign outlet, is a stretch. If we don’t already have it in stock, we are able to order or custom design your beautiful piece of jewelry. And most often at a price that meets or beats what you spent on that cruise piece! And everything is done face to face with local accountability and local trust.
A cruise vacation should be a time when you spend your hard earned money on cold drinks, nice souvenirs and fond memories. Shop your jewelry selections locally and avoid a potential post vacation headache.