Well that didn't go according to the plan...
Cue the sad love songs. Sometimes life does not happen the way we planned. If you or someone you know bought an engagement ring and things didn’t work out, Little Bird can offer some advice.
Option 1: Return
Before you do anything drastic, call the store where you bought the ring. Request a manager to review the specifics of your ring purchase. Some stores have one month return policies, some give you three months. Some stores will SAY that there is a one month policy, but if the ring hasn’t been worn they are more willing to negotiate. Be prepared, some stores charge a restocking fee of 10-20%. If the ring has been worn, some stores will still take it back, minus a refurbishing fee. It may seem like a lose/lose, but it is better than losing 50% if you try to resell it yourself. If this isn’t an option, check our Option 2.
Option 2: Keep for a while
If you don’t immediately need the money, we recommend you keep the ring for a bit and just see what happens. There is a chance you have a friend or two who will be getting engaged some time in the next year. Some people are very practical about engagement rings and there is a chance one of your buddies will happily buy the ring or center gemstone from you. They can even redesign the ring so that it's a totally new and different ring! Hey, we've seen it happen. If you sell to a friend, give them a good price. Maybe keep the details of the transaction between just you two.
Option 3: Resell on the Internet
You are probably not going to be able to resell the ring for the same price you got it for, but you can recover some of the cost. Let’s look at some of the ways to resell.
Websites like IDoNowIDon’t can be great places to sell a ring, especially because they give both the buyer and seller an added level of security. Both the ring and the money are sent to the site. The ring is reviewed by a certified diamond expert while the money is held in escrow. As with eBay, posts with really good photos will get much more attention. Another website is Tradesy.
You can also try selling the ring at your local jewelry store, but keep in mind that they intend to resell the ring to someone else, and at a profit, so they will likely offer you a price that is slightly below the wholesale value. Or they will offer to consign it for you. (see Option 4)
Ebay can be pretty good. Make sure you set your reserve price!!! Also, do not post a high resolution image of any diamond certificate online. Someone could print it and make a forgery. Be sure to mention that your ring comes with a diamond certificate, and list the specific laboratory that graded your diamond. You can email a PDF of the cert to interested and qualified parties.
Craigslist can work, too. Yes, we are going to say it: make sure to meet anyone interested in the ring in a well-lit, public place and bring a friend. We HIGHLY recommend that you conduct the inspection and sale at your local bank. That way you can immediately deposit the cash/check and everyone feels safe. Banks are happy to provide a place for these transactions, customers often sell cars and boats this way. Be advised, banks are required to report cash deposits over a certain amount. Note: it may be a good idea to meet the interested party at a local jewelry repair store or local mom and pop with whom you've prearranged a professional ring verification. This way the interested party can have a jeweler onsite to verify your ring. You will BOTH be safer this way.
Option 4: Consignment
Rule number one for consignment: only go to a reputable jewelry store to consign your ring. IF the store decides to take your ring (they might not) expect to get about ⅓ of the original retail cost. Rule number two is PAPERWORK. Be sure to get a paper copy of the consignment transaction, including the initial price set by the store AND any agreed-upon schedule of discounts. What does this mean? Let’s say that you agree that the store will display your ring at $10,000.00, but if a year has gone by and no one has bought it, they will offer it for $9,000.00, or $8,000.00. Since you will be getting only a portion of that, make sure you are clear about your minimum price. At a certain point you might get fed up and return to Option 2 or Option 3.
The most important thing to remember is that sometimes life throws you a curveball. Sometimes it is an expensive curveball. In the grand scheme of your life, it is better to deal with reselling an engagement ring than to deal with being married to the wrong person or dragging both parties through a miserable and really REALLY expensive divorce. Don't beat yourself up over this. Don't stop being a romantic!
If you have more questions you are always welcome to call us and schedule a consultation.
Best wishes from LITTLE BIRD.