Although my wife and I are going to celebrate our 10th anniversary in a few weeks, it was as though we were married only yesterday as I read The Weakonmist’s post How I Saved 15% On My Wedding Ring In 15 Seconds & 45% Overall, which I found while reviewing this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted by Funny About Money.
Truth be told, my wife’s wedding ring and my wedding ring are both remarkably inexpensive. We went for the traditional plain gold matching bands. However, when I had previously purchased my wife’s engagement ring, I did almost everything wrong.
I said “almost everything.” I did go to the diamond district in Boston and sought out a wholesaler/retailer.
But I totally failed to negotiate.
Quite honestly, I didn’t know you could, so I blew it (From a financial perspective only; it’s a beautiful ring and, as I said, my wife is still tolerating my nonsense 10 years later). Nonetheless, I have long since learned that virtually everything in every jewelry store is negotiable. About the only difference between a jewelry store and car dealership is the lack of a negotiation about the value of the “trade-in.”
The Weakonomist gives a great quick summary of how easy negotiating jewelry can be. My experience echoes his findings. Simply asking for a discount will often garner one and the greater your “ask,” the greater the follow-up discount. Margins in jewelry (unlike cars) can be very high, so jewelers have great incentive to move merchandise, even at lower than sticker price, rather than stick to their guns and lose a potential sale to a competitor.
Have you haggled over jewelry? What strategies worked for you?