The bargain hunter in each of us wants to know how to find the best jewelry at the cheapest price. Of course cheap is a relative term, greatly dependent on who is doing the buying. The free online dictionary defines cheap as, “Relatively low in cost; inexpensive or comparatively inexpensive.” Some synonyms for cheap are: low-cost, budget, cut-rate and discounted.
A blog called BaubleBoxJewelry.com describes cheap jewelry as typically made from “simulated or synthetic gemstones, base metals, glass, or plastic.” Therefore, it is less expensive than jewelry made of genuine, precious materials and its construction can be sub-standard. So, with the caveat that the “cheapness” of an item depends on what you have available to spend, here are some suggestions on where to begin your treasure hunt.
Not surprisingly, Amazon.com and Overstock.com are two of the most popular online destinations, offering a large selection of items all priced at below retail value. A recent search of Amazon’s best sellers in jewelry came up with a “Vintage, Retro Colorful Crystal Owl Pendant and Chain with Antiqued Bronze/Brass Finish” for $0.85, and a “925 Sterling Silver 2.00 Carat Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings” for $0.99. Shipping is extra. Overstock prices are slightly higher but they offer a wide variety of discounted items, such as a selection of “Miadora Sterling Silver Birthstone Necklaces” valued at $79.99 for $24.39 each. These prices are usually time limited, so it pays to act quickly. Overstock even suggests a ”dollar per wear rule” for judging whether an item is worth the asking price. Multiply the number of days you might wear it during the year by one dollar. If the total is at, or below, the price, it’s a bargain! For example, if you’ll wear a bracelet 25 times, it’s worth the $25 you’ll pay.
If you don’t mind buying from China, another useful site to try is soobest.com. Headquartered in China, this site helps traditional Chinese manufacturers and online retailers sell their low priced, good quality items to global buyers. Links to jewelry manufacturers are included in their database. These are some of the same companies that already sell to American retailers. So, it is one way of eliminating the “middle-man.”
Of course, there is a group of consumers who prefer to see and touch a piece of jewelry before they actually purchase it. They will frequently check their local Craigslist for garage, yard and estate sales. You may score some surprising finds if you have a discerning eye and are willing to bargain. Estate sales are frequently held as auctions, so don’t be intimidated if you’re competing with professional buyers. In the midst of all the competitive excitement, it’s wise to limit yourself to a fixed a budget and to stick to it!
There are also wonderful flea markets all over the country where a savvy buyer might score an eclectic find. Haggling is recommended for a productive and enjoyable experience. Good luck on your search for a deal!