This is a very interesting question, and the answer is yes, they are different. But the reason why may surprise you. National corporate retailers, Jared, Kay, Zales, and Herzberg’s are very well-known national jewelry stores. They have nice stores, well-trained people, and spend more money on marketing and advertising than all the local jewelers combined. They are the McDonald’s of jewelry stores.
At Lee Read Jewelers, we have no problem competing with these mass merchandisers for one simple reason - we’re locally owned and operated. We’re smart, nimble, and quick. We provide you more value for your money. It’s unusual for someone to compare us to them and not purchase a Lee Read diamond engagement ring.
When it comes to quality, there is a big difference. We only have a few engagement rings of average quality. In our experience, most people don’t want lightweight, thin, or hollowed out rings just because they cost less. That’s something you will notice when you compare our rings to theirs. The nationals are all about selling for less. Lighter rings look the same but cost a lot less. The problem is they probably won't hold up to everyday wear after a few years.
When it comes to diamonds, the difference in quality is even greater. At Lee Read, we look at and hand-select every single center diamond we have in the store. If it’s not beautiful and a great value, we reject it. Only a small percentage of the diamonds we look at is good enough to be Lee Read Diamonds. We sell gorgeous diamonds and let the other guys settle for the average ones we reject. The nationals buy large parcels containing thousands of stones at a time. Diamond cutters mix dull diamonds with pretty ones to sell the poor-quality diamonds that nobody wants. Those poor-quality diamonds don’t get thrown away, they get set in engagement rings just like the good ones and some trusting consumer like you, ends up buying it and owning a dull diamond.
When it comes to selection, there is no contest. We focus on diamonds. Chains are general merchandisers. You will see more different styles of engagement rings in our store than in four or five mall jewelers combined. And, if that’s not enough, we love to custom design rings that express just your style. It cost a little more and takes a little longer, but you end up with a one-of-a-kind ring; not 1 of 30,000 identical rings the chains sell.
If you do buy from a big chain store be prepared to leave her engagement ring for 10 days to two weeks just to get it sized, or even to just to get a stone tightened. Buy from Lee Read, and we will size it and tighten any loose stones usually while she waits. Every Lee Read Engagement Ring comes with this service at no additional charge.
Finally, when it comes to financing, we offer a one year, no interest plan with no down payment. While I don’t know of a national chain that doesn’t require a down payment. Another big difference between the nationals and Lee Read is that they charge about 10% of the retail price of the ring for the warranty. We include this in the price of your purchase. Be really careful if you buy a warranty from a chain store; it usually increases the price and if you don’t get the ring inspected every six months, the warranty is canceled. The good news is they will usually sell you another one so you get to pay twice or even three or four times to keep in effect. At Lee Read, if you miss an inspection, you’re not covered until you bring the ring in, but we reinstate the warranty as soon as we inspect the ring to make sure it is good condition, all at no charge!
There is a big difference between the engagement ring you buy at a national chain and the quality and service you receive at Lee Read. Plus, Team Lee Read is a lot more fun, and you become a #LeeReadian! Text us at 208-376-8800 and make an appointment or come in and we’ll tell you more!
Until next time,