Pros and Cons of Buying an Engagement Ring Online

Buying an engagement ring is an important purchase; in 2020, couples spent an average of $5,400 according to an Australian wedding industry report.

An engagement ring is likely to be worn every day, so it is worth investing in a quality ring that will last the distance.

The choice of ring will be heavily influenced by style and budget, and many couples are dismayed at the limited selection available in jewellery stores. What if there was a way to purchase a designer ring at a more affordable price? Interested? Read on!

A recent trend that is gathering momentum in Australia is importing a diamond ring from overseas, particularly from the United States. Here are the pros and cons to consider.

Pros

  • Imported rings are considerably less expensive than similar ones available in Australia. For example, RingSpo estimates that the savings on a 1 carat solitaire diamond ring can be between AU$1,600 and AU$2,500.
  • There’s a huge selection of rings available from the United States and other countries, including designer jewellery.
  • It’s possible to purchase a higher quality diamond ring at a lower price.
  • Some overseas websites will accept Australian dollars; whilst others offer perks like free shipping and returns.
  • It’s convenient to shop online.

Cons

  • Prices on overseas websites are estimates only and the price actually paid will depend on foreign currency exchange rates.
  • Foreign currency exchange rates are constantly fluctuating, and the amount paid depends on the rate at the date of purchase.  Foreign exchange rates are set by banks independent of online websites.
  • For example, the cost of importing a US$10,000 diamond ring will be AU$13,698 if the Australian dollar is trading at $.73.  If the AUD is trading at $.56, the same ring will cost $3,000 more.
  • There are additional costs and taxes involved. When importing a ring from the US, the importer/buyer will be up various fees – for example, at time of writing, Import Duty of 5% of cost of the ring, GST of 10% and Formal Entry Fee from $88.00. Your best bet to minimise duty and ensure the speediest clearance is to use an experienced and licensed Customs Broker.
  • Importing can be a complicated process compared with purchasing a ring from Australian jewellers. 
  • The ring may not be as expected or may need to be resized.
  • Potential delivery delays can result in slower timeframes.
  • There is the potential for things to go wrong and it’s more difficult to resolve, often incurring extra costs.  Purchasing insurance can reduce the risks.

Importing an engagement ring is not for everyone; however, it is possible to save thousands of dollars. Doing some homework and thoroughly researching what’s involved is key to making it an attractive option!

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