Engagement Ring Shopping in Houston: The iVouch Report
By Devorah Isenberg
, Wednesday, April 13, 2011
By Devorah Isenberg
, April 13, 2011
These days, shopping online isn’t the free-for-all it once was. You don’t need to hand over your credit card numbers and hope that your purchase arrives as promised. With general consumer review sites like Yelp.com, as well as specific sites tailored to every imaginable industry, shopping online is more secure and predictable than ever.
If you live in the Houston area, your online shopping can be even more reliable. Several well-known Internet diamond and engagement ring vendors are headquartered in Houston, and many of them allow customers who live in the area (or are just visiting Houston!) to take a peek at the behind-the-scenes operation, as well as view diamonds and engagement rings before purchasing. When you see the headquarters of an online business, you know that the business really is who it is claiming to be. When you see the talented and dedicated craftsmen working on the engagement ring designs, you will know that your ring was manufactured by hand with skill and care. And when you talk face-to-face with the gemologists and salespeople who you will be working with, you know that you will have an honest and professional experience.
iVouch.com is one of those consumer review sites where satisfied (or disgruntled) customers can post reviews about their experiences with various companies. Several Houston-based engagement ring and diamond companies are featured on the site, with reviewers describing their Houston diamond shopping experiences.
Although a relative newcomer to the iVouch site, Shaftel has racked up a number of satisfied reviews. Customers praised Shaftel’s diamond jewelry variety, especially their affordable diamond rings and gemstone pieces. Rebecca writes, “My boyfriend and I are thrilled with the engagement ring.” She continues to say that she is grateful to the entire staff for their patient and informative phone conversations that helped her choose the engagement ring that was right for her. Jason, who bought an engagement ring to surprise his girlfriend, writes, “I found this place by chance and could not have been more impressed. The sales staff were pleasant and very informative.” Barnett agrees that the customer service experience was a key component. “They didn’t have the specific size and color I was looking for but they went out of their way to locate and source the stone for me.” Daryl appreciated that the staff was able to make suggestions to help him stay within budget, always an important part of shopping for an engagement ring.
With 150 reviews, Whiteflash leads the pack on iVouch.com for Houston engagement rings and Houston diamonds. Whether you are looking for a simple tiffany-style ring or want to design your own custom engagement ring, Whiteflash’s in-house artisans can make it happen. Jeff writes, “my wife was delighted by the earrings. You will be my first call next time I buy jewelry.” John, who was nervous about buying a ring without his girlfriend’s input, was thrilled with the result. “She is so enamored with the ring, she can’t stop staring at it,” he gushes in a review. Rodham praises the “quick, on-time delivery and writes, “I cannot find fault with the whole experience. Quite simply, it’s the best Houston jewelry store.” Owen and Paul both bought jewelry online, without visiting the Houston location, but they raved about their virtual experiences in their online reviews. “Unlike the other online jewelry retailers, I can always expect quality value and customer service from Whiteflash.com,” Owen writes. Paul calls the experience “Outstanding no-fear online buying.” After purchasing an engagement ring from Whiteflash, he had it appraised by a local jeweler, who declared it to be worth more than he paid for it. “I could not have made a better decision than to buy from Whiteflash,” he declares. “Whiteflash exceeds all expectations. Buy from Whiteflash and rest assured you will receive more than you pay for.”
Unlike the other Houston engagement ring vendors on this list, Bonded buys and sells quality heirloom and vintage engagement rings. So whether you are looking to sell Grandma’s ring or want to own a piece of history yourself, check out the online reviews for Bonded. Customers on iVouch praised the customer service, attention and professionalism of the Bonded experience, especially on the buying end. Keren writes, “The whole process was quick, professional and satisfying. I would recommend them to anyone looking to sell a diamond.” John emphasizes that they are a “very reliable family-run business, with a high degree of honesty and integrity.” Teri, another satisfied diamond ring seller, highlights the “extreme professionalism, honesty and follow-up” that made her feel comfortable parting with her diamond ring.