Maybe you’ve haggled the price of something at a resale shop or possibly even on vacation. There’s usually a time and place we feel comfortable seeing if we can lower the price a little bit. But what about haggling on the price of an engagement ring?
Going back and forth about the cost of an often expensive piece of jewelry in jewelers flush with diamonds and gold behind fancy glass cases may not seem like the ideal place to haggle.
However, you don’t have to let the structure of the retail world and society’s pressures prevent you from saving money on an engagement ring.
People do haggle on the price of jewelry, even this type of jewelry. Sometimes it might save you a little bit of money; other times, prices might be pretty firm.
Whether or not you feel comfortable haggling, an engagement ring cost is up to you. If you do decide you want to try and get a little money knocked off the price tag, here’s how to do it smartly and amicably.
Can You Negotiate the Price of an Engagement Ring?
Christine Tsai, the CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Global, said,
“In life, you don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. So don’t be afraid to ask – the worst you can hear is ‘no.'”
There is truth to that statement. So, can you negotiate the engagement ring price? We’d have to say yes, and the worst that could happen if you do is the seller says “no.”
Generally, people might not haggle over engagement ring prices because it seems a bit taboo. Societal norms tell us that an engagement ring cannot be negotiated, and a jeweler is not a place you haggle. Even haggle seems like a little bit of a “dirty” word.
Well, this is frequently only a result of societal conditioning. However, there is no reason to be ashamed about wanting to negotiate a lower price. Who doesn’t want to save money?!
In most cases, the retail prices on items, even jewelry, aren’t set in stone. You can (and maybe should) argue your position in getting a lower price for an engagement ring and even for a wedding ring or a wedding band.
Engagement rings are typically quite costly. They’re also the first purchase in a line of pricey things you’ll buy leading up to your wedding. Why not start off by saving money and see if you can get the price a bit lower? Even a 3-5% drop in price can make a significant difference.
Is It Rude to Negotiate an Engagement Ring Price?
I already know what you’re thinking, “You’re using words like taboo, norms, and ashamed…is it rude to negotiate the price of an engagement ring?!”
There are a lot of actions that can be construed as rude if you go about them in the wrong way. Should you waltz into the jeweler, pick a ring, and demand that you only pay half the amount listed on the price tag? Absolutely not.
You want to be polite, professional, and upfront. It’s normal to worry if the jeweler will be offended. Although, most jewelers aren’t taken aback or surprised when a buyer wants to negotiate a price. It’s an appropriate practice.
Nevertheless, not every jeweler will be open to the idea. Most chain stores will almost immediately deny attempts to negotiate. This is because their prices are often fixed and sometimes set by others in positions above them. Sometimes it’s because they know they won’t decrease the cost, not even by a penny.
On the other hand, smaller stores, private jewelers, online sellers, and boutiques will usually hear you out and hopefully work with you to settle on a lower price.
Some might even expect negotiation and, as a result, set what is known as a price ceiling. This is a number or percentage of the original price they can meet but absolutely not go under.
These jewelers will almost certainly be open to and experienced with haggling, usually offering you at least some money off when everything is said and done. That is, as long as you know how to negotiate and the dos and don’ts of haggling.
Negotiating Engagement Ring Price – Do’s & Don’Ts
Hoping to reduce the price of that hefty engagement ring price tag? Here’s how!
First, take a deep breath. You’re not negotiating the end of the Cold War here, just kindly haggling the price of a piece of (common albeit gorgeous) fine jewelry.
Be Cool, Collected, and Confident
The first step in negotiating your way to a discount is to face your fear, embarrassment, or whatever it may be. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Try your best to be cool, collected, and confident. Know the price you’re hoping to achieve.
Don’t argue or yell, but also don’t be timid. Be upfront. Sometimes, asking, “What’s the best price?” can be a genuine and straightforward way to start the conversation. The worst that could happen is they say, “No.” You’ve got this!
Now is not the time to show them who’s boss. Good haggling that produces desirable results often begins with kindness and a smile. Confrontation is the enemy of negotiation. Instead, be friendly, conversational, and open. Being awkward can also create friction in a conversation.
Treat haggling as if you’re discussing what movie to watch with a friend; it’s comfortable and amicable. Not only is the saying, “you won’t know if you don’t ask true,” but so is, “you get more flies with honey than with vinegar,”; meaning kind asks often produce better results.
Walking into a jeweler intending to haggle without a plan isn’t the best way to go about it. You need to come up with a plan.
Once you know what type of ring your partner has their heart set on, it’s time to do research. Get quotes, check out prices from various retailers, and think about realistically how low you could likely reason the seller to go.
It’s a good idea to have your “ideal” number in mind so that you know your end goal. This way, you’ll avoid starting too high with your first offer.
Next, research your target. Choose a jeweler or create a shortlist of jewelers. Try to identify the person who you are going to haggle with in each specific shop. Make sure this person has the authority to change the price, or it wastes everyone’s time.
Next, select a day when you won’t have an audience. Not only can a crowded store make the situation pressurized and awkward, but it also decreases your chances of getting a discount. A weekday morning instead of a busy weekend afternoon is best as the atmosphere will often be more relaxed and private.
Finally, arm yourself with your proof in the form of quotes or online snapshots of prices, confidence, and kindness, and you’re ready!
Remember, when you walk in, let the seller warm up to you by being kind and authentic before you launch right into haggling. If you have a domineering personality or appearance, do your best to downplay it.
Don’t Take No for an Answer
Is it “No” or “Not yet”…You don’t need to take rejection as your sign that you should walk away. While they may not meet your offer, there is usually still room to meet in the middle and agree on a lower price. It may not be your dream price, but it will likely still be a discount.
Alternatively, if you refuse to accept anything higher on a specific ring, maybe it’s time to shop around. Is there another engagement ring you had in mind that is at your price point?
Could you haggle bonus items like free annual polishing or free resizing? It may be worth trying to negotiate extras instead of solely the price.
Don’t Start Too High
Often this is referred to as lowballing. It means starting with your absolute lowest price, the one you really want. It’s an aggressive offer, but 99% of the time, the salesperson won’t accept it and will counter.
If you start too high, you risk them countering and ending at a much higher price than you hoped. Starting low offers plenty of room to go back and forth, hopefully meeting somewhere in the middle on a price you are both happy with.
Is it rude or insulting? As long as you did your research and know that the number you’re suggesting isn’t unreasonable, no. It’s bold and leaves the door open to haggling instead of settling.
Don’t Shop at Chain Stores or Brand Names
We’ve mentioned it before, but chain stores aren’t the place to negotiate. Their prices tend to be higher than everyone else and are also set in stone. The local brand name jewelry store or those who find it in the mall usually have inflated prices.
This is how brands make up for the amount spent on advertising and branding in the retail space. These costs don’t change for them, meaning they still need to make a profit and have no intention of selling you an engagement ring for any less than the price marked.
Where should you buy an engagement ring if you want to haggle?
How to Choose the Best Retailer
Skip the chain stores and head to an independent jeweler. This can be a boutique, an individually owned jewelry store, an online seller, or a wholesaler.
In most cases, their prices will already be lower than brand-name jewelers right off the bat. Usually, this is because they don’t have markups to meet higher operating costs.
They may also have a more comprehensive selection of materials, diamonds, and designs. This is especially true with online retailers. You’ll likely see many impressive prices, but how do you choose the best one?
- Gather quotes. Finding the lowest price can keep you from haggling more than you have to. The way to do this is by gathering quotes. Look at the best and most reputable jewelers online or in your area. You can shop for specific engagement rings or present them with your preferences and see what price they offer you. Gathering recent and comparable prices will help you determine the number you want to negotiate down to.
- Ask for certifications. Just because you find an amazingly low price doesn’t mean that is the seller you should choose. It’s a good idea to check that their materials are certified by the proper entities, such as the GIA or AIS for diamonds. Diamonds that are graded by these institutions meet their strict standards and help to ensure that you’re getting the best quality.
- Check online complaints. You always want to ensure that you buy from a reputable seller. Reviews and ratings can be a fantastic way to see if what the seller says is actually true. You can search generic rating websites, like Google reviews, look for their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or ask friends and family if it is a local jeweler.
Negotiating for Your Nuptials
When you think about it, negotiating a lower engagement ring price benefits your nuptials. There is no such thing as a cheap wedding, so saving up some money on the ring is an excellent way to get the jump on staying within your budget!
We’ve primarily fallen away from haggling, but in truth, there is nothing rude, wrong, or inappropriate with negotiating the price of your engagement ring. Jewelers know this, and you should too.
As long as you are respectful and take the dos and don’ts listed above to heart, negotiating a lower price on your engagement ring should be a piece of (wedding) cake!