When people browse online classifieds, they are usually looking for common household items – a patio set, sports equipment, concert tickets or maybe a used vehicle. The last thing people tend to search for are second hand engagement rings.
The potential savings from buying second hand can be huge. Some people want to sell their ring fast to separate themselves (emotionally) from a broken relationship. A fast sale usually means big discounts.
A quick glance at my local online classifieds site showed rings discounted anywhere from 20-40% off what the original buyer paid. Last year there were 4,200 engagement/wedding rings put up for sale online in my city.
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Like anything else sold second hand, the price is usually negotiable, which means there is the potential to save even more money by making a slightly lower offer than the asking price.
I’ve asked a few people if they’d consider buying a second hand engagement ring – with mixed reactions.
Some people were immediately attracted to the potential savings and thought it would be a great idea. I consider myself fairly frugal and I can see their point – the average cost of a wedding is over $25,000, so who wouldn’t want to save money whenever they can? That, and the additional costs that come after a wedding – buying a home, moving in together, etc. and it’s no wonder people are looking to save money wherever they can.
But others were quite adamant they wouldn’t want a second hand engagement ring. They explained that the ring has an emotional “history” attached to it – and it’s not good. When someone is selling an engagement ring second hand it’s usually because the relationship didn’t work out, and getting engaged while being attached to some emotional baggage isn’t exactly appealing for some.
I can see their point as well. The savings from buying a second hand engagement ring can be huge, but is it worth the savings if it means the ring meant to symbolize unity is automatically linked to emotional baggage from a failed relationship?
When I bought the engagement ring I didn’t even think to check an online classifieds site. Not many people would consider getting a discount on something so special and important. Instead, I focused on which store had the best service, selection as well as prices that fit my budget.
Sure, I probably would’ve been able to get a substantial discount on the ring if I bought it second hand but I’m not sure if I’d be willing to go that route.
Aside from the basic research I did while shopping for the ‘perfect’ ring, I knew very little about the specifics of a ring – size, clarity, cut, etc. so I’d almost be going into the purchase blind. Everyone knows it’s “buyer beware” when buying second hand – and engagement rings are no exception. There would’ve been the potential to get ripped off because I didn’t know enough about engagement rings to make a smart decision.
Conclusion: personally I didn’t even think to check out second hand engagement rings when I was shopping for one. And even if I did, I’m not sure I’d want the negativity that comes with one. Other people would have no problem picking up a cheap ring online if it meant saving hundreds (or thousands) of dollars.
Would you consider buying a second hand engagement ring?