Who is a better jewelry retailer between James Allen and Ritani?
Here, we are going to compare these two stores alongside each other to know who is better. You will get answers to questions like:
- Where is the shopping experience better?
- Who offers the best service to customers?
- Who is the best when it comes to prices?
- Who provides the best warranty for their products?
It is almost common knowledge that online jewelry stores score high points in terms of price and value compared to brick and mortar shops or corporate jewelry retailers. However, not all online jewelers operate in the same way.
James Allen is among the online jewelry stores that have managed to gain a huge customer base and build a strong reputation even though it has been in operation for slightly more than a decade.
Ritani is also an online jewelry retailer known for selling loose diamonds, unique settings, and unique jewelry designs.
Both these stores have good attributes, but which is the best store to buy jewelry? We are going to find out.
In this Guide
James Allen vs Ritani
The number one advantage of online jewelry shopping is that customers can design their pieces of jewelry. This style of shopping promotes shopping with what you want at the back of your mind and encourages less pressure from sales staff.
On the Ritani website, you will come across a wide selection of fine jewelry, loose diamonds, and ring settings but they do not carry even a single ring already set.
When you scroll through the catalog, you will find large and bright pictures of their jewelry. While other online diamond retailers focus on the stone itself, Ritani allows you to view the details found the setting.
In addition to the HD picture in the catalog, you also get a video clip of the diamond in 360 degrees. If you would like to view a round cut diamond, luck is not on your side as the view is very far to allow for proper inspection. If there is a Ritani partner located near you, head over there to view the diamond in-store otherwise you just have to do with the not so clear views online.
Something worth mentioning is that I like the way you can switch between rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold for all their settings and not change the picture.
When it comes to warranty, Ritani gives its customers a 30-day return policy. You can return the diamonds within 30 days after the day of delivery and get your money back. Ritani even goes further to pick the diamonds from your address for free making the whole return process convenient.
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Ritani has a plethora of diamond and other gemstone jewelry, but no premade engagement rings.
James Allen is an online-only jewelry store, meaning there is no physical store where you can go and look at the diamonds. While you are on jamesallen.com, you get an all-round view of the diamonds. You have the freedom to zoom in and out to get a close-up view of the diamond’s characteristics. This viewing technique is more convenient than the video offered by Ritani.
Although James Allen does not let you to physically see the diamond upfront as Ritani does, you can return the diamonds within 30 days after the delivery date if you are not impressed. The company will incur the returning costs and won’t charge you any restocking fees. But there is less likelihood of you not liking the diamonds thanks to the 360 viewing technique that allows you to see all the diamond characteristics before buying.
James Allen concentrates on selling loose diamonds as well as ring settings. They also have a wide collection of fine jewelry made from diamonds and other gemstones. Apart from these, you can also buy synthetic diamonds, colored diamonds, loose emeralds, loose rubies, and loose sapphires on their website.
You can only customize these into rings but cannot see them.
James Allen takes approximately 3 weeks to design all customized jewelry. The piece is then shipped overnight to your address and you have to sign upon delivery.
Customers take a big risk when buying expensive jewelry online. The list they expect is top-notch customer service delivery. Thankfully, the online space is so large that you can look up James Allen and Ritani reviews on different sites and gauge their level of customer service.
Ritani has managed to get high customer services praises on sites like Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs, and TrustPilot.
Check out the ratings that Ritani got from more than 400 reviews on TrustPilot.
Ritani has 3 customers complaining on the Better Business Bureau, this is a small number. Am not quite sure why the complaints are few, maybe there are not as many customers or probably they do not have anything to complain about.
I came across a complaint (see below) that seemed awkward. It seems like an absurd statement from this online jeweler about the metal of choice that did not match the jewelry finishing.
Ritani contacts its customers in two ways: a phone number and a live chat. ritani is also very reliable in addressing customers’ concerns.
On the major reviews sites, they have promptly responded to customers’ complaints and made attempts to resolve them.
Like Ritani, James Allen is also known for excellent customer service. You can reach the company via an online chat, email or phone number at any time of the day and any day of the week.
They have their eyes on various customer review sites and also have a Reddit account.
The professional customer service group at James Allen is made up of GIA gemologists and diamond experts. From them, you will get all the answers you need about diamonds and James Allen.
One customer recently gave a review about a platinum engagement ring from James Allen that keeps bending. The customer says the ring bent two times in one month to the point that it lost its shape. She spent a lot of time with the ring away after it was repaired in the New York showroom.
The full post is here.
You can see that even in the middle of an inconvenience, James Allen tries as much as possible to leave their customers contented.
Wedding bands and engagement rings require a lifetime warranty.
These are jewelry pieces that you wear daily and will begin to fade and wear out after some time even if they were crafted by the best jeweler. You will notice that diamonds start to get loose and will need tightening or the prongs begin to catch on your clothes and they will need re-tipping.
Ritani gives a lifetime warranty that covers only their merchandise but not the collections that contain designer rings.
If you do not activate this warranty, Ritani states that you stand to lose it after 45 days. Warranty activation is not a big deal but it is extra work that is not necessary.
This lifetime warranty will cover all the costs of rhodium plating, manufacturing defects, prong re-tipping, cleaning, and stone tightening. The only downside is that the warranty is used only on engagement and wedding rings.
All other jewelry from Ritani is not covered by any warranty.
For the warranty to take effect, Ritani requires that you have the original receipt of the jewelry bought. The company charges $35 for shipping the jewelry back to Ritani.
Lastly, they will give you one chance to resize the ring only ¼ down or up within the first year of purchase.
James Allen’s warranty covers the jewelry for all its life. With the warranty, you get services like prong re-tipping, rhodium plating, stone tightening, polishing, and cleaning free of charge. You will only incur a shipping cost of $35 or simply take the jewelry to any Jared location.
You also get a chance to resize a ring once in the first year. After the one year elapses, James Allen charges $50 to resize platinum rings and $25 to increase or decrease the diameter of a gold ring.
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Contrary to what Ritani’s warranty covers, James Allen offers a warranty that covers all their jewelry, whether you bought a diamond emerald pendant or a True Hearts solitaire diamond ring. The warranty covers all fine jewelry too, though they are not so popular.
James Allen cares about its customers, the reason they offer you a useful lifetime warranty, not one with many conditions such that it becomes very inconvenient.
Price vs Value Comparison
Both James Allen and Ritani sell products that cost less than any physical store down the street. However, one of these stores is bound to sell its items at a cheaper cost than the other. Regardless of their pricing, they both sell high-quality jewelry.
Looking for diamonds on the Ritani site is a bit daunting. You cannot be able to see all the pieces every time or make a quick comparison. The site itself is not convenient not to mention the filters that confuse.
I have selected cushion cut solitaire rings, one from Ritani and the other from James Allen. These two rings do not have similar settings but they are nearly the same. Ritani’s ring is 1.51 carat and James Allen’s is 1.52 carat.
Apart from this, both rings have the same diamond grade. The prices are close too but James Allen’s price tag is a bit less compared to Ritani.
What makes Ritani’s pieces cost more than James Allen’s are the designer settings.
Ritani sells designer ring settings to its customers, thus making the prices go up. James Allen does not have designer settings. When we talk about designer settings, we don’t refer to something that you need as part of your jewelry but more like something you would prefer.
For example, the plain 18K yellow gold setting that we put a Ritani Diamond in goes for about $1300. The same setting sold by James Allen is a mere $530. At Ritani, the diamonds are a great deal and they make money from the high prices of the settings.
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Ritani would be a good stop shop for loose diamonds but many people who want engagement rings would like to have the setting as well. This makes it easier to go shopping at James Allen to get both at a cheaper price.
Although Ritani sells its diamonds cheaply compared to corporate jewelry retailers, they do not have much presence online. They are not heard on Reddit at all. People are also not mentioning this store as being among the best online shops to buy jewelry.
One of the countable posts mentioning Ritani on Reddit seems to indicate that people who know about Ritani and other online diamond stores seem not to have an interest in it.
When you mention purchasing quality diamonds on the internet, most Redditors associate that with stores like James Allen, Brilliant Earth, or Blue Nile. James Allen is more pronounced on Reddit but also enjoys presence on other review sites.
James Allen is good at answering questions and addressing complaints in different subreddits.
Most of the posts about this company on Reddit are positive which is a good indicator. Look at the post below where someone asked about James Allen and what others had to say:
When you read these posts and others on Reddit you conclude that many people like and use James Allen much more than Ritani.
You will notice that even if most people advise the original poster to shop at a local jeweler or express opinions of why you should not buy jewelry online, the actual experiences by customers on the post are James Allen customers.
There are only four ranting reviews from customers who purchased a loose diamond and a ring setting or simply loose diamonds only. The number of positive reviews about James Allen on Reddit is far much more than negative ones, at least from real customers.
Conclusion: James Allen vs Ritani
The match between James Allen and Ritani has ended with James Allen taking the medal home. James Allen takes the lead when it comes to value for money and the shopping experience. The customer experience is smooth and to the point, not like Ritani that leaves you in suspense.
When you contact Ritani customer care to ask about the diamond features they refer you to customer service instead of just answering you there and then. Otherwise, both companies have excellent customer service.
Additionally, James Allen offers an unconditional lifetime warranty that you do not need to activate. James Allen’s prices are also cheaper compared to Ritani which is high due to the designer settings. The settings go for a price higher than average.
The truth is if you are forced to choose between James Allen and Ritani, you will want to go with James Allen for your diamond purchase.