Costco is practically the one stop shop for everything you need, including jewelry. This company is one of the largest wholesale retailer companies in the world. People recognize them by their unparalleled pricing options for their items and their generous return policies. Not many know about their jewelry segment which is what will look at in this Costco review.
Costco offers just about anything you might be looking for, from baby wipes, a car and even travel packages. They really have it all, making them the ideal family go to store. One of their growing segments is the jewelry segment which also deals in some other luxury items. The company has generally built a successful corporate by using the business model where they provide bulk items with thin margins.
History of Costco
Costco started in 1976, when a warehouse club retailing pioneer called Sol Price opened the first Price Club. This was in a converted airplane hangar in San Diego, specifically on Morena Boulevard. The company focused on serving small businesses only. They also gave attention to serving certain non-business members as their way of buying clout. This made them grow quite fast in the warehousing club industry.
The first Costco was opened in 1983 by James D. Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman and its location was in Seattle. Costco and the Price Company merged in 1993 and became PriceCostco. The company became one of the first ones to have its sales grow from zero to $3 billion within 6 years. In 1993, PriceCosto had annual sales of $16 billion and 206 locations. The corporate name of the company changed in 1997 to Costco Companies Inc. The present name Costco, was later adopted in 1999.
The retail concept introduced by Sol Price in San Diego changed the retail world. The Price Club was the first membership warehouse club in the world where members could access savings through buying and operating practices. Costco had stores in Mexico, Canada, Australia, the Far East, Europe and in the United States by the early 21st century. One of the things that made the company stand out is that they would pay their employees higher than other retail companies, and also offer them better benefits.
What makes Costco stand out?
One thing that makes Costco stand out is the quality of their rings. They have some well-cut diamond engagement rings and a clarity grading that is fair. Their ring settings and craftsmanship is also fantastic. You may however not be able to ascertain the quality of the ring you purchase from them because their rings do not have any certificates to ascertain their authenticity. If you want to purchase a ring that has a legitimate certificate, you can visit other online retailers such as James Allen, Blue Nile or Jared.
Costco Refund Policies and Customer Service
Costco has a 90 day return policy. This means that if you purchase something that you are not happy about, you can return it to them within 90 days from the date of purchase. You can also get your money back or get an item exchange for it. For a return, it has to be accompanied by a receipt so you should be keen to hold on to your receipt after purchase. For certain stones that have certification, your return should be accompanied by an International Gemological Institute (IGI) report or a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) report. One thing to note however, is that Costco rings do not come with GIA certificates or any other certificates for that matter.
Repairs, Warranty and Insurance
Costco shows commitment in offering its customers quality products. Certain items such as watches have a full cover under the Customer Satisfaction Policy. The policy clearly states that should the item incur damage, Costco will attempt to replace, repair or refund the item at a cost. Costco does not offer repair and cleaning services for their jewelry items. It is a recommendation that you insure jewelry items you purchase from Costco in case of theft, damage or loss. You should also note that there is no mention of warranty for Costco bought jewelry items.
Costco is a reputable wholesale retailer but when it comes to selling jewelry items, their customer service is not so good. There are no value added services after you purchase Costco jewelry. This is even no knowledgeable staff that can help you get more information before a purchase. You simply purchase a ring from the company in the same way that you would buy a bottle of hair shampoo. Purchasing a ring from Costco may therefore prove to be a challenge especially for someone who has no idea about the ring they want.
Costco offers good quality jewelry. They have a small range of ring options on their jewelry that you can choose from. One thing to note about the company however, is that they do not have any certificates to accompany their rings, whether in-house, from IGI or from GIA. This means that you might not be able to authenticate whether you are buying a high quality ring from them.
Costco has a 90 day return policy for their jewelry. Once your wedding or engagement ring is delivered or you purchase your ring from one of their stores, you can return it within 90 days of buying it. You need to have your sales receipt for the return to be accepted.
Costco rings feature some seemingly high quality diamonds. From observation, one can see that the diamond stone is set on the ring properly and has a good color and decent clarity. One problem with diamonds from Costco however, is that they do not have certificates from either IGI or GIA to authenticate that they are quality stones.
Costco Vs Macy’s
Macy’s is a retail store that has been around for over 150 years. The company has become a dominant player in the retail scene over the years. Just like Costco, it is a large wholesaler that deals in a variety of goods on its catalogue. One of the similarities between these two retail companies is that they have small jewelry segments. Their jewelry retail departments are not developed. This can be seen from the small selection of jewelry items that they offer, particularly engagement rings.
When it comes to customer experience, Macy’s is just as lacking as Costco in the jewelry section. While there are people to assist you when you physically walk into a Costco or Macy jewelry section, the staff do not real know much about the rings. These two companies also do not offer any custom jewelry to their customers.
A difference between Costco and Macy’s is that rings from Macy’s have a certification, while those from Costco do not. Macy’s diamonds are accompanied by certificates from IGI which means that they are graded properly. Costco on the other hand, does not have any certified rings which makes their items hard to authenticate. Both Costco and Macy’s do not specialize in jewelry retail. This may be a reason why their engagement rings might be underwhelming. You can visit other online jewelry retail companies such as James Allen and get more ring options that are certified.
Our favorite engagement rings from Costco
Costco has a range of rings that go for as low as $80 to as high as $4,000. Their jewelry section may be relatively small compared to the catalogue of other items they offer. It however has some decent options of engagement rings that you can choose from. This means that your options will be limited if you choose to purchase an engagement ring from Costco. Here are some of the engagement rings from the company that we love. We think these rings would be a great option for you.