How group-buying distorts the jewellery landscape

StyleRocks is an online customisable jewellery business. Through our ground-breaking technology you’re able to choose your metal, finish, precious or semi-precious gemstone, plating or engraving, using a series of designs we’ve provided. With some 3 trillion combinations!

Because you’re driving the design process and we’re dealing direct with the manufacturer, this means StyleRocks is able to cut out the middleman – the jeweller. This is what makes the jewellery customisation process affordable, and means we’re able to offer an emerald cut amethyst cocktail ring – normally $1200 – for $550. Yes, true! So already – we’re helping the customer save money; a great achievement in these retail-challenged times.

StyleRocks emerald cut amethyst silver cocktail ring

Over the last few years, customers have been inundated with group buying websites and they can be an appealing purchase for the right product. But when these sites offer jewellery at dirt-cheap prices, this has a negative impact on quality jewellers everywhere. ‘Top quality’ pearl studs in a silver setting for $1? These pearls can’t be A-grade, nor can they be genuine sterling silver; the cost of the metal alone would be more than $1 (more likely it’s a silver plate). This is before we factor in all the other related costs: pearls, gluing and handling.

To achieve the $1 price (+$19 p&p!), everything has had to be manufactured overseas. Nothing wrong with that, and as Australians, we’re very used to this idea. Labour in Australia is expensive and pushes the price of all our goods and services up. But the overall effect is that the Australian consumer doesn’t appreciate where/how the goods are made, and is left with the impression that jewellery – a luxury good – is available for nix. This is fundamentally wrong; any quality jewellery requires craftsmanship, which in turn carries a premium.

At StyleRocks, we offer quality customisable jewellery, with quality materials. We’re not using plated brass, and passing it off as silver. With our golds, we’re using 9 carat and 18 carat; the raw manufacturing price alone for these items is roughly $35 and $70 per gram respectively. And all jewellery is Australian-made to ensure we’re reaching the highest possible quality for our StyleRockers.

Jewellery, as a luxury good, is something to be purchased infrequently – not every day. It’s worth remembering that the next time a group buying offer hits your inbox.

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