As the home of BYU and UVU, Utah County is the epicenter of the Beehive state’s wedding industry. It’s also gaining a reputation as one of the top spots nationally for online innovation.
So, it isn’t too surprising that a local company is revolutionizing the online wedding ring business. The uniqueness of the model, however, has the potential to transform how blissful, yet fiscally responsible couples purchase the rings that symbolize their unity. The result is an enjoyable process for both parties.
CEO McKay Crowley helped revamp e-WeddingBands, a firm with 20 years of online experience, because he recognized a need for a simpler, less expensive option for buying wedding rings. While the process for manufacturing and selling is revolutionary, e-WeddingBands isn’t the first company to sell wedding rings online for huge discounts.
In an article for GQ, Megan Gustashaw explained it’s a great way to save big money.
“If you like to save lots of money (seriously, as much as 50 percent) you might want to buy an engagement ring online,” she writes.
Whether shopping for a classic wedding band for a man or a perfect custom ring for a bride, e-WeddingBand's technology makes purchasing a custom ring much easier and more pleasant than the typical visit to a jewelry store where a commissioned sales rep tries to strong-arm you into an expensive ring that really isn't what the couple wants.
The process is more like an Amazon-buying experience (if Amazon manufactured the items and shipped them within two or three days of the customer’s order).
Here are some of the things that make e-WeddingBands different.
Made to order
Each ring is custom crafted and hand finished in Utah after the order is placed. Because there is no inventory to store, the company saves money and can pass those savings on to customers.
At a traditional store, ring buyers are limited to the stock on hand. With made-to-order rings, buyers have metal choices like multiple grades and colors of gold, silver, platinum, titanium, palladium, tungsten and cobalt chrome. Any ring a customer sees on the website can be fully customized for an individual.
Ordering a custom ring usually means weeks of waiting with many potential problems (not to mention a higher price tag). Because e-WeddingBand rings are made locally, Crowley says orders are typically completed within seven days. For classic wedding band styles, the time is closer to three days.
If you are worried about buying online because you can’t see what you are purchasing—don’t. An online image of the ring shows you every angle at larger than life-size (like the one below). That image is used to create a 3D-printed model which is then cast and finished.
For simple metal bands, expect to pay 25 to 40 percent less than at a jewelry store. But when special discounts are offered or for more complex designs with diamonds or other gems, the savings can be substantially greater.
Engagement rings: the best custom experience
E-WeddingBands creates exquisite engagement rings through a process that can be done completely from home at a lower cost than purchasing a cookie-cutter style at a regular jeweler.
Here is how it works:
1. You send pictures, a description, a drawing, (whatever you’ve got) via text or email.
2. E-WeddingBands sends you a quote and works with you until the price is right.
3. The company creates a rendering of your ring using industry-leading technology and sends it to you for free.
4. You make any changes or additions from your phone or computer.
5. E-WeddingBands 3D prints your ring, casts it in your choice of metal, sets the stones you choose and ships it to your door complete with a lifetime warranty.
The entire process can be completed in as little as a week. Follow this link to try it yourself.
Don’t be misled
The traditional ring-buying process was carefully developed to guide people toward paying more than necessary for wedding rings. Crowley describes it as a “Natural funnel which drives shoppers to believe they need a much more expensive diamond than they actually do.”
Most jewelers talk about the four or five Cs of diamond quality to convince prospective customers their fiancés are worth the highest quality (and most expensive) gems. You can save significant money by compromising on the Cs and by avoiding brand-name jewelers, explains Kelli B. Grant in an article about buying engagement rings for MarketWatch.com.
Much of what people think they know about diamonds is wrong, Crowley says. For example, a carat is a unit of weight, not size. That means two diamonds of the same carat weight can be significantly different sizes.
Crowley explains two 1 carat diamonds identical in cut and weight can have a price variance of nearly $8,000, even though there are no visible differences between them.
Today’s buyers also have the option of choosing diamonds made in a lab or other man-made gems that look like perfect diamonds but cost significantly less.
To learn more about how to find steep discounts on wedding and engagement rings, visit e-WeddingBands.