A bit of bling - buying quality jewellery online
On a recent trip to Sydney, my new boyfriend couldn’t help but notice that I liked to pause and look at jewellery shops. Doesn’t every woman love a bit of bling? I certainly do, and perhaps, just perhaps, I like to daydream about a present of bling from the man I love. But as a frugalista, I certainly do not like paying top dollar for it. Nor do I want my man to.A guy at work is thinking about buying something special for his girlfriend. Yes, he is ready to pop the question and he wants to do it properly. The convention wisdom is that he must invest two months’ worth of wages into the ring. In an era when wages are stagnant and many young people are struggling to get a foothold into the housing market, spending a small fortune on a rock seems criminal. But what options are there for a groom to be who wants to show the love he feels for the woman of his dreams? Well, he could forgo an engagement ring entirely. But many men are too scared that they would be viewed as cheap or uncaring. Then there is the story of a friend of a friend who broke up with her long-term boyfriend because the rock he gave her when he proposed wasn’t big enough. No man wants that to happen. Another alternative is to forego the expensive jewellery store in search of better value options online. Jewellery stores have a huge mark-up on the product. It is not their fault: they need to pay for rent (often in shopping centres or prestigious suburbs), hire staff, install expensive display cases and downlighting that helps diamonds sparkle. Further, they need to stand by and wait as people try on rings, and try on more rings, and try to decide if the ring would be the perfect fit. Or not. I walked into a jewellery store recently and I had three people waiting on me – oh the pressure! I almost bought something just to keep them happy.I was first made aware of why the best bargains are not in jewellery store by chatting with a taxi driver. I love chatting with taxi drivers – they are always so full of stories. This one admitted he used to be a jeweler. He described the industry as criminal; jewelers like himself struggled to find a creative outlet as most product was imported in bulk and sold at a high margin. Yep, most jewellery in stores in Australia are expensive relative to what you can get elsewhere. A more cost-effective way to purchase is to buy online. You can save up to 80% on costs this way (and yes, I have been browsing – as I said, I may be frugal but I LOVE a bit of bling). The advantage of shopping online is that it foregoes the middleman, so you are dealing directly with the shop – and in often cases with the designer him/herself. You would be surprised how few physical jewellery stores have a designer in the shop these days. Most jewellery is purchased from overseas, and very little is custom made. But isn’t it dangerous, you might ask? Not if you use a shop that has trusted reviews, on a platform you trust such as Ebay or Etsy. Using a credit card or Paypal also gives you added consumer protections. These provide you with more than if, say, go into a jewellery store and pay with cash. You should also insist on documentation that shows the providence of whatever you purchase. If purchasing a diamond, or other precious or semi-precious stones, make sure they have been ethically sourced. Why taint your love by buying a blood conflict diamond? Buying a diamond with Kimberly process accreditation is important and brings you peace of mind. One often overlooked source of quality and affordable jewellery is online auctions such as Allbids. Allbids has a range of premium, antique and vintage jewellery. If you are savvy shopper, you can pick up some real bargains. Apart from the significant cost saving, an advantage is that you can find pieces that are unique and that will really stand out. The craftmanship that goes into some vintage pieces is amazing – they don’t make jewellery like they used to. And yes, the vintage look is coming back, what’s old is new again, with rose gold pieces leading the way. It goes also with the whole Boho bride look that is very popular at the moment. Last time I looked (okay, I admit it, I look at online jewellery more than I should) there was an old-fashioned gold shield pendant necklace, Mikimoto pearl earrings, several solitaire diamond rings and sapphire jewellery for auction at tempting bargain prices. Did I mention that I like bling?  A further advantage of buying from Allbids at auction is that you know what you are getting. Allbids has a professional valuer on staff, who examines pieces and determine their true worth before they are placed online. Allbids also offers a free appraisal service for people who are thinking of selling pieces. Which is handy for people like me who have jewellery from earlier relationships, or who have inherited pieces that don’t really suit (or fit). I have been stalking Allbids’ online jewellery selection for a while now, and I must say that I like what I see. I also like how easy it is to register to bid online, and the thrill of seeing if I have been successful or not. This is definitely an option for someone who is looking for an affordable alternative to the traditional.This is a sponsored blog post. All views are Ms Frugal Ears own. And yes, I really do like bling, I like many of the pieces I have seen on Allbids, and I really do like getting a bargain by buying at auction.

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25/10/2017
Placing a bid on your own item
Vendor agrees that neither he or she nor his/her representative will bid on items under the agreement. If a Vendor wins their own item/s, the vendor will be liable to pay the agreed Vendors Commission, Listing fee/s and the Buyer’s Premium as outlined in the Users Terms & Conditions and the item/s is to be collected and removed from ALLBIDS Auctions within the designated time frame in the Users Terms and Conditions. Vendor agrees not to withdraw any property subject to this agreement unless agreed to by ALLBIDS Auctions and the payment of all charges, costs, and the commission (both the buyer’s premium and Vendor’s fees) due if the item has been sold.The vendor of the items may place one bid on the items they put to auction on the day of closing. The vendor bid must be disclosed to ALLBIDS and will only be allowed if approved by ALLBIDS in the event that the level of the auction is substantially below an agreed liquidation value.

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1/02/2017
Online Auction Process
You may bid by placing an Instant bid or by placing a maximum bid (Proxy Bid)If you bid at an online auction by placing maximum bid (Proxy bid), you are responsible for monitoring the online auction in which you are participating and acting in the auction by instructing Proxy bid with your bids.Proxy bid will always start at the bid increment above the starting bid or the current highest bid. If you want to match a current or starting bid you must submit a normal bid.If you do not leave a Proxy bid amount, the bid amount that will appear when you submit a normal bid will apply.An online auction will start at the specified time and bidding will start at the nominated minimum starting price.All bids placed at an online auction must be made on a per-item basis, and may only be increased by multiples of the posted bid increment.

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1/02/2017
Extended time for Online Auction
Every auction closes at the end of the time period specified for that online auction where there are no new bids during the 5 minutes immediately preceding the end of the time period specified. If there are any successful bids on a particular lot/item within 5 minutes of the close of the online auction (the going, going, gone period), the auction will continue to be extended until there are no more within the Refresh Period. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Refresh Period may vary from time to time by a number of seconds. ALLBIDS accepts no responsibility for any circumstances or incidents arising as a result of any slight variations that may occur in the Refresh Period

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1/02/2017
Last Call for Bids
All auctions are set to close at a certain time.If a winning bid is placed within the last 5 minutes of the set closing time, the closing time will be extended automatically by a further 5 minutes.If a bid is placed within 1 minute of closing time, and that bid is immediately beaten by another bidder's proxy bid, the auction will be extended for 1 minute to give you a chance to rebid.This likens the Auction to live auction where the bidding only ends when everyone is certain they do not want to place a further bid. It also stops the winning bidder “sniping” a bid 1 second before the end of an auction.How it works:
  • Auction closes at 7.30:00 PM
  • The bidding is at $90A bid is placed at $100 at 7:29:10 PM
  • The new close time for the auction is set at 7:35:00 PM
  • At 7.30:00 the last call comes again.
  • If there is a winning bid placed between 7:30:00 PM and 7:35:00 PM the new close will be 7:40:00 PM.
Example of a 1 min Extension for bids that got beaten by proxy:
  • Auction closes at 7.30:00 PMThe bidding is at $90
  • A bid is placed at $100 at 7:29:30 PM, but get beaten by a proxy bid.
  • The bidding is at $105
  • The new close time for the auction is set at 7.30:30 PM
  • If there is a winning bid placed between 7:29:30 PM and 7:30:30 PM the new close will be 7:35:30 PM.

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1/02/2017
Placing Bid
What is “Maximum Bid or Proxy Bidding”?When you place a bid, you enter the maximum amount you are willing to bid for that item
  • Let’s say the bidding is at just $20 for an item you would be prepared to bid up to $100. Enter $100 as your maximum bid amount. Your max bid is always kept secret.
  • The system will then bid on your behalf, but only enough to beat the other bidder. As the bid is only at $20, the system will register your bid at $22. If other bidders outbid you the system will keep bidding on your behalf up to your max bid amount. You can choose to receive outbid notices by email and SMS.
  • At the end of an auction, if you are the highest bidder, you are the winner. As the winner of the auction, you only pay the lowest possible winning bid, not necessarily your maximum bid.
  • If the other bidders exceed your max bid you will need to re-bid if you want to stay in the auction.
What is Instant Bid? Sometimes as part of your auction strategy you may want to jump the bid higher than the normal proxy bid. This is generally used to knock out other bidders and get the item closer to a final bid value. When you enter an “Instant Bid” the FULL amount you enter is applied to that auction. This may not be higher than another bidder’s Max (proxy bid), so you may not be the highest bidder. Let’s say the bidding is at just $5 for an item that’s worth $2000. You might enter and instant bid of $500. The auction bid will immediately go to $500, unless another bidder has put in a higher max (proxy) bid. An “Instant Bid” usually tell other bidders that you are serious about getting this item. Your obligation as Bidder When you use the Service and bid on an item during an online auction conducted on our Site, you are making an offer to buy the item at your bid price. If your bid price is the Winner’s Bid Amount, you will be the Winning Bidder and are obliged to purchase the item you have bid for and pay the Winner’s Bid Amount, plus any additional charges that you may be obliged to pay. When you use the Service and bid on an item during an online auction conducted on our Site, you are making an offer to buy the item at your bid price. If your bid price is the Winner’s Bid Amount, you will be the Winning Bidder and are obliged to purchase the item you have bid for and pay the Winner’s Bid Amount, plus any additional charges that you may be obliged to pay.

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1/01/2017