Tainted Love! There’s a Great Reason Why You Should Consider a Second Hand Engagement Ring?

used-rings

Anne Bowers, Associate Professor at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, published a study recently that engagement ring shoppers are certain to find very intriguing.

Bowers analysed an incredible number of rings up for auction on Ebay – 15,000 to be exact – and conducted an experiment whereby she offered a diamond ring for sale 3 different ways. The ring in question was a 0.7 carat round brilliant cut diamond in an 18kt white gold setting with a plain band. In other words, a piece of jewellery that would be considered a fairly standard engagement ring. She listed the original retail price as $3,500 and the selling price at $300. Bargain, right?

There were 3 different descriptions for the ring, which is where things get interesting. The first stated that the reason for selling the ring was because the seller was now divorced, saying ‘since my ex and I split up I don’t wear it anymore, but someone else should!’ The second claimed ‘I am still happily married – I am selling the ring because I prefer to wear only a wedding band since I work with my hands’. Finally, the third description explained that the seller was simply a local jewellery store with an overstock of new rings.

Divorce-Ring (1)

The results? Well, it’s a safe bet that the ‘divorce ring’ isn’t many people’s first choice. But on average, engagement rings with a history of divorce sold for prices that were 26% lower than ‘happy marriage rings’, and 33% lower than new rings. The new ring sold for an average price of $820, the ‘happy marriage ring’ for $740 and the ‘divorce ring’ for $550. Bowers’ results for her own experiment were consistent with the analysis of 15,000 ‘real’ sales of rings too.

So what does it all mean? Firstly, if you want a hefty discount on your bling then second hand is the way to go. Secondly and more importantly, we attach huge value to the story that comes with an engagement ring. They represent concepts like commitment, love, strength, and eternity to us, so we have a hard time accepting a ring that’s been ‘tainted’.

Surprisingly enough however, buyers rated the ‘divorce ring’ to be the most authentic of the three because it had the most honest story. Unfortunately, that didn’t do anything to improve their likelihood of buying it.

So the big lesson here is that if you’re willing to renounce the stigma of a tainted ring, there are irresistible bargains to be had out there. Remember that at the end of the day a ring is JUST a ring! It means whatever you want it to mean, and you should focus on its part in your own story, not what happened in the past.