The biggest disadvantage of buying jewelry at auction is that you don’t get to handle the jewelry in person. Some auction sites are better than others about describing the jewelry, and of course there will be photos, but sometimes jewelry just looks different when you try it on! You can help minimize this disadvantage by visiting stores, handling jewelry, and familiarizing yourself with different gems, carat weights, precious metals, types of closures and settings, etc. This will help you understand the online jewelry descriptions better once you return to the auction sites.
Another potential disadvantage of bidding in auctions is that you don’t get your jewelry immediately. Different auctions allow different time windows for bidding. If you hate waiting, you can minimize your wait time by only bidding on one-day auctions or on auctions that are just hours away from closing.