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Beware when buying on eBay


Hello everyone,

I just wanted to mention that I just made a HUGE mistake that I would
like to hope will benefit more than me as far as the "live and learn"
situation goes.

I have recently purchased some really beautiful Russian lab grown
canary diamonds, on ebay. I am currently working on my April
challenge piece which features one of these luscious stones. Anyway,
so as it is my custom, I went into ebay and searched to find some
bargains. Well, I found one vendor,

<snip - Sorry no eBay links or eBay IDs on Orchid>

that had a whole lot of these stones. I bought a bunch (42 to be
exact) of the yellow lab diamonds, since some of them were less than
$0.50 a piece (the tiny ones) and others were very good prices as

Well, much to my GREAT dismay, was I ever SHOCKED right out of my
socks to get the final invoice with the “shipping and REQUIRED
PRIVATE insurance” charge added on!

My total for merchandise was $50.62. The total for shipping, was,
get set, $96!!! (The vendor is in Utah, our neighboring state)
and the bogus PRIVATE INSURANCE (REQUIRED) was $42 (remember the
total value of the merchandise was only $8 more at $50)!!!

I thought, oh, this must be an automatically generated invoice and
not the final one. Imagine my surprise when I wrote the seller and
he said it WAS the final invoice and that I better pay it or he would
give me terrible feedback and I would get more than 3 non-payment
strikes which will make me get thrown out of ebay!! (I have been a
member in good standing on ebay for over 7 years!)

I wrote to ebay telling them about this situation, but they have
not= responded.

Just wanted to say that it would be a good idea to stay away from
that seller! I have NEVER had this problem EVER before on ebay, and
I have been buying things there for all these years. I even bought my
CAR on ebay (I did!) and had NO problems!

Can’t believe it.

Caveat empor,

Laura H. Hastings
Eclectica Jewelry
Tucson, Arizona


You can also file a grievance through PayPal. PayPal is a lot more
responsive and faster to investigate grievances than Ebay. Try that.
However, before you do, they will want to know if you contacted the
seller. Question is, did you? I’ve used PayPal’s dispute claim
process, and had wonderful success. Don’t count yourself out yet.

Good luck!


Don’t blame it on eBay (and don’t expect them to help) - blame it on
the vendor who is using shipping as a profit center. I bought about
100 stones from an eBay seller in Thailand. He proceeded to add a
$3.00 “packing charge” for each stone! The shipping became
astronomical. I left him 100 negative feedbacks. That got him going!
He said he would cancel all of the transactions if I removed the
negative feedbacks. That solved the problem. I’ll never buy from that
sucker again.

Brian Corll
Vassar Gems

My total for merchandise was $50.62. The total for shipping, was,
get set, $96!!!!!!! (The vendor is in Utah, our neighboring state)
and the bogus PRIVATE INSURANCE (REQUIRED) was $42 (remember the
total value of the merchandise was only $8 more at $50)!!!! 

eBay does have policies about excessive shipping and handling

See and
they give normal insurance rates for post office and UPS at

Challenge the seller with this and cancel the sale. If he
complains and tries to hit you with negative feedback use the eBay
violation reporting. You should be able to get the negative feedback
removed and the seller kicked off eBay.



I’m sorry this happened to you. It is quite a popular scam employed
by lots of sellers on ebay. They make the price of their item so
incredibly low hoping to “blind” you by it so you make the purchase
on the spot without reading their shipping or asking
for any if it isn’t listed right on the page. Pretty shady, right?
Anyway, I have learned to read everything a seller has on their item
page, and I always check their feedback rating before making a
purchase. I have been buying everything from clothes to jewelry
supplies on ebay for years and I love the bargains and convenience.
It’s a giant garage sale that’s always open! Unfortunatley, just
like meeting people out on the street, not everyone is nice, honest,
and who they appear to be. Read all the seller posts, check their
feedback, and never, ever, be afraid to email them questions.

Augest Derenthal
Cry Baby Designs

I have recently purchased some really beautiful Russian lab grown
canary diamonds, on ebay. 

Last year, I bought two stones on eBay that were advertised as
Russian lab-grown diamonds. They were, in fact, Russian lab-grown
CZs. I immediately emailed the seller with the exact gemological
properties of the stones they sold me, versus the properties of
diamond, lab-grown or not, and offered to turn them in for fraud.
Fortunately, they refunded my money instantly.

If you’ve bid on “Russian lab-grown diamonds” on eBay, I’d strongly
suggest testing them to be sure.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


I would take these “lab diamonds” to a gemologist to verify that
they are indeed lab diamond…

A lot of Ebay sellers play loose and fast with that particular

At those prices, you either made an incredible killing, even with
the outrageous shipping charges…(Which…Ebay really should
consider as a fee avoidance violation)…

Or you have a small pile of yellow CZ… And you really should know
what you’re putting into your challenge piece…

Always…Caveat Emptor when on the Bay…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)


Hello again,

If anyone would like to know the ebayer’s ID, please feel free to
contact me privately at @ATG. I am sorry, I was not
aware that it was against the rules to include ebay ID’s in our

I only want to let people know so they don’t fall prey to this. I
have almost always had very good experiences on ebay, but this was
really outrageous.

Take care,

Laura H. Hastings
Eclectica Jewelry
Tucson, Arizona


Hi Laura,

That is really shocking. What makes it even worse is that ebay
refuses to do anything about it. I know some people get good buys
from honest people, but it does look like there are always some
disreputable crooks just waiting to take advantage of people.

I once had a problem with an Internet seller who was was advertising
a Nikon camera as new, not refurbished, and under full warranty.
Seems it was a gray market item, not covered by any Nikon warranty,
and probably refurbished. I was able to get out of the deal,( I had
already given th em my credit card number), but only after a lot of



Russian grown lab manufactured created perfectly marbled Grade a
Angus yellow diamonds. As far as I know Tarius a Russian lab has
created some Real synthetic yellow diamonds, when I last checked they
had only one left, I think it was a carat for $10,000… This was the
first real stuff but it is still going to be some time before they go
toe to toe with DeBears, but he will.

Also I learned the hard way also, when it comes to S&H, insurance,
if you don’t know what the charges will be before you bid, don’t bid,
don’t bid, because they can and do ad crazy prices, and ebay backs
them up…If the seller is a power seller ebay basically gives them a
lawyer. You might have a chance depending on how they worded their
add. Go to, and see the real deal, are they in
the states, Interstate fraud, comes to mind. since there is only one
source for this product, it would seem perfectly normal, to ask what
lab it comes from. etc etc

Hope this helps,
Plumber Bert

My total for merchandise was $50.62. The total for shipping, was,
get set, $96!!!!!!! (The vendor is in Utah, our neighboring state) 

They call them shipping pirates - one always needs to look first at
the price, and then be certain of the shipping, because of them. When
you see things for sale at 1c, you can be sure they’re shipping
pirates. If I’m looking, and the shipping isn’t defined, or there’s no
calculator, I just move on…


I don’t use eBay for anything because of situations like this one.




These people are able to continue to rip off the public by
intimidating buyers such as yourself just as he is doing now. You
can bet he’s done it in the past. My suggestion would be to tell him
where to go and blast him with as many negative feedbacks as you have
separate purchases. I would also file a complaint with ebay. They do
have provisions for that sort of action. He will undoubtedly
retaliate with negative feedback to you, however anyone reviewing
your profile will see what happened and see him for what he is. I
have blasted several ebay scammers myself and received the expected
negative feedback. Hasn’t made a bit of difference in my subsequent
ebay activity. In each case they tried to get me to agree to mutual
withdrawal, which I refused. The feedback system is made useless when
the activity of these cheats is covered up.

Jerry in Kodiak


One of the things that I did when an internet seller tried to palm
off the gray market “Nikon” camera (which I wrote about in a previous
email), was to write a report on them which I sent to epinions. I
sent it in under the name of . I gave details about the
whole shady deal and how I managed to get out of it—with the advice
given me by a very helpful Nikon representative who was concerned
about the illegal and shady business practices of the internet camera

For those who are not acquainted with it, Epinions provides an
avenue for complaints about bad purchases or experiences with
internet sales. They will publish the name of the offender so that
potential buyers can be warned.



Hi Laura…


I thank you for the heads up…

Please send me the ID, so I know not to bother…

Out of hundreds of transactions on the Bay… Only one has been
bad… The seller was so retarded…that I didn’t really know what
to do… And it was $5…(plus ship)…

The “diamonds” part of the Bay has been so full of B-S…for so

No diamond, syn or otherwise, will ever sell for 50 cents…even if
it’s tiny

Do not compromise your work…

Many Ebay members have been fighting this…there’s been and
ongoing thing over at J,G & W…by a number of folks…(even me for
a while)…for years… And some things have been accomplished…

In all fairness to the Bay…there’s really no way to knock these
scumbags down…

Other than if you’ve been hit, to fight them…

His Ins policy smacks of fee avoidance…that means Ebay makes less
money on a transaction… That does upset them……

That’s about the only way to get dirtbags like this outfit shut

Yer gonna get a neg hit…

The Red Badge of Courage…

BTW…A lot of folks on the boards say it’s best to have at least
two ID’s…

One to buy…the other to sell…

That way…when your buy ID gets negged, the seller ID doesn’t

If you have the two ID’s…

Hell…I only buy on the Bay… That’s hairy enough as it is…

Please believe me…diamond, synthetic or otherwise, never sells
for .50 ea…

Neg that sucker, for every item on that transaction…

I mean…what right has this scumbag to screw with you…?


Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)
BTW…send me this dirtbag Ebay addy…and I’ll have some fun asking him


Another instance of read the fine print…and all of the print…
before you buy. No shipping info? Ask. I ran into the same problem
when I bought some grit for a friend on e-bay. Shipping was $20, and
they insisted on insurance…for tumbling grit…lol. I was in a
hurry, I didn’t read, I ate the excess. They may be crooks, but I was
not paying attention. Mea culpa. Caveat emptor…whatever…just pay
more attention. It will save you a world of trouble.

Lisa, (sitting with the greyhounds in their dopey little coats sacked
out with the cats on the couch.) Topanga, CA USA


You are right, Jerry. I have filed several complaints with ebay but
they are not being helpful. I am very disappointed in them. I have
had great experiences with ebay for almost 9 years now of regular
both buying and selling (not my jewelry, btw), this is actually the
first time I have had such an awful experience.

I will do as you suggest with the negative feedback. He is a really
nasty guy too.



Here are some great aids to eBay buyers at
The first program is Negative / Neutral feedback tool. It is a free
add on for browsers that lets you more quickly & easilly check
feedbacks & read the important ones.

You just select an eBay identity, buyer or seller, just right click
and it’ll tell you how many negative or neutral feedbacks they have
received and how many they have left as well as listing them for you
to read. I think it’s great. We regularly use to check out sellers
but I’m sure that it would be just as useful for sellers to check out



Hi Everyone,

This discussion about shipping prices got me thinking about buying
stones from ebay in general.

I’ve not done it myself, but a friend of mine buys stones all the
time. He doesn’t have formal training in identifying stones but he
claims he is getting amazing deals.

“Amazing deals” like multi-thousand dollar stones for a couple
hundred. I wonder if it’s all “too good to be true”.

If a stone has x value how is it possible to buy it for so very
little? This seems to go against all the “rules” of economics/supply
and demand. Maybe I don’t know enough about gems…What have people
experienced? Is it really possible to buy a high value gem at super
discount prices?

Just wondering,

I left him 100 negative feedbacks. That got him going! He said he
would cancel all of the transactions if I removed the negative
feedbacks. That solved the problem". 

Yes, but that left him with a clean record as far as your particular
transaction is concerned. The feedback system is useless unless
people have the guts to use it as it was meant to be used. Nuke him,
I say! >:o

Jerry in Kodiak