Customer selling their own stones


I am new to Orchid, I am posting this question and would like
feedback as to possiblities. I have a customer that inherited
several Sapphires, Rubies and Spinels. some 50 stones. She would like
to sell all or some of them…I suggested E-Bay. She wants me to list
them and pay me a portion of the sales. I advised her to have all
appraised, which my customer did. She did not have any idea of thier
values. I was informed that may be a risky way to try and get
visibility for them( ie customer may switch stone upon return). I do
not have them in my possesion just the appraisals. I do not want to
handle them individually. My thought was internet visisbility would
reach more potenial customers. in the market… Rather than putting
them in a local store and only getting foot trafic. I have been
making jewelry for 30 + yrs. I have never come across anyone wanting
to sell thier stones. Could anyone shed a light on helping this
customer and what would be Fair for listing and selling. Or if this
is a good idea? I know the E-Bay stores that are local charge 1/2 the
selling price. for some stones that fee seems very steep. I would
like to help her, and she would like to help me i. e. business of a
sort. Thanks for the dialogue. I have a home based business and teach
jewelry making locally I currently in Oregon.

thanks again, Barb

Could anyone shed a light on helping this customer and what would
be Fair for listing and selling. 

Listing on the ebay cost money. To take a pictures takes time which
is also cost money. If stones do not sell, who is stuck with expenses

But on a lighter note, I am always in the market for gemstones at
reasonable price. I do not care for appraisals. To me they are
meaningless. Email me pictures with gems descriptions using GIA
terminology and maybe we can do some business.

Leonid Surpin.

Hi Barb,

I sell antiques, jewelry and junk on Ebay and have for many years. I
can tell you that there are more reasons NOT to take the stones and
try and sell them for her on Ebay.

I wouldn’t do this kind of arrangement for friends, family… much
less strangers.

The risk of having a charge-back on your account (if using Pay-pal
or other CC service) after you’ve already paid out her part of the
sale is too big a risk and leaves you holding the bag.

What stones appraise for and what they sell for are two different
things, unfortunately. Appraisal is generally the insurance value
replacement. You’ll never get $500 for a stone that appraised at
$500. Getting a fourth to a half of that price is common for Ebay.
Once you take your cut of the sale… and take out all fees… your
seller probably wont’ be a happy camper.

If the auction doesn’t sell, will she pay the all the fees for
listing the items? Ebay’s listing fees have skyrocketed in the past
two years. If you haven’t sold there lately, they might come as a

She’d do better to contact a local estate auctioneer who’s got some
experience with If they don’t, the better auction houses
will usually have contacts they can consult for expertise.

She can also set a minimum price for the items to sell at. It’s
really a better way for her to go and less risk for you. Plus they
won’t charge her if the gems don’t sell… as Ebay will. 09

Please feel free to contact me if you want more … or if
you do go ahead and sell the stones for her. I can probably give you
some suggestions to help minimize your costs/risks.

But either way, good luck to you.

Tracy’s Treasures


Ebay is a flea market. Period. You get lots and lots of traffic
there, but every single one is a tight fisted bargain hunter. Also,
you are being compared with tens of thousands of other cut gemstones
at any given time. An exceptional faceted stone might sell for 20
percent of its appraised value, if you are lucky.

For most of us, the worldwide exposure of the internet is an
unrealized potential, because there are so very many internet gem
dealers out there. It is extremely difficult and rather expensive to
bring one’s web pages to the attention of a significant number of
potential buyers. Believe it or not, in most cases you get better
real exposure displaying the stones in a shop window on a reasonably
busy street.

Finally, there is the eternal trust issue. A picture and text
description can never compare to watching the stone sparkle in
person, so there is always at least a small question of whether the
stone really is as good as it looks. Add to that the rampant
ignorance, overselling, deception and outright fraud in the online
gem business, and you have quite a hill to climb just to get a decent
price on 50 stones.

There are honest gem dealers doing business on the internet, and I do
my best to be one of them. Unfortunately, I could not promise to sell
your customer’s stones under reasonable conditions. There are,
however, gemstone brokers operating on the net that might be able to
help you. Algemco ( comes well recommended,
as one example. I have never used them, so I do not know what terms
they would offer.

If there is no friendly local jeweler who is willing to buy the
stones at something close to wholesale, perhaps you can find someone
who sells at gem shows who would be willing to sell your customer’s
stones on consignment. That would probably net the greatest return
with the highest probability of selling at least a few of the gems

Good luck!

Gems Evermore

EBay is a flea market. Period. You get lots and lots of traffic
there, but every single one is a tight fisted bargain hunter. 

That’s not really true (ebay stores, for one), but I appreciate that
the sentiment is pretty right on, still. I’ve seen many fine things
on ebay - saw an Enigma machine for sale there, once (German WWII
code machine) - the real thing, by the look of it. That’s neither
here nor there, though - E-Bay is tough, for sure. I had much the
same thing happen to me just lately, though. A young man called me
and said his Aunt had died, and left a safety deposit box of gems,
and she traveled extensively, and all that. We talked, and he hoped
to pay for the funeral with the stones, and then he came in with
some. He told me he had picked some certain parcels. Mostly they were
parcels of stones put in heat sealed baggies, probably “native”
packed, and it looked like many were the same source, by the packing.
Mostly they were the sort of things they sweep up off the floor and
sell to bargain hunting tourists - there was nothing worth more than
$20, and if you could get anybody to buy them - most were just junk -
you maybe could get a couple hundred bucks with luck. I went to
Stuller to show him - This garnet is worth $2, that amethyst is $4 -
on and on. This isn’t to say that the original thread is that, If
it’s some decent rubies and the similar you might have some hope. If
it’s quartz and garnet and the like, well I know people who have jars
of the stuff just laying around, much of it unsaleable at any price.
First thing is to find out for real: are they "or are they
Gems? There are appraisers and there are appraisers. We use quality,
certified appraisers for insurance work that straight and legitimate.
The thing to understand, though: If their appraiser said that there
is a 1 ct. ruby that’s worth $500 (say), meaning that it likely will
pull $100 in the real world, what you have is low-end material that
will be tough to sell to anybody. I’d suggest taking them to a stone
dealer to evaluative not the price but the value - every stone can be
priced, but is anybody going to buy it? If your 50 stones have an
aggregate appraisal of $50 or $100 thousand, then it’s just a matter
of finding a buyer and negotiating a price. If those 50 stones are
$2,000, then you’re just going to be another stone-hawker…

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the input. Thanks to all who have responded. I am not
interested in buying any or all 50 stones at this time. I don’t even
like all of them.

I am looking into Auctioning them as one woman suggested. Or doing
what you suggested giving them to a vendor at a Gem show. I think
the E-Bay thing has to many things that can go wrong from what I’m
reading now. The regular customer that shops via the internet has
many choices, I think stones catch a persons eye as you say. I can
imagine not seeing the stone in person is a hinderance. I will try
some of these variuos options and see if any work. I also will talk
to my colored Gem dealers in downtown Portland amd pick thier
brains. I will email the link Algemco you suggested also and see what
happens. I am grateful for the feedback. I am interested in helping
my customer and know there must be a way to get these stones seen by
more potenial customers. Their are a few consinment business’ locally
and they take fine jewelry and get allot of visibility here. I hope
to read more on this and many subjects in this Orchid Jewelers online
help line.

Thanks again, Barb.
May you all be busy and prosperous this Christmas season!