Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

eBay sellers ethics

With metals pricing going way up, I recently decided to give buying
chains from an overseas ebay source a try. They were not very
expensive, and I suspected they might be fake, even though they are
clearly stamped 925. A friend of mine, also a jeweler, bought some
as well. Hers arrived first and she tried to oxidize them, and they
wouldn’t, so she tried to melt one, and it would only glow orange
and not melt…therefore, not silver. Mine came a week later. I had
actually thought it had been lost between here and NYC as it took
over a week to get from there to Asheville. When my friend told me
hers were fakes, I emailed the seller saying, 1. I think it may have
gotten lost and 2. my friend bought some, tested them, they are not
silver. I told him if mine did show up, I would report it if mine
were also NOT silver. He refunded my money instantly. I also emailed
ebay a general email saying they should investigate this seller for
fraud because of what my friend had found and what others had
reported with neg feedback.

The chains eventually showed up 2 days ago, and one broke right away
when I tried to straighten the snake chain near the end. So I took
that one, took a torch to it…glowed bright orange, did not melt.
Once I had proof that it was fake, I left neg feedback, but did say
money was refunded.

The seller writes me asking why I left neg feedback when I got my
money back and even more or less admitted they had marked 925 but
they were so cheap so please remove neg feedback…and wants the
chains returned…but is willing to cover shipping.

I never heard back from my first email to ebay. I tried to report it
through their site, but perhaps because it was refunded or too long
since purchased, that system would not work. I tried phoning, but
their automated answering system, which asked me for a pin number,
would verify it then start over, asking for it again in an infinite
loop. So I tried online Ebay chat…they just wanted me to go back
and report it through the system.

Through all of this, the thing that bugs me is the principle of it
(as well as the lack of support)…As a jeweler, I know it is
unethical and illegal to sell non sterling marked as sterling,
period. Most of the buyers, and there are many, do not question what
they receive in the mail…they believe they are getting bright,
shiny sterling silver chains, and they leave him glowing feedback.
As a jeweler, I cannot ethically or legally sell them with my silver
pendants without disclosure (which also means removing the 925 tag
from 50 chains), plus he wants them shipped back and the neg
feedback removed because he refunded my money. I feel I have a duty
to post the negative feedback and report the guy for fraud. The $62
wasn’t a big deal even if he hadn’t refunded it…it’s the sheer
principle of the thing and the fact that many are being bilked by
this unethical seller. What would you do, and how can one get Ebay to
listen? So many of the chinese sellers are selling things unethically
and they do NOTHING about it. (just look up ‘mexican blue opal’ or
opal balls…they sell fibereye spheres as ‘natural mexican
opal’…I just hate it!)

FYI, the seller is

[Edit] ebay ID removed, Sorry, no eBay links on Orchid [/Edit].

Under NO circumstances order from them.


What’s the big surprise? You get what you pay for. Remember, Hustlers
pray on those looking for too good to be true deals.

Goes without saying there are a lot of crooks on ebay. It’s a pity
really because it hurts the ethical sellers. Basically, when I find
out something comes from China I just don’t buy it.

I knew there was a good chance it was crap…the problem was getting
through to Ebay to get them to deal with it. The seller seemed to
feel that they were so cheap that he wasn’t doing any harm…but he
is selling thousands of these things… it ads up, just like a hacker
who transfers $2 from 20,000 bank accts!

I finally ended up posting a diplomatic note that I was having
trouble reporting this guy through regular channels on ebays
facebook page, and did get a response there,…as to whether
anything comes of it, it’s wait and see. I just felt like I needed to
pursue this on the grounds that I, as someone who knows silver and
stuff, realize this guy is bilking many out of money selling
something that is not what is advertised. Besides, If I had used them
without checking, it could have really come back on me and I’d be
dealing with fraud charges!

see if it sticks to a magnet. if so this is a good time to send the
items to a refiner for assay. i think you will find that the silver
content is approx 30% or less. If so this would be a good time to
gather your receipts and documentation and contact the your state
attorney, secretary of state, the FTC and the jewelers vigilance
comittee and host a class action party, the rest of can bring

Jeanne -

They have a presence in NY? I’ll bet the FTC and the NY State Atty’
General would like to hear about this. Do some research about who in
the state handles fraud regarding commerce.

BTW, did they use USPS? Another federal offence. You’ve got some
ammunition, use it.

best regards,

yes, but what power do they have in a case where the seller is in
China/Hong Kong, and selling directly to buyers worldwide? do they
have any jurisdiction over this guy? I’ve wondered about that about a
few companies overseas, including a couple I know have knocked off
and undersold US artisans designs, and even used the artist’s own
images to sell the products! How can one reach them and deal with
prosecution and damages when they are in other countries?

BTW, did they use USPS? Another federal offence. You've got some
ammunition, use it. 

I do not know…to my knowledge, they are in China, and I do not know
for sure what the company name is, just the screen name. But if I
hear back from Ebay, I will see what I can find out in that respect.

Yep- I experienced the same thing on ebay with the Chinese chains. If
you keep track of these chains you will see US sellers also reselling
them as sterling. Pretty easy to spot them since they all look the
same in the pictures. That said-- I have also melted a few of these
chains and found that when they finally did melt they were kind of a
brass colored little ball. BUT, a couple years ago I bought from one
of these dealers on ebay and the chains actually were sterling.

Jean Menden

How can one reach them and deal with prosecution and damages when
they are in other countries?

You can’t. About all you can do is leave negative feedback. I’ve
done that several times when it is obvious the seller has knowingly
misrepresened the product. They hate that and scream like a wounded
rabbit, so it must be effective. One Chinese dealer I gave negative
feedback quit ebay, at least they quit under the user name they had
been using.

Jerry in Kodiak

Most of the buyers, and there are many, do not question what they
receive in the mail...they believe they are getting bright, shiny
sterling silver chains, and they leave him glowing feedback. As a
jeweler, I cannot ethically or legally sell them with my silver
pendants without disclosure (which also means removing the 925 tag
from 50 chains), plus he wants them shipped back and the neg
feedback removed because he refunded my money. I feel I have a
duty to post the negative feedback and report the guy for fraud.
The $62 wasn't a big deal even if he hadn't refunded's the
sheer principle of the thing and the fact that many are being
bilked by this unethical seller 

But how could you, a jeweler, have even imagined for a mere $62.00
that 50 chains would be sterling? This of course does not excuse the
seller and your negative feedback should stand. The ideal time to
speak up, however, was before buying. You could have contacted the
seller and expressed doubts of authenticity; it sounds like you had
some. A request for confirmation of authenticity of product as
listed would probably not expose fraud, but could act as a slap on
the wrist and result in a more truthful rewriting of the listing. I’d
send back the chains (why would you even want them?) but leave the
negative feedback.


Selling problems on Ebay and also with Paypal

Please be aware that there may be problems with selling on Ebay and
using Paypal. I have had experiences where items were purchased in
China and paid for utilizing paypal. When the items were sent, there
is no sign for received items in China. Although the items were sent
with a customs form and paid for by Paypal, the buyer claimed that
the items were not received and filed a Paypal reclaim money form.
Paypal gave the money back and charged my account; Ebay refused to
get involved and I was out money and items. This same buyer did it to
another client. BEWARE, Paypal doesn’t protect you the seller and
Ebay doesn’t stand behind the seller.

John Fong

I had about a 3 year battle with Ebay and Paypal over synthetic gems
being listed and sold as natural. Although no prosecutions were made
I think I did contribute to getting the feedback process changed so
that sellers could no longer leave bad feedback for a buyer as
revenge. The huge number of sellers from various countries selling
fake, synthetic or counterfeit goods make it difficult for
everybody. One very important thing to do is always test your goods
before you leave feedback & if you do find they are not as described
in the listing then you MUST leave the appropriate feedback as a
warning to others.

A lot of people leave positive FB then find later that gem or metal
is not what they bought it as.

I could write a book just from the experiences I had and what i
learned about gems being sold on Ebay. One seller I left negative FB
for somehow got my phone number and must have called me 20 times from
China begging me to remove my feedback. Firstly they denied the goods
were fake but then after more calls they admitted they knew but said
they relied on the Ebay account to support and feed their family. I
was that sick of the dishonesty by this time I didn’t give in. After
all, I rely on the credibility of my own business to feed my own

Thanks and good luck

I still believe the country of origin China has a large presence in
the USA for Trade. Get their email address and copy them in on every
communication, including eBay, PayPal, the seller, use every Social
Media message board to spread the word. Negative comments reflect
back onto the country of origin, and they do not like that. Why not
contact fraud at the company delivering the fraudulent goods. Their
company policy has been violated as well.

Irritate them repeatedly.

Teresa Masters

Have you ever used google checkout? I have been using them for years
since I had a similar problem with paypal

Chris Makin

Selling problems on Ebay and also with Paypal Please be aware that
there may be problems with selling on Ebay and using Paypal. 

Paypal is an excellent service but there is always a chance that a
buyer will initiate a “chargeback”. The buyers credit card company
takes the side of their client and pushes through the chargeback
automatically. The credit card companies do have policies in place to
ensure that their clients do not chargeback all of the time; but
there is room for fraud.

If a chargeback is initiated, then Paypal as the middleman has
limited power, the dispute is between the seller, the buyer, and the
buyers credit card company. There are avenues for settling the
dispute but it is tedious and requires p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e. I sold full
time on Ebay for six years starting in the late 90’s and never had a
chargeback, but recently that chargeback problem has become more


Legitimate sellers and buyers are apparently having many problems
with Ebay, not just in jewelry but with all different types of
merchandise. There is a very useful website–

which is dedicated to all the news about auction sites and on-line
selling–with up to date news and letters from sellers. Check out
their archives related to Ebay (and others) There are many
complaints, but no one seems to be able to do anything about them.
They also have good on some of the other venues like
Artfire, Bonanza etc.

Elegant Insects jewelry

First of all, 4 words for eBay - ‘They just don’t care’!

I’ve been a frequent buyer and seller on eBay since 2003 and realize
that their trading philosophy changed progressively. Their buyer or
seller protection is only a false sense of security that draws more
people to buy and sell stuff and as long as they charged the final
selling fee which is their main income, they don’t really care about
what people are selling. I got burnt both as a buyer and also as
seller, eBay never give you a satisfaction explanation as how they
come up with their decision. I learnt from hard ways that if you want
to buy or sell on eBay, lower your expectation and be realistic.

eBay is not meant for day dreamer hoping that someday you will hit a
gold mine several thousand miles away only from provided
by some people you never know or met. And com’on, aren’t there not
enough decent and respectable silver chain seller in US and you turn
to eBay and give it a try? Buying 50 chains for $62.00 just because
someone said it’s 925 silver? Isn’t it too good to be true or the
seller is in fact brain damaged? How long you work in the jewelry
business? And either gold, silver, platinum or gemstone like
sapphire, emerald, aquamarine… they all have a fixed trading price,
the only different is currency. You buy here in US won’t be more
expensive than other places in the world. Why bother?

And I do think that the seller you brought from do have least ethics
that he refunds your money right away. In this case, leaving negative
feedback is the only way as I understand eBay, they just don’t care.


Ebay does nto care if goods are stolen nor if they are at all fake.
That is the attitude of ebay and its security and administration.
They need to be sued !! I had a problem whereby I had goods on ememo
abotu $7,500 sent to a women in Ashville NC, who later I found o kept
changing her ebay company names. She sent me emails stating she had
sold some of my goods (not on ebay) and I had many emaisl from her
stating she had received tgh3e goods. She even sent me an email from
a customer who had bougth a starnd of beads. Via all these emails and
none receipt of any payment I asked for the goods to be sent back to
me in full. She ignored requests mailed in writing and as well via
registered mail. I saw my goods allover ebay via her being sold on
ebay illegally at half of my prices by here. All thsi was sent to
ebay and they were also called . Proof of receipot, proof of my
goods, proof of allemails, proof of even witnbesses were sent. to
ebay as well as the postal authorties. Ebay refused to do a thing.
The postal authorities claimed there was fraud and theft. Howvere
they willonly get involved in asuch if its over $100,000 since they
claim they have so many cases the US attrponeys office will only
prosecute massive cases of such. If your out less then$100,000
forgett he US postal officials They will do nothing at ( unkless
there are many cases adding up to a large sum) I went to the local
police and they basically did nothing. They were sent all this proof.
All they did was interview the person and she clkaimed she sent it
all back to me but had no proof she had done so. When the detective
was asked where the proof she sent it all backl to me despite it
still being posetd on ebay by here, the detective from Aschville NC
stated that was the end of the investigation and there was no
criminal matters. I then contacted an attroney to sue ebay and thsi
woman. since ebay refused to take my goods off of ebay nro do
anything despite the proof they had from me. They refused to evenh
anser my calles or further mail. Thye attroney stated this = to me.
Nothing could be doen abotu ebay at all. Secondly, if I did sue his
fee was 50% of what was to be recovred and in many states you cannot
recover any legal fees regarding such unless the sutomer in writing
signs such an agreement in any civil dispute. Thats justice and
ebay!! What I learned is even memeos mean nothing at all. Unless you
put a statement in them stating the person is responsibel for all
legal fees paid to get back ones goods. Tehn a laywer will take such
on a non feebasis. Sedcondly what I learned is ebay does nto caer
abotu stolen goods, goods stolen off memos, fake goods even reported
by experts or customers. Tehy prosecute no one at all for such and do
nothiong at all. I personally have known cases where glass was sold
as moonstone rough , reported to ebay from a gemologist who bought it
. He did get his money back from the seller but the sller was still
being allowed by ebay to sell fake goods on ebay That is ebay. They
only protect the sellers pweriod They coudl care less about the
buying public as their money comes from the sllers. It ios the same
with gem shows as well I have been personally involved via customesr
in fake blue opal sold as real and the shwo owners do ntohnign abotu
it at all and allow these sllesr to carry on thie fraud.

We have sold as an example in years past ( we no longer do so )
white junky opal with matrix with just ahint of bleu in it to India
and to Chgina in tonnages. They die it and sellit at many shows or
they sell dichoric glass with many tellign people it is real and
natural when its not. ( Then they will tell you well its real white
oapl but its died just like the chryscolla is real but its opticoned
or reconstituted) I happened togo to several shows to check on my
partners customers of such who did nto knwo me. I found them telling
many designers and peopel the bleu oapl was natural and real bleu
opal when in fact I knew it to be dyed !! Teh show owners did
nothing when reported !! The show owners do nto care about ethics at
all since they make thier moeny off the show dealers and not the
buying\ public or designers, jewelers, etc Those are the facts in
todays market. I can give many more examples !!

We have as an example many shows who teach designers and jewelkers
many skills. Yet not one of them when approached to do so will teach
courses in basic consumer gemology which we teach to many peoplke
and which we lecture and present on “Gemstgones of Peru” and also
gemologycourses… That is the state of todays market place.

Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CASG, Gemoilogist

E-Bay, or as it could be renamed…“E-Hassles” some of my friends
have removed their “store” businesses because of so much fraud that
is occurring on this e-site.

Lee Horowitz has shown us now to look elsewhere to market our
expensive items.

I always now think of this great phrase…“When the aggravation
factor, far exceeds the economic benefits, it’s time to move on!”…