Hello Carol and all,
Yes, Carol, there is chaff among the wheat. No venue is ideal, but
the wide range of sellers there does offer a wider range of value
than you indicate.
Of course there are pumped pictures, and over-inflated retail
estimates. But picture pumping isn’t the norm there, as a quick
perusal of a seller’s feedback will show. My personal feedback from
my customers is full of comments noting that the stone which arrived
was better and brighter than the photos, often much better. Most of
the sellers on the site are acutely aware of the need for regular
customers and display their photos accordingly.
Any buyer must do the groundwork, check for feedback, qualify the
seller, as it were.
Meanwhile, the ongoing auction starting at $1 are a very good place
to survey the price and quality range of commercial Welo Ethiopian
opal. This is one reason why sitting stock in sellers’ stores tends
to go unsold, there is so much in the $1 NR auction that generally
the buyer finds something there at a lower price than store stock.
Often this is because store stock may be a higher quality or a
specific rare pattern or body color.
Time, postage and insurance costs are significant, especially if you
must return a stone, but how different is that from visiting a show
or a dealer, involving a road or airplane trip, and being
disappointed with the offerings there? Has that never happened to
I am sorry to see you condemn the entire contingent of sellers there
with the complaints about a few. The tools are there, feedback,
sales history, etc., and a discerning and savvy buyer may find a
treasure or two despite the fog.