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Warning about Ebay


#1

Sometimes I shop for my gemstone needs via Ebay. No, this is not Ebay
endorsement and not even recommendation. You must know what you
doing, or you will be screwed up beyond your wildest imagination.

Anyway, I located 2 tourmalines for a client, one is 22.9 ct.
rubellite and another 50.2 ct. orange-brown dravite. The name of the
seller is chanthaboomgem. I took part in the auction and was
victorious in both cases. Auctions were a day apart. After I won
rubellite, next day I received a notice that seller canceling the
transaction for the reason that he run out of stock. I suspect that
the real reason was that he did not get price that he wanted, but I
cannot prove.

The second stone was also from him and surprise surprise, after I
won the auction, he cancelled transaction again, for the same idiotic
reason. I contacted ebay customer support, but they simply did not
care. According to them, the only recourse is submit negative
feedback about seller.

I am still evaluating my options because technically speaking an
implicit contract arose between me, seller, and ebay. Meanwhile
everybody should take notice that ebay modus operandi is to help
seller to screw you any way they can. But if once in a while the
tables are reversed, they simply tell you to go away.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#2

Welcome to Ebay Leonid.

Cancelling an auction under 12 hours or after it has concluded is a
breech of Ebay’s conditions.

I tried to locate that member and they no longer exist, so maybe
Ebay did something after you complained to them.

Not all Ebay sellers are horrible, you just need to look at their
score and read their feedback, and make a value judgement.

Local sellers at not a problem, because you can visit them, or call
them and ask for explanations. International sales is where you
really need to take notice on the sellers feedback scores.

Regards Charles A.
P.S. I’ve found Ebay customer support to be very helpful, mind you I
don’t go in guns blazing.


#3

To add to Leonid’s comments about ebay, I have also had a suspicion
that sometimes when I have bid a low price and no one else is in,
that it might be the seller himself who comes in and trumps my bid
at the last moment. It could be a cruiser bottom feeder but I have a
hunch. Barbara on the island with stars galore in the sky.


#4

This is interesting Leonid, because from a seller’s viewpoint, eBay
is strongly canted towards the buyer - most sellers (I sell, but
rarely buy, on eBay) feel the system is in favor of the buyer.

In your specific case I agree that the seller was unscrupulous - you
don’t list an item you don’t have available to sell!!!

But in general, there is much more protection for buyers than there
is for sellers.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


#5

I am an ebay o holic, and I have dozens of transactions a week. I
will read the feedback, and only do business with 100 and 99%
sellers. Yes you are right, but I was under the impressionthat once
the sale was done, the seller had to produce or refund money. Cancel
your Paypal, and start over again, feel blessed that you were able to
get out of the transaction, becausethe odds are really high that the
rest of the sale would have been bad. In a few thousand transactions,
only once was I able to get more than I paid for. I fell into a 13mm
round Alexandritethat is a knock your socks off synthetic. I got it
for a few bucks, reasonable shipping, and it is now my ring. It goes
from pepto bismol pink to cobalt blue with a teal in between. It
isman made, but oh what a stone, and will never be able to replace
it. Normally I will sell a piece off of my body, but this one has
such a high price that if it sells, I can go out and buy adecent
replacement. Never have figured out what causes the color choice of
the day, it is not what I wear. I suspect barometric.


#6

You are 100% correct about ebay Often glass or synthetics are sold
as real stones on ebay and when caught the seller then pleads
ignorance after telling people they know stones or have cut it or
have mined it, etc In addtion there are many fake certificates of
GIA/EGL/ and even from overseas floating around. There are goods as
in my own case stolen from me on memo and placed on ebay far below
cost which ebay security refused to do anythign despite evidence sent
to them of fraud, mail fraud, signed mail receipts, emails from the
customer, etc with pictures on ebay. and satements from my partner in
Lima, Peru. Basically ebay does not care about stolen or fake goods
being sold as they only care about the seller and the money they make
from sellers. It is the same at gemshows as well. It is where the
Jewelers Vigilinace Committe of New York NY needs to come in and
start having people arrested for fraud, theft, etc and also at Tuscon
and other shows and run sting operations on misrepresentations of
gemstones and metal., and jewerly, etc. It is jeweler organizations
who should pressure such organizations such as the Jewlers Vigilnace
Committee, the federal trade commision and state attorney general
organizatiosn to start arresting such people at gem shows and online
who make such false representatiosn and commit fraud It hurts those
of us who are honest in this trade Letters from all of Orchid should
be sent to the Jewelers Vigilance Committe of New York City, NY,
AGTA. GIA, ICA, your congressman and sentaors as well as consumer
affair organizatiosn to start an industry wide policing so that
legitament jewelers, designers, and gemstone cutters, manufacturers,
designers and miners have a fair and blaanced playing field !!.
Jewerly Designers need to take mandatory gemstone education courses
as part of any education. We have seen this with peruvian blue opal
being dyed or glass or synthetic, chrysocolla being stabilized or
howlite dyed, and sold as real product to many people and designers,
manufacturers and jewelers at shows, the internet, and on ebay !!The
final word is if its cheap and a bargain its a fraud !! You are
ultimately responsibel to yoru customer when you sell such goods
since its yoru responsibility in this trade to be educated to what
you sell and to test and buy from legitment sellers It is also why
we are the only cuttesr and miners who bring rough to shows and can
produce the rough from which we cut for inspection !! Not one dealer
could ever produce a piece of of red andesine or green andesine
transparent feldspar as it was being cooked in labs over seas and
treated from rough feldspar.

Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS, Gemologist
Peru Blue Opal Ltd


#7
I have also had a suspicion that sometimes when I have bid a low
price and no one else is in, that it might be the seller himself
who comes in and trumps my bid at the last moment. 

Obviously, no one can say that this is NOT what happened, but there
is another likely explanation. There are services anyone can
subscribe to (Bidnapper is one) that will bid for you up to your
preset limit. They do all the bidding by computer, in the last few
seconds of an auction. A human bidder cannot compete except by vastly
overbidding.

I use this service myself (though I have not bought on eBay for a
few years now) because I found that I reacted to bidding as one might
to gambling-- I got too excited and got carried away a few times. I
paid more than I should have, though not ruinously, and learned my
lesson.

Noel


#8

Hello Leonid,

I too went onto Ebay and tried to check out that seller. I didn’t
find them. I buy from Ebay and have not had very much trouble,
except about silverplated chain being marked .925. When I bid on some
chains, I told the vendor that I would do a destruct test and the
chains had better be .925 as marked. After testing and found the
chain were silverplated I notified Ebay and that company was banned
from selling on Ebay. I found if I forwarn a company that I will do
testing I don’t get cheated. I have caused several companies in the
Orient, to quit Ebay or be honest with their products. I will say the
silver plating on the last chains was really thick plating and since
I use silverplated chains I didn’t lose any money, but I wanted .925
chains. I removed the .925 tags on the chains, just so I won’t get my
chains mixed up. I did have to laugh, when I checked the tags that
were marked .925 and they were also silverplated.

Veva


#9

F.Y.I., Ebay has a “buyer protection” clause in all transactions.
Buyers are 100% protected. If you buy something that is not what it
is listed as Ebay refunds 100% of your money. They also have a
"report and item" button on everything so, if you have an issue with
a stolen good, Ebay will end the auction immediately. They have
people on staff regularly going over listings and anything
’suspicious’ is removed immediately


#10
To add to Leonid's comments about ebay, I have also had a
suspicion that sometimes when I have bid a low price and no one
else is in, that it might be the seller himself who comes in and
trumps my bid at the last moment. It could be a cruiser bottom
feeder but I have a hunch. Barbara on the island with stars galore
in the sky. 

That would be called “shill bidding”, and is also against Ebay’s
terms.

The Seller cannot bid on his own auctions, but a naughty sellers
friend could bid on the auction. You can see these people pretty
easily, and they don’t last long on Ebay.

Regards Charles A.


#11

I had a customer last week that bought a ‘synthetic diamond’ for
$500.00. 10x8 radiant cut. Wanted it put in her 14k/dia square
channel set semi mount ring. About a $2000 mtg. Since she was leaving
it with me I had to show her what it actually was-cz. Replaceable
about anywhere for under $30. This wasn’t ebay, but still internet.
Comes with certificates and fancy box. States clearly that its
laboratory made synthetic diamond.

Kokomo Ed


#12

I bought some Tiffany silver jewellery on Ebay. When I got it I had
a look at it and it seemed fine but the packaging had Chinese writing
all over it. Ebay contacted me to say the identity of seller had
been stolen by someone else and my transaction wasn’t with who I
expected. My PAYPAL had paid some bank account in China. Some time
later I had a closer look and gave it a buff on my polishing motor
and discovered it was silver plated base metal.


#13

Ebay came down hard on the Native American style flutes. Native
American frlutes can only be claimed by Persons who have a tribal
card. When the majority of flute makers went to Native American
style flutes and ebay cancelled all flutes listed for sale. That was
about 2 years ago ands now we are still calling the NAstyle flutes. I
guess they get some and others they let slide.


#14
This is interesting Leonid, because from a seller's viewpoint,
eBay is strongly canted towards the buyer - most sellers (I sell,
but rarely buy, on eBay) feel the system is in favor of the buyer. 

I saw a pair of cartoons once. It was how driving is viewed by
drivers and pedestrians. One was depicting a small rabbit driving a
car surrounded by tigers, elephants, and the like. Another was the
same rabbit was trying to cross the road, full with cars driven by
wolfs and other predators.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#15

I’m sorry you had a bad experience on eBay, Leonid. The seller ID you
gave is not listing anything at the moment, which could simply mean
that he or she is now selling under another ID.

It can be difficult to see into that grey area between buyer and
seller on eBay. My experience buying cabbing material has shown me
that the ratings should guide my purchases: I now deal only with
those who have had a large number of sales (in the hundreds at least)
and a rating above about 99.7 percent. For some material, I now deal
only with US sellers. For other material, like Spectrolite from
Finland, the buying experience has been just fine.

As Barbara noted, I occasionally suspect that a seller is logging on
under another ID and bidding against me. It’s hard to explain why an
item I give up bidding on turns up for sale again within a few days.
:slight_smile: The only solution I know for this possibility is to decide what I
want to pay, put that amount in as my bid, then not worry about
whether I win.

Here’s a twist that’s interesting: About a year ago, the same slab
of Krzemien I didn’t win – or so I thought – was offered by another
seller in the same state within a few days. A year or so later, I
learned from another very reputable seller, who goes out of his way
to be honest, and offers great items, that he and his buddy go in
together on rough, cut it on his slab saw, and split up the slabs. I
immediately recognized his buddy’s eBay ID as the seller of the
’traveling slab’ from a year ago: What I was seeing for sale were two
adjacent slabs!

The worst experience I’ve had so far is having the wrong rough
shipped. In both cases, the sellers made good, either with a credit
or by researching who got the wrong shipment and redirecting it.
Fortunately eBay keeps the sales data, along with pics, for 3 years,
and slabs are easy to identify by plain sight, unlike a mechanical
item or a piece of faceting rough. But one vendor made this mistake
twice in one year. I no longer buy from her, beautiful though her eye
for rocks is.

The flip side are the honest sellers who include lots of photos from
all angles with zoom, who disclose all fractures, vugs, etc. One chap
on eBay marks fractures in his slabs with a black Sharpie!

There are a lot of honest folks out there, just like us, trying to
sell honestly.

Lorraine


#16
Sometimes I shop for my gemstone needs via Ebay. You must know
what you doing, or you will be screwed up beyond your wildest
imagination. 

I got unimaginatively screwed by eBay & PayPal (same company BTW)
over a juicer I bought. I can’t imagine buying gemstones via those
crooks.

I am still evaluating my options 

Your options are to take your screwing like a man, or rant and rave
to no good end. But either way, stop using eBay & PayPal.


#17
They also have a "report and item" button on everything so, if you
have an issue with a stolen good, Ebay will end the auction
immediately. 

I find that hard to believe. If true, it would be a great way to
eliminate the competition. I suspect it take a bit more than
clicking on a button.

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY


#18

But either way, stop using eBay & PayPal.

Actually, I find both eBay and PayPal fine to use - as long as I
clearly understand what I’m using, how they are biased, and the
limitations. NOT for selling or buying really nice things IMHO. That
said, I’ve sold things as high as $200 (used man’s Barbour coat) and
shipped it to Japan… so go figure.

As a seller, I’m REALLY careful about listing descriptions and
photos and answering questions. If anything goes wrong I eat it.
Just the way I do business, and my feedback reflects that.

I don’t buy to speak of, but my husband used to buy a lot on eBay,
and it was always fine - again - he checked the feedback, and was
careful what he bought.

It is definitely a user beware system with both.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


#19
Your options are to take your screwing like a man, or rant and
rave to no good end. But either way, stop using eBay & PayPal. 

That is one option. Another is sue Ebay in small claims court. I did
some research and there are precedents to allow this. Incidentally,
if any considers this route, read on wikipedia “doctrine of minimal
contact”, which has reference to “Zippo test”. With some preparation
anybody can do it.

My problem is that I cannot claim any damages. I wasted time bidding,
but no court award damages for that. So it it possible to file a
lawsuit, but it is not possible to win. However, if someone has
material damages due to Ebay conduct, take them to small claims
court. No lawyers are required.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#20
I now deal only with those who have had a large number of sales (in
the hundreds at least) and a rating above about 99.7 percent. 

In a prior post I mentioned I had bought synthetic sapphires listed
as natural. These gems were tested by another person to eliminate all
doubt. I contacted a few of the other people who had made purchases
to make them aware of what they really had bought, as the all the
feedback had been glowing positive statements that was sucker bait
for others.

One person emailed me back, appreciative for the info, he was in the
military, serving in Afghanistan.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.