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Buying on-line - specifically ebay


mjrbrts
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Hi,

 

my name is Mike and I'm new to the site. This looks like a great place to learn more about the "ins-and-outs" of buying diamonds.

 

My question is: what do you think about buying diamond jewellery on ebay? I was looking around there for a little while and there seems to be some reputable sellers who appear to have the proper certificates and prices seem quite good.

 

I guess a follow up question is: have any of you bought diamonds, or other jewellery on ebay? If so, how was the experience?

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Hi Mike,

 

Ebay doesn’t sell diamonds. Ebay sells advertising and there are lots of people who sell diamonds and jewelry who advertise there. This may seem like an irrelevant detail but I count the difference as pretty important because the dealer is the one who wrote the description and is responsible for it’s content and it’s the dealer who must actually deliver on the promises made. They can’t pass this off based on some ‘appraisal’ or a lab. If the grading is inaccurate, incomplete or just plain BS, they are the ones who are behind it. This happens frequently. If the photos have been altered, blurry or are of some other item entirely, they are who is responsible. If they ship you something completely different from what's in the ad, they are the ones that you'll have a problem with. It’s not ebay that you’re giving your money to, it’s the dealer. Make sure they deserve it. Most don’t.

 

Neil

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Also, keep your eye on their Feedback section and the tone of the comments. Many e-bay sellers use shills to post positive feedback for them.

 

"Withdrawn" feedback is another Red Flag. These are situations where the customer has been screwed, posted a negative feedback, and then been threathened by the Seller to not get their money back unless the negative feedback is withdrawn.

 

Other Red Flags to watch out for when shopping for diamonds on e-bay:

 

1. Lab Reports. Most lab diamond grading reports used by sellers are crap and not worth the paper they're printed on. These are "appraisals" from alphabet labs that are touted as "Independent" but usually done by the seller himself, offering inflated values.

 

2. Split color and clarity grades such as H-I color and SI-3-I-1, etc. There is no such thing. A properly graded diamond recieves one color grade and one clarity grade. The two best Diamond grading labs in the world; GIA and AGS grade this way.

 

3. Photos. Very important part of the purchase experience. Clear, high definition/resolution photos are a MUST! The majority of diamond photo's that I've seen on Ebay are awful. Poor resolution and clarity, no indication of magnification. You have no idea what you're looking at.

 

4. Settings: Poor photography also prevents you from determining the quality of craftsmanship on the ring.

 

5. Policies: Examination and Return Periods, Refunds, Upgrades, Shipping/Insurance Costs should be carefully checked out. Horror stories abound from consumers who thought they had complied with the Vendors Policies only to find that they "missed" some loopholes that favored the vendor and wound up costing them big bucks.

 

Caveat Emptor!

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All good points- most of which are valid warnings.

In fact the 5 points Barry mentioned should be considered when looking at ANY website selling diamonds. THere are many eBay sellers who are not responsible on these points.

 

I also agree with Neil's point- the seller, NOT eBay, is responsible for what they are selling- and your satisfaction.

 

In fact, we've sold many millions of dollars in diamonds on eBay.....but there's absolutely NO question that there are a lot of sellers who don't really care about honest representation.

 

If you're considering a particular item, why not post a link here, and we'd be very happy to look over the listing for you.

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Barry, withdrawn feedback doesn't always mean that there is something wrong with the seller. Allot of times the bad feedback come from brand new eBay buyers that don't know what they are doing and once you explain to them what feedback is all about and both agree that the feedback was wrong they withdraw the feedback, and sometimes it comes from a shipping issue, that get worked out between buyer and seller.

 

Then there are withdrawn feedback that says the color and clarity was overrated, these sellers you should watch out from. I see one seller in particular that has almost a 100% feedback but once you click in to see the comments you sees allot of withdrawn feedback which most of them stated that the color and clarity are overrated.

 

So my advice is stick with diamonds that have a GIA and AGS cert.

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Barry, withdrawn feedback doesn't always mean that there is something wrong with the seller. Allot of times the bad feedback come from brand new eBay buyers that don't know what they are doing and once you explain to them what feedback is all about and both agree that the feedback was wrong they withdraw the feedback, and sometimes it comes from a shipping issue, that get worked out between buyer and seller.

 

Then there are withdrawn feedback that says the color and clarity was overrated, these sellers you should watch out from. I see one seller in particular that has almost a 100% feedback but once you click in to see the comments you sees allot of withdrawn feedback which most of them stated that the color and clarity are overrated.

 

So my advice is stick with diamonds that have a GIA and AGS cert.

Supports 100% with what I said. The only reliable lab grading reports are GIA and AGS.

You can toss the rest, especially the "Appraisal Services".

 

Not only are the color and clarity overrated, so is the price. These stones are pure unadulterated s--t.

 

Consumers are getting fleeced but think they're getting a steal of a deal.

 

As my very good friend Paul's Mom (from the Old Country) used to tell us:

 

"You got it, what you paid".

 

Caveat Emptor.

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Barry, withdrawn feedback doesn't always mean that there is something wrong with the seller. Allot of times the bad feedback come from brand new eBay buyers that don't know what they are doing and once you explain to them what feedback is all about and both agree that the feedback was wrong they withdraw the feedback, and sometimes it comes from a shipping issue, that get worked out between buyer and seller.

 

Then there are withdrawn feedback that says the color and clarity was overrated, these sellers you should watch out from. I see one seller in particular that has almost a 100% feedback but once you click in to see the comments you sees allot of withdrawn feedback which most of them stated that the color and clarity are overrated.

 

So my advice is stick with diamonds that have a GIA and AGS cert.

That holds no water at all.

If a new eBay user accidentally bid, it's possible to correct that error, without leaving feedback at all.

If a seller acted insuch a way to cause a buyer to flame them- such as misgrading, misrepresenting, irresponsible, or improper shipping- well that says a LOT.

I've yet to see a case of a worthwhile dealer who's selling on eBay , that has withdrawn feedback .

On the contrary, Barry is 100% correct- ANY withdrawn feedback ( in the case of a dealer selling on eBay) indicates real problems

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The ebay feedback system is seriously flawed as a means of investigating a seller. There are plenty of crooks with 100% and big numbers while there are good sellers who have been dinged unjustly. The key is to look for patterns. Here’s my strategy.

 

1) Avoid non-professional sellers. I realize that the best deals are when you buy from an individual who doesn’t know what they have but this is where the worst ripoffs happen as well. Mining ebay for foolish sellers in not an activity for the faint of heart. If they don’t at least claim to be a jewelry company, don’t buy expensive jewelry there.

 

2) Most jewelry companies, especially the ones who sell the more expensive goods, don’t have enormous feedback numbers. The way to get a 10000 feedback is by selling the kind of thing that you can move dozens or hundreds per day and where you don’t have to pay much attention to the details of either the product or the deal. This may be a good place to buy ink cartridges but I wouldn’t recommend buying expensive jewelery from them. There are just too many variables. I am nervous about a seller with fewer than, say 50-100 feedback and I’m equally nervous about sellers over a few thousand.

 

3) I’m with David and Barry, withdrawn feedback is BAD. A pattern of it is an absolute deal killer but even a few will make me nervous.

 

4) 95% is a terrible score. In other parts of life this sounds pretty good but, in the grand ebay universe, this is a huge red flag. The absolute worst dealers have feedback in the high nineties or even 100%. At the same time, even the best may have a neg or two. Unfortunately, not everyone is entirely honest and a bad buyer can literally extort a good seller by threatening to damage their 100% feedback unless they make unreasonable concessions or they can make a cheap purchase just so they can damage a competitor with a bad feedback. Some are just dumb. Look for patterns, not one ranting person.

 

5) Read the comments, not just the summary number. Not all positives comments are the same. Look for things like ‘not as described but still pretty’. This is good? Look for repeat customers. Neutrals are often worse than negatives because buyers fear retaliation if they put a neg and so they’ll compromise at a neutral. Look at the feedback they have left for others. If they respond to a neg from an unhappy shopper by flaming the buyer, run away.

 

6) Carefully inspect every negative, neutral or withdrawn feedback. What was the root of the problem and how did the seller address it? If the person leaving the feedback has a good record themselves, give it more weight than if they seem to have a pattern of being involved in troublesome transactions.

 

7) Use non-ebay sources to back up your opinions. Check the local BBB of the seller, Read their websites, google them, search the forums for comments about them. A little due diligence goes a long way.

 

Neil

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Barry, withdrawn feedback doesn't always mean that there is something wrong with the seller. Allot of times the bad feedback come from brand new eBay buyers that don't know what they are doing and once you explain to them what feedback is all about and both agree that the feedback was wrong they withdraw the feedback, and sometimes it comes from a shipping issue, that get worked out between buyer and seller.

 

Then there are withdrawn feedback that says the color and clarity was overrated, these sellers you should watch out from. I see one seller in particular that has almost a 100% feedback but once you click in to see the comments you sees allot of withdrawn feedback which most of them stated that the color and clarity are overrated.

 

So my advice is stick with diamonds that have a GIA and AGS cert.

That holds no water at all.

If a new eBay user accidentally bid, it's possible to correct that error, without leaving feedback at all.

If a seller acted insuch a way to cause a buyer to flame them- such as misgrading, misrepresenting, irresponsible, or improper shipping- well that says a LOT.

I've yet to see a case of a worthwhile dealer who's selling on eBay , that has withdrawn feedback .

On the contrary, Barry is 100% correct- ANY withdrawn feedback ( in the case of a dealer selling on eBay) indicates real problems

What I meant is that sometimes there is a misunderstanding between the buyer and seller let say with a shipping problem a new ebayer will write bad feedback and then work it out. An old time ebayer will try to work it out first. But I agree if it was misrepresented then there is something wrong with the seller.

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