How to avoid Jewellery that is 'Not as Described'.
I am sick and tired of unscrupulous sellers on eBay promising fabulous jewellery and delivering junk. Unfortunately there will always be some so here are a few ways in which I protect myself from buying an item ‘not as described’ when purchasing gold jewellery.
FEEDBACK should be used more than it is and more thoroughly. Just because a seller has 100% positive feedback doesn’t mean he’s OK. I am so surprised when I look at how few people actually go to my feedback page and study it, just because I have a high rating. Always look at when a person joined. That, in relation to how many items they have been selling can be an indication. I don’t like anyone that has a lot of feedbacks in a VERY short time. That means they have been listing a huge amount of items in a short time. Also, with the star system you can look at the ‘item as described’ area and get an idea of their accuracy. THEN make sure you read a few comments. Things like…’OK…Item received…Nice…Thanks…All good…etc’ are not strong comments. I prefer sellers that get…’Fantastic…Would buy again…Lovely…Delighted’. To me that inspires a bit more confidence. As a buyer DO NOT BE AFRAID to leave negative feedback if, at the conclusion of a transaction, it was not satisfactory. It always surprises me when a buyer says ‘not gold or diamonds’ or some such for a problem seller and leaves a positive. Your feedback as a buyer is NOT that important so use your power to neg a seller to protect others, but only if it appropriate. Appropriate being the operative word.
PAYPAL and CREDIT CARDS. Generally, but NOT always, a less than reliable seller won’t use either, preferring Direct Deposit or Money Order. The reason being that PayPal and your credit card provider (a little know fact) can do a charge back and refund your money if the item doesn’t arrive or is grossly mis-described. So use PayPal or a credit card for extra protection.
LISTINGS. A seller that lists a lot of items in a short space of time and sets no or very low start prices needs a second look. With anything, you get what you pay for. Have a look at a sellers listing, ‘view sellers other items’, then, on the side search bar, go to ‘completed listing’ for that seller and have a look at what they have recently sold. If they are selling so called expensive gold jewellery for unbelievably low prices, BEWARE. The may either be selling at a huge loss (and that doesn’t happen) or they are selling things not as described.
DESCRIPTION AND PICTURES. Generally dodgy sellers have been at it for a while and know the ropes, so if you see a VERY professional listing from a seller with low feedback numbers, have another look. Examine the photos closely. Nearly all gold jewellery is hallmarked, so look for it. Myself and most sellers try to show the hallmark in the pictures. Sometimes that is not possible so then ask the seller if it is hallmarked BUT remember that hallmarks can be forged. If you have doubts about your purchase, the easiest and cheapest way to check its authenticity is to take it to a Pawnbroker. They will test it and make you an offer. You don’t have to accept any offer but you will get an indication from him, a professional, as to what you have, at NO cost. I am a pawnbroker. I should know.
QUESTION & EMAILS. When in doubt ask the appropriate questions of the seller. Don’t leave it too late for the seller to respond. If you don’t get a response, don’t buy. If you do get an answer keep it. Always file emails away so if there are problems you have ammunition for your case.
SUMMARY. Caveat emptor or Buyer beware. I buy a lot on eBay and have not had many problems. I follow my own guide lines and when in doubt I leave an item alone. There are always more. Having said all that, there are many terrific buys on eBay, and with due diligence your experience should be good. You will save money so don’t let that one bad transaction put you off. The occasional lemon will anger you, but just remember all the money you have saved over time and put the bad one down to experience.
I am a professional seller on eBay but my advice should not be considered professional, just a few hints and ideas on how to cover your backside. This is from an Australian perspective. Edward Vabolis