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Authenticating Tiffany items

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
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May 6, 2019
Messages
237
Hello PSers! I recently sold a pair of Tiffany diamond stud earrings on eBay. .27ctw, for $700. I didn’t have the original receipt and bought them in London in 2007. Prior to selling them I had them cleaned in my local Tiffany in Dallas. Walked right in to the store and they cleaned them free of charge, without paperwork, no questions asked.
Now, 2 months later, the buyer (in miami) is saying Tiffany won’t clean them without authentication, and they won’t authenticate them without my permission?! This can’t be the case can it? People buy pre-loved Tiffany all the time and have it cleaned and authenticated without even knowing the previous owner or having their permission!
I’m trying to explain to the buyer that there’s probably just some inconsistency between what different Tiffany stores can and will offer, and the knowledge and experience of whichever SA you end up dealing with, but she seems to be gunning for a fight :???:
Help!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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21,757
People buy preloved Tiffany all the time and have it cleaned and authenticated without even knowing the previous owner or having their permission!
Help!

Actually, no, they don't. Authenticating pre-loved branded pieces is a headache unless either
A) The buyer has a preexisting relationship with an SA who will fudge processes a little for a favoured client and authenticate post-purchase, or
B) The seller has a preexisting relationship with an SA who will fudge processes a little for a favoured client and provide authentication paperwork prior to sale.

Or buyer/seller get lucky on a random day with an SA who's randomly in a benevolent mood.


All that said... it's been two months. If she was worried about authentication she shouldn't have waited 60+ days to deal with it - if she's got concerns now, well, they seem like her problem, not yours. What's the worst she can do at this point if she does decide to "fight"?
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
237
Actually, no, they don't. Authenticating pre-loved branded pieces is a headache unless either
A) The buyer has a preexisting relationship with an SA who will fudge processes a little for a favoured client and authenticate post-purchase, or
B) The seller has a preexisting relationship with an SA who will fudge processes a little for a favoured client and provide authentication paperwork prior to sale.

Or buyer/seller get lucky on a random day with an SA who's randomly in a benevolent mood.

She can probably get her money back if Tiffany won’t confirm their authenticity.
I thought I’d read threads on here where people had Tiffany authenticate pieces without paperwork. And as I mentioned, they didn’t ask for paperwork when I took them in for cleaning.
Guess I was just looking for some advice on how to diffuse the situation with the buyer and reassure her.
 
Last edited:

SimoneDi

Ideal_Rock
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3,808
What @yssie said. I don’t understand why the buyer is so eager now, after 2 months, to “authenticate” a pair of 0.27ctw studs?

It is absolutely not true that T&co won’t clean jewelry without receipts or “authentication”. I have never brought in my receipts when taking my jewelry for servicing. Not to mention that jewelry many times is gifted, why would anyone bring in proof of purchase for cleaning? My suspicion is that she/he might have gone in the store and said that she bought the studs on eBay, in that case, I can see how an SA wouldn’t be eager to service the preloved studs.
 
Last edited:

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
237
What @yssie said. I don’t understand why the buyer is so eager now, after 2months to “authenticate” a pair of 0.27ctw studs?

It is absolutely not true that T&co won’t clean jewelry without receipts or “authentication”. I have never brought in my receipts when taking my jewelry for servicing. Not to mention that jewelry many times is gifted, why would anyone bring in proof of purchase for cleaning? My suspicion is that she/he might have gone in the store and said that she bought the studs on eBay, in that case, I can see how an SA wouldn’t be eager to service the preloved studs.

YES I think you’re probably right with your last suspicion.
Now she’s telling me that her local Tiffany sent them to NY to be cleaned, and that 1) they won’t clean them if they aren’t authentic, and 2) they will charge her $50 whether they clean them or not... this just doesn’t ring true!
 

SimoneDi

Ideal_Rock
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YES I think you’re probably right with your last suspicion.
Now she’s telling me that her local Tiffany sent them to NY to be cleaned, and that 1) they won’t clean them if they aren’t authentic, and 2) they will charge her $50 whether they clean them or not... this just doesn’t ring true!
Nope, that’s not their regular cleaning service. It’s their restoration process which is not necessary. Tiffany changed their cleaning policy a few years ago when they stopped charging a cleaning fee. Regardless, none of this is your concern.
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
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May 6, 2019
Messages
237
Thank you for the info, I do hope it won’t be my concern but she’s probably going to try and get a refund from me. After wearing them for 2 months. :roll
eBaying can be such a headache lol
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Is her concern that they aren’t authentic?

If so, perhaps it’s worth contacting the store in London to see if you can acquire paperwork - since you are the original buyer, they’ll give it to you if they’ve got it...

Edit - Don’t tell her you’re doing this or she might decide that failure implies inauthenticity!

Edit - If Tiffany refuses to service them do NOT accept a return for refund. It’s been two months, who knows what she’s been doing with them - they could have been worked on by other jewellers, switched entirely with or without her knowledge... This becomes a much bigger can of worms.
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
237
Is her concern that they aren’t authentic?

If so, perhaps it’s worth contacting the store in London to see if you can acquire paperwork - since you are the original buyer, they’ll give it to you if they’ve got it...

Edit - Don’t tell her you’re doing this or she might decide that failure implies inauthenticity!

Edit - If Tiffany refuses to service them do NOT accept a return for refund. It’s been two months, who knows what she’s been doing with them - they could have been worked on by other jewellers, switched entirely with or without her knowledge... This becomes a much bigger can of worms.

Thank you! This is all great advice and I really appreciate your time.
She is claiming her concern is she wants to insure them. In which case surely an appraisal would suffice?!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jul 31, 2014
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12,275
Thank you! This is all great advice and I really appreciate your time.
She is claiming her concern is she wants to insure them. In which case surely an appraisal would suffice?!
Yes, appraisals almost always suffice. Also, why is she needing to insure them? The price of maintaining an insurance policy is likely higher than the price of the earrings themselves at that size.
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
237
Yes, appraisals almost always suffice. Also, why is she needing to insure them? The price of maintaining an insurance policy is likely higher than the price of the earrings themselves at that size.
No idea why, I never did! But that’s also a very good point thank you!
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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Looks to me as if your buyer re-sold the earrings (but now missing a back post) 9 days ago at a profit of $50? Seller is in Miami & has the same number of feedbacks as the winning bidder for what I think were your earrings.
Showing that listing ended on June 21:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffany-Co...142461?hash=item521cb80dbd:g:5-oAAOSwJ3Nc4qa0

Re-seller's listing -- describing the earrings as "Cleaned and measured at my Tiffany & Co" and "Purchased in London." Sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffany-amp-Co-Platinum-Diamond-Solitaire-Stud-Earrings-0-27tcw-/352669142461?hash=item521cb80dbd:g:5-oAAOSwJ3Nc4qa0&nma=true&si=p15g%2FrlBjj%2Fz98%2BjzLFBc63MDhM%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
 

bmfang

Brilliant_Rock
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Looks to me as if your buyer re-sold the earrings (but now missing a back post) 9 days ago at a profit of $50? Seller is in Miami & has the same number of feedbacks as the winning bidder for what I think were your earrings.
Showing that listing ended on June 21:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffany-Co...142461?hash=item521cb80dbd:g:5-oAAOSwJ3Nc4qa0

Re-seller's listing -- describing the earrings as "Cleaned and measured at my Tiffany & Co" and "Purchased in London." Sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffany-amp-Co-Platinum-Diamond-Solitaire-Stud-Earrings-0-27tcw-/352669142461?hash=item521cb80dbd:g:5-oAAOSwJ3Nc4qa0&nma=true&si=p15g%2FrlBjj%2Fz98%2BjzLFBc63MDhM%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Great bay sleuthing @MollyMalone
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
237
Ohhh myyyy gosh! @MollyMalone I am beyond impressed at your skills! She’s even used my exact photos. Wow.
Thank you so much for letting me know. This is so sly of her, she gave me a story about how she’d saved up for so long to buy them and that’s why she wanted them insured. I can’t believe it. Maybe I’ll humour her and see where it goes lol. She probably thought I wouldn’t find out because they’ve since been sold.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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Great bay sleuthing @MollyMalone
Thanks, bmfang :))
Ohhh myyyy gosh! @MollyMalone I am beyond impressed at your skills! She’s even used my exact photos. Wow.
Thank you so much for letting me know. This is so sly of her, she gave me a story about how she’d saved up for so long to buy them and that’s why she wanted them insured. I can’t believe it. Maybe I’ll humour her and see where it goes lol. She probably thought I wouldn’t find out because they’ve since been sold.
You're very welcome!
My antennae were wriggling because
* unless she'd been mud-wrestling with the earrings on since she received them, they wouldn't need a deep-cleaning so soon after you had had them cleaned.
* as SimoneDi said, stud earrings wouldn't get sent to Tiffany's repair-restoration facility in Long Island City (a NYC neighborhood) for cleaning.
* any jewelry appraiser worth his/her salt would clean the earrings (if they needed it) before writing up a report -- and wouldn't regard a receipt from Tiffany showing a cleaning as very meaningful authentication anyways.
* it's highly dubious anyone would pay for insurance on these earrings

Off the top of my head, I don't remember how long eBay keeps completed listings "banked" so you can retrieve them via their Advanced Search function. So my suggestion would be that you now take and save screen shots of your own completed listing and hers :D
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
237
Thanks, bmfang :))

You're very welcome!
My antennae were wriggling because
* unless she'd been mud-wrestling with the earrings on since she received them, they wouldn't need a deep-cleaning so soon after you had had them cleaned.
* as SimoneDi said, stud earrings wouldn't get sent to Tiffany's repair-restoration facility in Long Island City (a NYC neighborhood) for cleaning.
* any jewelry appraiser worth his/her salt would clean the earrings (if they needed it) before writing up a report -- and wouldn't regard a receipt from Tiffany showing a cleaning as very meaningful authentication anyways.
* it's highly dubious anyone would pay for insurance on these earrings

Off the top of my head, I don't remember how long eBay keeps completed listings "banked" so you can retrieve them via their Advanced Search function. So my suggestion would be that you now take and save screen shots of your own completed listing and hers :D

Well I can’t thank you enough. I’m just so bemused! What could her agenda be?!
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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Well I can’t thank you enough. I’m just so bemused! What could her agenda be?!
Maybe her buyer -- who has not yet left feedback re the transaction -- is giving her a rough time, so she's trying to push it on to you; it may even be the new buyer who's telling her the BS about the earrings having to be sent up to NYC and the $50 cleaning fee.
 

Nikki1415

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
826
Maybe her buyer -- who has not yet left feedback re the transaction -- is giving her a rough time, so she's trying to push it on to you; it may even be the new buyer who's telling her the BS about the earrings having to be sent up to NYC and the $50 cleaning fee.
^^^This
And they might try to open a case through Paypal (you can do it up to 6 months after purchase). Which shouldn't be much of a problem, since you have proof of her selling the earrings but can still be a headache.
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
237
^^^This
And they might try to open a case through Paypal (you can do it up to 6 months after purchase). Which shouldn't be much of a problem, since you have proof of her selling the earrings but can still be a headache.

Hopefully I’ll be covered since she’s apparently lost one of the earring backs, so she wouldn’t be returning them to me in the condition that I sold them . Might give eBay a call to see what’s the worst that could happen..
I’m so so glad I came here for advice!
 

Nikki1415

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Hopefully I’ll be covered since she’s apparently lost one of the earring backs, so she wouldn’t be returning them to me in the condition that I sold them . Might give eBay a call to see what’s the worst that could happen..
I’m so so glad I came here for advice!
She can't do anything through eBay because their coverage is 30 days.
 

SimoneDi

Ideal_Rock
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Great investigative work @MollyMalone!
My guess is that perhaps the new buyer is giving her a hard time about the missing back post (how do you even lose one in such a short period of time?). Perhaps T&Co’s charge for a replacement is $50? Again, I don’t think that’s your concerns. I would cease all communication with her.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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The new buyer is probably agitating for the actual paperwork. I mean if it is not that hard for you to do, go ahead and forward her the paperwork. but otherwise wash your hands of it. Too late for a refund.
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
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May 6, 2019
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237
The new buyer is probably agitating for the actual paperwork. I mean if it is not that hard for you to do, go ahead and forward her the paperwork. but otherwise wash your hands of it. Too late for a refund.
I don’t have it, but early in the conversation yesterday (before posting on here) I gave her the name they were purchased under so she can try herself. Hopefully that won’t come back to bite me somehow!
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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#1 OK, give her permission. :cool2:

#2 Tiffany authentications aren't free, and they tend to take a lot of time. The fee should be on her, not you, although it may require your cooperation for her to get it. Tiffany is overtly hostile to the secondary market but they do like those 'appraisal' fees.

#3 Lack of paperwork from Tiffany does not mean they are inauthentic and it's NOT, of itself, grounds for an eBay refund unless you said it would contain Tiffany branded paperwork. The majority of jewelry sold on eBay does not have this sort of documentation included.
 

Jsand

Shiny_Rock
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May 6, 2019
Messages
237
@JPie my memory is a little hazy here! But she continued with her story about how they were for her (probably thought I’d never checked her profile, which I wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for the above!). She had them returned to her by her first buyer, who I am guessing contested their authenticity. I believe she then managed to get a brand new pair of screw-backs from Tiffany as part of servicing which she paid for. She then used that servicing paperwork and flipped them for a couple of hundred more. Seems like an awful lot of effort for little return!
 
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