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Bought paraiba - disappointed

Mintaka

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
2
Hello,
After being a silent reader on the forum for a long time, I finally signed up because I would appreciate opinions on a purchase.
I have been eyeing a paraiba for a long time, and after a significant birthday that I had to essentially spend alone because of the pandemic, I decided to take the splurge. Unfortunately, the paraibas I had seen at gem fairs in Europe were either really poor quality or only available as lots, and if you go to a jeweller for a paraiba with a budget below 10k they will just laugh, so I ordered two stones from an instagram seller from whom many here ordered paraibas and were very happy.
Service was great, the stones arrived quickly and safely packaged. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed when I saw them. The stones have very little color (while they looked fairly saturated in the seller‘s pictures), and one of them has barely any glow, in constrast to the pictures. Today is the last day I could return them, but unfortunately only for shop credit. I am not sure what to do. Clearly, I don’t really love them (one is nice in sunlight, the other however I am not impressed with in any lighting condition). I am not sure if I have just too high expectations, or if I fell for stones that look much better in pictures than in reality. Would you return tem for shop credit, not knowing if you will ever find anything you like in that shop again? Try to sell the stones yourself at the risk of not being able to sell them?
I am so annoyed with myself for taking a risk I probably should not have taken.
Thank you for your opinions!

4163E0BA-915D-4196-B804-15B27B4F82A2.jpeg
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 19, 2013
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3,567
Do your pictures that you take look similar to the vendors when you look at them on your monitor? They do seem to vibe up on photos a bit, sometimes.
Could your environmental lighting/latitude be drastically different than the vendors? If so - a buyer closer to that could be happier with them, maybe?

If you have no lab report on possible treatment or don’t wish to sell privately/ship across borders - then I would choose return for credit. I think I’d be hard to sell P2P without knowing how much treatment they had- but it really depends on asking price. Do you already know all return costs you’d have to pay back to vendor to take that into consideration?

If you decided to sell, you could market them as coming from the Instagram seller you mentioned and had stated they had plenty of other happy customers - but you probably still won’t get back what you paid.

I’m sorry- I understand not getting what you think you are getting and the reality of not living near the equator!
 

Lisa Loves Shiny

Ideal_Rock
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4,066
I think to sell them you would need lab reports and even then you will probably take a loss so I would return for a shop credit.
 

myrongaines

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
5
I know the vendor you’re talking about. I have a paraiba from them for which I got a GIA report independently. The gems this vendor sells are fairly accurately represented but the one thing I absolutely hate is how Instagram compresses videos and photos so that very important details are blurred out.

Gems are hard to photograph. High resolution macro photos that show all the imperfections are paramount, imo. I think that’s where the board’s favorite Etsy seller Yvonne excels over the competition. She shows all the gems’ nooks and crannies in high resolution.

Here’s mine. In the seller’s photos it also looked brighter and more glowy. Maybe the angle of the sun is different by me. I think the price I paid was a little high for what it is and if the return policy wasn’t “store credit only” I would have returned it. GIA said it was a legit paraiba so I can’t complain too much.

4B9BA98A-57F7-4A9E-A2C6-66C12754CFA6.png A836DE53-E720-429C-B1E1-8AB0B45BA609.png
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,542
Tough situation to be in. Even from Yvonne, my best paraiba is the one that I bought earliest. I think the material is extremely rare, and for the budget this is what you can get. Over just the past three years that I've been into paraibas, quality has gone down at the same price point. I've only bought an old stock can since early 2020. There's no guarantee you can get even this quality in the future.

I say if they're not making you happy, return them for store credit but try to have the seller source (actively look for) the quality you want, instead of sitting around waiting for her (if I've guessed correctly) to post pictures of the next batch she buys). That way you have first pick of what she's able to find.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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23,888
I was at a tiny gem and mineral show in the United States recently and although 80% of the dealers sold rocks, minerals, crystals or beads, there were a couple of dealers that sold gems, and they had some beautiful, clean and glowy paraibas. There weren’t that many, but there were nice single stones available. If they are to be found there, I’m unsure why this would not be the case in Europe.

I do not know who the dealer is, but if you’re that unhappy, I would get a store credit. I just don’t know if Instagram offers buyer protection. I never purchase anything from there because it seems a bit too risky for me. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.
 

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
341
When Paraiba is world class it is something to behold, otherwise it is the most overrated, overly expensive gemstone on the market since Padparadscha.

It never fails to amaze me what people settle for when it comes to Paraiba. Either the stones are heavily included with nice color (fried marble) or clean with little true Paraiba color. Better off buying some of the exceptional Afghanistan Tourmaline out there in greenish blue and green for much less, much bigger, much cleaner. Some really do have that neon glow.

Yes, I would return the stones.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
3,567
I remember a thread here where someone posted lots of pics of her stone and included the not so flattering ones. Because the color shift/bleed/whatever was close to what she saw to her eye and I believe she was ok with it.
One poster got straight up snippy with her for including the ‘meh’ ones, because they weren’t ‘pretty’ to her.

it’s unhelpful and unrealistic, the way the responding poster thought the thread should be. Not everything can be trade ideal.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
Messages
4,542
I always feel conflicted when it comes to PS members recommending sellers off Instagram. Yes, a lot of members buy from there, there's no Etsy or eBay fees so the stones are considerably cheaper, but there's also unfortunately no buyer protection. I have purchased from Instagram sellers on occasion, but in every instance I knew the seller from elsewhere, Etsy or LoupeTroop, if they were PS members first before they became trade. I wouldn't feel comfortable saying, omg never buy from someone who sells over Instagram, because my favorite jewelers all have Instagram, but I sometimes feel it's a disservice, when other members recommend vendors who sells exclusively through Instagram.

There's so much you can do with photo manipulation these days (much of it done automatically on cell phones without the vendor intending to adjust the color), that without a clear enforceable return policy or existing trust (here I refer not to my own trust with the vendor, but to trust the vendor can build with a new customer), I would never ever recommend any vendor to new CS buyers. You know what you're getting, when you're paying more to buy from a real shopping platform, or even a vendor's direct website, as opposed to Instagram.
 
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fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
341
I always feel conflicted when it comes to PS members recommending sellers off Instagram. Yes, a lot of members buy from there, there's no Etsy or eBay fees so the stones are considerably cheaper, but there's also unfortunately no buyer protection. I have purchased from Instagram sellers on occasion, but in every instance I knew the seller from elsewhere, Etsy or LoupeTroop, if they were PS members first before they became trade. I wouldn't feel comfortable saying, omg never buy from someone who sells over Instagram, because my favorite jewelers all have Instagram, but I sometimes feel it's a disservice, when other members recommend vendors who sells exclusively through Instagram.

There's so much you can do with photo manipulation these days (much of it done automatically on cell phones without the vendor intending to adjust the color), that without a clear enforceable return policy or existing trust (here I refer not to my own trust with the vendor, but to trust the vendor can build with a new customer), I would never ever recommend any vendor to new CS buyers. You know what you're getting, when you're paying more to buy from a real shopping platform, or even a vendor's direct website, as opposed to Instagram.

I often wonder what the big draw to Instagram is. Why not Facebook? Facebook owns Instagram. Has probably more sellers. Has a wider array of formats to sale though. Has stores with reviews. Sale’s groups with administrators that police themselves very well offering multiple sellers on one group. Has groups that target scammers.


As long as they offer buying through Paypal you are pretty much protected.

Just do not understand this Instagram craze here. :confused:
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
Messages
4,542
I often wonder what the big draw to Instagram is. Why not Facebook? Facebook owns Instagram. Has probably more sellers. Has a wider array of formats to sale though. Has stores with reviews. Sale’s groups with administrators that police themselves very well offering multiple sellers on one group. Has groups that target scammers.


As long as they offer buying through Paypal you are pretty much protected.

Just do not understand this Instagram craze here. :confused:

Fred, Facebook in North America is widely used and is a shopping platform. Facebook does not have presence in Asia, where Burmese corundum and spinels and jade are traded/sold. The Facebook equivalent in places with a high Chinese presence, such as HK and Singapore, is WeChat. Instagram is a lot more popular and more widely used in both Asia and in North America.

I don't think every Instagram seller accepts payment for goods on PayPal. When I bought gems from the vendor I think is referred to here on this post, she asked for F&F only, as she only does store credit, not returns. Other Instagram vendors ask for wire transfer payments, as a big part of the reason why they are able to sell for a lower price is because they take payment in a form that is risky to the buyer. If you want buyer protection and customer service, then that always costs more.
 
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Cerulean

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
2,120
I always feel conflicted when it comes to PS members recommending sellers off Instagram. Yes, a lot of members buy from there, there's no Etsy or eBay fees so the stones are considerably cheaper, but there's also unfortunately no buyer protection. I have purchased from Instagram sellers on occasion, but in every instance I knew the seller from elsewhere, Etsy or LoupeTroop, if they were PS members first before they became trade. I wouldn't feel comfortable saying, omg never buy from someone who sells over Instagram, because my favorite jewelers all have Instagram, but I sometimes feel it's a disservice, when other members recommend vendors who sells exclusively through Instagram.

There's so much you can do with photo manipulation these days (much of it done automatically on cell phones without the vendor intending to adjust the color), that without a clear enforceable return policy or existing trust (here I refer not to my own trust with the vendor, but to trust the vendor can build with a new customer), I would never ever recommend any vendor to new CS buyers. You know what you're getting, when you're paying more to buy from a real shopping platform, or even a vendor's direct website, as opposed to Instagram.

You are absolutely right that there are far fewer protections buying off IG. With that lower price, you get what you pay for regarding service. I think if you expect that, and can tolerate the risks, and expect you’ll strike out occasionally, it’s a good option. But it’s also really a bad fit for certain shoppers. It’s not for the risk averse at all. I would never do it for an engagement ring or something over a certain budget (I don’t have an exact number in my head…but anything north of 4-5k feels too scary)

The IG marketplace is dominating many products and services industries, it’s unregulated, anyone can say they sell anything, and it comes with a huge number of pitfalls. I hope over time there are better checks and balances, but in the meantime…it’s good to be cautious. Any IG purchase I made - I made sure I could financially tolerate a total failure!
 

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
341
Fred, Facebook in North America is widely used and is a shopping platform. Facebook does not have presence in Asia, where Burmese corundum and spinels and jade are traded/sold. The Facebook equivalent in places with a high Chinese presence, such as HK and Singapore, is WeChat. Instagram is a lot more popular and more widely used in both Asia and in North America.

Exactly, shopping platform. Is that not what we are talking about?

No, Facebook has many Burmese sellers, Many Vietnam, Thailand, Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistan, Africa. Every major gemstone country and market has a huge presence on Facebook. I know, I used it for a long time when I was selling and still keep up with what is happening on Facebook. 99% of the sellers on Instagram sold on Facebook first and still do. The trade buys hugely on Facebook. I sold to countless trade people and people that collect.

I sold to at least 30 countries around the world on Facebook, many in Singapore and Hong Kong. Even to Thailand, Pakistan & India, mainland China too. Not to mention Russia, Indonesia, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, New Zealand. The only continent that I did not sale to other than Antarctica was South America.

No, Facebook is much more comprehensive than Instagram and a much larger community as a whole.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
Messages
4,542
@fredflintstone it's true that Facebook has many sellers from all over the world, but it really depends on which consumers are on Facebook. Asian and Russian consumers aren't looking to purchase from Facebook and VK, which is Russia's equivalent to Facebook.

And yes, you've sold to consumers all over the world before, but times are changing. Given the current relations with China and Russia and the dominance of WeChat and Alibaba, I really can't think of any Chinese consumer who would create a Facebook account just to buy gems, or any other product. They would go on WeChat or a variety of other platforms.
 

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
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Jul 18, 2020
Messages
341
@fredflintstone it's true that Facebook has many sellers from all over the world, but it really depends on which consumers are on Facebook. Asian and Russian consumers aren't looking to purchase from Facebook and VK, which is Russia's equivalent to Facebook.

I sold to many Russians, many.

You see, the problem here is you are not a seller. Sure, you are an informed consumer but when you count on gemstones as a means to a living you are out there working cyberspace every day, not window shopping. My apologies if that sounds abrupt but being a consumer and a seller are two different worlds. As a seller, you have to know where to go to make the most of your business, and although there is now a big presence of gemstone buyers and sellers on Instagram, it has miles to go to be as organized and comprehensive as Facebook. Miles. But by utilizing both you are covering your bases. ;)2
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
4,542
Times are changing. Russian emigres are on Facebook. I don't know the Russians as well, but I know for a fact nobody in China, which is a MUCH LARGER MARKET, especially for luxury goods, including gems and jewelry, uses Facebook. In fact I think it's banned, but Instagram isn't banned yet.

If an Asian seller is on Facebook, the Facebook storefront is for a different market sector entirely.
 

Mintaka

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
2
Thank you all so much for your input! I messaged the seller to ask whether they would expect to get more saturated stones in the future.

I normally do not buy anything off Instagram (or Facebook), but I made an exception in this case because many on this forum purchased their paraibas from this particular seller. I had never seen any complaints or even people mentioning they would return their stones. I also paid the extra bucks to have the transaction through paypal to have buyer protection and mail insured for the full value.

I am aware that my budget is not enough to get high quality (super saturated, perfectly cut, almost flawless) paraibas. I also don’t think they manipulated the pictures, but they probably know how to present the stones in the most flattering light. I am willing to deal with inclusions etc., but I am underwhelmed with the color saturation.
 

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
341
Times are changing. Russian emigres are on Facebook. I don't know the Russians as well, but I know for a fact nobody in China, which is a MUCH LARGER MARKET, especially for luxury goods, including gems and jewelry, uses Facebook. In fact I think it's banned, but Instagram isn't banned yet.

If an Asian seller is on Facebook, the Facebook storefront is for a different market sector entirely.

I have friends that are still selling to China through FB, there is always ways to buy.

I am sorry but you are not a seller. You are a consumer and thank God for consumers like yourself, but you just do not have the experience in selling to make the statements you are making. Believe me when I say that the same people who are buying on Instagram are the same buying on Facebook, as well as sellers. Sure, you will have some that will exclusively use one or the other, but the fact is, Facebook is still the place to buy gemstones. It is safer and more secure. The community is more organized, better policed (read my first comment), and set up to sale much better.
 

westofhere

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
24
I’m American and it’s never occurred to me to buy gems off Facebook. I’ve bought a few jewelry pieces from small US jewelry designers on Instagram, though. For me the difference is this: If I wanted to buy off FB, I’d need first to be aware of the dealer and search for their page. IG, on the other hand, bombards me relentlessly with jewelry posts. To change that algorithm, I’d have to unfollow every jeweler I love, and even then I doubt it would stop. So I think that’s why IG shopping is much more common, though maybe FB feeds work differently in other countries.

OP, depending on what you paid, an alternative would be to set the stones simply, say as bezeled or pronged solitaire pendants, and give them as gifts to young women in your family. My nieces have benefitted from purchases that are lovely but not up to my perfectionist standards!
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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3,567
@Mintaka
if they were more saturated to your eye, would the current window they have still bothered you?
Just addressing it if you do tell her you don’t need/want ‘perfectly cut’. Maybe you do wish to have a cut that have little to no window.
Also, would possibly going to the greener side of blue be objectionable?
 

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
341
I’m American and it’s never occurred to me to buy gems off Facebook. I’ve bought a few jewelry pieces from small US jewelry designers on Instagram, though. For me the difference is this: If I wanted to buy off FB, I’d need first to be aware of the dealer and search for their page. IG, on the other hand, bombards me relentlessly with jewelry posts. To change that algorithm, I’d have to unfollow every jeweler I love, and even then I doubt it would stop. So I think that’s why IG shopping is much more common, though maybe FB feeds work differently in other countries.

OP, depending on what you paid, an alternative would be to set the stones simply, say as bezeled or pronged solitaire pendants, and give them as gifts to young women in your family. My nieces have benefitted from purchases that are lovely but not up to my perfectionist standards!

Your best option is to use both. You will find most if not all the people you follow on Instagram are on Facebook too, but the thing that makes Facebook so much better is that the consumer can buy off gemstone sales groups that feature dealers from all over the world. Most of these groups are well policed by their administrators. The bad vendors get weeded out. The prices are just as good as Instagram. Both are free to use buyer and seller.

Check Facebook out, you might find it is a great place to buy. =)2
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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Geez Fred.
you asked a question and you got an opinion.

thank God there’s (retired) vendors like you. That other (current) vendor who was whining on here on why his Etsy gemstone store didn’t get more references from here when posters were looking for certain stones, thank God for him too.

Choices. Vendors and consumers have them. Most people who made a choice to use ig, that you cannot understand why, very well knew what they were choosing and why.
I don’t see how OP’s situation would be different if this vendor was selling on FB. Aside from not being liked and lauded by you.

Sorry for the detail @Mintaka
 
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fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
341
To put it another way: it seems to me that dealers on FB would have to work to build clientele. Instagram recruits your clientele for you.

Both work the same way. You are not going to find anything on either platform without doing a search if you are new to either one. There are also uplinks for sellers to do business on both platforms. It all is one and the same when it comes to how both platforms work, though Instagram does not offer the seller as comprehensive selling option as Facebook.
 

westofhere

Rough_Rock
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Nov 22, 2020
Messages
24
Not true for me at all. When I was first on IG, I followed three or 4 beloved jewelers and my feed instantly became at least 50% jewelers I’d never heard of. On FB I’ve liked the same jewelers’ pages and my feed contains none. If you’re a seller, best to listen to potential customers rather than argue with them.A last key difference: for those under 40, FB is an old people’s platform and less appealing with each passing year. If you want to cultivate future clientele, go where young people are; don’t try to convince them their grandparents’ way of doing things is cool. And now we’ll turn the thread back to the OP and post no more about this. Feel free to start a thread trying to convince everyone to buy off FB, though.
 

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
341
Geez Fred.
you asked a question and you got an opinion.

thank God there’s (retired) vendors like you. That other (current) vendor who was whining on here on why his Etsy gemstone store didn’t get more references from here when posters were looking for certain stones, thank God for him too.

Choices. Vendors and consumers have them. Most people who made a choice to use ig, that you cannot understand why, very well knew what they were choosing and why.

Sorry for the detail @Mintaka
No one said there is not choices. I'm just trying to give you a perspective from the other side is all and replying when someone is replying to me. Am I not allowed that?

As far as this other person you are speaking of, I have not a clue, but your innuendos grows tiresome, if that is what they really are?
 

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
341
Not true for me at all. When I was first on IG, I followed three or 4 beloved jewelers and my feed instantly became at least 50% jewelers I’d never heard of. On FB I’ve liked the same jewelers’ pages and my feed contains none. If you’re a seller, best to listen to potential customers rather than argue with them.A last key difference: for those under 40, FB is an old people’s platform and less appealing with each passing year. If you want to cultivate future clientele, go where young people are; don’t try to convince them their grandparents’ way of doing things is cool. And now we’ll turn the thread back to the OP and post no more about this. Feel free to start a thread trying to convince everyone to buy off FB, though.

Ok, fair enough. But one last thing. There are still plenty of buyers of all ages on FB from everything I hear from my friends who sale on both platiforms and chances are you have bought from one of them on Instagram.

All I'm doing is suggesting a safer way, as it seems many of you are not trustful of IG in many of the threads I've read here. So, I give you an alternative and you give me... nothing.

So be it. Done.
 
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