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How to shop on ebay (particularly for OECs?)

picklecat

Rough_Rock
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Aug 1, 2011
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15
I know there was a thread on this just a couple days ago, but I felt weird intruding on someone else's thread!

I'm a lover of antique cuts, so I've been trying to find some nice ones on ebay for my engagement ring. My fiance is clueless about diamonds, so he's left this all up to me. They all seem horrifically expensive, even though they are generally cheaper than retail. For the most part I'm looking at things around the 1.0 carat range, as I have tiny fingers, and I don't want anything TOO ostentatious (though I do love sparkle!).

I'm particularly fond of this piece: http://www.ebay.com/itm/170536178679?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649 because of the setting, but it seems a bit pricy for what it is. It's listed as an I, VVS2 but I think the tint is too obvious to be an I.

Other options I've been considering:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/200583559303?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

http://www.ebay.com/itm/140503315361?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

http://www.ebay.com/itm/180715372133?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

Should I rule any of these out? I've tried my best to find nicely cut stones that would be eye clean, but sometimes it's hard to tell when the pictures are at an angle. I prefer a near-colorless range, but not icy white... I like warmer shades on me. I don't care much for some of the settings, so I was hoping to get a bangin' bargain on a diamond and have it put into another setting.

Thanks in advance!

(As an aside, we have a budget of about $5k, but I'd like to keep it at or under $3k.)
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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40,198
http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLD-EUROPEAN-CUT-DIAMOND-ENGAGMENT-PLAT-VS-J-1-10-CT-/350488169741?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DMRU-281%252BUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D5%26pmod%3D350486559677%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D2440367448231288028

This one was listed at 2500 just a few days ago. I'd best offer at 2500-3000 and buy this one. I'd have it sent straight to an appraiser to make sure it bares out.

If it appraised at K-L SI1 (eyeclean) with no big chips I'd be thrilled at the deal I got.


_________________

I don't like your first choice. The stones and the setting look dark and I'm not liking the quality of the photos.
I wouldn't buy from the second seller. Feedback is too risky.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/140503315361?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649 This is the best of those you've chosen.

Last one is WAYYYYYYYYYY overpriced, IMO.
 

Gypsy

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picklecat

Rough_Rock
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Aug 1, 2011
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Thanks for the tips! I've spent hours trawling ebay, but I hadn't seen these.

And to be sure, I would not mind going over 1 carat either ;-)

That 3rd one I chose was actually the first one I found. They're taking offers - what would be a fair price to offer? I honestly don't know how OECs are priced, and I had originally figured diamonds in my size (1-1.5), color (H-J) and clarity preference (SI1 and up) would be out of my price range. (I was originally planning on a padparadscha sapphire e-ring.)
 

yennyfire

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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I wouldn't offer more than $2500 for that ring. OECs are all about faceting and there's something about the faceting pattern of that stone that doesn't appeal to me. I much prefer the stones that Gypsy pulled, as well as the potential of the one I posted.
 

vintagelover229

Ideal_Rock
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picklecat

Rough_Rock
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Aug 1, 2011
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15
Thoughts on these bad boys?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/170688904666?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
(I like that it's certed)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-60-CT-European-Diamond-Engagement-Ring-Platinum-/120759226894?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item1c1dcf920e

I can't even begin to express how appreciative I am of all your help. As a general rule of thumb then, it seems any auction with a "make an offer" feature, it would be fair to offer about 60-65% of what they're asking?
 

vintagelover229

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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picklecat|1314799933|3006280 said:
Thoughts on these bad boys?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/170688904666?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
(I like that it's certed)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-60-CT-European-Diamond-Engagement-Ring-Platinum-/120759226894?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item1c1dcf920e

I can't even begin to express how appreciative I am of all your help. As a general rule of thumb then, it seems any auction with a "make an offer" feature, it would be fair to offer about 60-65% of what they're asking?

Ebay is not like a pawn shop but I suppose you can try. They usually are within a few hundred $$ of what they want though and a lot of them won't negotiate because of the recent rise in diamond prices and the growing popularity of vintage stones. That being said, if they don't have a make an offer button go ahead and email them and ask if that's their bottom $ price. Many of them will say yes or no, but it's close go head make an offer. I wouldn't go in with the idea you'll get it for 65% of what their asking though, probably closer to 75% depending on the stone. If the pictures are fair and your taking a chance, offer lower. If the seller has great photos/description/etc then go on the higher end IMO. I hope this helps!
 

karpouzi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
307
picklecat|1314799933|3006280 said:
I can't even begin to express how appreciative I am of all your help. As a general rule of thumb then, it seems any auction with a "make an offer" feature, it would be fair to offer about 60-65% of what they're asking?
I think in general across eBay as a whole (not just jewelry listings), 10% off is more what you can expect when making a best offer. Keep in mind that a lot of sellers tell eBay to automatically reject offers below a certain amount, and you can only make 3 offers for any given item.

If I were you I would go to oldworlddiamonds.com and try to find diamonds of similar specs. Base your offer price on that (go a bit lower than OWD), not on the eBay seller's sometimes arbitrary asking price. You could also try eBay completed listings to try to see what similar diamonds have gone for.

The first diamond you posted doesn't look like an OEC to me, more like a transitional if not a modern RB. Don't hesitate to ask the seller of any diamond you're interested in for more pictures, including a picture taken head-on and not at an angle. It's a big purchase and if they don't do so, you don't want to risk dealing with them anyway.

Gypsy rules. :appl:
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
2,975
picklecat|1314799933|3006280 said:
Thoughts on these bad boys?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/170688904666?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
(I like that it's certed)

This listing is unfortunately crap. (Sorry to be blunt but it irritates me to see people bothering to list stuff like this on ebay.... whyyyyyyy? :rolleyes: ) Not the ring, who knows, it may be awesome or it may also be crap, but the seller doesn't give nearly enough info whatsoever. Also no feedback. I'd pass for that reason. While they maybe could take some pictures that, say, you know, show the piece of jewelry and send them to you, there's nothing that can be done about the 0 feedback. Also they have a reserve and their super high BIN indicates that the reserve is probably sky high as well. Too bad, it looks like it might be a nice ring but I'd definitely not take the gamble on it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-60-CT-European-Diamond-Engagement-Ring-Platinum-/120759226894?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item1c1dcf920e
This one might be worth pursuing. They need to provide a head-on shot so you can see the facet patterning, but the diamond looks promising in the pictures they do have, although, of course, without a head on shot it's hard to tell much.

I can't even begin to express how appreciative I am of all your help. As a general rule of thumb then, it seems any auction with a "make an offer" feature, it would be fair to offer about 60-65% of what they're asking?
Of the options, I like yennyfire's find best (it looks like a later OEC verging on transitional, and a *nice* one at that with a beautiful, beautiful facet pattern, as well as a *steal*). You absolutely couldn't go wrong with gypsy's options either- I've bought from nikki-knows-good-stuff a couple years ago and found the item to be lovely and accurately described. She also allowed me a no-questions-asked return period when I requested one, which I will not buy without. And the loose diamond looks lovely as well.

The first ring you had listed in your OP is not an OEC. It's probably c.1950s, and as such a modern round brilliant. It looks like it has a HUUUUUGE table and a low crown, which could kill the stone dead unfortunately, so I'd pass on that one. And the second for the not-so-great feedback. The third one is... okay... but it looks like the cut is kind of meh with a slightly dead center and the price is high.

Anyway good luck! Whatever you do, don't buy without a return period, if the seller doesn't have one listed, ask about it. ::)
 

ruby59

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
3,553
I just wanted to add that when you buy on ebay be sure to check out toolhaus for feedback ratings. A couple of sellers listed I would personally stay away from because they seem to have had problems in the past.
 

ruby59

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
3,553
picklecat|1314799933|3006280 said:
Thoughts on these bad boys?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/170688904666?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
(I like that it's certed)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-60-CT-European-Diamond-Engagement-Ring-Platinum-/120759226894?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item1c1dcf920e

I can't even begin to express how appreciative I am of all your help. As a general rule of thumb then, it seems any auction with a "make an offer" feature, it would be fair to offer about 60-65% of what they're asking?

You can try it, but people on ebay are pretty much aware of the diamond price hike and for the most part are sticking to their prices. In fact I have seen some high priced diamond jewelry that has been sitting there for months and months, yet the sellers are raising the prices. I have been following a few make an offers, and for the most part they are being declined.
 

picklecat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
15
Thanks for the advice everyone! I don't know what I would do without PS, since I'm a newbie to OECs. Before, I've always been a fan of pears, cushion and radiants.

I think I'm leaning most towards this one, pending head-on pictures from the seller:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120759226894&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123

The one that yennyfire posted is lovely too. I asked for better quality pictures but the seller said they didn't look pixelated to her :razz: There is a feather at 5 o'clock, but I don't see any other inclusions. Should be eye clean, right?
 

yennyfire

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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6,570
Did you ask her about a return policy? Since the photos are unclear, I wouldn't be willing to purchase unless we agreed that I could return it if it wasn't eye clean to my specifications..
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
2,975
yennyfire|1314819580|3006622 said:
Did you ask her about a return policy? Since the photos are unclear, I wouldn't be willing to purchase unless we agreed that I could return it if it wasn't eye clean to my specifications..
Ditto. At least with an older stone, you can be pretty sure that even with a feather it's stable and not likey to break, since it's survived the better part of a century already! But yeah, try to negotiate a return policy- I would never do a purchase on ebay with out one. Plus, her reply to you is a little off-putting and that makes me a little less happy with it. Still, the cut looks absolutely top notch for a TC and the price is very good.

The one you're looking at- the price is pushing top retail IMO. Especially since it's possibly more tinted than a J- looks like a K or L in photos really. At least they have a great return policy. Still, if the head on shots show nice patterning and a lively center, then it might be worth it if it's exactly what you want. (With antiques, I often think it's reasonable to pay top dollar for something that is *precisely* what you want, if the seller is easy to work with.)
 

ruby59

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
3,553
You really do not have to worry about a no return policy on ebay anymore. Actually with the new ebay rules, they will over ride it. Pretty soon buyers will have 45 days to return an item. Even if a seller says no returns, a buyer can file "SNAD," return the item, and ebay will refund their money. In that respect it has gotten a lot easier for buyers to make purchases on ebay.
 

picklecat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
15
LGK|1314812534|3006520 said:
[

The first ring you had listed in your OP is not an OEC. It's probably c.1950s, and as such a modern round brilliant. It looks like it has a HUUUUUGE table and a low crown, which could kill the stone dead unfortunately, so I'd pass on that one. And the second for the not-so-great feedback. The third one is... okay... but it looks like the cut is kind of meh with a slightly dead center and the price is high.

Anyway good luck! Whatever you do, don't buy without a return period, if the seller doesn't have one listed, ask about it. ::)
You were right, it's not an OEC, no culet :( It doesn't look that terrible in the head-on shot, and they told me they'd take $3200 for it. I think I will pass, though. I suspect I was more taken in by the setting than anything else.


 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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ruby59|1314821612|3006647 said:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-03ct-EGL-US-VS1-OLD-EUROPEAN-CUT-NATURAL-DIAMOND-/120702933891?pt=Loose_Diamonds&hash=item1c1a749b83

Sorry if this is a duplicate. I know it is EGL, but it is EGL US, which I understand is a little better. And this guy has a good reputation on ebay. Someone more experienced could critique it for you.

Okay... am I completely missing pics of the stone, or did the seller just post the cert and call it a day?

I won't bid on anything without actual pics of the item, but especially jewelry.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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karpouzi|1314807569|3006430 said:
Gypsy rules. :appl:
Thank you karpouzi, you made my day. 8)
 

pancake

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karpouzi|1314807569|3006430 said:
picklecat|1314799933|3006280 said:
I can't even begin to express how appreciative I am of all your help. As a general rule of thumb then, it seems any auction with a "make an offer" feature, it would be fair to offer about 60-65% of what they're asking?
I think in general across eBay as a whole (not just jewelry listings), 10% off is more what you can expect when making a best offer. Keep in mind that a lot of sellers tell eBay to automatically reject offers below a certain amount, and you can only make 3 offers for any given item.
I disagree with this - I have bought quite a few OECs between 0.27 and 1.15ct on eBay, including a 1.15ct solitaire and a pair of 1.80tcw studs. These latter two were the biggest purchases and in the case of the earrings, I got almost 20% off the original price (which was reasonable to begin with) and with the solitaire I ended up paying 2/3 of the original asking price. It is definitely worth a try - lots of sellers are willing to negotiate, and generally I have found that even if they reject the first offer, they are often open to discussing prices after that so that when you make your next offer, it is likely to be accepted. I have been able to negotiate 20-30% discounts off much smaller stones also.
 

Gypsy

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picklecat, I'm not getting what you want or what your budget is.

The one you are considering has potential-- a head on shot or two would help decide one way or another-- but it's priced retail. Of course, if it is exactly what you want then-- it is a bargain, even if the price is high. But they are accepting best offers so it's better to understand what you want to do with it. If you are going to re-set it, since they are a jeweler... you can make an offer for the center diamond only for example. The other thing is why is it a lower color... a yellow tint to a stone is more valuable than a brown tint. And from the pics I can't tell, but it could be tinted brown.

I don't best offer a 10%. I best offer at what I consider is the price I want to pay for an item and let the person counter me to where they think they are comfortable selling. That way I know I'm getting a price that's toward the bottom of their spectrum.

I just best offered a 30 point transitional that was listed for 360. I best offered at 175 and they countered at 225. It's a really gorgeous stone so I'm tempted... but I don't have any plans for it, so I'll likely pass and watch it. If it's still available in a couple months... I'll hit them with my 175 again and see what they say. That's how I do it though. Because I'm not normally best offering something I MUST HAVE. So, for me if I lose out... oh well, wasn't meant to be. Now, if I were best offering the "perfect" thing... then I might be more conservative.

That's why understanding what you want and plan is important, IMO.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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40,198
pancake|1314835555|3006880 said:
karpouzi|1314807569|3006430 said:
picklecat|1314799933|3006280 said:
I can't even begin to express how appreciative I am of all your help. As a general rule of thumb then, it seems any auction with a "make an offer" feature, it would be fair to offer about 60-65% of what they're asking?
I think in general across eBay as a whole (not just jewelry listings), 10% off is more what you can expect when making a best offer. Keep in mind that a lot of sellers tell eBay to automatically reject offers below a certain amount, and you can only make 3 offers for any given item.
I disagree with this - I have bought quite a few OECs between 0.27 and 1.15ct on eBay, including a 1.15ct solitaire and a pair of 1.80tcw studs. These latter two were the biggest purchases and in the case of the earrings, I got almost 20% off the original price (which was reasonable to begin with) and with the solitaire I ended up paying 2/3 of the original asking price. It is definitely worth a try - lots of sellers are willing to negotiate, and generally I have found that even if they reject the first offer, they are often open to discussing prices after that so that when you make your next offer, it is likely to be accepted. I have been able to negotiate 20-30% discounts off much smaller stones also.
I agree with Forte. I best offer at what I feel is the right price (over on the low end of that even). Then allow them to counter. Then if I am still interested I might even counter myself. It's a negotiation. What's the point of shooting yourself in the foot and asking for too little off. If they are only willing to go down 10% they can counter with that number. But if you only discount 10% and the seller would have been happy with 20%... you are paying too much.

Negotiation is an art. There are some sellers (mainmonstr) who aren't willing to play. And that's fine... but the majority of sellers are... and you need to play aggressively IMO, to get the best deal you can.
 

karpouzi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
307
To clarify, I'm not saying best offer at 90% of the BIN price. I'm saying you can't assume the seller will knock 35-40% off no matter what the BIN is. I was quoted out of context but I went on to say that you should try to find something close to the going price of a stone with similar specs by going to oldworlddiamonds.com for example, and make an offer based on that research. One seller might be pricing diamonds at close to fair value while others mark them up and expect to bargain. There just is no rule of thumb.
 

picklecat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
15
Gypsy said:
picklecat, I'm not getting what you want or what your budget is.
I guess I should explain that I'm going about picking a ring in a rather roundabout way. I'm choosing a bunch of candidates, and presenting them all to my fiance (along with how much I think would be a fair price for each, so he can make an informed decision and make offers himself... since he's the type that would pay over retail for jewelry because "that's how much it costs, right?") so I can be surprised by which ever ring he gets me. So, the budget is really rather flexible. I'd prefer to stay at $3k or lower (I'd feel guilty spending more - we're not rich!), but I don't mind going as high as $5k as long as it's a really great stone and a fair price.

I've been spending a lot of time looking at completed listings, so I've been trying to get a good feel for what a fair price would be. The 1.4 carat I've been considering, seems like it would go for about $4000-$4200 (stone only) if it's as nice as I think it is. Am I in the right ballpark?

Who knows, maybe I'll end up with a pear padparadscha sapphire after all this searching for a good OEC :razz:
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
40,198
picklecat|1314848507|3007091 said:
Gypsy said:
picklecat, I'm not getting what you want or what your budget is.
I guess I should explain that I'm going about picking a ring in a rather roundabout way. I'm choosing a bunch of candidates, and presenting them all to my fiance (along with how much I think would be a fair price for each, so he can make an informed decision and make offers himself... since he's the type that would pay over retail for jewelry because "that's how much it costs, right?") so I can be surprised by which ever ring he gets me. So, the budget is really rather flexible. I'd prefer to stay at $3k or lower (I'd feel guilty spending more - we're not rich!), but I don't mind going as high as $5k as long as it's a really great stone and a fair price.

I've been spending a lot of time looking at completed listings, so I've been trying to get a good feel for what a fair price would be. The 1.4 carat I've been considering, seems like it would go for about $4000-$4200 (stone only) if it's as nice as I think it is. Am I in the right ballpark?

Who knows, maybe I'll end up with a pear padparadscha sapphire after all this searching for a good OEC :razz:

Ahhh... okay that helps a lot.

I suggest that when you get your finalists you post them for us, and ask us to evaluate the listings and information. And I suggest you line up a good appraiser for your FI to ship whatever he buys directly to them, if he is buying from ebay.
 
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