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Update on My Ebay purchase (Long)!

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JHyde

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
17
Hey folks!
I just wanted to start off by saying thank you to all of you who sent me emails and posted advice when I posted my questions about the Tiffany ring I bought off of Ebay. Now is my chance to give back some advice to anyone going through what I went through.

As you may recall, I purchased a "Tiffany & Co." Diamond ring on ebay through Paypal- I became concerned about my purchase and posted some questions on this board about 2 weeks ago. You can see my auction at by cut & pasting the following into your browser: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2607759375&category=15182

I received the ring in the mail and when I opened it I must say that I was impressed at its beauty. I was ecstatic at my good fortune and I immediately ran to the nearest reputable jeweler (Mickey Roof in Ithaca, NY)to have the "Tiffany & CO." ring examined. TO make a long story short- after looking at it under a scope for a few seconds she told me that it was definitely NOT a Tiffany & Co. diamond. She suggested that I get my $$$ back and find a reputable jeweler when purchasing a ring of that cost. I realized that I had been duped-the jeweler indicated that the diamond was below tiffany standards and that it was set VERY poorly- a possible indication that a stone had been switched or that the entire ring was a fake (It was not a CZ though). I was crushed and scared that I could not get my $$ back!!!!!

I paid for my purchase via paypal on ebay with the idea that I could always dispute the charge with my credit card company- I soon found out that this was not always the case on this board. I also found a link to www.nopaypal.com which further explained and informed me about the dangers of using this company- my advice to anyone is BEWARE when using paypal!!!!!!

In any case, because of this site I also had the good sense to demand the seller ship the ring via USPS instead of Fedex or UPS- Why? Because I could then inform the federal government (Postal inspector) that the seller was shipping me a misrepresented fraudulent item!!!! Thank god for this knowledge- it may have been the thing that saved me.

I immediately contacted the seller and asked him to refund my $$$ and informed him about the Postal Inspector thing- he did so immediately, and on the surface he has been honorable thus far, but I cant be sure due to a few minor details. he claims that he bought the ring from an ebay company called "euroantiquegem" and that they "must have ripped him off". After I seared them on this and other boards I found that they do have a nefarious reputation!!! Mickey Roof, the jeweler in Ithaca that looked at the ring after I got it said that the appraisal from the GAL Institute was "nothing more than a fancy piece of paper that did not reflect the stone". You can view this appraisal on the link above or email me to ask for a scanned copy if you are interested. The appraiser''s name is Joe Frizarry and he works for the The Gemological Appraisal Laboratory of America, Inc. - their Website is www.gemlab.com
I emailed them 2 times and they never responded - my opinion is this: DO NOT TRUST ANY APPRAISALS FROM THIS MAN OR THIS COMPANY!!!!! At the very least- they overvalue the items they appraise dramatically- at worst the lie and are NOT "independent"

Once the seller''s funds cleared to my account (which was a process in itself because of paypal), I shipped the ring back to him. I have now had to close out my credit card account and put a stop payment on my checking account for paypal in case he tries to rip me off (I can explain this further in an email if you are interested).

Long story short, I got a fake ring, I sent it back and I got my $$$ (due to what I learned from everyone here)back except around $200 (which I am willing to pay for a learning opportunity and my own ignorance). This also has cost me at least 10 hours of my own time writing emails, documenting paperwork, driving to the post office & bank, etc. Above all- I have learned a LOT!

These are my suggestions for anyone looking to get a good deal on a ring:
1) Ebay is a crapshoot, even if a seller has 1000+ positive feedbacks (as mine did)
2) PayPal is NOT secure in anyway and they operate by withholding information
3) This board it great!
4) Use the United States Postal Service if you want to have the federal govt on your side
5) My opinion is do not trust an appraiser named Joe Frizarry, any appraisals from The Gemological Appraisal Laboratory of America, Inc., or an ebay seller named Euroantiquegem without a trustworthy independent second opinion.
6) If you are looking for a "to good to be true deal" like I did- expect to get taken 9 times out of 10!!!
7) Have the diamond shipped to an independent appraiser before buying!

Finally- I got lucky. I lost around $200 and a lot of time, but I have gained a lot of knowledge and not I plan to take my time and buy a ring from a reputable place like goodoldgold, bluenile, or whiteflash. One last thing- I bought the idealscope and love it- check it out if you want an inexpensive portable tool for grading diamonds!
Thanks again everyone!
-Jonathon
 

Leanne

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
122
I'm so sorry to hear about your misfortune. I was hoping that it all worked out for you. I'm glad that you got the money back. Thanks for the update.
 

Colored Gemstone Nut

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Messages
2,324
Jonathan-I am glad things turned out for you.

In response to this qoute on your initial message:
I paid for my purchase via paypal on ebay with the idea that I could always dispute the charge with my credit card company- I soon found out that this was not always the case on this board. I also found a link to www.nopaypal.com which further explained and informed me about the dangers of using this company- my advice to anyone is BEWARE when using paypal!!!!!!

Ebay is a fun place to look at many different things. A good lesson to learn is buyer beware. Especially when dealing with certain vendors on Ebay. Somethings might and are many times represented in a ficticious way to fool the consumer. I am glad the input on pricescope helped you through in the end.

Josh Rioux
Sitka, Alaska
 

kt

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
286
Since I hadn't seen you post in awhile I was hoping that everything had turned out all right with your ebay purchase, though I see that that was not the case. I'm glad that you were able to get almost everything reimbursed and THANK YOU for being generous enough to post your experience on this board - I'm sure it's a valuable lesson to everyone! Good luck as you move forward with your purchase!
 

JHyde

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
17
Rich,
I got no exact specs- the jeweler told me that she could tell without an in depth examination that it wasn't the quliaty that the appraisal claimed. She said that it WAS NOT a CZ, but that she could see visible inclusions by eye and major inclusions under magnification (the stone was rated VS2). She also could see that it was as she put it "cut so poorly that Tiffany & Co. would not have used it". She thought there was a possibility that either the whole thing was fake or that someone had pried the stone out purposefully and replaced it with an inferior stone (making the setting real) because it looked like "The stone had been jammed in". She of course offered to do a full work up if I wanted her to, but I din't want to spend any more $$ at that point- I will do that on the new stone I get!
 

lacina

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 27, 2002
Messages
146
Hi Jonathon,
For some reason I can't believe that seller with 1000+ positive feedbacks would be risking his reputation and charges for fraud selling an antique diamond ring. I have looked up the auction and it is abvious to me that the quality does not comply with tiffany's standards.
It is possible that he stone was exchanged for lesser quality and the seller has purchased it the way it is, believing he is offereing the real thing and he backing it up by gem lab appraisal that he had believed it was fair.
I have noticed you didn't post a negative feedback to the seller , so I guess that speaks for everything. I have also noticed you are an active Ebayer with 1 Negative feedback as non paying bidder. This tells me you are not the type I would want to be doing business with. Also the way you talk about PayPal is telling me that you are the type that does not trust easily. You know, there is no reason to be worried about getting ripped off,.. Mistakes do happen but ebay has worked hard to clean out the dishonest sellers that used to take advantage of buyers. Also the FBI is on your side anytime of the day and very few sellers would want to be chased by FBI for fraud. I don't believe the guy with 1000+ positives is one of them.
The problem is that Ebay was originally designed to sell beanie babies and thats how people will remember it for a long time. There are great sellers on Ebay and there are also the individuals tat sell things that have no clue about. If you are looking for a diamond, find a seller that sells diamonds and understands the product. Make a phone call to the seller se if he is for real!. And use a credit card , and you can't go wrong,...
You can still get well cut H/VS2 GIA certified for 5 G's on Ebay no problem. Just need to do your homework,...

George
GLE Gem Imports
 

JHyde

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
17
Rich- I am not sure if it was a real pic of the actual ring, but I must say that the ring did look good- it just wasn't the real thing or the quality that I paid for.

Lacina,
You misunderstand - the person I bought it from refunded my $ and has been fairly honest with me up to this point (although he does have multiple ebay accounts and I am fairly certain that he used one of them to bid up on his own item!). I have called him (I did so before paying) and he has come to the conclusion that he was ripped off before he sold it to me and did not know it- I am tending to believe him at this point. I have not left ANY feedback for him because I am waiting for him to leave ME feedback first (if you check that you will see that he has not!).

For you to say that "You know, there is no reason to be worried about getting ripped off" is ridiculous to me! To say "use your credit card, you can't go wrong" is also not true- I have read stories of credit card companies not backing up disputed charges against PAYPAL numerous times. I am sorry you misunderstood my post, but really- we are talking about EBAY and PAYPAL here..I am definitely not the only person to have troubles!!!! I never said that you couldn’t find a good deal or honorable sellers on Ebay- what I said was that it is a crapshoot.

Sorry if this sounds critical, and you are definitely entitled to your opinion, but I was just reporting my experience. I have lost money and a lot of time on this and I am trying to help others by sharing my thoughts because so many people here have been so kind to me. If you have luck buying on Ebay then more power to you- good luck!!

-Jonathon
 

JHyde

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
17
P.S.
Lacina, I am not sure what your point was when you announced that I was not the type of person you would want to do business with- You don't know me, you haven't spoken with or emailed me, and I haven't brought your reputation in to question, so whats the point? Are you an Ebay seller or something? Do you really think that I would waste that much time with a post for no reason other than to make something up about someone? It certainly wasn't like I had anything to gain by posting it!
-Jonathon
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
I use both eBay and PayPal. Hopefully I can explain credit card use through PayPal.

Using a credit card for purchase through PayPal does not entitle the buyer to the same protection as a "normal" charge card purchase. When you use your charge card through PayPal, in reality you do not purchase anything from anyone. PayPal facilitates the transfer of funds from one client to another.

I paid for an auction using a credit card through PayPal. The item did not live up to my expectations. (No misrepresentation, just not what I expected.) The seller had an unconditional return policy. I could not contact the seller right away and got a tad frantic. I contacted PayPal about putting a stop on the charge. They informed me of the policies. They couldn't dispute the charge. I called my charge card company. Because the transaction was handled through PayPal, the charge card issuer could not dispute the charge. Within an hour, I got in touch with the seller. The seller is reputable and promply refunded my purchase price. All I was out was the cost of postage and insurance.

Hope the info helps. Glad Jon got his situation resolved.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
JH--Thanks for keeping us in the loop on the purchase and results...I know many of us were very curious. If I recall correctly, there were some doubts on this from a few other poster's as well, there were a few red flags. This definitely goes to show that while eBay may be good for some things, unless you are willing to go through the possible hassle you did...people may want to steer clear of expensive diamond purchases with shifty documentation or hard-to-believe branding. I'm glad to hear you have resolved the issue with relatively little $$ loss, and now you are much more the wiser. I also think your post will help other people considering eBay be aware of what may happen. Best to know all the possibilities while spending such a large amout of $$!

Good luck with your new stone search, if you have any questions, continue to post as we love to help with our opinions!
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
Hi JH!
OMG, that's a complicated history!!! I'm happy that everything is ok now and that you got your money back!

Giangi
 

justme

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2002
Messages
184
Jonathon -

I am VERY happy that things worked out as well as they have for you. As you probably remember, I emailed you privately about my concerns with this purchase.

I believe that your seller is innocent at that Euroantique & gems is most likely the problem with this transaction. I was interested in a previous listing that they had (colored gem not diamond) for sale in early December, I was fortunate enough to have a biz trip planned to NYC so rather than just fork over the money I made a trip to their store (I had called and arranged to have the ring held for me). When I arrived they were very attentive and seemed forthright until I said I would like to take it to an appraiser they fussed that this was not necessary - 'what do you want to know, we'll help you, do you think we don't know what we are selling, are you always so skeptical, where are you from that you don’t trust people, etc. .

I insisted, so I took the ring to the SAME lab that they had listed on many of their pieces (about a block away from their store) and the ring appraised for 40% less than seller was asking! I was really interested in the center stone to have it set in a custom design ring, so I went back with appraisal and ring in hand to ‘deal’. At this point the seller went ballistic (literally causing a loud scene in the 47th st store) I explained that I was no longer interested and thanked him. At this point his assistant asked what I would be willing to pay – and the said she was sorry for the way ‘Mr.’ Had behaved and just let her talk to him – she disappears momentarily, returns and says OK to price – he comes out and says no, his mind has changed - $X is the price (lower than listed but still above appraisal) I didn’t need to waste more time so – I said so and I was out of there.

Before all of this started while they were were locating the ring I was interested in I had the opportunity to look at many rings in their cases – and honestly can say that none of them were what I would call ‘quality’ pieces. So I had my doubts before even seeing the ring that I was actually interested in. If you look on ebay all of their stuff is appraised by the same appraiser at the same lab. Granted this could be the norm but I found it suspect. And when the same appraisal lab but different person appraised the ring I was interested in I was really more suspicious of the appraiser that they use.

I was only out the appraisal price and gladly so as in the end I meant a loose gemstone dealer through another dealer on 47th who provided me a gorgeous stone and even offered to send it to Cap Beesley (colored gemstone expert) I knew I had the right stone! I spent $300 more than the original ring but received a stone that is 150% better without the hassle and without extra diamonds that I didn’t want.

So again Jonathon I’m glad it has all worked out for you and good luck with your future educated search!

Justme
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2001
Messages
15
Hi Jonathan! I'm glad everything worked out for you and that you got your money back! Just because I love ebay so much I have to say that the majority of ebay sellers do their best to be honest and forthright in their ebay dealings. The majority of us want our customers to feel comfortable buying off ebay. However it's very important to BE CAREFUL when you buy from ebay (as well as when you sell!) I "browse" ebay all the time and there are ALWAYS fakes being sold as real . . . "authentic" Botero hand sculptures for $1,000 dlls. and with an appraisal for some non-existent Mexican gallery (I checked!) . . . Vuitton bag replicas with a 100% authenticity money back guarantee and of course with the serial number! . . . And my favorite: uncertified VS2 clarity, G color diamonds that look yellow and have obviously visible inclusions in the pictures . . .
So if it helps anyone, MY PERSONAL RULES FOR BUYING ARE:

1) Never buy from a 0 feedback seller unless you use escrow
2) Never buy from a "Private" auction (In general: any sellers trying to hide their feedback and/or auctions should be avoided.)
3) Never buy from someone that doesn't have a RETURN policy
4) Ask any and all the questions from the seller before bidding. It will make you feel more confident and less "queasy" about buying on ebay if you've already talked to the seller.
5) If an appraisal is offered, make sure it is from a respected and actual business
6) And...do your research, excercise caution, and HAVE FUN!!!

 

JHyde

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
17
Starlight,
I agree that deals can be had
It sure is a shame when a disreputable company ruins it for everyone! Having been burned, I am going to be VERY careful when purchasing anything from Ebay in the future- Thanks for you tips and knowledge!
-Joanthon
 

vlup2es

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2004
Messages
1
Hello,
I am having a terrible experience with Euroantique gem on e-bay. I purchased over $2,500. at live auctions between Oct 03 and Jan 04.
A Tiffany item was not Tiffany as advertised. They did refund my money for this item. I paid them for 7 items immediately after the auction 11/03. They requested the item numbers so they could give me a combined shipment charge. These were sent immediately. I was dealing with a person who has since left the employee of Euroantique Gem. I have countless e-mail's that have been sent to them since and they refuse to send me the merchandise or refund my money. I had a death in my immediate family in December of 03 and was unable to stay on top of this on a regular basis for approximately one month. They were advised of this. I have been fighting them for 6 months now to get them to refund my money, file for the insurance (if shipped?), or prove to me the items were shipped and that I signed for them. They just ignore me!
To make matters worse they speak broken english and are very difficult to comprehend. Every time I have phoned them I get a different person who seems to be waiting on customers in a very busy, noisey store, while trying to speak to me on the telephone. One person does not have any idea what another one is doing and apparently they do not keep track of sales and shipments via computer.
Now I discover that e-Bay has removed the feedback for these people from where I can leave negative information....Any ideas on how to persue this and win?
Thank You, Vlup2es
 
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