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WARNING! - Edi Vichien (?) from Agustus Collection - money embezzlement!

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  • WARNING! - Edi Vichien (?) from Agustus Collection - money embezzlement!

    Dear PG friends,
    With heavy heart but with encouragement from the very senior members of P-G and Pearl Community as whole, I am writing this post.
    I want to tell my experience and warn you against dealing with one well known individual some of us may have dealt with before or dealing with now.

    So, here is my sad story of doing business with Edi from AGUSTUS-collection (the name of his store on eBay). His company name (I guess one of!) is Eastern Trade Winds. His Etsy store is OrientalEmpire.

    I found him via P-G and his eBay store in 2019, and started buying pearls from him, mostly GSS keshi. At some point, after a few thousand of dollars worth of transactions and my asking for better prices, he offered me a communication via WhatsApp, and told that there he can give me a larger discount, cutting the middle man per se.

    I started to buy from him directly, again for a few thousand of $ and without a hitch - quick easy transactions, fast shipping via DHL and getting my pearls exactly as promised. I spent at least $10,000 with him. I had no problems with Edi, knew nothing bad of him, and was happy to continue.

    Until.... of the beginning of 2020.
    I asked him to find me a lot of very good and very golden SS pearls for my necklace and said my budget was $6000 or so. He started offering me lots, but as soon as I'd say I like them, he would say Oh, it was sold already.

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    So I told him Edi, I was under impression you offer me pearls you have on hand, but he said no, these are lots and for me to buy them I need to have money from you beforehand. There he mentioned his customer Laura from Florida, who does just that (Disclaimer: he actually sent me a picture of a lady, wearing pearls. Since I have no idea who that lady is, I will not show her picture here. Interested parties of my trusted PG friends and acquaintances might see it upon request).

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    To be continued...
    Last edited by Masik; 01-29-2021, 06:46 AM.

  • #2
    So I sent him money at the beginning of February 2020. ( I have PP transaction as evidence to show).
    Within a month he found nothing for me. And then, of course, covid hit.
    I wrote to him on March 13th.

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    He finally responded in a while...

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    He apologized and disappeared again.
    I asked him to return my money, but he said he has bad wifi and Paypal won't recognize his IP address, blah, blah...

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    Then I made my last attempt to contact him in May via WhatsApp.

    He never responded.

    to be cont...

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    • #3
      At that point I asked my dear friend and a very highly respected member of a Pearl Community for an advice, as we talked about that situation and I was given his email address, so I wrote to him AGAIN and warned him I am going to alert P-G community of his business practice.

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      He responded once, wrote a sob story and... disappeared again.

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      Edited: I realized it is almost impossible to read from the screen so here it is:
      Hello,
      thank you very much for your email.
      I am sorry for not responding earlier, but communication here in Kalimantan Malaysia is very limited.
      Also I was very busy with arranging the evacuation for my daughter from Bali to Germany. It was rather difficult, as I was not there and only some Indonesian friends could help. Finally she was evacuated via the German Embassy in Jakarta approx. 4 weeks ago.
      This was my main priority!
      I did not disappear from WhatsApp; my Indonesian phone number is not working anymore here in Malaysia as international roaming stops after 2 month.
      At the moment I am only communicating via Skype and only if I have internet connection available.
      The situation in Indonesia got first better and after the 1 month long Muslim holidays it got worse.
      Now Indonesia has within 4 weeks an increase from 10,000 cases to nearly 50,000 cases and going up daily by 1,000.
      There is a total lock down, and no movement: there is no travel at all. Even travel between the different islands and provinces if restricted.
      Until any restrictions are lifted, I can not go back.
      All foreign visitors are restricted to enter and transit through the Indonesian territory.
      This travel restriction to Indonesia through immigration control at Indonesia’s borders shall adopt the Regulation of Minister of Law and Human Rights No.11 of 2020 about Temporary Prohibition of Entry to the Territory of the Republic of Indonesia for Foreigners until 15 September 2020, at 00.00 WIB (Indonesian Western Standard Time) or until further notice.
      I did not leave to be stranded in Malaysia. I left for 2 days to do some business in Malaysia and visited a farm in Kalimantan.
      I was hid by surprise with a 24 hour notice that Indonesia closed all borders. I could not get a flight within 24 hours.
      Nobody knew before!
      I tried to leave for Thailand, but Thailand closed the next day, Singapore closed the day after. There was no place to go anymore.
      I have no other choice than holding out here.
      Just shortly after you sent your payment, I confirmed the pearls he got for you and I sent US$ 5,000 to the pearl broker.
      The pearls are all ready, but all pearl farms on the outer islands and atolls are shut and there is no travel from the outer small islands and atolls to the main islands. There is also no travel from island to island. Here is a total standstill of all life and all activities.
      I only can wait to be back once the borders are open again.
      There is no other choice.
      All the very best
      Edi



      I wrote to him again (AGAIN!!) in September 2020... never to hear from him again.

      *************
      It took me a long time and a lot of encouragement from my senior pearl friends to post this. This is not who I am and this is not what I would EVER wanted to bring to our beloved forum, that taught me so much about pearls, welcomed we at the darkest time of my life and gave me so much love, support and friendships to cherish for years to come.
      But I am feeling it is important to alert you all and bring your attention to such a situation.

      I always see and expect good of people, unless they prove me wrong.

      I thought that he a) is stranded somewhere in SE Asia, b) is sick, I would never want to imagine it to be see c) dishonesty.
      I gave him PLANTY of time - almost a YEAR to sort things out.
      One would think that he falls on hard times and can't gather $6000 because his business is dead or something.
      But nope, he is alive and well and his business is thriving!
      He just chose to take my money and run off. WHY? It is beyond me...
      Last edited by Masik; 01-29-2021, 05:01 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Terrible situation!
        Can you recover your money from PayPal?

        Comment


        • #5
          OMG!!! How awful! I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. ��

          Comment


          • #6
            This is a sad story Marina. I wish I this had never happened to you...or anyone else. I am happy you have been brave to share with us this unpleasant experience with this eBay vendor. I just visited his eBay store, and he is still operating, there are no signs stating that there are problems, that he cannot do any business or ship or anything: it's business as usual.

            I'm hoping he will communicate with you and offer to resolve this dispute, maybe even explain his actions because I don't think he wants to tarnish his reputation.
            Let us see if others come forth with similar experiences from this particular vendor, or maybe some of his customers will be able to communicate with Edi and mediate? I really don't know what can be done to help you, but I would ask all fellow forum members offer their advice for Marina.
            Thank you Marina.
            Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
            Follow Me!
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            Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
            Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

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            • #7
              Oh, Marina, this is so disturbing and sad to hear. I'm very very sorry this happened to you. I do hope Paypal can do something. Usually there is some safety for both seller and buyer transactions via paypal. I don't recall ever purchasing from him, but I know others here who have.

              I also want to point out the spelling is AGUSTUS-collection (on ebay).
              Pattye


              PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

              facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

              SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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              • #8
                It might be a problem to get the money from PayPal...I believe you have 3 months to contest a charge/payment...and this has dragged from February until today it seems...almost a full year!
                Have you tried to get PayPal to refund you Marina?
                Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
                Follow Me!
                Instagram
                YouTube


                Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
                Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
                  Terrible situation!
                  Can you recover your money from PayPal?
                  I wish, PD! Would've done it ages ago! But I sent him money directly (as "Family and Friends") as I'd done that before with many our trusted pearl vendors, as I had done it with him before and never had trouble. Until I did.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CortezPearls View Post
                    This is a sad story Marina. I wish I this had never happened to you...or anyone else. I am happy you have been brave to share with us this unpleasant experience with this eBay vendor. I just visited his eBay store, and he is still operating, there are no signs stating that there are problems, that he cannot do any business or ship or anything: it's business as usual.

                    I'm hoping he will communicate with you and offer to resolve this dispute, maybe even explain his actions because I don't think he wants to tarnish his reputation.
                    Let us see if others come forth with similar experiences from this particular vendor, or maybe some of his customers will be able to communicate with Edi and mediate? I really don't know what can be done to help you, but I would ask all fellow forum members offer their advice for Marina.
                    Thank you Marina.
                    Thank you for your support, Douglas!

                    That is my main hope and goal. I would not be here with this thread if I'd known any other way of how to bring his attention to this shameful situation and be a decent human being and do the right thing....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pattye View Post
                      Oh, Marina, this is so disturbing and sad to hear. I'm very very sorry this happened to you. I do hope Paypal can do something. Usually there is some safety for both seller and buyer transactions via paypal. I don't recall ever purchasing from him, but I know others here who have.

                      I also want to point out the spelling is AGUSTUS-collection (on ebay).
                      Thank you, Pattie for your kind words!
                      As I mention above, Paypal cannot help as money were sent to a "friend"...
                      And thank you for pointing out my misspelling of his ebay store name! I wish I could correct it in the Subject line as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Actually I know of people who got their money back from PayPal even though they sent money using the Friends and Family method, because they had attached a note to the payment indicating what it was for. PayPal saw it was a purchase and reimbursed them.

                        It may be too late for you, but people should know that it may be possible to get a refund if they attached a note to the payment, and should at least try for the refund.

                        The title of the thread can be edited. Edit your first post and Go Advanced to change the title. If for any reason you can't, Douglas (CortezPearls) can do it .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
                          Actually I know of people who got their money back from PayPal even though they sent money using the Friends and Family method, because they had attached a note to the payment indicating what it was for. PayPal saw it was a purchase and reimbursed them.

                          It may be too late for you, but people should know that it may be possible to get a refund if they attached a note to the payment, and should at least try for the refund.

                          The title of the thread can be edited. Edit your first post and Go Advanced to change the title. If for any reason you can't, Douglas (CortezPearls) can do it .

                          Thank you, PD!
                          I corrected the Title
                          Here is my transaction with him. Showing it was paid to a business, though no note were attached

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                          • #14
                            Given that it's obviously a business, maybe PayPal would refund? I suppose you tried?
                            So sorry this has happened to you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
                              Given that it's obviously a business, maybe PayPal would refund? I suppose you tried?
                              So sorry this has happened to you.
                              Let it be a warning to everybody

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