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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Default Lpearls.com warning - they will rip you off - NOT akoya

    I received a sad and disturbing telephone call yesterday. A gentleman and his wife had seen one of the "Open an Oyster" parties on Facebook and decided to start their own business.

    The man had ordered a few hundred shells online, opened them and took the pearls to a local jeweler. The jeweler had (unfortunately) confirmed they were saltwater pearls. He even identified the black pearls as Tahitian pearls instead of dyed freshwater pearls like they really are.

    He had purchased the shells from AliExpress via a company called lpearls. They have a website, lpearls.com. I remember this website from nearly a decade ago using gray and black-hat SEO techniques to rank on Google. The website still looks the same today.

    Believing they could start their own business, the gentleman put all the money they had into buying more shells - several thousand dollars. This week they received a shipment filled with empty boxes from lpearls.com. Lpearls then deleted their account and sent the tracking number to PayPal in an attempt to prove they had shipped pearls in an oyster to him.

    I advised him to fight it out with PayPal, which typically sides with the consumer when there is fraud involved.

    This is the site information for LPearls.com:

    Registrant Name: ZHANG XIAO YUN
    Registrant Organization: LPEARLS
    Registrant Street: GUANGZHOU CITY,GUANGDONG PROVINCE
    Registrant City: GUANGZHOU
    Registrant Postal Code: 510507
    Registrant Country: CN
    Registrant Phone: +86.2087642246
    Registrant Email:

    I know a lot of the members here have strong feelings about the "open an oyster" fad. But now real people are being harmed by this and I am posting this thread in hopes that other people considering starting this sort of business will use extra caution when dealing with companies in China that might have no problem ripping off an easy, gullible target.

  2. #2
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Default

    This is unfortunate, and should be reported not only to PayPal but also to the FTC. Misidentification/mislabeling of pearls with the intent to defraud is a federal crime.

    I am also very concerned about the potential for hazardous materials to be shipped without scrutiny. The method to preserve these oysters needs to be explored...are they using formaldehyde or other dangerous chemicals to preserve these things? Are consumers (the small entrepreneurs) disposing of the waste products properly in consideration of the chemical hazards? There is a lot of who-ha here that needs to further scrutiny. This whole fad is a bad thing.

  3. #3
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pareltje's Avatar
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    Ssshhhhh that's very unfortunate for the gentleman and his wife! what a shame! I hope PayPal helps them with this case and I hope they get their money back. If not, I think they can still get money back via their bank card company (Master Card or Visa) if they can provide them with legitimate evidence. Report it as FRAUD. Usually MC or Visa is very cooperative although the process might be lengthy, time and energy consuming. It's certainly worth trying.

  4. #4
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Default

    Very sad to hear. Thank you, Jeremy, for posting specific info to help id these fraudsters.
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  5. #5
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
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    That is so sad.

  6. #6
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CathyKeshi's Avatar
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    Wow, that's horrible. Thank you for the details and specifics of the guilty company, Jeremy. I hope PayPal will help this couple get their money back, and that they pursue it via PayPal and their credit card. They should compare the weight of the first shipment, which contained actual shells and pearls to the shipment of empty boxes. Pound for pound, gram for gram, whatever ... the weight should be enough heavier on the first shipment to help prove the second shipment was lacking shells and pearls. Thanks again, Jeremy.
    Cathy

    CathyKeshi

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you for posting this story Jeremy. I am unfortunately the guy he wrote this story about. This is a very bad situation for myself and my family especially before the holidays. The open a pearl live business was so much fun for myself and our consumers. I have been reading threads on here over the past several days and educating myself, and I already know that many of you think we as open live people are scam artist etc. I can assure you this was not our case personally, I felt as if I did my homework I studied for weeks before ever making my first purchase and at the end of the day still fell short. I even went as far as bringing them to a "real" jeweler and allowed him to cut some in half to see what we actually had. He said his findings were surprisingly good, he himself even acted surprised of the quality of our pearls. Well I believe the good lord lead me straight to Jeremy (Kind of strange the first person I call happened to be him.)After speaking with Jeremy I felt like I was punched in the gut. For now I would like to remain under an anonymous name until I can figure out what legal obligations I have to take from this point forward.

    Just to follow up on the story, we do all business transactions through Paypal we even have paypal debit cards. Paypal had a buyer protection policy however so far our story isn't seeming as if we are going to have a happy ending. Paypal stated a police report has to be filed before we can be refunded our money. Police came to our house and "investigated" the situation. The end result was they had no proof we were not shipped our items and there is no charge that is black and white that they could charge the company with since they are international. So as of now it seems as if we just lost out on the money we spent.

    To add to detail that Jeremy himself did not hit on, one of our orders was placed on the ninth at 10.55.11 pm they even sent paypal a tracking number from 4 am on the ninth almost 19 hours before the order was even placed.
    The box total weight did not add up either, The box had a weight of 3.6 lbs and was roughly 8x8x14 this box was suppose to include a large volume of oysters 100 jewelry boxes and nearly 165 pieces of sterling silver jewelry. So as if the weight of the box was not a dead give away I sure wish someone would teach me how to pack all of this inside of this small of a box.

    At the end of the day this is unfortunate and I pray this does not happen to anyone else. I still have 30+ customer orders to fulfill and no jewelry to put it in. As Jeremy stated in the beginning I had taken everything to reinvest into the business. This has been one terrible way to have to learn.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    I'd recommend filing a "item not as described" claim with PayPal. I'd also recommend getting someone on the phone and not just dealing with them via PayPal. If you succeed in the "not as described" category, you'll have to ship their empty box back to them.

    You may also want to send this thread to LPearls. They will likely realize this is going to be the #2 result in Google for their company name in a few days.

  9. #9
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Lady_Disdain's Avatar
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    Regardless of how one feels about the pearl in an oyster scheme, not sending what was purchased is fraud pure and simple. I believe Paypal should solve this one.

  10. #10
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
    Thank you for posting this story Jeremy. I am unfortunately the guy he wrote this story about. This is a very bad situation for myself and my family especially before the holidays. The open a pearl live business was so much fun for myself and our consumers. I have been reading threads on here over the past several days and educating myself, and I already know that many of you think we as open live people are scam artist etc. I can assure you this was not our case personally, I felt as if I did my homework I studied for weeks before ever making my first purchase and at the end of the day still fell short. I even went as far as bringing them to a "real" jeweler and allowed him to cut some in half to see what we actually had. He said his findings were surprisingly good, he himself even acted surprised of the quality of our pearls. Well I believe the good lord lead me straight to Jeremy (Kind of strange the first person I call happened to be him.)After speaking with Jeremy I felt like I was punched in the gut. For now I would like to remain under an anonymous name until I can figure out what legal obligations I have to take from this point forward.

    Just to follow up on the story, we do all business transactions through Paypal we even have paypal debit cards. Paypal had a buyer protection policy however so far our story isn't seeming as if we are going to have a happy ending. Paypal stated a police report has to be filed before we can be refunded our money. Police came to our house and "investigated" the situation. The end result was they had no proof we were not shipped our items and there is no charge that is black and white that they could charge the company with since they are international. So as of now it seems as if we just lost out on the money we spent.

    To add to detail that Jeremy himself did not hit on, one of our orders was placed on the ninth at 10.55.11 pm they even sent paypal a tracking number from 4 am on the ninth almost 19 hours before the order was even placed.
    The box total weight did not add up either, The box had a weight of 3.6 lbs and was roughly 8x8x14 this box was suppose to include a large volume of oysters 100 jewelry boxes and nearly 165 pieces of sterling silver jewelry. So as if the weight of the box was not a dead give away I sure wish someone would teach me how to pack all of this inside of this small of a box.

    At the end of the day this is unfortunate and I pray this does not happen to anyone else. I still have 30+ customer orders to fulfill and no jewelry to put it in. As Jeremy stated in the beginning I had taken everything to reinvest into the business. This has been one terrible way to have to learn.
    I am very sorry that this happened to you, and I absolutely think you made the right decision to come here and share your experience. Your experience teaches a lesson; one that can help others learn from your mistakes. It takes courage to share, so thank you for doing that.

  11. #11
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyPearl View Post
    I am also very concerned about the potential for hazardous materials to be shipped without scrutiny. The method to preserve these oysters needs to be explored...are they using formaldehyde or other dangerous chemicals to preserve these things? Are consumers (the small entrepreneurs) disposing of the waste products properly in consideration of the chemical hazards? There is a lot of who-ha here that needs to further scrutiny. This whole fad is a bad thing.
    This. China just does not have the same level of consumer oversight as the US. About 15 years ago I was working for Colgate and there was a massive recall because a large shipment of counterfeit toothpaste had been brought in from China and was on the market, found to have contained some pretty heinous ingredients.

  12. #12
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
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    I am so sorry. I hate it when someone is scammed. I have had good luck getting reimbursed through paypal (using ebay) by filing items was fake and not as represented. I am not sure how to do a claim just through paypal. I wish you luck in getting your money back and hope others are not deceived. Scammers can rot away as far as I'm concerned, and that's putting it nicely.

  13. #13
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSC View Post
    This. China just does not have the same level of consumer oversight as the US. About 15 years ago I was working for Colgate and there was a massive recall because a large shipment of counterfeit toothpaste had been brought in from China and was on the market, found to have contained some pretty heinous ingredients.
    I remember that recall. My mom is Japanese and when she lived there, the Japanese stopped buying anything made in China because of the quality. Pot stickers were found to contain cardboard. Fresh vegetables were grown using waste water, fish were in contaminated waters, and plastics and toys contained large levels of lead. Produce that was sold with country of origin, and even cities and farmer's names on them, sold for higher prices while those items made in China sat on shelves.

  14. #14
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CathyKeshi's Avatar
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    Anonymous, thank you for having the courage to talk to Jeremy and us. We commiserate with you and your family. Even though the local police can't really do anything, you will have some "proofs" for PayPal, and the biggest one should be the weights of the packages; first the one that actually contained pearls and shells, and then the one that didn't. The shipping company records should document the weight of the "empty" shipment could not possibly, as you said, contain what you ordered. That's irrespective of what the pearl company claims they shipped, and is hard evidence. Document every bit of that for PayPal. We hope you get financial recovery on this; I can only imagine how distressing this is for your family.
    Cathy

    CathyKeshi

  15. #15
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    This is a very sad story. I think it may be well to sticky this thread.
    Done.

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