Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 67
  1. #16

    Default

    Hi Friends,

    Well I've had a pretty eventful online pearl buying journey thus far! This should teach me not to buy "vintage" pearls for a third of the price, but reputable new pearls from one of the places you kindly shared with me. I'll share my woes until now:

    I went ahead and purchased the broken strand of graduated pearls, with the 14kg clasp, as I noted above. When they arrived, they were the tinniest pearls I had ever seen! The smallest pearls closest to the clasp were not 3.6 or 3.3, or even 3mm, but 2mm. They increased only very slightly to approx 4mm, with only 1 centre pearl being 5mm! I couldn't believe how teeny tiny these pearls were (like seed pearls but perfectly round) and how off the sellers were with their measurements, as they have been doing this for a long time and have sold countless pearl necklaces. I measured and re-measured and thankfully had also gone ahead and purchased that faux 6mm pearl necklace for $10, because I thought my niece would like it. Side by side, the centre pearl of my graduated strand (the largest pearl that was listed at 6.7mm, was almost 2mm smaller than the faux pearls). I photographed them side by side on top of the measuring tape for comparison (one of those handy measuring tools would have been ideal and even more precise!). The seller indicated his jewler had done the measurements, had never before been mistaken in the size, but eventually conceded that they would refund the necklace, only *after* receiving it, but minus the $20 shipping fee they charged me. If the strand hadn't also been broken, I would have kept them, but with both a broken strand, and such discrepency in sizing, I felt really ripped off tbh.

    In mailing it back to them, I made a huge mistake: I mailed it back to them in the same box and envelope it arrived in, reversing the mailing addresses of course, however, I sent it *regular* mail because I was already out the shiping fees. It was about the size of a post card, so tiny and light, I figured the difference between expedited and regular mail would only be a few days. What I did not think of was paying extra for the tracking number in the event of a false claim of it not being received! Duh, of course. It never even occurred to me until now having been two weeks since mailing it back and them claiming they have not yet received it, that I was silly, silly, silly! Better to lose $30 and not $160! Which also brings me to this point: Why do some online sellers charge more than double the actual cost of parcel shipping?? We the customers are not stupid (at least not as a practice), and it's fairly straightforward to find out how much it costs to ship a certain weight and dimension to a certain location. Yet still, online stores (which also get a small business discount through Canada Post!) double and triple the cost, claiming they are paying the actual cost of shipping... it just ain't right. I am hoping in my heart of hearts my return will arrive and the mail is just slow-going snail mail.... And, once received, I will be refunded (minus $22 mailing costs). I still believe in the goodness and honesty of most people.

    Whew you would have thought I learned my lesson about online pearl buying...right? I did not. I actually really liked the $10 strand of faux pearls with a 15" length, that I bought for my niece! They were cute, small, but a good length and looked nice. So I felt I had some parameters now to go by this time. I decided I would try again to get a strand of real pearls for myself- around the same size and length as the faux strand (also pictured above in earlier post).

    This time I found a strand on eBay! It was a nice strand of vintage pearls, 10k clasp, $100, no size indicated but I could estimate them from now having experienced the size of what the pearls should look like next to a filigree clasp, as being 5 or 6mm. They looked very similar in size to the faux strand and by counting them I felt comfortable estimating size, based on the length of the strand given. The owner of this strand did not provide much info re: the pearls, their size, what kind they were, and even advertised them as "antiques" w/ a "diamond" secondary stone on the clasp! The only info she did provide was the length at 15".

    I asked her for close up pictures of the clasp and the pearls themselves and immediately cancelled out the diamonds on the claps (which she responded that her jeweller had told her it was a "diamond" clasp, the kind of clasp, and that it was an "antique" strand from the 1800's based on the clasp....???!- Very odd, because the clasp was neither antique, or different than the millions of other filigree clasps out there). Also, why she had "diamond" listed as a secondary stone when it was intended to be the shape of the clasp, I have no idea. These all should have been clues for me to RUN!! lol. But I'm a trusting person and take ppl at their word. I was still interested in the pearls themselves, the close ups looked great, they had great lustre, overtones and were bubbly and lovely. Soooo, I purchase the strand, excited at last, I'm finally going to get a strand of real pearls that I've always wanted and can give the faux strand to my niece (twinsies!). :-)

    Well my friends, what happened next sucks so bad, I just hope it makes you laugh as much as I cried! I receive the pearls- THE STRAND IS TOO SMALL TO FIT COMFORTABLY AROUND MY NECK!! I'm a petite woman, about size 2US. How on earth can a 15" strand feel like its choking me and about to have the pearls popping off any minute. I'm confused. I think, "I'm going to put on the faux strand, which is also 15" and see how it feels & where it falls- who knows, maybe I'm hallucinating on the faux strand fitting well... ?" So, I'm attempting to put on the 15" faux strand just above my new "choker strand", and the bloody 15" faux strand which is the ONLY strand that I've had any success with up until this point and I actually liked with its little rhinestone clasp... broke! It was too high up. So there I am with a now broken strand that I can no longer pass on to my niece or wear myself, an unusable new pearl strand because as it turns out the seller miscalculated, misrepresented, what-have-you, and the strand was actually just under 14"!! (I really, truly hope people are laughing as they read this, because I certainly spent enough time cursing the universe!)

    So end result, I have to pay to send back this 14" strand of pearls (when I finally get my car doors unfrozen- Oh Canada!). I have shared with the owner, I believe her strand to be, "Vintage Akoya, 14", 10k filigree clasp" and not "Antique pearls, 15" with a Diamond clasp!!!" as she originally had it advertised. I don't think I'm going to attempt getting vintage pearls online again. lol. Oh and upon telling the seller that the strand was too small, she at first agreed whole-heartedly, even claimed she thought it was for a "child", despite our extensive back and forth prior to the purchase... welll today, out of the blue, she has now claimed I did not represent the measurement of the necklace correctly because I did not measure the entire 1cm filigree clasp, and this was skewing the measurement!! I couldn't belive it. I've spent more time on her pearls, researching, providing her info and links and now pictures of their measurement, than she spent on the entire advertisement! I lost my cool. In no uncertain terms I told her that the loop portion of the filigree clasp GOES INTO the lobster portion!! So that 1cm regardless would not make a difference of an inch, and an inch when it is already the smallest size one can comfortably wear for a necklace, makes a big difference! These pearls were not knotted either, so initially I even offered to keep and re-string them, as that would hopefully increase their length, if she covered the cost of materials (which I assume is not more than $10-20?). She wasn't keen on that either... just immediately said to return for a refund. Tbh, I don't really understand this seller- she now has another pearl necklace ALSO listed as "Antique and "Diamonds on the clasp" since we've spoken about it. Will some people say and do anything to make money? Sigh. I am trying to stay positive, but this is a lesson in buying used items, whether vintage clothing or jewlery. I truly understand now why so many people on here look into reputable pearl sellers, who have a good return policy and stand behind their product.

    I will never....

    Oh but wait! I did get another strand! In the meantime of all of this happening, I found another strand of pearls on Etsy- they are listed as "faux" pearls, but weirdly when I looked at them I could've sworn they were real! Just in terrible shape... Based on the fact that I was now out $286.50 for two strands that are being returned (who knows when, if and what I'll be refunded), and one broken strand, and these were only $40, I thought "what the hell I have nothing to lose- I can repurpose the 10kg clasp, re-string both this strand and the faux and voila, my neice and I have our matching necklaces. These are the pearls are on their way: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1566742828?

    If I may ask you wonderful folk, what should I do to clean these poor things? They look to have some sort of sticky residue on them and I don't want to hurt them any worse than they already are (unless they are fake, in which case, I will not cry but laugh at my stupidity for ignoring their listed description and buying them anyway!).

    Any and all tips on getting these back to wearable condition is much appreciated. Alternatively, I figured since the length was a bit longer @ 21", if I restrung it, I could remove the pearls that were really ruined...

    Thank You everyone for reading this book of a log entry! And warm wishes on this coooold sunny Sunday!

    Sue :-)
    Last edited by sulema; 01-31-2019 at 04:15 PM.

  2. #17
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,519

    Default

    What a nightmare! A hard way to learn what not to do.

    Your link doesn't work for us. Try dragging the photo to your desktop, and upload it to Pearl-Guide from there.

    Also, regarding the pearl necklace fitting your neck, a 15" pearl necklace will be snugger than a 15" chain because the pearls are round and take up more space. Also, the larger the pearls, the snugger a pearl necklace of any given length will fit.

    Finally remember that filigree clasps come in different sizes. You can't necessarily know the size of the pearls from the appearance of the clasp. But if you know the length of the strand and the number of pearls, the size can be estimated.

    As to shipping costs, I expect the shipping fee sellers charge includes the cost of their packaging materials.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 01-27-2019 at 07:50 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #18
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,519

    Default

    About cleaning pearls, if they are real you can wipe them with acetone to clean them of sticky stuff that doesn't come off with mild soap and water. But if they are fake, the acetone will strip the coating right off the bead.

    If they are merely grimy, whether fake or real, you can give them a bath in mild soapy water-- not detergent. Rinse and pat dry with a soft cloth.

  4. #19

    Default

    Thank you Pearl Dreams.

    I've purchased different kinds of packaging materials for mail, bubble envelopes- big & small, tissue paper, even jewelery boxes as I often see something neat and will send it to family in Canada and the across the globe... However, shipping and packaging does not come close to costing what some online sellers are charging. In bulk packaging is cheap, boxes from the dollar store. Also, Etsy owner friends have shared with me the discounted postage rates they recieve from Canada Post.

    If I may be bold, I actually think some sellers are trying to retain some of their fees in their shipping costs. However, I do not agree with that whatsoever. They are getting all the benefits of world-wide advertisement, and everything else that comes with the protection of not having to man your own website, pay for employees to do social media, marketing, website design, etc, etc, etc. That is a choice. Shipping should be strickly shipping. Extraneous costs that sellers feel they warrant, should be added to the price of their item (hence my conclusion that they are trying to get around the fees- etsy and ebay do not take a percentage of the shipping as far as I know, but they do of the actual item sale). That's why I see countless items, that arrive, folded teeny, tiny, small enough and light enough to have been the lightest, tracked shipping option possible (approx $8), yet they charge $20 & $30. Its not right.

    Sigh... I regress...

    Thank you for sharing how to clean the pearls. It matches the research I've done and even the cleaning thread on this site, but I wasn't sure if that sticky residue required special attention. I'm sorry you can't see the link. Hmm, let me try again as it works for me... If you click the link it should bring you to the original listing and then you'll be able to scroll through all the photos. I hope, I think...?

    https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1566742828?
    Last edited by sulema; 01-31-2019 at 05:19 PM.

  5. #20
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,519

    Default

    Ebay used to not charge fees on shipping, but the predictable result was that sellers tried to make money on the shipping. So that policy ended some years ago, and now fees are based on the entire price including shipping. I don't know about Etsy, but likely it's the same and for the same reason.

    When deciding whether to buy, I add up the total cost of the item-- including shipping-- and if it's worth it to me, I buy, otherwise not.

  6. #21
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,519

    Default

    The link does not work for us. It works for you because you are signed into Etsy and it is your transaction.

  7. #22

  8. #23
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,519

    Default

    They do look like imitation pearls. Some have lost their coating and the bead inside is visible. Definitely avoid using acetone as it would ruin them.

  9. #24
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,519

    Default

    One more thought about the necklace that you returned without tracking, that supposedly has not arrived. Here in the USA, even if one doesn't purchase tracking, the USPS has its own tracking number that they use internally. I expect Canada Post has something similar. You could take your receipt to your post office, tell them the seller says it has not arrived and ask them to trace the package. Sometimes the inquiry shakes a package loose from wherever it's gotten stuck along the way.

    That happened just last month with something I ordered on Etsy. Several weeks had gone by and my item ought to have reached me, but the tracking had stalled. The seller went to her P.O. and asked them to inquire about it, and the very next day the packaged resumed its progress, and reached me a few days later.

    If the postal inquiry finds that the item has been delivered, you may be able to use that to get the seller to refund you. And if she does not refund, you can keep an eye on her listings to see if she relists the pearls, which would give you a basis for contacting Etsy about it.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 01-30-2019 at 01:03 PM. Reason: added suggestions

  10. #25
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    274

    Default

    What a saga of bad pearl luck! I've been very lucky to have bought several nice akoya pearl necklaces on ebay for very little money. I even bought a necklace listed as freshwater pearls that turned out to be akoyas. Are you going to restring the broken strand?

  11. #26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    Ebay used to not charge fees on shipping, but the predictable result was that sellers tried to make money on the shipping. So that policy ended some years ago, and now fees are based on the entire price including shipping. I don't know about Etsy, but likely it's the same and for the same reason.

    When deciding whether to buy, I add up the total cost of the item-- including shipping-- and if it's worth it to me, I buy, otherwise not.
    Pearl Dreams, I was wrong. Etsy *does* take a seperate percentage off a seller's shipping fees- the same fee as the sale item- 5%. Also, another good good point you brought up: I need to start totalling the cost of an item inc. shipping when determining if I am going to purchase it. Instead of being resentful about shipping costs as a seperate entity, I need to look at it as a package deal. Its funny how my brain works when it comes to things like perceived sales or better deals. I think your way of looking at it is much more rational. Thank you for sharing that 'pearl' of wisdom! ;-)

  12. #27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Parrot Lady View Post
    What a saga of bad pearl luck! I've been very lucky to have bought several nice akoya pearl necklaces on ebay for very little money. I even bought a necklace listed as freshwater pearls that turned out to be akoyas. Are you going to restring the broken strand?
    Hi Parrot Lady,
    Do you mean the broken faux strand, or the first strand I purchased that was broken to begin with? The broken vintage akoya strand, had pearls smaller than anticipated- I sent it back regular mail (no tracking), but after several weeks, the owners have claimed they did not receive them. It should have arrived in 4 business days.

    I think PD's idea of contacting the postal service is a good. I'm going to give them a call.

    Happy Tuesday everyone! Its a snow day here in Ontario! My son is over the moon. :-)

    Sulema

  13. #28
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Helen In Texas
    Posts
    1,757

    Default

    Sorry for all the bad luck. It really helps to know pearls when you're buying because so many sellers don't have a clue. And many from other countries will deliberately say their pearls are akoya or south sea because they tend to command a higher price. I always take shipping into the final price consideration. It can really add up. There are really nice vintage/antique pieces in Europe, but the shipping ruins the deal for me. I recently sold an item on ebay (first one in almost ten years!) and found it interesting that I got a discount using ebay's shipping. The buyer paid $13.xx for shipping but I was only charged under $11. I had not expected that. I wonder if etsy has a deal with a shipping company too, where the seller gets discounted shipping rates.
    Last edited by amti; 01-31-2019 at 06:10 AM.

  14. #29
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    6,242

    Default

    Well I can see you have had quite a time of it ! How disappointing . The shipping costs can be quite high, I'm not sure what sort of costs you are talking about but it costs me 24$AUD to send a package to Canada, under 500gms. It's about the same to the USA , Then it's 2$ for tracking and if it's expensive the insurance runs 10$+ . I charge the 24$ and cover the other fees myself. If I send something express then it's around 45$ plus the extra costs. I mailed a pair of studs to Atlanta that were $1400 USD and it cost me 95$ to mail them the client paid 40 for the expedited shipping and I paid the rest.

    We get no ETSY discounts on our shipping here , I didn't know they did in the USA. Within Australia I charge 5$ and it costs me 8.50$ plus packaging costs.

    So sometimes what seems like a lot .. is a lot because that's the actual cost.

    Fortunately for the overseas buyers, our dollar is so crappy that it's an automatic 30% discount lol

  15. #30

    Default

    Hi Kat,

    Thank you for your response and perspective. Etsy sellers don't get a shipping discount from Etsy, they get a shipping discount from Canada Post (which has a small business rate that provides parcel rates for online sellers). At least thats what a few of my seller friends have mentioned.

    I understand- the Canadian domestic (just from one city to another) shipping rates are super high. Our dollar also sucks big-time compared to the US dollar.

    My reference was about some sellers who charge extra on top of the regular high rates. I've received parcels from the US (both ends) and from within Canada so have some understanding of the different costs in different areas for certain size/weigh packages. I think everyone agrees, shipping is very high. And to be honest, for the peace of mind of tracking/insurance, it's okay!

    I grew up in Latin America where you would be *lucky* to get *any* mail sent from family overseas, nevermind it being intact (any cheques, money or gifts would be missing if, and when, you finally received it). I am very thankful to be in North America- where that doesn't happen. In any regard, the heart of my post was more sharing openly about my recent experiences- to vent and hopefully to learn from it (and hopefully laugh about it one day).

    You have a lovely pearl shop! So many cool items to look through... How has your experience been thus far? I recently came across this amazing Australian seamstress on Etsy, who sews all her own reproductions of 20's-50's clothing!! She is so talented and so reasonably priced- its incredible to see her garments and all of the vintage sewing techinques and patterns she uses... anyway I was tickled when I came across her. She's even offered to help me sew a pair of shorts (& send a pattern!). That reminds me, I haven't gotten back to her.... :-)
    Last edited by sulema; 01-31-2019 at 05:18 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. My first online pearl purchase
    By relysa in forum Show Us Your Pearls!
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-10-2014, 05:07 PM
  2. Online pearl stores?
    By battah in forum The Lowly Beaders' Club
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-20-2013, 04:59 AM
  3. Mikimoto Pearl Necklace Inquiry
    By neyzio in forum What Kind of Pearls do I have?
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-25-2012, 08:01 PM
  4. online pearl conference
    By Caitlin in forum Pearling Industry News
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 07-06-2011, 03:33 PM
  5. Online pearl sellers group on P-G!
    By Amrita in forum Pearl Books and Resources
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-13-2009, 01:45 AM