Buyer and Seller Responsibilities Regarding Shipping

Update for everyone- the package status has not changed, whereabouts still unknown. But the vendor Jac of ThePearlHouse on Etsy has made things right and issued me a full refund through PayPal! I am happy of this outcome and if the pearls ever do turn up would ship them back (insurance included..); handling this has been a frustrating but enlightening experience for me to say the least. I can say that I have learned quite a few lessons that I will take to heart when shopping online for pearls now. Hopefully this has been the case for others as well. Thanks for all of your words of support! Fingers crossed that these pearls do get accounted for eventually.
Good news for you Khanzy, and certainly lots of learning points for everyone. Last year I learned something new at UPS ... sometimes the scan showing a package received into a terminal isn't really the exact package, but rather the truck or rail car that has arrived, but not been unloaded yet. Some tracking agents can see this, some can't, and the online tracking won't show the difference either. Hope Jac files every and all tracking and investigations reports he can, including possible theft inside the post office system ... I've had a number of packages show up after a fraud investigation was started. Not saying actual fraud was involved, but it seems to get a more serious search going ... and might lead to someone in USPS finding those pearls! It's amazing what you can eventually uncover using a desk and a phone and some persistence ... 6 pallets of merchandise (household goods, not pearls), put on the wrong train was my best recovery find, and I never left my desk :)
Thank you Cathy for that extra bit of information! It reminds me that shipping is a major industry that's as complex as the rest of the world. My image of it was fixed when I was young, and things were less complicated; the image is way out-of-date.

I'm very happy for you Khanzy! Good for Jac for the big picture of future sales, though a bit painful.
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This has been a VERY helpful and interesting thread. I gave it a 5 star rating and made it a sticky.

Thanks to all who contributed. A wealth of information!
khanzy -- I'm so glad that the vendor decided to step up and resolve this issue. I am sure that you, the vendor, and everyone who has read this thread or your thread on the other site has learned a lot about the risks of shipping and how to protect themselves better. I am disappointed that the thread from the other site seems to have disappeared (at least I couldn't find it). I appreciate that both this site and the other permit candid discussion about consumer experiences, but have been worried about the tendency on the other site for people who like a particular vendor to gang up on anyone who voices a different opinion and for the mods to remove threads (not saying that happened to you, just that it happens over there too often IMHO). I hope that the other thread was only removed if you requested it.
Enbcsobe, they must have deleted the thread despite the fact that it contained a number of different stories from forum users about their experiences with this seller. I did not request thread deletion. They did this on the basis that they think I am a seller, even though I do not see myself as a business, I do not have a registered business, and I have only sold to friends and acquaintances locally at materials cost when people have asked me after seeing g the pictures I post I n Facebook of the things I have made. My website (which I listed here and not on the other forum) serves as a gallery/portfolio and I included prices at the request of my friends. I do not take custom orders or ship anywhere or otherwise promote the things I have made. And in that thread all I discussed was the buying experiences and expectations. So I don't think it's reasonable for them to assume I have any agenda other than as a buyer who wanted a refund and to inform others as well.
khanzy, I saw the link posted earlier on this thread to your site. You have some really wonderful designs! I very much appreciate the willingness to share design ideas/concepts/projects/products/etc. which this site allows. Thanks for sharing.
that is extremely disappointing that they removed the thread. many prolific posters there have gone on to become trade members, and their previous posts have not been deleted or altered even though they refer to other sellers. i don't have enough information to agree or disagree about their determination that you are "trade" but I am disheartened that they removed the thread.

ETA -- i don't mean to hijack the thread and i'll get off my soapbox now, thanks for indulging me :cool:
Khanzy, I am happy to hear the vendor finally agreed to make this right for you.
Khanzy I was disappointed the other thread was deleted. Did they tell you it was because of your trade association? If so I think some people must have reported the thread.
While I unfortunately don't have much input on buyer and/or shipping experiences, WOW this is the 2nd time I saw thread being deleted at PS given the short amount of time I've been on both sites (joined at the same time). It is definitely ridiculous! The last one they delete was a wonderful and looooooong Tahitian thread and wooof people were NOT happy.

Eitherway, I am waaaaaay more active here! ;)
I just checked the Pricescope discussion policies...I find it quite comical actually!

Trade Members ( Updated April 24th, 2012)
A trade member is anyone who is employed by or directly benefits from a business that is in the diamond, gem, or jewelry trade.
1. Members of trade at minimum must identify themselves to the Pricescope administration with thier personal name and business name. They must also take on the trade badge.
How can I provide a business name if I don’t have a business? My website is literally the first thing I could come up with to make it easy to give to friends.
2. This forum is, above all, a place for consumer assistance and education, not advertisement. If you are a member of the trade, please follow the following post content rules:
a. Post helpful advice. Here is an informative journal “A jeweler’s guide for how to get along with Pricescope” written by Neil Beaty.
I would think initiating discussion about being an informed consumer by providing a personal example would be considered helpful advice.
b. Do not make blatant commercial posts, requests to visit your website, or solicit any other contact.
I have provided no links or mention of my website, which Pricescope has gone and unearthed on their own terms from other sources.
c. Do not use a promotional slogan in your signature. Trade signatures are limited to your name, educational credentials (i.e., GG), company name, and ONE link to your direct website. If you have more than one gem and jewelry trade related business, you may provide more than one link with the permission of the administration. No promotional links, links to Facebook, blogs, items for sale, etc.
I don’t use a signature on Pricescope.
Only trade members as defined above are allowed trade status.
I don’t meet the definition of a trade member as outlined above. But let’s say I am a trade member by the definition Pricescope provided in their email- posession of a website, contact information, and ability for users to purchase- and assess the points below.
d. Do not create fear-based doubts in consumers' minds in order to scare them into using your services.
I make no mention of my services because I provide none, at least to anyone that I don’t personally know.
e. Do not mention your products or services unless requested in the thread by a consumer.
f. Trade members must not promote nor condemn other businesses (unless there are evidences of misconduct or illegal practices). This includes promoting your own business through posting of your own jewelry, except in specific moderator-approved threads.
I make no mention of my website, because I am not interested in selling what I make. In fact I think I am going to remove the prices from my website. If they think that it is ethical for a vendor to accept money from a buyer and then not accept financial responsibility for ensuring that the goods get delivered, then I guess the actions of the vendor I was discussing does not count as misconduct. How confusing…
g. Please refrain from commenting on other vendor products unless there is obvious misinformation.
I think not issuing a refund (at the time of discussion, he has done so since, which I did mention there as well) for a product never received counts as obvious misinformation, wouldn’t you agree?
h. No discounts, encouragements, or any other benefits to a consumer for their positive feedback are allowed for testimonials.
I do nothing of the sort and I don’t even have a place for “testimonials”.
i. It will be the sole discretion of Pricescope and its moderators as to what constitutes an abuse of these rules. If you are not certain about the content of your post, please send a message to the moderator prior to publishing it.
So this statement basically nullifies every statement above because it renders them open to interpretation and the interpretor (Pricescope moderators) infallible.
I don’t have a problem with that; after all, “your forum, your rules”. I just find it a shame that everyone else who posted and spoke up about their experiences has been silenced on the matter even if they as “non-trade members” were completely within their rights as members to speak what they wish. But that is exactly why Pearl Guide is the forum to use!
khanzy, I saw the link posted earlier on this thread to your site. You have some really wonderful designs! I very much appreciate the willingness to share design ideas/concepts/projects/products/etc. which this site allows. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you, JerseyPearl! I love seeing other peoples' designs as well for inspiration and the creative process. :) Maybe taking my prices off would remove some of the confusion, haha!