Ebay Chinese Pearl Buying Adventure

I've never tried to buy pearls from eBay but some years ago I was a regular buyer of branded clothing from the US (it was a lot cheaper than in Australia) but I became tired of being overcharged on shipping (some sellers called it "self-insurance") and a few times I received and returned items of questionable authenticity from sellers whom I had previously believed to be reputable. So I gave up buying from eBay!

This pearl buying experiment has been interesting and proves the saying "if it's too good to be true it probably is"! But it would be bad being an unsuspecting buyer who got ripped off for a lot more.
Thanks for posting your experience. I will be more careful from now onwards while buying on eBay.
If the Ebay seller is Chinese. It is 99.9% sure they do NOT have pearls from anywhere but China. So no matter what they call the pearls they are still freshwater.

Beware the "Tahitian Black" pearls refer to a color and not to the country of origin.

Even if you find a great seller, take note that the Chinese sizing is always smaller than they say. They set it up that way -so 8.1 can be the smallest size in a 9mm necklace and the largest pearl in the same necklace can be a 8.9mm.
That’s why I don’t buy supposedly top pearls from these guys, only cheap strands for my DIY costume jewelry for presents. For $3-14 pearl strands, I still complain if they’re the wrong size, colour or quality, and I did get discounts or full refunds without returning them. If anybody can recommend a seller with dirt-cheap but good pearls, I would like to know.