Fair feedback for this GSS pearl with messy drill hole!


Well-known member
May 12, 2012
I received this GSS pearl today and overall I am happy with the color, size, and luster (as described in listing), but the seller failed to disclose that the drilling was so bad! One side of the pearl has a normal drill hole, the other side has "two", as if the drill went in twice on that side, one right next to the other, making the drill hole on that side enormous! See pics:

Normal Drill Hole:

Messy Drill Hole:

I guess I will need to use wire instead of thread to string this pearl to prevent the knots from slipping into that ginormous hole, question is will the increased "play" on that side of the pearl prove damaging to the pearl over the long haul? Also, what would be fair feedback for a seller that did not disclose something like this? I have not contacted the seller about it yet, I don't know that I would bother sending the pearl back, but I am upset that it was not disclosed in the first place because it really limits what you can do with the pearl. I had been thinking I would make a pendant with it but now I'm thinking I will have to use it as a focal on a longer strand (maybe even with a beadcap) to disguise this huge hole!

I'm sure all sellers would prefer the chance to make things right rather than getting anything less than positive feedback.
What a shame, Maiakity! Well, I guess decide first if you want an adjustment in price or refund. I agree with PD. Absolutely contact the seller first. Somehow they might have missed seeing that. I feel most care about giving excellent customer service and doing the right thing, not just the feedback. If you return the pearl, the seller should reimburse for shipping in addition to giving complete refund. It's clearly different than buyers remorse. Would you want to keep the pearl if you got a refund of, say, 1/3 the purchase price?
Well...I contacted the seller and I didn't specifically ask for a refund or to send the pearl back, but I did write a fairly lengthy paragraph about what messy drilling means for pearl useage (i.e. no knotting, having to use a beadcap, etc) and how this should have been disclosed in the listing. I was thinking he would respond with an offer to take the pearl back, or a partial refund, or something, but the response I got was this:

"Thank you for the Information. I normally don't deal in Pearls. But I will take your information to heart in case I run across anymore."

What the heck! I guess I should have asked for something specific when I contacted the seller, but I still wans't sure if I wanted to return the pearl as I am happy with the color and luster and lack of blemishes, and I "think" it might be OK once I string it with some beadcaps and some other gems (but I don't have the supplies yet to try this out), but I wasn't expecting such a lack of...anything! I did string it on a piece of wire just to see how much "play" it has on the one side, and unfortunately it does "hang" a little lopsidedly (i.e. the wire automatically fills the top hole and not the bottom...the bottom hole is the one that is straight across the pearl), I'm thinking that maybe once I have it on the wire I can "stuff" the top hole with something to keep it in place at the bottom hole? Grrrrrr... It's interesting that he used several pictures in the listing, including one shot of the "neat" drill hole, but none of the messy one!
I think he probably assumed that if you wanted a refund, you would have asked for one. I also still think he'd rather make you happy than lose the sale entirely or mar his feedback rating.

If you have to spend money on materials (bead caps, spacers, a hand-held drill etc) to be able to make use of the pearl as it is, I think it's fair enough to request some money to be refunded to help pay for these materials.

If he doesn't normally sell pearls, he may not have been aware that the small irregularity in the drill hole was significant. Such irregular drill holes are quite common in gemstone beads.

Seeing that you basically like the pearl, consider drilling out the hole larger so that it's round, then doing the same on the other side of the pearl. (If you don't have a drill, they are not expensive; I finally bought a small battery-powered one for $14.95 and have already had multiple uses for it-- it's a good basic tool to have.) The hole would be slightly larger but you could use it as a focal bead with spacers on each side in lieu of knots, or use a head pin to make a pendant from it. This would not be hard.

Remember that you could always leave no feedback at all-- or if the transaction was good in all respects but one, you could leave a positive but mention the imperfect drill hole.

If you choose to keep it and seek no partial refund but just leave a neutral or negative, realize the seller may very well post a reply that he 'would have refunded if the buyer had asked for it', and that comment will appear on your "Feedback Left" page and could affect the willingness of future sellers to accept your bids. This may not seem fair, but in this hard economy and with eBay penalizing sellers whose feedback is less than stellar, sellers are doing what they can to protect their ability to earn a living.
It is unfortunate the defect was not disclosed. If you have time to think about returning or using it, and is still in contemplating mode, don't make up your final decision yet. I know from my experience, I like restringing things time and time again, and this may prevent you from some options in case you don't want to use end caps.
I would write back with a "while I appriciate your thoughts about the future, it doesn't help me much in my current situation..." and then ask for what you want. You can even link to this post to show that the weird drilling hole is indeed of concern.

- Karin
Unfortunately the pearl was double drilled. This often happens when the pearl was originally half drilled and then drilled for a necklace or when drilled too far on one side using a swivel drill. I've seen this a lot with freshwater pearls but it's very rare with South Sea, which are typically drilled with a lot more care. At this point the pearl is basically ruined because it can't be knotted (the hole will slip over the knot) and can't really be set.

We have a box in the vault for pearls that ran into unfortunate accidents like this and reserve those pearls for art and design projects because they can't be used in jewelry.

Somewhere along the line someone knew that the pearl was mostly destroyed and I don't believe that even a seller unfamiliar with pearls would see that and think it not strange. I think you are absolutely warranted to have concerns if it wasn't disclosed. It isn't a small thing.
Thank you for all of your responses and advice, I have contacted the seller and offered to send it back for a full refund plus shipping costs to return, or to keep the pearl with a partial refund to offset costs of additional materials to try to do something more casual with it. I will let you know what he says, thank you all again!
Soooo....this is the response I got:

If you look at the Photo on the right hand side it shows the over sized hole. Also if you read the Description it say's "Fully Drilled". I don't think I could have described it any better. If you would like your Purchase price back I will do that but I'm not going to pay for your Shipping. I might suggest that you could put a Bail at the top and a Cap at the bottom and make it a pendant that way the Pearl will be in the middle between the two pieces.
Respectfully, Greg...............................

Not someone who strikes me as overly concerned with customer service!!! I'm contemplating keeping the pearl so I have the right to leave negative feedback...
I never thought I would say this, but I think he deserves a negative for being so callous about it. He's dreaming about the photo! Defective drilling, misleading description and photos. I would just state the facts.
Well let's face it, ebay feedback is a joke anyway, but if poor feedback accurately fits the transaction, that is the feedback I would leave. He should pay the shipping as well as refund your money or give you a discount, because he sold you defective merchandise and that was not disclosed. Now he either wants to lie about it or is just can't be bothered to check his own listing. Maybe opening a dispute with PayPal would improve his attitude and get you a fair deal in the end, though. I'm not sure how much detail PayPal gets involved with. I've only filed a dispute to get a refund on the merchandise itself, but they were extremely helpful with that. Maybe worth looking into anyway. Sorry you have to put up with this, how annoying. :(
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I'd file a case. Worst case you have To keep the pearl and won't get a refund and that's no different from now. And you can still leave negative feedback. Also it might time to name the seller here. I'd say the seller knew exactly what he was doing. First he says he doesn't know anything and then he gives a respons in quite a different 'voice'.

- Karin
You could just use the seller's 14 day return policy (assuming it's the seller I think it is) and get your money back; that would not require filing a dispute.
Sellers id is "handigreg"...and I think you are right, the tone with which he responded tells me he knew exactly what he was doing. I did direct him to this thread when I responded and asked for a refund+ shipping or partial refund to offset additional material costs, and that is how he responded. I am now feeling bad for this poor pearl...and whats more, I fear if I return it he will attempt to re-sell it in the same manner, probably to someone who doesn't know any better. If I open a case can I just request a partial refund? I don't want to send this pearl back to that jerk now...I don't believe he'll do anything honest with it.
When I filed the paypal dispute with Lei I asked for a partial refund and that is what I received (and got blocked). Good luck. As Pearl Dreams suggested, by reaming the hole out you could string the pearl on leather (if you like that look) or put a chain through it.
That is who I figured it was as he was the only recent seller of GSS pearls who doesn't normally sell pearls.

I would ask him for a partial refund first, if you have not done so already. It is in his best interest to give you one since you could open a case and ask for one, but when a case it opened the seller gets a strike against them on eBay and the buyer generally leaves bad feedback. Ask politely and do not mention feedback. I hope you will not leave him bad feedback if he gives you your partial refund willingly.

I like Pattye's idea of stringing it on leather! A partial refund will give you money for the leather.
I already did ask for a partial refund (or full refund + shipping if I returned the pearl) and he refused with the reply I posted. I will open a dispute and ask for a partial refund...will see what happens!