24karatstore.com gave me trouble

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mabullas
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11 May 07 03:29:13 pm
I'm typing this at 1am in the morning feeling really down and depressed. I thought I had found a really good jewellery supplier for CZ and platinum plated sterling silver goods. I've been looking forward to it for weeks. I thought customer service sounded so good - they upgraded me to 'higher cost' items when the ones I ordered weren't available and I thought 'wow! I've really found a good supplier here'.

The products arrived today. I spent over $200 on them and they were absolute rubbish! I'd never even be able to give them away. The chains were so thin that they'd break the first time someone wore them. The 'polished' sterling silver had no shine, and most of the stuff (except for the stud earrings) were of lower quality than market stall stuff. It's now going to cost me to send them back and they take 15% of my order for restocking fee (probably more than they pay to purchase the jewellery). They also charged me 3x the price for shipping than the stamp indicated on the box. It couldn't have been for handling - the stuff looked like it was thrown in, and it was all in little plastic bags. Nobody over here would buy that stuff even for the price I paid for it and not even have it in a little ring/earring box.

I emailed back pointing out what I wasn't happy with and that I'd be returning it. I was polite but very directly honest about the shortcomings. I made the order in good faith. Yet I received the following attack on my (quite genuine) intentions as a seller:

[i:88939bae]We have over 125,000 Drop shippers and resellers, in 12 years we only received 1 complaint about a gemstone that the customer felt was an

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mabullas
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11 May 07 03:34:29 pm
PS I also noted that despite the large amount they charged me for the goods (initially US$225.46, but got $37 reimbursed for out of order stock which was cancelled with my approval), the estimated value of the goods on the package I received was listed as US$45.

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bayericlowe
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11 May 07 07:38:51 pm
No, it doesn't get any better. A lot of suppliers just hate to hear the cold honest truth, and they need to or they might as well be out of business.

And in a way that's what SaleHoo is for, its a firm directory of all the worst to all the best to give them the necessary criticism that they deserve to shape up on their service.



The most important thing you can learn in trial and error, is how to have genuine relationship with your suppliers that you know what you're getting when you get it.

And you have a sturdy, steady relationship with those suppliers so that you know that if mistakes are made, you can both walk through and correct them. And that service really does matter, and if the supplier will not put service to you first; the person making the sales for them.....then they really aren't worth the time of day.

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mabullas
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11 May 07 11:52:20 pm
They claim to have been in business for 12 years, but when I looked them up, their domain name is only 4 years old. Unless they had a physical store prior to that....

I believe they give free jewellery to stars to wear at the Oscars and have become prominent for that. But honestly, the chains on the necklaces would snap the first time someone put it on - I can't afford that sort of bad feedback on ebay!!!!

In response to the remark about maybe I should go back and buy one of those platinum rings on ebay, I replied that I did in fact buy one months ago and that it would leave theirs to shame, that I can walk into any jewellers wearing my Russian cut lab created diamond and have staff think it was a flawless diamond to the naked eye (quite true! - it's atomically the same structure as a mined diamoned and colour D).

If they have all the sellers they claim to have, they can't be very bright ones. Or if they do, the sellers can't seem to know that platinum is a high shine, and that even sterling silver isn't a dull matte grey, or that even a cheap CZ has some sparkle.....

Readers beware!!!!! This company will be very nice to you and go out of their way to please, as long as you accept their shoddy merchandise willingly. But don't dare complain or you'll be left high and dry. I'd hate to think of what a 15% restock fee would mean for a ring worth a couple of thousand dollars instead of what I paid....

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sherry-allen
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12 May 07 01:51:04 am
what company was it

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mabullas
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12 May 07 03:47:47 am
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Actually, now that I think about it, there was a rather odd question asked in their reseller application. They asked whether I would be prepared to take merchandise returned by the customer (if my customer wasn't satisfied) and resell it myself rather than returning it to them for a refund. That seems an odd thing to ask if you have a returns policy of any sort.

If you were sure of the quality of your merchandise, why would this be a prominent question in your reseller application? Why would you almost seem to assume that customers will want to return your goods?

For that matter, why would you immediately cancel your customer's account if he/she said that your merchandise was not up to scratch? And why would such a defensive reply be posted within 5 minutes of informing them of a return of goods? Why so edgy? If they were as willing as they indicated in their post to fix problems, why did they not even attempt to address it?

Every email I had from customer support up until then was both cordial and professional - I would have even said impressive. And they did 'upgrade' items at no cost to me as they said - but even the 'upgrades' were definitely not up to scratch and mostly shoddy. If I attempted to sell them, I would risk a negative reputation on ebay, and if I gave them away, people would call me a skinflint giving this sort of stuff (except for the stud earrings - they were of good quality, as I pointed out in my email to the company). I certainly wouldn't be seen dead wearing this quality jewellery myself. They were basically cheap Chinese imports (clearly labelled), and the markup must have been enormous if similar products on DH Gate are anything to go by.

I don't know whether it is different with their solid gold products, but I definitely was not impressed with their lower range goods.

The other odd thing was that all previous customer service was sent with the name of an individual staff member. This one had none - just The Customer Service Team, or something like that. Almost as if there would be no particular name to take responsibility.

I did reply that I was not the only one who came to the conclusion regarding the quality of the goods, and that at least one of those people had experience in the field. Since then, I have had no replies, so they must know what they were sending me!

As a precaution, I am going to go to a Justice of the Peace and actually get him/her to witness the state of the jewellery and see me put it in the postal bag. I have this awful feeling that they will come up with some excuse to keep my money, so I am going to ensure that I have legal eye-witness proof that they are being returned in good condition and unopened. (Of course, I hope that I am wrong and being overly paranoid about this.) I will also send it via registered mail to ensure that they can't say they didn't get it.

This was my first experience with a jewellery wholesaler, and it is really making me nervous about ever approaching another company again in case I get similar treatment.

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jimmy_huber
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13 May 07 06:41:27 am
Its obvious that this is an unfortunate incident. I did a search online for you to check up on the rare complaint story issues by that email. And alas I can dig up dirt on any company. I cant find one complaint on this site. They may be correct in stating you are one of the first to complain. But that does not mean they dont sell junk. I once purchased some junk solid gold necklaces from a place called swapselltrade. They were so thin I actually broke 3 of them trying to open the necklaces. I spent about 200 on them. But I never complained.

I would suggest you file a complaint on Link hidden: Login to view about this company. This site is one of the most popular scam reporting agencies on the net. And also gets alot of media attention. If you made the first complaint and others see it. It would help them decide on weather to purchase from them. And others that have had a bad experience would make a complaint as well.

Also you can send them an email showing them you reported them to the largest scam report site on the net. That might get them to go even further to sort out your dilemma.

Please keep us posted!!!


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mabullas
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13 May 07 07:29:57 am
Yes, OK. I'll check that out. But it may also be that anyone who asks for a refund like I did simply gets their account cut off. I mean, I am now not considered a customer so technically it's not a customer complaint is it? Also, just because somebody doesn't report it to somewhere big like the rip off site, doesn't mean that it hasn't been reported to the company itself. It could be the case that they're summarily dismissed like myself, and who knows what reason they put on the books? So it may/may not be traceable.

What would be interesting would be to get someone I know to apply to be a reseller and maybe ask something like, 'What is your policy if a customer complains about something?' and then try to get the conversation somehow around to finding out about customer complaints (would be difficult, would have to be subtle). It would be interesting to know whether the reply was:

1. Oh, we try to fix anything that a customer thinks is not up to par for some reason (because I know that this is patently untrue)

2. We've only had one complaint.... (because that would also be patently untrue since mine would then be the second if this pans out)

3. We had two complaints....the last one was some one who was trying to scam us by blah blah blah.... (ie falsifying the complaint)

Or even to ask what they do if something is returned for a refund and see if it agrees with my experience.

A rude reply and my account cancelled within 5-10 minutes, and I really do think that accusing me of wanting to 'shop around' and not really intending to purchase is defaming my moral character. I'm in another country, so they probably know I can't really do anything about that legally.

I don't know what business mores are in another country but I'm sure that the US is culturally similar to us in sales - at least where supplying to a business is concerned (and I did supply them with my valid business registration no. in Oz, so they know I wasn't some fly by night). That sort of reply is a definite no-no in business. It's the sort of reply that would get someone summarily dismissed in any company that I ran. You just don't do it because it's extremely unprofessional. (Just my luck to get a supplier with multiple personalities - professional one moment, psycho the next.....)

If anything, I was trying to do what was morally right. I wouldn't sell anything to anyone else that I wouldn't want to be sold to me. And although the CZ stud earrings (special 'customer appreciation items' that were either free or next to nothing) were genuinely decent (more decent than their regular stuff), and the bracelets were OK (but overpriced and not presented well), I couldn't very well say, 'OK, I'm going to take the customer appreciation stuff, send the rest back and you can go to hell'. I was trying to do the right thing. And I didn't just make a generalised statement - I itemised every thing I specifically found less than good about each item (and praised what was actually good).

The other thing is that I'm sure they cover their backsides. They give freebies to movie stars to wear at awards ceremonies, and I bet they don't get the cheap Chinese imports that look tinny. That is apparently how they got their reputation.

Gee, if you could only see that horrible fake pink ring with the tinny metal supposed to be silver (if it was, it wasn't polished too well.....) It was supposed to be a wedding ring? If a guy gave it to me I'd give him a boot up the backside.

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jimmy_huber
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13 May 07 09:14:10 am
Yes, OK. I'll check that out. But it may also be that anyone who asks for a refund like I did simply gets their account cut off. I mean, I am now not considered a customer so technically it's not a customer complaint is it? Also, just because somebody doesn't report it to somewhere big like the rip off site, doesn't mean that it hasn't been reported to the company itself. It could be the case that they're summarily dismissed like myself, and who knows what reason they put on the books? So it may/may not be traceable.


Well basically when people have a bad experience with a company and report it anywhere on the net. It can be found on various search engines using specific keywords matching the incident or problem. I find this quite helpfull when doing reviews for members. There is a massive amount of info on this companys website address that I can pull up. But so far nobody has complained to any websites or forums That I can find. If you can search it on a search engine using proper keywords, You can find pretty much any dirt on a company if there is any. People like to express themselves. If someone screwed them they would most likely talk about it.

If I pull up dozens of scam articles accross the web on a certain company or website. I know to tell my members that this website should be avoided..

Thats why I say If youve had a bad experience. Post it. :D

Alot of places dont want a bad review or reputation. Places like Ripoffreport. Are very well known and established sites. If they knew they were on that site, Its possible they would respond in some way to aleviate the problem. I have seen many companies fight it out with the buyer to resolve the problem and get thier problem fixed with the buyer on that site.


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mabullas
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13 May 07 11:18:15 am
Yes, I know what you mean. And maybe that's what they meant when they said they had no complaints. And I didn't know that I could search that way, so now that's helpful for research on future suppliers....

When I told them that I wasn't happy with the quality of their goods, I didn't do it on a public forum or on their website. I did it by private email to their customer service email address. But is that sort of stuff searchable?

For instance, I took up a part time in the office of a bedding sales chain store a couple of years ago largely to downsize responsibilities so I could be Mum's carer. The company rarely received any complaints, and their customer service was good. There may have been the odd complaint by email or phone to say that delivery time was a bit long or whatever. Now, in this instance, you could say that there were at least some customer complaints (albeit hardly any), but if I were to do a web search I wouldn't necessarily find any complaints per se. So the only people who necessarily know if there were unsatisfied customers would be the company and the customers themselves, since it's not necessarily the case that someone would complain on a web forum. However, if they were really dodgy then of course there would be a greater likelihood.

But even the very best company is going to get some sort of complaint at some time, simply because of the well known axiom, 'you can't please all of the people all of the time'. So if a company comes along and says it has only received one complaint in 12 years, then you have to wonder. Also, does this company have a physical store that's been around that long? They must have in order for this to be true, because their domain name is only 4 years old. How many titanium ebay sellers have 100% feedback rating? Think about it - over 10,000 feedbacks, no bad ratings at all.... There has to be at least a few, even if it was to say 'my goods came 2 days late'.

I don't think the company is a sham, if by a sham it's meant some sort of front for a company that doesn't deliver goods and out to swindle - I think that their lower end goods just are not good quality (unsellable if you have a conscience about what you sell and charge as a reseller) and not something I would be happy selling, which is basically what I was trying to point out in my email to them. And I think any business that found goods unacceptable should be able to return those goods if they are paying the shipping fees to do that. Any reasonable business will accept that - usually they will either apologise or conclude that those particular goods did not meet the customer's expectations and move on. I could have accepted this. A reasonable company would take that on board and look at the quality of chains, bands, etc, or they would point out what level the goods are on the web site, so that customers could make up their own minds whether it is suitable. At their higher end they sell Geneve solid gold watches, for example. A Geneve watch is going to be a Geneve watch wherever you buy it, and covered by manufacturer's guarantee etc (as long as it's genuine.....). But I think that their lower end stuff (gold plated, platinum plated, sterling silver, vermeil, CZ, lab created diamonds, etc) is not particularly good quality, and this is where I was not happy with what was sold. I can only comment on what I received which was not particularly promising.

I've bought stuff in this category of goods on ebay (mainly platinum vermeil with lab created diamonds), for less than or equal to the price charged here. I am setting my expectations by both photos and descriptions on the web site plus my experience of what similar priced products should look like (both from ebay sellers and from lower end retail stores locally). It didn't look like that. It also looked more measly than the photos, and the chains were not really shown in the photos, so I felt I was justified in making the comments I did. It really didn't look as good as some fakes I've seen on market stalls, and some pieces really did look like junk. They weren't even in proper pouches or anything! They were in crappy plastic bags with 'made in China' prominent (cheap Chinese stuff that they probably got for less than half). This is what I mean by a rip off - that I did not get goods that looked anything like what they charged me, and I feel that photos that make the stuff look much better than it is are in themselves misleading. It definitely didn't look like nearly $200 worth of jewellery. And they valued it themselves at $45 on the parcel. Now I know some undervalue for customs' sake, but in this case I really have to wonder.

They may be correct in pointing out that they have lots of satisfied sellers in one respect, even at the lower end of their goods. It would be possible for a 'clever' jewellery shop to take the CZ stuff, for example, put it in a fancy box of its own, put it under bright lights, and then inflate the price. The Victorian earrings and the bracelet could have been 'dressed up' in this way by a clever reseller (but not those awful rings!). These sort of practices are known amongst some sellers. You have to be sceptical as a buyer, and the local rule of thumb is when something is advertised as 50% off, that's more likely near the real retail price rather than a drastic reduction. The practice has been exposed on TV, criticised, and even investigated amongst some. If you're a seller with that sort of modus operandi, you're not likely to complain - you're more likely to view the supplier as your gravy train. (To all those honest jewellery sellers out there - I don't include you in this.) And they will jump through hoops to supply you with the goods (as long as you don't mind receiving the sort of stuff that I received, and maybe some people don't mind it.....)

But I did not deserve this treatment. If you have a returns policy that state that you will accept returns with a 15% restock fee, then you should provide that without question, and definitely without nasty, defamatory remarks about the intentions of the buyer. If I was only looking around and not buying, I can think of more inexpensive ways of doing it than shipping multiple pieces of each item from a different country, paying expensive shipping there and back and topping it off with a 15% restock fee.....

I never would have bought again from this supplier after seeing this merchandise. But their manner of response was so peculiar and defensive from a business point of view that I still wonder why, and what they were worried enough about to do it.

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bayericlowe
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13 May 07 07:51:47 pm
This company just doesn't sound that good.

I'm sorry but I don't care how many sales you make. This is just dishonest business practice. A few good sales of lower end jewelry isn't worth the cost of a negative feedback rating for selling someone junk down the line. It just isn't.


If these people are serious about business, they need to check themselves on ripoffreport and start facing the fact that their lower end goods are crap.


I mean this is pathetic to me. They have good prices and selection on everything else, but yet their lower end goods and rings are all fakes, some might even be made of plastic, and they are trying to make people sell these at full price?


Come on this is like someone buying cracker jack boxes, taking out the rings and gifts and selling those for $60 or more or reselling them.


Its just patently dishonest and disiginous at that. I don't care who you are. You should strive to offer the service with the goods to back it up, because thats what people are really after. Is good quality service.

I just don't understand why this company appears to be so perfect. If I had ordered from them I would have complained by now too. I just hope the bands aren't like rubber bands because that would prove they were made in the phillipines and break quickly.

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mabullas
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14 May 07 12:51:53 pm
Never came across any plastic stuff from them. Just :

1. extremely thin 'sterling silver' supposedly platinum plated (I actually commented to them that the platinum must have been waved over the top!!!)

2. dull silver-grey matte looking alleged 'sterling silver' - doesn't look like any silver I've bought because the silver I've bought was, well, silver-coloured and shiny. Looks like the colour of an Aussie 50c piece after its been in circulation for 10 years (I think they're partly silver, and shiny at first but go dull later), so if it's genuine it sure ain't good silver.

3. The big pink CZ is probably a pink CZ, but not a very good one (more like those ones that the Asian sellers put on ebay in a tray of 100 for $50)

4. The other CZs on the heart necklaces were fine (sparkly, etc) - but so small that you practically needed a magnifying glass to see them - genuine, but honestly almost as small as teensy diamond chips and a polished CZ gem hardly costs anything

5. The Victorian earrings were pretty enough, and may or may not have been CZ, but they were so small and insignificant looking that I honestly have seen better and cheaper on market stalls locally - and 24karatstore.com claims that their resellers should be able to mark up the goods at least 60-70% (remember, the price that I'm saying is over the top was with a special 11% discount for resellers off their normal wholesale price). They were also in a little plastic bag dumped into a slightly bigger cardboard box, so presentation was zilch.

6. The necklace chains were practically cotton thin (both the so-called platinum plated and the sterling silver)

7. The lab created diamonds in the bracelet were fine, nothing wrong with them, looked sparkly etc, but you'd have to do loads of dressing up with fancy boxes etc to get retail what they charged me. They were just in small plastic bags also. If everything else had been OK, I could have been persuaded to take a small loss and try to sell these.

8. The stud earrings were lovely. Paradoxically, these were their 'customer appreciation items' (one only per order) genuinely reduced for resellers at an insane price and genuinely a bargain. I say paradoxically because these freebies and almost freebies were better quality than the other items. But as I've said, I couldn't morally keep these when they are meant only to go with an order. I wouldn't feel right about sending back the order and keeping the really nice freebies.

9. OK, I know that one pays for handling, but the way they were put in that box didn't really justify me paying around $25 when they paid little over $8. There was minimal handling, and certainly not enough to justify it.

These were my complaints in particular, which I commented on in the email to them one by one. (They didn't seem to like that - is there any more diplomatic way of saying that you don't think their stuff is good enough for you to put on sale?)

It seems that you are in a lose-lose situation as a customer. If you return something that is not up to your standard, they keep 15% as a restocking fee, then go on to sell the same stuff to someone else. And to make sure you get the 15%, all you have to do is accuse someone of not being a genuine customer and use that as a justification to keep it.

Compare the email they sent me with the treatment I received at Bidz (who have been bagged a bit on Salehoo, but they have, I think a problem with the way FedEx handles and transports their stuff rather than a problem at their end - and they're now looking into it.) I received my latest stock of stuff from Bidz today and one lovely watch was in a tin which FedEx packed quite attrociously for Bidz, so that things moved around and the tin got slightly dinted. (Bidz doesn't do their own packing - FedEx does it all.) I contacted Bidz and let them know exactly how FedEx packed the stuff (which was inappropriate for jewellery). They apologised, immediately offered me a refund (which I didn't want as I will sell it discount instead), thanked me for bringing it to their attention, told me that they would investigate further re FedEx's handling of the jewellery, and told me to contact them 24/7 anytime I ever needed any assistance. I could have got a refund. But their stuff was good and I kept it. I didn't get a nasty response for bringing it to their attention. If 24karat had been different, they would have got a different response from me. Also, if their stuff was mostly good (instead of mostly not so good) I probably would have kept it. I was looking for a long term supplier for a stable lower end product line. They lost a customer, and don't apparently care, as long as they have plenty of other people to peddle the lower grade wares.

And you're right, of course about lower end stuff - I'm not about to order higher end stuff from anyone unless I sample the lower end stuff first. Imagine if I bought a $5000 solid gold chain and had issues about the quality. 15% of that would be a huge restocking fee!!!!!

PS a bit off the track - for those that have had trouble with loose claws with Bidz rings etc, I'm convinced that if FedEx packed the rings the way they packed my watches, I'm not surprised if the claws were loose (claws are delicate things). I also let Bidz know that there has been discussion amongst our members about this and that I felt it was very likely the handling by the carrier (based on my experience of the inappropriate packing I've had with their carrier), so they are now very happy to be aware of this and in the process of fixing that particular problem.

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mabullas
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Joined: 23 Feb 07
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17 May 07 02:22:01 pm
Well, tomorrow's the day I'm returning the goods.

Unbelievably, the sterling silver mark is on the horrible tinny looking rings (925 or 924 or whatever it is, can't remember numbers well, but I know that it's on sterling silver).

Yet when I contrast it to the sterling silver ring that arrived from Bidz today, there is a contrast in the quality. The Bidz one has the colour & shine I associate with sterling silver, and the stones (well, OK that's not fair - they were real gemstones) are gorgeous. If 24karat had given me rings like this one there would not have been any complaint from me. (The Bidz one cost less, too....)

I'd still like to know why the silver from 24karat store looks second rate.....

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bayericlowe
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19 May 07 10:00:43 am
Well, tomorrow's the day I'm returning the goods.

Unbelievably, the sterling silver mark is on the horrible tinny looking rings (925 or 924 or whatever it is, can't remember numbers well, but I know that it's on sterling silver).

Yet when I contrast it to the sterling silver ring that arrived from Bidz today, there is a contrast in the quality. The Bidz one has the colour & shine I associate with sterling silver, and the stones (well, OK that's not fair - they were real gemstones) are gorgeous. If 24karat had given me rings like this one there would not have been any complaint from me. (The Bidz one cost less, too....)

I'd still like to know why the silver from 24karat store looks second rate.....



Well, I think its just because these guys are lazy and apparently don't offer good service. Their service seems to be very bad, and if you asked me, I would file a complaint with ripoffreport.com about 24Karat's service.


That is just ludicrous to me that they could give someone rings that are not even legitimate, and treat them like that for noticing the rings are crap.

Bidz and the competition at least tell you exactly what you are getting.


Did the jewelry even come with certificates? Or did 24karat just drop it in a box in plastic bags and ship it off, like it was just some throwaway flea market deal?

It just seems unreal to me that companies like this can do that.

I would hope salehoo and others warn these guys off and start forcing them to shape up their act. I'm sorry but scams only invite more scammers, and it won't be long until lots of nigerian scammers or criminals become the full time staff for 24 karat.


They just go hand and hand and that is the saddest thing about today's world. If they can't actually back up their offer, then they need to not lie and revise their offer. Stop taking advantage of people, that's what we ought to discourage as much as possible.

Btw, NEVER click on those emails if it says it comes from eBay or uBid for password request. I got a couple of those recently and almost clicked on it. Worst thing you can ever do, they are phishing emails. They are NOT from any of those people they are sent 24 hours a day from a routine criminal's machine.

So no matter WHAT you think, definitely watch out and change your password regularly. On your EMAIL account, all it takes is to be compromised ONCE to find out you are the victim of a vast fraud. So just update your password whenever you can, regardless of what someone says.

Its the safe way to work online with anything, and I have not had problems when I just change my password. 98% of the time you are going to be totally safe, all you must do though to work safely is change your password to a set of numbers and letters about every 3 weeks.

Believe it or not it even protects you from places like 24karat, because all of these guys have one thing in common most definitely: They are out to cause trouble and rip people off, and should be shut down many of them. :wink:

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mabullas
Posts: 82
Joined: 23 Feb 07
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19 May 07 12:58:05 pm
Well, now that you mention it, none of the jewellery did come with certificates (but I didn't expect it for something as lowly as CZ and sterling silver), but I presumed that if it had that stamp it's supposed to be legit. (However, doesn't look as good as my Bidz stuff that's sterling silver - the latter looks like it's been polished. As long as it has that stamp, the sterling silver at least has to be legit (I think they can't put the stamp on unless it is, can they? - not sure about this, and I'm not a chemist either), but whatever finishing process it's been through, it definitely didn't look good. Not like what I'd expect of sterling silver. (I've got some sterling silver chains at home bought locally and they definitely look better than the rings from this store). I'd be hard pressed to pick it from an ordinary metal ring by eye sight.

And yes, the whole lot was dumped in little plastic bags, and they had 'made in China' prominently displayed on tags attached to them. They charged me three times for shipping what they actually paid to have it shipped, and it certainly didn't look professionally packaged (which would be the 'handling' part of 'shipping and handling' that you'd expect to take time and hence money.

I think there are a lot of shonky jewellers buying from them though, as they do seem to have a lot of customers (including 'titanium' customers who have sold over $10,000 of their merchandise in 3 years).

I've actually been looking around in jewellers' window shops lately since getting my Bidz bundles and comparing my Bidz stuff to their stuff, and also comparing between jeweller and jeweller. I bought 2 diamond & gemstone rings from major chains stores years ago. I now regularly look at their stuff compared to other jewellers. Some of the local jewellers have good stuff (although rule of thumb is that you can expect huge markup on jewellery anyway). Some has revolting stuff that is roughly the same as the stuff I bought from 24Karat Store, but dressed up in nice little velvet boxes and stuck under bright lights. If you take away the ring boxes and just look at the ring, I don't know how they can justify charging what they do (even with overheads, etc, they'd still be making profit over wholesale costs). And I've no doubt they're right in saying that some of it ends up on ebay (the best stuff and the worst junk both eventually end up on ebay).

Mind you, you've raised an interesting point for me. I now have mid-level (and a few high level) licensed watches - but they speak for themselves because the authentication comes with them. But I also have a number of gemstone and gold rings which I do trust to be the real thing, and which (because of sheer good luck on Bidz) I can now sell on ebay for below retail. However, I've only recently started up my business. I haven't got authentication papers that I can give my customers either (and can't afford to pay someone to do that yet), although Bidz generally will stand behind their merchandise and guarantee it, so if a customer finds something to be not right, I can take up the issue with them. So the question will be, will people actually trust buying from me? I state the colour and clarity info that I've got, the ctw, the dimensions and so forth accurately, and judging by what I see in some jewellery shops locally it's definitely better priced than some of them (nicer looking that some of it, too - although I'm probably prejudiced). And maybe I'm getting paranoid, because I don't seem to remember being given authentication for the 2 rings I bought retail from those 2 major chain stores for myself, either, and they gave me less info than I'm giving my customers.....

I'm not selling huge high end diamonds and gemstones, so maybe that won't be a problem. (The diamonds are pretty small and are only between I-J colour).

I know I need to find a permanent supplier in this area rather than relying on Bidz because that won't get me a permanent product line, but I'm using Bidz at the moment to kick start things to get a bit of capital under my belt. I think some of their price estimates are a bit high (except for the definite retail stuff like the Lamborghini watches - I've been to their company's website etc), but it doesn't really matter as long as I'm bidding fairly low - then if I get it, I get it (and sell it for a profit) and if I don't, I don't. Gray's Online is getting way higher prices for the same merchandise than Bidz, so I seem to be doing OK, and really have got lovely, lovely stock (which took me many lovely hours of autobids to get....)

It ain't going to be 24Karat though. Are they supposed to throw the rings, bracelets and pendants (in plastic bags) in a larger plastic bag, and then throw it in a box? I think it had I layer of bubble wrap (I tend to use a few layers when I pack things myself so they don't move around or get damaged in transit).

I think they are genuinely catering to a class of seller in the market - but the sort of seller they appeal to is not the sort of seller that I want to be. Or the sort of seller that I would want to buy from. (Which is pretty much one and the same thing.) I like the idea of selling, but I don't like the idea of being a totally unethical predator selling shonky goods. I want to sell the sort of goods that have a quality that I'd be happy buying myself. If it makes me less profit that way, then so be it.

Full Member
bayericlowe
Posts: 485
Joined: 26 Feb 07
Karma: 
19 May 07 08:33:49 pm
Generally, you should always clarify and make sure it comes with certificates.

Alot of it does and they will come with warranty certificates thus eliminating 90% of the risk even though not completely.

If it doesn't come with, you still are safe as long as you've checked it out. But if you sell crap like what 24 karat does, not long from that point you will get lots of complaints from someone.

Its unavoidable in the marketplace to not run into issues with suppliers. But that's not what I'm referring to. If you have a general problem with somebody like 24karat selling overpriced, second hand ripoff goods then that problem will eventually be your problem with your customers.

This is why like you say, its the best thing to always try before you buy and keep the same standards to your suppliers as you would to yourself.

Full Member
mabullas
Posts: 82
Joined: 23 Feb 07
Karma: 
20 May 07 02:16:12 am
Yes, I agree. And that's what was so incredible about the wording of their email to me - that I only intended to shop around and see the merchandise. I bought the small sample under the impression that it would be of the same quality that I've bought myself from ebay, with the intention of selling it to see what sells and what doesn't and then make a larger purchase based on that small field test. The customer service until that point had been so exemplary that there was no reason to question the quality of the goods. I even made a comment to them in a previous email about the service being impressive (it certainly did seem so, because they were practically ready to jump through hoops to 'please' the customer - until I saw the goods and told them they weren't satisfactory, then there was a complete about turn and the cancelled account was like an immediate shut out in response to a complaint. I don't see what they felt was objectionable, unless they were only making excuses to make me somehow to blame and cover themselves.

If I had done what they said, I would have only ordered one of each, not multiples. And then, even if I had done that - isn't that what most sellers will do before committing to a new supplier? That would have just been standard professional practice. And as long as I was willing to cop a 15% restock fee, there is no reason for the tone of the email I received.

Alas, I wish I had been thinking that way. I looked at photos of the merchandise online, read their FAQ, and thought about it about a month before ordering. I didn't just jump in. I thought about likely good sellers based on what I've seen selling and the quality I've seen myself. And was duped.

But the scary bit is that part where they boast that most of the stuff on ebay comes from them and is then placed on ebay. Well, alright, that is a bit of megalomania on their part - contrary to their own hyperinflated view of themselves, they are not the only suppliers in the world, and to claim that most of the huge quantities of CZ, platinum vermeil and sterling silver available for sale through ebay comes from their company is ridiculous. They got theirs from Chinese suppliers that plenty of ebay sellers probably get it from directly (at half their price). But the scary part is that there are ebay sellers out there selling stuff from this company. You won't be able to tell from the photos, because the photos are professional and make the stuff look good. Unless you're one of their resellers, you can't just check their website, because there is a portion of their stuff only available to registered resellers - you can't view it unless you're a reseller. And they screen their resellers before allowing you to sell their stuff. I had to answer a set of questions in an application so they could allegedly make the decision as to whether they would allow me to sell their merchandise.

Even more scary - that's just their regular division. They have a separate arm of the business called 24Karat Wholesale - and I'm not sure about the relationship of the two, but I think that's more for businesses buying in bulk. So there could be plenty of this stuff lurking around not just on ebay but in retail shops. And with the right jewellery boxes and good lighting, plenty of people wouldn't even question it. The ones selling it may not even question it themselves. What, with all those celebrities supposedly wearing their jewellery (that they've supplied to them for nothing)?

And here is the thing - I guess I took it for granted that they were well known. But Salehoo has, I think, about 11,000 members. Many of these are going to be people who've been in the business for years and know who the major suppliers are. How come nobody here seems to have even heard of them?

Full Member
bayericlowe
Posts: 485
Joined: 26 Feb 07
Karma: 
22 May 07 09:22:03 am
'How come nobody here seems to have heard of them?'


Yep, that's a red flag. And I wouldn't blame you for being duped. But still in general, its a learning experience. And you should always ask ahead of time if they have certificates with them and get those things answered up front, because in the longrun that will save you from lots of the same problems in the marketplace.

24 Karat isn't rare or unique, its just you were the first to find out about the truth behind these guys.

Full Member
mabullas
Posts: 82
Joined: 23 Feb 07
Karma: 
22 May 07 01:36:26 pm
The other learning experience, of course, is that I wasn't aware that you were supposed to get certificates for sterling silver. And I had thought that solid sterling silver was solid sterling silver, and that it would all look alike. I knew about certificates for gold, but I thought that having that stamp on the sterling silver meant that the sterling silver was of an officially recognised quality (the same quality as other silver I've purchased in the past).

I didn't expect to get certificates for the platinum plated stuff or the CZs - but I guess even there, there can be a difference in terms of how many layers of platinum is used. Maybe it was the platinum equivalent of gold electroplated, in which case I probably wouldn't have ordered unless it was substantially cheaper than their prices (because I couldn't offload it with a decent mark up and really do it honestly). The only platinum plating I've seen has been platinum plating which had about 120 layers of platinum, so that's what I was expecting.

Ironically, the stuff that was near free and meant for give aways to customers was the best of all. The CZ stud earrings really were nice looking (at $0-less than $2 per pair), better than their regular stuff. No wonder that's limited to one per style per order!!!

I don't know why they didn't just do their rings with a rhodium plated metal. I've bought Swarovski bracelets with rhodium plating and it has a lovely finish - beautifully polished and shiny, and would have looked better than the silver. I probably wouldn't have complained if I'd been presented with something that looked like rhodium, it would have maybe cost them less to buy and they could have sold it easily for the same price, and hence more markup, and the stuff would have looked better. Then they could have afforded to put less flimsy chains on the necklaces and they still would have had a platinum look.....

I've had a delay in posting the stuff back yet due to an ulcerated leg (not supposed to walk on it, don't have a car, and can't get to the post office for a few days), but I still should have plenty of time to post it off by the end of this week. If I get desperate for it to get there sooner, I can always send it express, but I think I have 30 days, and I did notify them the same day I received the goods.

Still, at least I didn't place a massively huge order. Better to find out stuff like this with a small order. So the next time I find a supplier in the same price range, I'll start with maybe 2 or 3 items (one of each type) only, even if the postage is high, because then it will work out much cheaper.

Full Member
vintage-vigour
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 May 07
Karma: 
3 Jun 07 04:34:26 pm
Hey,

I'm sorry to hear about your bad encounter. I was just wondering, have you checked this supplier which deals with jewelleries and what nots?

Its link is. [Link no longer available]

I'm not too sure about its credibility but a friend of mine is testing out on their products by getting some samples.

Full Member
bayericlowe
Posts: 485
Joined: 26 Feb 07
Karma: 
4 Jun 07 03:12:53 am
I would always be leery if I were you, of anyone who does not just offer full certificates for their product up front.



If they don't provide that, chances are its just going to be junk no matter what you do. It HAS to have the authenticity cards and/or original box, for any kind of jewelry/brand new electronics/refurbished products including clothes.


It just makes absolute clear sense, to demand to know whether they have those things with the product from the get-go. Never order anything you are not studied on backwards to frontwards.


You will learn the hard way like maballas, that people are just out to get something from you.

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