Well, the garish little metal and semi-precious stone box that I bought off an eBay seller arrived in good time…but, alas, the semi-precious stones were glass. Just glass. Of course. Their backs were silvered (not apparent to me in the photos) and the “stones” had noticeable bubbles when viewed with my jeweler’s loupe. Yes, it was too good to be true to expect these to be peridots, garnets, amethysts and citrines!
She also listed the box as an antique. Well, I doubted it was an antique, but it was really obvious when I opened the package that it had no great age. Certainly not even close to an antique.
Oh dear. Oh dear.
Now here’s the thing. The seller’s profile says she is a great grandmother and she emailed me once from the hospital (She mentioned that. Turns out her husband has cancer). So when the box arrived and it was not…NOT…the quality she had listed, I hesitated to contact her. I thought, “She has enough on her plate right now.”
But…but I wouldn’t have bought it if it had been listed accurately. I realize I needed to contact her because despite the fact that she says she doesn’t accept returns (and she is a great grandmother with a sick husband), that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t treat this like any other less-than-perfect business transaction.
So, I sent her an email. I suggested either I return the item (and hopefully getting reimbursed for the full amount plus shipping costs) or keep it and get a partial refund since it wasn’t listed accurately.
Of course a day later I still haven’t heard from her, though pre-sale she answered my questions within minutes.
I could make a case out of it. Keep bugging her. Get eBay involved. But it’s just not worth any more of my mental energy, effort and stress. Even if you return something, sometimes sellers don’t refund you or take their sweet time doing so. And it wasn’t that much money. So I put it in my Etsy store. (You may want to see how I’ve chosen to list it. None of that semi-precious stones/antique nonsense!) If it doesn’t sell by Christmas, I’ll donate it to charity…and that, as they say, will be that.
Overall though, I feel like such…a…dope. There were red flags galore for both this listing and the seller and I ignored them. Plus the fact, that I didn’t spot such an obvious bit of kitsch!!
- If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
- Don’t ignore the red flags.
- Stick to my picking rules.
Hope you learn from my mistakes and happy hunting!
Postscript: The box sold within one day to a friend on the East Coast! (Thank you Mark!) The eBay seller never responded to my email. I just let her “neutral” feedback. While she had fast shipping and responded to my pre-sale questions quickly, the obvious inaccuracies about the item were too big to ignore.