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BUYING CHINA, Procced with extreme caution

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asianfire
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« on: December 20, 2010, 12:36:39 am »

I saw some posting complaining about buying from China. So I thought, I better start a new thread.

First: please include Hong Kong and Taiwan too. I live in Hong Kong and I would never knowingly buy anything online from those two places plus China.

You see people posting adds on Ebay from Hong Kong or Taiwan, the chances are 90% that they are situated in China and the rest has their goods there. I often ask Hong Kong sellers about reducing their outrageous shipping-charges. And the answer is always the same; Sorry, we ship from China, hence we can not give any discount.

Pietersite from China: Sorry guys, you are 3 years too late. There was some wonderful material available then (see my post about “Christmas present to self” earlier this morning as example). But that was a time when there where less than 500 posts available on Ebay, incl. African material. Today, even the two sellers that I have come to trust are selling 99% rubbish, and one of them for outrageous prices.

Turquoise: I have never seen anything come out of china that would have been worth your while. Most of it is known here in Hong Kong as re-constituted material. Powdered and then put together again. Because its soooooo common, our jeleryshops here in Hong Kong have to give special certificates for natural ones, otherwise it is automatically presumed fake.

Jadeite:
WAKE UP GUYS,
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AND THERE NEVER WILL BE JADEITE FROM CHINA!!!!!!!

In the 12th. Century, trade was banned with Burma. For the next 300 years, there was no Jadeite available in China. So look at history and you can easily see that there is no natural deposit of that stuff in China. Nephredite (sorry cant spell that one right), YES, Jadeite, NO WAY. They do a lot of trade with Burma, and claim to have gotten the stuff from Burma before the embargo, but its an open secret that millions of dollars change hands at certain state organized fairs, several times a year (same for rubies and other stones).

Sometimes, I go to our local jademarket. I usually stay far from the happenings and watch old guys buy for themselves, just to find out who has some sorts of quality. Even with that, I have to have a good feel in order to get quality. That was hard at a time when I was collecting antique jade and had the stuff in my hands every day. Now, I have given up, because the quality standard is so low, and antiques?????....  forget it there is nothing real there any more.

In the early 1990's, Hong Kong was flooded by illegal hawkers (smugglers). At the time, I would reserve Friday early evening, just to go to certain areas and stand and watch. When police came round the corner, people would run. That's how you found out as to who was worth visiting. Later when they came back, I had a look at their wares, and then waited again. When the police came yet again, I would be close by, take the piece that I wanted and offered my price. Being in a hurry to make themselves scarce, usually, they agreed very quickly and left. 

That's how I got the bird and the praying person in the pictures.
Later testing confirmed the age of the items:
Bird ; Hungshan-Lungshan period 1800-2600BC
Praying man: around 12th.century

But that was then, a long time ago, today?????............


So in the end, ONE MORE TIME,
WE IN HONG KONG DO NOT BUY FROM HONG KONG OR CHINA ONLINE, AND UNTIL EBAY OR OTHER SITES IMPROVE THEIR QUALITY_CONTROL, NEITHER SHOULD ANYONE ELSE.

PROCEED WITH EXTREME CAUTION!!!!!!!!


Greetings, Kurt

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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2010, 06:00:23 am »

Great Info. Thanks!
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2010, 08:36:30 am »

I am the one who posted the most strong warnings about China.

I need to add that you should only very cautiously buy stone even from new sellers on Ebay.  Even with due dilligence I paid $1399. for ONE 140 pound ,1 3/4 to 2 inch thich slab of Nephrite Jade, that was supposed to have been found in a location I want to have Jade from.   I got 124 pounds in two slabs that are so badly massacred in how they were cut that they are not even worth $650., despite being from the proper site.  They were glued together with thin wood strips that the seller explained were cuts part way through the slab!  The photos looked to show a cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch deel around the slab that looked to be cut for some way to mount and display the claimed 140 pound piece of Jade.

By due diligence I mean I had the seller send additional photos; questioned how he knew where the Jade was from and expressed my concern about buying from him as he had no sellers feedback.  He provided believable answers  and extra photos that left me feeling a bit concerned but I decided to go forward and take the risk.  So, only buy from new sellers with PayPal too.  I will let you know if I get even part of the $1,399. back as I have filed a fraud claim.

I have reached the point that I will probably only buy from sellers I currently know to be honest or at shows where I can inspect the stone before handing over money.
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2010, 09:59:14 am »

About 5 years ago, I bought quite a few specimens from China, mainly from one dealer that had like three ebay stores.  I got what was advertised and got some really nice stuff.  Shipping was expensive but they always gave me a decent deal as i would order like 5 to 10 items at a time.  I believe he is still on ebay.  I was always impressed by the packing job they did.  It would take me like 1/2 hour to get the package open.  I think you could have dropped it from the plane and the items would have been fine.  They would take styrofoam or dense foam and cut out specimen shaped pockets for each specimen.  They wrapped the specimens and then wrapped the whole package with a half mile of colorful duct tape.  Whatever shipping they used, would deliver on any day of the year.  I got packages on Sunday and even Christmas day once.  I love getting stone in the mail and to be able to get it 7 days a week was great.  Well, i don't buy specimens anymore, but i sometimes get the urge.

Kurt is right to be wary.  But you should be wary of everyone unless you have a history with them.  Paypal is a great deal to use and never pay with money orders.  There are also websites or blogs out there that list the latest scams.  You can search for things like green quartz or other things that they produce over in China that are fakes.  So do some research before you spend that hard earned money and be careful.

Mark
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2010, 05:46:17 pm »

Exactly!

Research is the key, but unfortunately its not foolproof and there are far too many people who leave positive feedback without knowing what they got. New sellers are no help this days anymore either because a lot of them have just switched names after cheating too many people. I know one case from India, where I found (and could prove) that the same seller was keeping 16 accounts, generating bids and feedback for its listings as well as outbidding genuine bidders to drive the price. Only after buying two diamonds that turned out better than expected (had them GIA certified in Hong Kong) I caught on to their ruse and reported it to Ebay with full documentation (I always keep pics and descriptions in listings while they are ongoing). I do not know what Ebay did, but I never heard back from them, and the last time checked most accounts of that seller are dormant but still in existence.

I agree with Mark, as I said in the post, a few years back you got sellers from China that where trying to build up a proper business. Quality was quite different, and any problems where solved at a moments notice. Without a doubt, China has huge mineral resources and there is a lot of interesting material. Its just so hard finding someone who wants to do honest business. Its hard enough when you are here, online only multiplies the whole problem factor.

Michael, you seem to be buying things that are way above my league, considering the cost. Would it not be worthwhile for you to visit China every few years and select items first hand? By the way, the location you are talking about; is it Hotan or Kunlun? Hotan jade price has gone absolute nuts, in the last few years. People sell farms (and according to a recent report: wives and daughters) to buy diggers in the hope to find something worthwhile.

Last but not least; America has wonderful jade-deposits. A lot of Hong Kong jewelry shops do not like to agree officially, but a lot of their wares are not jade (nephrite) from China any more. At least half of the material is from America or other places.
I for one,  love Montana black jade!

So in the end, I got a beef, not only with those cheats, but also with Ebay and Paypal who facilitate them. And yet, I still buy through Ebay! Go figure!!! dunno





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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2010, 06:17:59 pm »

My only extensive foray into eBay was with a lapidarist in the United States, Missouri, St. Louis to be precise, that had some of the nicest cabs I had ever bought at some of the most reasonable prices. I was buying one or two at a time for $2 or $3 apiece until one day I ordered an even $100 worth of cabs from him. It was the last I ever heard from him. The last a lot of others ever heard from him too. We all won our claim from Paypal but there was no money in his account, cleaned out. Some thirty of us lost our money with this guy. I guess that I won but it didn't do me much good if he didn't have anything in his account. I have tried a few stones from China and they were OK and the shipping free, so for $0.99 it was a nice stone but it took weeks to get here. I once bought some cabs from India and the best that could be said for them, nice preforms without free shipping and it took over four months to get them. I left less that positive feedback. I have just not had the best of luck with stones on eBay, jewelry tools have been kinder to me though, no sad tales there thankfully and cheaper than local even with shipping. So I feel that I did OK there as the tools were the same as my local supplier had and were much cheaper in price, no sales tax and no driving across town, just down to the mail boxes. Stones however are a whole different matter from off shore, if they're bad, how you going to get a refund? dunno
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2010, 06:29:39 pm »

I wish I could filter out all the Asian sources on e-bay

would save me a lot of time.

but hey, if I ever need Lead, I know I can get it from China (is there any Chinese product that *doesn't* have lead in it?)





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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 06:44:42 pm »

I must have suggested a filter, every time I make a complain and obviously I am not alone.
I suppose Ebay would loose half their listings. yippie

Lead in toys is common, but look closer and you shall find foreign business behind it. dunno

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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2010, 08:02:51 pm »

Hey Kurt,

I found a company on-line that sells beads of all kinds.  They seem like
great prices compared to the shows I go to.  Just frustrated with the cost
of beads these days as I use a lot of them.  Where do the dealers at the shows
purchase their beads?  Are they all purchased in Asia?

This company is in Shanghai.  I guess I should only buy at shows where I
can touch and feel them.

Thanks for the heads-up.

Deb    shucks2
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2010, 08:41:38 pm »

Dear Deb,

Just try to get them to send them small quantities at a time. So any loss, will only be limited, and if it works then you are home free.  ura

The warning goes mostly out to those who spend a sizable amount for something.

Not everyone is bad, I am sure there is still a lot to be had from China. Its just that I have gotten absolutely fed up with the rubbish that I have gotten over the years and I am aware that I am not alone.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2010, 11:23:47 pm »

Hi Deb,

I don't use many beads, but this person is on the wire wrapping list I'm on.   She seems to have really good prices.  You may be familiar with her, but here's her website:

http://www.magpiegemstones.com/home.html

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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2010, 07:14:08 am »

Thanks you guys for all your input.  It's appreciated.
I will check out the website you gave me.

Have a great day.

Deb
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2010, 07:54:10 pm »

I am always tempted to buy from China. I did buy a small item from them. I would never consider a large amout. I do wonder though, how do you buy from importers that require up to $3,000 or more to get you a good discount. I did always think that Pay pal was safe on being able to recover your money. I see that was wrong. In most retail businesses, sharing wholesalers is not recommended, in the spirit of compitition, so trial and error can be costly. I have had good luck so far, so I will count my blessings.
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2010, 10:13:34 pm »

I use to purchase and collect Chinese snuff bottles. Especially enjoyed the inside painted bottles as well as the ones cut from various stone.

I purchased several from China, but went through reputable schools. Purchasing bottles from students excelling in the art of inside painting. That went pretty good and had a lot of fun collecting.

The purchase of the stone type bottles led to a dealer who also sold gemstone lots. I purchased quite a few times. We finally talked on the phone and placed a large order..

Placed three large orders back to back.. Several thousand various stones.

So my first experiences were pretty good ones.

Since getting into cutting my own stones though, it has been one disappointment after another when buying rough from China.

So rough is out, but I would buy Chinese snuff bottles again. I love the really old ones !!
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2010, 11:25:52 pm »

TaoGem, Key words: Reputable, long term contact, patience and being willing to pay the price for quality, that's the way to go.

Cheaters are only in existence because most people ignore those factors and only look for the cheapest price.

I'm a cheapskate myself, I tried to collect snuff-bottles in the early 1990's, but then they became too expensive for me and with popularity a lot of fakes started to turn up, so I gave up.

I am willing to wait, but the price has to be right for my wallet. Unfortunately, that seldom works, but when it does it is well worth the while.

This head is from around the 15hundreds, I was only able to afford it because no-one else wanted it. I found it in one of our shops in 1993 run by a mainland Chinese who did not speak a word of English. It was advertised as late 17hundreds at US$1900. I did not have that kind of money, plus knowing as to how many fakes where around, I offered him US$400 based on outstanding workmanship and uniqueness (to date, I have not seen anything even similar). He naturally refused. From then on I came back to the shop every week, sometimes twice, and eventually after nearly 10 months, he gave it to me (I suppose at cost, to get rid of me and the piece) for a mere US$280. Testing confirmed the approximate age older than advertised. Actually, after 16 years, I am still trying to find out as to whom this face belongs to.


With that on mind;  Any history puffs out there????

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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2010, 06:17:35 am »

I know next to nothing about Chinese history, but that piece is really neat! I love the third eye.
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2010, 06:45:53 am »

Your information is great. Keep in mind also that china is a major producer gems and jewelery.  You see at all the major gem shows. I live in Tucson and I see scams all the time at the local shows. Imitation beads passed as real,  glass gems that are passed as gem quality, etc. I would buy from a source that you know and have established a relationship with. I test  stones during the gem show to see if they are real,(from clients). I also check them for the quality that the vendors are telling the buyer. I get a couple of fakes and a lot of misrepresented items. Most are bought from Asian sources. Buyers beware it right.
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2010, 01:32:46 pm »

One of the things that I need to keep before me is that there are honest and dishonest people all over the world. One thing the world wide web had done is to allow the dishonest ones a wider area of operating. If my one beloved uncle were alive today I'm sure he would still be cheating people with his "antiques". He was a master at faking antiques and selling them at local auctions in Indiana in the sixties and seventies. He was my favorite uncle but he was a lier and a cheat when it came to antiques. He kept all the really good stuff for his own collection, fixed and faked up the rest to sell at auctions and made a ton of money, just think what someone like that would do today on the internet? This kind of action is not confined to one ethnic group or region of this planet but wide spread. I may be more deeply seated in some regions due to poverty but it is not only an Asian trait.  We have all fallen short of the mark at one time or another, we just need to be watchful and mindful of a deal too good too be true. You get what you pay for.
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2010, 04:57:27 pm »

Where in Indiana did your uncle operate?  My Mom was a well known antiques dealer in southern Indiana probably 70s thru 90s.  I have most of her really good stuff.  I was the one son interested in antiques and then i married into a MA family that was into antiques.  So i got most of the good stuff via the will and dealing with my brothers.  I was fair with my brothers who didn't know anything about value, plus Mom split most of the things up before her death so there would be no disagreements, even though we were all very fair and mostly got the pieces we each wanted.

Now onto unscrupulous dealers.  Bent you are so right, they are everywhere.  There may be some higher concentrations in some areas, but there are good and bad people in every country, city, and neighborhood.  My one really bad deal from hundreds, no thousands of rock deals, was with a woman who didn't ship me the Morrisonite slabs and cabs i won from her auction.  She had good input from others and i believe they were real, but she screwed me out of about $70.  Paypal gave me my money back, though i really wanted those slabs and cabs, as they were great deals.  Every Chinese dealer i dealt with was fair and honest, though the last one that i got Pietersite from for the New Twist cab contest, had crappy Pietersite.  I learned my lesson and will only run a contest with slabs that i have seen or know are top rate.

Mark
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2010, 05:33:24 pm »

 The last one that i got Pietersite from for the New Twist cab contest, had crappy Pietersite.  I learned my lesson and will only run a contest with slabs that i have seen or know are top rate.

Mark

Dear Mark,

Just read about your entry on Pietersite. Can you tell me from whom you bought?
There are not many sellers, but two are flooding the market with dubious material, and
I think I bought from them all in the past (cabs as well as rough).

Greetings, Kurt
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2010, 09:21:10 pm »

 The last one that i got Pietersite from for the New Twist cab contest, had crappy Pietersite.  I learned my lesson and will only run a contest with slabs that i have seen or know are top rate.

Mark

Dear Mark,

Just read about your entry on Pietersite. Can you tell me from whom you bought?
There are not many sellers, but two are flooding the market with dubious material, and
I think I bought from them all in the past (cabs as well as rough).

Greetings, Kurt

I think it may be best to not openly flame even those that appear to be the worst of the bad sellers..

I got a little heat for singling out a seller whom I purchased from and shared his EBay username here. Turns out most people are more than pleased with what they have purchased from him.
Guess I just had bad luck..

Just my two cents worth, but maybe we should ID unsatisfactory sellers via PM ?

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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2010, 11:47:09 pm »

Dear George,

Understood and will not happen again. bricks

Tried to PM, but I am still too green for this site. Still have to figure some things out.
Send Mark email before posting above message.

As said, will behave better in future! hide
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2010, 02:19:15 am »


As said, will behave better in future! hide

You did nothing wrong at all..

It really has not come up much before. Just thought it a good idea.

No need to behave better.. No worries, all is well.. !
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2010, 03:35:44 am »

Has not come up before,
because everyone focuses on the positive and vents steam only when things really go wrong for a moment!

So lets go back to that, and enjoy the lovely things that the members os this fabulous site have to offer. 

ura
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2010, 04:44:27 am »

Kurt emailed me, it was not done via this forum.  I replied back to Kurt via email.  It was not posted here publicly. 

For future reference.  Personal emails and PM/IM messages should not be repeated for all to read.  When i email someone or IM them, its meant to be private and not reproduced for the world to read.

Mark
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2011, 07:06:24 am »

 omg The head so reminds me of Davros from the BBC Doctor Who series. http://www.dashdotslash.net/photogallery/data/media/43/Davros_refSheetsm.jpg  roar

Dr Joe

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« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2011, 07:43:38 am »

Yikes, a time traveler!  headbang118

No wonder I could not find any reference to this "Lohan".   book11

So come 16 years of research to an end!!!!  toocool2 woohoo2
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« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2011, 09:56:07 pm »

Your  welcome2
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« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2012, 05:45:59 pm »

Has anyone here set up a list of reputable dealers here on this site????

Just a list made up by people her with say... at least 150 comments with names or websites of people they have had good dealings with.
I have seen it done at other forums after having issues with ... shall we say less than honest dealers.


just my 2 centavos!!
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« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2012, 11:39:53 pm »

That's a good idea super Mario - I wish someone would - I don't buy a lot from eBay but I do buy nearly everything online. I'd gladly add my 2 drachma senator yes
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« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2013, 03:34:41 am »

I am confused about buying or trading from China. I say this because where I live I could be in China in twenty-five minutes or Little Korea in fifteen. With what I am reading about trading with international countries there is a niche to be filled by someone who knows what to buy.

In my early twenties, I was for a brief moment an “International trader” for imports and export business. Nevertheless, I have learned a few things about trading that I am now trying to recall.

Anyhow, if there is anything you want from other countries all you have to do is contact a reputable “International Trading” company and one that has vast of imports in particular products you may want. Occasionally even if they don’t carry or supply a product next time when their buyers go overseas and some live there already will scout for that product and a supplier. If money can be made from it, they will offer it next time; they just need to know there is a market for that stuff and money can be made. Besides that, there is a good possibility there is already a supplier for the stuff you want right here in the good ole USA.

However, the problem remains you must locate these suppliers and if you cannot meet their minimum requirements you can ask who they supply too and sometimes they are willing to give that information.

The place I go to when I want things from China (mostly spices) would be an Asian owned store, other things that are a little scarcer I go to China town in San Francisco, you see where I am going with this. If I want to make an Indian curry chicken diner guess what store I go to.

What I am saying is since this is the Ole USA and anything legal to import and make money on it, it is already here. No need to go to China or Japan you just have to find the person that is already trading with those countries.

Alternatively, simply visit Asian owned stores that cater to the Asian community and show them the picture/s of the stones you are looking for and who knows you may get lucky and find a great lead to supply a market in your world.

If I had the money and the knowledge, I know what I would be doing today. First, I would research to find out how big the market is, and then find a supplier, and then buy and sell.

Just my mud’s worth.

Billy
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« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2013, 10:36:50 am »

What about Freshwater Pearls????
I've bought some lovely cultured freshwater pearls as well as some [reportedly natural] gemstone beads from a reseller in Shanghai.  http://www.stunninggemstones.com/cn/aboutus/aboutus.asp

I'm no gemologist, just a jewelry designer on a hobby level, but if I'm mostly concerned if beads have been dyed or otherwise treated in some 'non-permanent' way.
Whenever I've asked Jack [the guy I communicate with there] he will tell me if something is dyed [which I often suspect anyway].
When I compare the quality [and variety] of what they have for the price, I haven't been unhappy.
I don't buy pearls in dyed colors but just stick to white [color #007], or I'll ask for soft peach or pale pink shades and they have them as natural colors.

Do you know anything about the items from him?  If 'have concerns' but don't feel comfortable posting them online, please email me with what you want to say.

As it happens, I'm probably 'full up' for now in both pearls [which I love] and gemstone beads but who knows where this hobby will take me.
I had a special request from a friend for a citrine and pearl necklace and I got these citrine beads for her and she was thrilled.  The beads were lovely.   
Were they 'natural citrine' as advertised?   
How would I know??

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« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2013, 11:27:28 am »

First off, I'm a hobbyist and generally do not purchase high priced rough from anywhere.  However, as with many hobbyists, I like a variety of rough (into which I cut slabs) from around the world.  I buy a fair amount (less than 100 lbs per year) of rough  from the owner of HP(he also has another company that he uses to import rocks).  He has his factory in China and imports rocks by the container full.  I'm sure that he has many that are very expensive but I'm not interested in those.  He has enough that interest me and are reasonably priced.  It's doubtful that I would even consider buying Chinese rough from someone I didn't know and or have a history with.
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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2013, 12:26:38 pm »

Ohhh, this post has yet some life in it.

Sorry cant help with your questions, its unfamiliar territory, even though 70% of cultured pearls in China originate from our backyard here.

Everything that was and still is on my mind on the subject, was said in the first few posts. Nothing has changed.

Just today, I went to get some supplies for my dremel and had a bit more time to look around. Found a piece of jade, nice dark green spinach color with typical feathering. The guy told me stories about the origin of this pice that would make a good writer of novels proud. Gave me comparisons etc., and all those ten minutes was able to keep a straight face. In the end he had the nerve to ask an equivalent of 160 US$ for an approximate 140 gram, for this nothing really special piece. As he went on and on, I let him waste his time and tried to watch other dealers in neighboring stalls. Sure enough, I caught several smiles along the way. In the end, I offered 20$ and started to walk away not even waiting for an answer. Again, sure enough, he called after me with  half his original quote.

Now, I hate haggling, and anyone who has dealt with me knows, quote me something that is reasonable while keeping a good profit for yourself, plus tell me what needs to be told good and bad, and we both walk away happy. Try to go over the top, walk into the roam of fantasy acording to my understanding, and I walk away.

As a hobbyist more than ever, I want many things, but I never have to have something.

China, like everywhere else, you need someone whom you can trust, just like Mexico or anywhere south of your borders for that matter. I love fire agate, but I will not even try to get new contacts, and the one I got in Mexico is questionable too. So I keep with whom I trust, and that' s a re-exporter here on the forum who deals with a family from whom I got today basically 90% of my material, even before he continued someone elses work with that family.
 
 
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« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2013, 02:31:39 pm »

I deal with a Chinese importer that does the local (and national) shows and I think she's very reputable. She doesn't lie about the turquoise or the dyed fake stuff. She shops and has stones polished in China and then brings them here. She doesn't fib and I wish I could afford to get her to bring me some things back; I really do trust her.

That said, a friend and I got some "imperial jadeite" off Ebay from a Chinese dealer, just for grins, and it was the worst job of polymer saturated quartz you've ever seen. We didn't care as she needed the fakes to study for the GIA, and we were curious about what they'd send.

I would never, ever, spend much money on anything I couldn't hold, weigh, look at it with a loupe and a black light. I'll spend a little, just to see what happens, or more if other people have bought from someone with good results. Even if they are perfectly honest, you always run the risk of someone not seeing something that you can see if you buy sight unseen.

Debbie K
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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2013, 07:46:36 pm »



I would never, ever, spend much money on anything I couldn't hold, weigh, look at it with a loupe and a black light. I'll spend a little, just to see what happens, or more if other people have bought from someone with good results. Even if they are perfectly honest, you always run the risk of someone not seeing something that you can see if you buy sight unseen.

Debbie K

Amen to that.  hugs32
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« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2013, 11:17:40 pm »

Hi Kurt,

I'm new to this forum and am browsing old threads to acquaint myself with background.  In one of your early posts you mentioned the amount of American nephrite jade being sold in China.  That's really nothing new.  Most of the Wyoming nephrite, discovered and exploited in the 1930s, was shipped to China for fashioning.  Ditto much of the Alaskan and British Columbian nephrite.

The only early source of "Chinese" jade -- nephrite -- was in the Kunlun Mountains above Hotan, which was not even part of China until recent times.  White nephrite boulders from the White Jade River was the revered Imperial stone and amazing carvings were made from it.  Multi-hued jadeite from Burma , including the famous emerald-green Imperial color, was unknown in China until a 1784 trade agreement brought the first shipment to its shores.  Its arrival sparked a revolution in Chinese tastes and traditional white nephrite, while still greatly valued, was displaced as the jade of choice.

Fine genuine Burmese "Imperial" green jadeite gems sell at astronomical prices -- hundreds of thousands or evewn millions of dollars.  Anyone expecting to buy genuine Imperial jadeite on a venue like EBay should have their head examined.  They're living in Fairyland.  Most of what's offered there is "B" or "C" jadeite.  Both are non-commercial jadeite (as mined) that's been bleached and injected with dyes and polymers that simulate valuable jadeite colors.  It's worth what it's sold for -- cheap.

Some really nice jades are available like Canada's Polar Jade (nephrite) which is still available at reasonable prices; and genuine jadeite from Guatemala, which requires a fair amount of expertise to judge and value. The latter was the jadeite used by the Olmec and Mayan cultures and the source was lost until 1975 when it was rediscovered in Guatemala's Motagua Valley.

My two cents.  Hope it's of interest.

Rick 

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« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2013, 11:07:42 pm »

What about Freshwater Pearls????
I've bought some lovely cultured freshwater pearls as well as some [reportedly natural] gemstone beads from a reseller in Shanghai.  http://www.stunninggemstones.com/cn/aboutus/aboutus.asp

I'm no gemologist, just a jewelry designer on a hobby level, but if I'm mostly concerned if beads have been dyed or otherwise treated in some 'non-permanent' way.
Whenever I've asked Jack [the guy I communicate with there] he will tell me if something is dyed [which I often suspect anyway].
When I compare the quality [and variety] of what they have for the price, I haven't been unhappy.
I don't buy pearls in dyed colors but just stick to white [color #007], or I'll ask for soft peach or pale pink shades and they have them as natural colors.

Do you know anything about the items from him?  If 'have concerns' but don't feel comfortable posting them online, please email me with what you want to say.

As it happens, I'm probably 'full up' for now in both pearls [which I love] and gemstone beads but who knows where this hobby will take me.
I had a special request from a friend for a citrine and pearl necklace and I got these citrine beads for her and she was thrilled.  The beads were lovely.   
Were they 'natural citrine' as advertised?   
How would I know??

Did you know you can buy freshwater pearls from Tennessee, or Tennessee River Pearl's I never knew that until just the other day. I discovered that little bit of fact while researching this pearl for value.

http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Tennessee/GemTNriverPearl.html





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« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2013, 11:19:15 pm »

What about Freshwater Pearls????
I've bought some lovely cultured freshwater pearls as well as some [reportedly natural] gemstone beads from a reseller in Shanghai.  http://www.stunninggemstones.com/cn/aboutus/aboutus.asp

I'm no gemologist, just a jewelry designer on a hobby level, but if I'm mostly concerned if beads have been dyed or otherwise treated in some 'non-permanent' way.
Whenever I've asked Jack [the guy I communicate with there] he will tell me if something is dyed [which I often suspect anyway].
When I compare the quality [and variety] of what they have for the price, I haven't been unhappy.
I don't buy pearls in dyed colors but just stick to white [color #007], or I'll ask for soft peach or pale pink shades and they have them as natural colors.

Do you know anything about the items from him?  If 'have concerns' but don't feel comfortable posting them online, please email me with what you want to say.

As it happens, I'm probably 'full up' for now in both pearls [which I love] and gemstone beads but who knows where this hobby will take me.
I had a special request from a friend for a citrine and pearl necklace and I got these citrine beads for her and she was thrilled.  The beads were lovely.   
Were they 'natural citrine' as advertised?   
How would I know??

Did you know you can buy freshwater pearls from Tennessee, or Tennessee River Pearl's I never knew that until just the other day. I discovered that little bit of fact while researching this pearl for value.

http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Tennessee/GemTNriverPearl.html


Actually I had no idea that you could buy pearls from TN.
I knew that pearls were farmed there and the some of the best nucleus came from there, but I didn't know that they sold pearls outright.

I looked on the website you noted and still couldn't see how someone could buy strands of specific size and quality and color pearls unless you go to Tennessee and pick them out in person. [which isn't practical in most cases].
Can you post a link of where they actually show strands with prices and details???   or do you have to go there??
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« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2013, 12:31:23 am »

What about Freshwater Pearls????
I've bought some lovely cultured freshwater pearls as well as some [reportedly natural] gemstone beads from a reseller in Shanghai.  http://www.stunninggemstones.com/cn/aboutus/aboutus.asp

I'm no gemologist, just a jewelry designer on a hobby level, but if I'm mostly concerned if beads have been dyed or otherwise treated in some 'non-permanent' way.
Whenever I've asked Jack [the guy I communicate with there] he will tell me if something is dyed [which I often suspect anyway].
When I compare the quality [and variety] of what they have for the price, I haven't been unhappy.
I don't buy pearls in dyed colors but just stick to white [color #007], or I'll ask for soft peach or pale pink shades and they have them as natural colors.

Do you know anything about the items from him?  If 'have concerns' but don't feel comfortable posting them online, please email me with what you want to say.

As it happens, I'm probably 'full up' for now in both pearls [which I love] and gemstone beads but who knows where this hobby will take me.
I had a special request from a friend for a citrine and pearl necklace and I got these citrine beads for her and she was thrilled.  The beads were lovely.   
Were they 'natural citrine' as advertised?   
How would I know??

Did you know you can buy freshwater pearls from Tennessee, or Tennessee River Pearl's I never knew that until just the other day. I discovered that little bit of fact while researching this pearl for value.

http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Tennessee/GemTNriverPearl.html


Actually I had no idea that you could buy pearls from TN.
I knew that pearls were farmed there and the some of the best nucleus came from there, but I didn't know that they sold pearls outright.

I looked on the website you noted and still couldn't see how someone could buy strands of specific size and quality and color pearls unless you go to Tennessee and pick them out in person. [which isn't practical in most cases].
Can you post a link of where they actually show strands with prices and details???   or do you have to go there??

Yeah I guess that would be a little ways to travel just for pearls. I search the Internet to see if there was an easy way to purchase. I guess you have to contact the owners directly and ask them about loose pearls.

You can find Bob’s Cell and Home number at the bottom of this link. I don’t know if those numbers work or not.

http://www.tennesseeriverpearls.com/shopping.php

Strands are $15.00 to $1,500

http://www.tnvacation.com/vendors/tennessee_river_freshwater_pearl_museum_farm_tour_jewelry_showroom/
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« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2013, 08:29:51 am »

Thanks Messo,
Re buying pearls....actually I'm currently 'full up' but it looks like a neat place to visit.
There are numerous places in Toronto where you can buy pearls wholesale, in all sorts of quality ranges, but I've never been to an actual 'pearl farm'.  I've seen photos of the mulit-level HUMUNGUS pearl 'rafts' in large lakes in China.  Tennessee looks lovely too.  May be a neat retirement trip someday.  Especially when winter comes  Thanks again for the lead.
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« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2014, 11:40:01 am »

Thanks Kurt. Valuable information! I just hope people start taking extreme caution in buying from china because that would save them a lot of dollars
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« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2014, 05:29:18 pm »

Not just eBay is a culprit. The latest Holy Grail for Chinese (and Indian, and a big mix now) goods is Alibaba. In recent weeks it's become a celebrity because it's stock is going public.

I've been a member for years, looked up my fair share of items, but Never Bought a Thing.

Most manufacturers want to sell you a boatload. The way it works is you pay up front. Now, if there's a problem, they'll cut you a break on your "next" order.
The other downside is shipping which gets prohibitive with weight.

Recently I wanted a Foredom Flex Shaft. I contacted a firm who quoted me as follows:

Many thanks for your inquiry about our Foredom SR flexshaft..
The price for 1 set is US$65/set.
DHL shipping cost for 1 set to US is US$50.
 
Total cost is US$115.


This was about half of what I would pay here in the US. HOWEVER... When perusing Foredom's site, I found:

   
Please be advised that counterfeit Foredom® flexible shaft machines are widely available.
Be cautious about purchasing a Foredom from someone other than an Authorized Distributor or from us–the manufacturer.
Counterfeits are hard to recognize since they usually come with an ‘authentic-looking’ Foredom label right on the motor– just like the genuine article. Counterfeits are sometimes sold on www.alibaba.com, eBay and other websites.
The Foredom CC continues to be the most common model to be counterfeited, despite the fact that we stopped making it nearly 8 years ago. Of course, there are 1,000’s of genuine pre-owned CC motors that are sold legitimately. Counterfeits of old Series S and SR motors, and even our current SR models are also in the marketplace, as are copies of our handpieces, speed controls and BL bench lathe.

Contact Customer Service for a list of Foredom Authorized Distributors in your area.


Well, I did just that. I called and asked for the list. I found one distributor on eBay at a good, legit price and purchased it.

Hey, we all would like to save a buck, but a counterfeit is something the importers are great at - plus I'd like to know I can get service if needed.

Well, sorry for bending your ears, however I felt this was an excellent topic to chime in on.


BTW, Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game is a book by Paul Midler. Excellent reading on the subject.

I will now shut up and go away!

Bye all,

Fred
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« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2014, 05:45:19 pm »


I will now shut up and go away!

Nono!  Don't go away!
Please dispell your knowledge we all appreciate hearing things like this!
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« Reply #44 on: May 22, 2014, 07:44:08 pm »

Just an afterthought. Not all the scammers are in China.

Today my Gut Feeling (aka Premonition) told me to walk away from a Used Diamond Pacific Cabber on eBay. Replies from the seller to questions were vague... even weird... what does the fact that it shoots water 4 feet tell me!?!

Request for a clear photo was met with "no more pictures took".

Well, I took that photo and photoshopped it. When I brightened it it looked like 50% rust. Obviously worn wheels - the seller "didn't know" how long they had it - even a window would help.

Anyway, I RAN, not walked away. I hadn't placed a bid, but stayed around for the results, as it was closing soon. Well, the last bid was $1325 and the auction closed due to "Reserve Not Met". Right. Never ignore that little voice!
Anyway, it was immediately relisted and I see it over $1000 within hours. Hope someone has a lot of Zud!

Too bad the voices were silent when I bought the used Rock Rascal. Being new to all this, the photo looked good and pricing seemed like a deal. Well, after receiving it, I opened the top to see rust that would rival any of my early cars.
Live and learn. Well, some elbow grease and my new found rust remover (Evaporust) cleaned things up pretty well. Wht do manufacturers , knowing there will be inevitable exposure to water, not use stainless screws, etc. and use soon to be rust dust steel?

I'll keep putting my pennies in the piggy, tomorrow I am going to the CabKing showroom nearby. The only thing lapidary related in Illinois that I know of. I may end up becoming a machinist after all this.

Bye all, and listen to the voice... it's your experience and insight talking.

Fred
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« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2014, 08:47:02 pm »

Just an afterthought. Not all the scammers are in China.

Today my Gut Feeling (aka Premonition) told me to walk away from a Used Diamond Pacific Cabber on eBay. Replies from the seller to questions were vague... even weird... what does the fact that it shoots water 4 feet tell me!?!

Request for a clear photo was met with "no more pictures took".

Well, I took that photo and photoshopped it. When I brightened it it looked like 50% rust. Obviously worn wheels - the seller "didn't know" how long they had it - even a window would help.

Anyway, I RAN, not walked away. I hadn't placed a bid, but stayed around for the results, as it was closing soon. Well, the last bid was $1325 and the auction closed due to "Reserve Not Met". Right. Never ignore that little voice!
Anyway, it was immediately relisted and I see it over $1000 within hours. Hope someone has a lot of Zud!

Too bad the voices were silent when I bought the used Rock Rascal. Being new to all this, the photo looked good and pricing seemed like a deal. Well, after receiving it, I opened the top to see rust that would rival any of my early cars.
Live and learn. Well, some elbow grease and my new found rust remover (Evaporust) cleaned things up pretty well. Wht do manufacturers , knowing there will be inevitable exposure to water, not use stainless screws, etc. and use soon to be rust dust steel?

I'll keep putting my pennies in the piggy, tomorrow I am going to the CabKing showroom nearby. The only thing lapidary related in Illinois that I know of. I may end up becoming a machinist after all this.

Bye all, and listen to the voice... it's your experience and insight talking.

Fred

Hey Fred Billy here aka messofrocks

To me it is always best to purchase things off Craigs List or if you are lucky like me from time to time you can get these things for free off of CL, The benefit of CL you can go check it out first before buying, the down fall only shop your area within in X-amount distance you are willing to travel and strikeout because it is crap when you get there.

So far I got a 12" saw free but missed out on a cabber because I was a second to late, the saw has been a work horse and since yesturday cut over 100 slabs.

Check out what is being offered in my area at this time and within my acceptable travel distance  http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/sss?=sss&query=lapidary nearly every day this will change.

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« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2014, 01:51:17 pm »

Hi Billy,

My area (West of Chicago- 20 mi.) is a desert for the lapidary community. Guess it's because Illinois only offers fluorite, concrete and blacktop.
After almost two years of watching CraigsList, I have seen one cabbing unit, way overpriced, a few tumblers and one slab saw that has been listed for over 6 months now. Bit of a vacuum.

I agree that CraigsList is the way to go - saved a lot of bucks and bought a lot the CL way. As you pointed out, you can see it in real time, and always walk away.

I have to admit that I got an excellent deal on a mint Beacon Star (read Diamond Pacific) TC-10 slab/trim saw a few years back. Guess I lucked out!

Thanks,

Fred
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« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2014, 02:50:39 pm »

Dang so true, you must luck out on CL for sure. I am in the bay area California and they are always posting stuff  but you must luck out on the freebee's.

Best of luck to you and I have recently started selling on eBay, and I don't even trust me.  saved4

boy do I hate eBay

Billy
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« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2015, 04:09:58 pm »

Late arrival to this thread.
Speaking of China rip offs, be very careful buying fossils from China. The Chinese government keeps a very tight control of fossils leaving that country. Most that you see listed on Ebay and other sites are fakes. Especially those lizard looking "fossils". China does however allow some beautiful mineral specimens to leave the country.
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