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Due diligence on Instagram seller

Guys, just trying to do my homework with this seller. Real red zircon?

The price would suggest unlikely? The seller has a relatively new account. There are an awful lot of these accounts selling Afgan stones popping up, with sellers seemingly based in Pakistan. I highlighted this a few weeks back and got some interesting and informative replies.

Andy, thank you. I read that thread with interest. I do agree that at the price shown, a stunning stone for very little… He looks to have some genuine stones (if they aren’t someone else’s pics). Just scratching around and trying to get a trusted seller or 2 at reasonable price. I guess that’s the real trick. Thanks for your reply. Andy W

No problem - we are in a similar situation - we have recently taken the plunge with one of these sellers - but he specializes in cabochon/rose cut stones in parcels, so the deals do look more realistic. Awaiting arrival on shipment so will let you know how it goes. As was highlighted previously the main issue with these sellers is lack of comeback on Instagram - it’s hard to ‘penalise’ a seller if they fall down on the deal compared to if they were using a platform you can rate them on etc (which is perhaps why they are so keen on using Instagram). A recent example - we recently bought a bi-colour tourmaline from a trader on Gemrockauctions (again Afghan material, trader based in Pakistan). We weren’t happy with the stone and gave him neutral feedback - quick as a flash he was back to us and made it right (kudos to him) - but what he was really doing was protecting his very high rating record. I think ‘sole’ traders who are using either Instagram (or even just e-mail contact) to sell need to realise that buyers aren’t going to want to pay top $ (or the same amount as more conventional sellers) to effectively anonymous individuals who can’t be kept honest by ratings etc. I know Paypal is often used to do the deals, but who really wants to go through a Paypal investigation/procedure to try and get money back on a deal gone sour?

Andy, I absolutely agree with everything you said there. Accountability is a big problem. I’ve had a couple little deals go wrong. PayPal did sort it out but seller wasn’t interested. If it didn’t go my way then of course I’d have to suck it up, as I say, thankfully they were small deals. I do a lot of business by post / intranet and unfortunately it is ripe for the unscrupulous to rip people off and disappear into the shadows. I’m sure some of the media companies just ain’t that bothered. As we know, be wary. Sorry that GEMROCKAUCTIONS deal went bad for you too. I look there also. Cheers A

I’ve purchased a few dozen stones from Pakistan, so far they matched the descriptions, with the exception to the weights, they don’t seem to have scales that go down to 0.01ct, but they are close enough, and colour is pretty close to the pics (we all know different camera’s, screens etc effect the colour).
Some shipments came via Thailand, but the ones that came direct from Pakistan always had a copy of the sellers National ID card with it.
I’ve not needed to use it, yet, but for $0.65, you can Verify the Seller’s ID.
If it’s like other national id cards, there’s a good chance their home address etc is all available, should you get burned.
Many also sell stones cheaper because they are quicker to move, food on the table beats a stone sitting on a table.