Misuse of USPS Supplies in eBay's Jewelry Authentication Program Raises Alarms
Another seller has reported receiving a return from eBay's jewelry authenticators that appears to have misused USPS free mailing supplies.
THE EXACT SAME THING JUST HAPPENED TO ME TOO>... and inside of the box was a bunch of wadded up re-used bubble wrap with left over tape and stuff on it.... along with my necklace that is worth quite a bit of money, half falling out of a cheap paper jewelry box and inside of a used ziplock bag.
I was totally disappointed from start to finish with my authentication proceedure and return.... But I decided to photograph my box, and then peel all the brown paper tape off to see if they were just reusing the box and doing the "reuse/recycle"..... or..... And as I suspected, there is no sign of the box being used before, no previous label or label residue.... for all intent it looks like a brand new priority box, covered in brown paper.... they are using USPS priority boxes because you can get them for free from USPS.... They are using these boxes instead of buying them.
If they would have just kept my box and sent my return back to me in the packaging I sent, I'd be OK with that. I paid for my box, and my brand new bubble wrap, and my brand new zip lock bag..... When they returned my item... it looked utterly TRASHY.
See photographs attached for evidence.
I'd highly recommend for anyone who receives packages like this from eBay's authentication program to report it to USPS for investigation.
eBay buyers and sellers continue voicing concerns and frustrations with Authenticity Guaranteed for jewelry, including a shocking (and possibly criminal) misuse of free USPS supplies.
Received my bracelet back yesterday. I was absolutely shocked at the packaging by the GIA authentication people. It was a small box, totally wrapped in brown tape..could hardly get it open.
Finally I opened it, and could not believe my eyes…These big time authenticators shipped my packaged FEDEX in a USPS FLAT RATE BOX. Excuse me while I start my rant on misuse of postal supplies, but that is illegal. USPS shipping supplies are for shipping USPS not anything else.
I wonder how many boxes they have taken for free.
The seller is correct, misuse of free USPS boxes is a huge problem and may even be a federal crime.
Can I Use Priority Mail Express® Service or Priority Mail® Service Envelopes for Other Mail?
If any Priority Mail Express service or Priority Mail service packaging or packaging supplies e.g., Priority Mail tape to seal a USPS Retail Ground® package, are used on any other class of mail, the applicable Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail price will be charged.
- Misuse may be a violation of federal law.
- Turning the packaging inside out to conceal the Priority Mail / Priority Mail Express insignia is specific misuse that is not allowed.
Can I Use Boxes Ordered at The Postal Store® for Other Purposes?
Boxes ordered from the Postal Store can be used only for the class of mail specified on the box (Priority Mail Express® service, Priority Mail® service, or Global Express Guaranteed®) and must be closed using the adhesive provided. These boxes should not be re-used and do not need to be as they can be ordered from the Postal Store at no cost. Misuse may be a violation of federal law.
The terms of Agreement for the use of United States Postal Service shipping supplies is as follows: I understand that Priority Mail Express service, Priority Mail service, Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail Express International and Priority Mail International packaging is the property of the United States Postal Service and is provided solely for sending Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail Express International and Priority Mail International. Misuse may be a violation of federal law.
Problems with GIA authenticators incorrectly labeling items as not authentic also continue, causing unnecessary frustration and friction between buyers and sellers.
I last week I sold my Cartier Juste un Clou 18k gold ring along with a Cartier matching bracelet to 2 separate buyers. Both items arrived at the GIA center in Carlsbad, CA, on the same day. 2 days ago I received an email from eBay indicating my ring failed its "test" and the buyer was being refunded.
I was stunned! I bought this ring myself from the Cartier boutique and have the certificate of authenticity, invoice, paper cc receipts, and all original packaging. I listed everything accurately and provided photos of the engraving in my listing. The buyer and I exchanged several friendly messages over the course of the sale. The reason for failing was listed as "does not seem authenticate" - what an absolute joke! Whoever they have performing these tests are inept and incompetent. They probably have never seen a real Cartier ring!
I was humiliated and embarrassed that the kind buyer now somehow thought I was trying to scam her. Ironically, I feel as I have been scammed by this entire ordeal. The bracelet, however, passed and was sent to buyer!
First thing I did was message the buyer and apologize. Thankfully, she was understanding and explained that she had a feeling this would happen because a friend of hers sold a real Tiffany jewelry piece that also failed.
Second thing I did was call the GIA center directly. No one answered, so I left a detailed voicemail. Then I emailed the GIA center and explained everything. Not long after, a kind woman replied back and apologized for my experience. She provided me with the direct line to eBay's authenticity dept's customer service. I called and spoke to a man name Tim. I told him what happened and expressed how upset I was. I did not appreciate being accused of selling counterfeit, and said eBay will lose sellers if they do not fix this obviously flawed program they have in place. I also said I did not trust their authenticator, and I was worried over how my ring will arrive back to me - will they swap it out for a fake and keep my real ring?!
He told me he was going to try and hold my ring at the hub for further review and inspection, but couldn't guarantee anything, as it was already showing as being shipped back. As of today, the ring is in fact en route back to me, and while looking closely at the USPS tracking, I noticed they sent it back without requesting signature upon receipt.
What if something happens to the package? who is responsible? Did they insure it for its true value, or treat it like counterfeit? I am out $45 in shipping fees as well, from my own pocket, as I did not charge shipping to the buyer.
I appealed their decision and have not heard anything back. I asked Tim if I would be able to re-list the item (not that I actually want to, but out of principal) even though I was told in their email that I am no longer allowed to list it. He said he did not know and I would have to ask later.
Depending on the outcome of the appeal, I am ready to pull all my listings and sell on Poshmark, instead. I am not an avid seller... I sell from my own closet and sometimes I go months without listing anything, but when I do sell in the future, it will not be with eBay.
The audacity to charge 3% more for jewelry items over $500 just to cover the cost of this clown show they call "authenticity guaranteed"
Other sellers chimed in to commiserate or provide advice - most of which boiled down to find anywhere other than eBay to sell valuable jewelry.
Im really glad I changed my mind about listing some of my beautiful diamond jewelry here. All these complaints about the authentication service are really disheartening.
Find a local auction house.
Very sorry for your experience. Like many of the other authentication processes on Ebay, this one seems to be very flawed. My thoughts are they hire inexperienced authenticators who know little if anything about something of value like you described. There have been numerous posts like yours here on the forum from others expressing their disappointing experiences with the GIA authentication.
All I can suggest is to sell it elsewhere or locally for cash to get what you want. Until Ebay gets this feature to work successfully it just doesn't seem worth it to list or sell it on this or any other internet platform in my opinion. Take it to a pawn dealer or jewelry store that buys jewelry. Those people are experienced and most have a background in that field.
One savvy seller pointed out that just because GIA authenticators may have the equipment and knowledge to test specific stones and metal, that doesn't mean they are experts in particular brands and are able to judge whether a piece of jewelry was actually made by Cartier or not.
The trouble, IMHO, is that GIA are experts at gemstone identification and grading. With an XRF machine, I am sure that they can very precisely determine the karat fineness of a piece of jewelry. But they are not, and never have been experts in determining the authenticity of any branded, designer jewelry. This is out of their wheelhouse, and it shows.
While eBay undoubtedly has many sales that go through all of their various authentication programs without a hitch, they clearly need much better dispute, appeal and resolution processes for situations that don't go quite right for either the buyer or the seller.
Have you bought or sold jewelry that has gone through eBay's authentication program? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!