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New eBay Guidelines on Jewelry – Too Onerous, Say Sellers

New eBay Guidelines on Jewelry - Too Onerous, Say Sellers

eBay is instituting new guidelines in the Jewelry category next week, and sellers say they will impact a majority of listings. In a thread on the eBay discussion boards, one seller reacted as follows:

“Well, this will certainly clear out the majority of listings in the “Jewelry” categories, since it is highly unlikely that most of the sellers currently listing in “Jewelry” are sufficiently qualified to accurately specify the esoteric demands that eBay seems to be demanding.”

eBay said it may end active listings that do not comply with the new guidelines when they take effect on May 25, 2022.

Some of the new rules require certain words to be included in their listing titles. For example, sellers of a lab-created stone must include the term “lab-created” in the title immediately preceding the stone name. In those cases, sellers are prohibited from using the terms “man-made,” “lab-grown,” or other similar terms.

Another example: sellers of a natural stone that has been dyed to enhance the color must state the gemstone is “treated” in the listing title. In those cases, sellers are prohibited from describing the stone as “enhanced.”

In a comment reacting to the news, a seller said most users would have no idea what or if the stone is enhanced or not, nor would they be likely to know if it is man-made or not.

Another seller wrote, “Now they expect us to all be experts in gemstones.” Another wrote, “Selling jewelry is becoming way too restrictive for the average seller.”

Another seller pointed out that retailers like Target don’t mark stones as “enhanced or treated” or whether they are “lab created” when selling a pair of amethyst earrings, “yet, eBay expects this information if I resell those same earrings on eBay. A gemologist charges over $100 to evaluate a piece of jewelry which a $20 pair of earrings doesn’t warrant.”

In its notification emailed to sellers on Wednesday, eBay explained its reason for the new policy, writing: “Our updated listing guidelines will create a more consistent and reliable experience for Jewelry buyers, help them find the items they’re looking for quickly and easily, improve conversion, and reduce issues resulting from unclear or inaccurate item descriptions.”

It also stated, “You can help buyers find the items they’re looking for and make sure they receive orders that match your item description by listing them clearly and correctly.”

Among the other rules outlined in the notification:

  • “If you list a stone that is not an actual diamond, the term “diamond” cannot be included in the listing.”
  • “To list your item in the Fine Jewelry category, the Base Metal must be made from fine materials and the Main Stone must be a fine, natural stone. Secondary stones can include either fine or fashion materials.”
  • “Simulated gemstones are considered fashion jewelry. We will move items with simulated main stones from fine jewelry into fashion jewelry in October.”

You can find the thread containing eBay’s notification email and comments on the eBay seller discussion board.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “New eBay Guidelines on Jewelry – Too Onerous, Say Sellers”

  1. The Jewelry industry is well known to fraudulently misrepresenting jewelry to buyers. It is a sad fact. Then add ebay to the mix, and buyers can expect to get jewelry that is not what is represented by the seller most of the time. Even experienced jewelers get tricked.

    My wife has been involved in jewelry for many years. Over the years I have learned some of the fraudulent tricks of the business. My wife has refused to sell jewelry on ebay because she only buys high-quality jewelry. Next to cheap jewelry, it looks like she is overcharging. And, this results in no sales on ebay.

    I totally agree with ebay’s position that natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds need to be clearly represented. There is a huge difference in price between the two categories of diamonds. Using “Lab Grown” would probably be the most understandable term to buyers.

    But, ebay should not stop there. They should also force sellers to state if the diamond is a GIA diamond or not. If it is a GIA diamond the certificate should be in the images. They should also be required to state the cut, color, and clarity. If the diamond has any etched in the rim, that should also be stated. Like the GIA information. Serial numbers etched in the rim can result in a recovery if it is stolen.

    As for stones, real stones do not melt under heat. Pretty easy to figure that out.

    Ebay should not stop at forcing sellers to properly represent diamonds. That should also extend to gold, silver, platinum, and other metals. The seller should also state important information on gold pieces. For example, the carat (10 ct, 14 ct, 18 ct, etc). They should also state the stamp on the piece. Italian gold is almost always properly represented. When Italian piece states that it is 18 ct, you can be sure that it is actually 18 ct. Many others like to cheat. They should also state the weight of the piece in troy ounces. If the item is SOLID gold then it should be stated. Many gold pieces are just gold plated over steel. A magnet can quickly tell you that.

    Ebay should also give buyers a guide to how to buy jewelry. They should not put the entire burden on sellers.

    Personally, I don’t think that buyers or sellers should be conducting high-price transactions on ebay. Ebay’s resolution process is highly flawed. Now that many of the resolutions are now being done in India, I would be very hesitant in selling or buying high-priced jewelry on ebay.

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