In a previous blog post about some common pearl buying pitfalls, we mentioned that buying from overseas suppliers can represent false value.
There is a variation on this, where some domestic online retailers use drop shipping to sell pearl jewellery. This can include pearl jewellery set on sterling silver. Indeed, drop shipping is becoming increasingly popular and can be a way to help save costs for both the customer and the supplier. Today, a lot of suppliers are placing items for sale on eBay and Amazon for sale that they drop ship directly from China.
The plan is that when they receive an order from a customer, they then ask a supplier in China to ship the goods ordered directly to the customer. This can be incredibly convenient for the seller and can help sellers save a lot of costs. Often, the customer will not even know that the goods have been drop shipped.
However, it does raise some quality problems for the buyer, especially if the goods have not been inspected by the retailer before they are shipped. Often, the retailer never receives any of the goods themselves or even sees the product that is being shipped to the customer. So how would they know that the pearls were genuine, or that the metal findings were indeed sterling silver. They would be relying on trust alone without actually performing a sterling silver test on the pearl jewellery or actually checking that the pearls were real themselves.
Additionally, shipping times can increase from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. This is because the goods are being shipped from Asia, rather than domestically within the customer's own country.
For a lot of products, drop shipping is a win-win-win situation for the buyer, the retailer, and the suppliers in China. It can be a very effective way of doing business. Used correctly, it is an amazing process and Ali Express is very helpful here too.
However, there are pitfalls with pearl jewellery. To explain more, we have made a video where we examine some pearl jewellery that we ordered from Ali Express and test the jewellery to not only find out if the pearls are real, but also if the metal is genuine sterling silver.
Obviously, if you pay the right price, you can make sure that the pearl jewellery sourced from Ali Express is set on genuine sterling. But don't forget, it's buyer beware and you have to know exactly what you are doing.
Anyway, have you bought sterling silver from Ali Express? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Learn more about pearls:
- How To Tell If Pearls Are Real
- The Difference Between Freshwater And Seawater Pearls
- How Pearls Are Graded
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