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Author Topic: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.  (Read 8256 times)

Polymorphia

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Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« on: March 16, 2013, 08:54:02 pm »
Alright, so like with many things, I'm new to buying stones (I'll just say stones to generalize, instead of saying gems, crystals, minerals, and rocks individually). I've already purchased a few, like mookaite jasper and dragonstone, but I'm still looking to buy more.

Thing is though, Ebay can be full of crooks. I don't know where to buy, or what to look for. Could someone please refer me to some reputable sellers? And perhaps give me some tips?

Also, I see a lot of people selling gems online that I think... are priced too low? I mean, people are selling sapphires on there as low as ten bucks, which just looks like bull to me. Are they just 'blue stones', and not actual corundum?

It's things like this that confuse a new-comer like me.

Aster Breo

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Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013, 02:16:19 am »
Quote from: Polymorphia;101592
It's things like this that confuse a new-comer like me.

That's ok, because it's very confusing.  ;)

You're absolutely right:  if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

The first piece of advice I'd give you -- and bear in mind that, while I do believe rocks have unexplored properties and can affect people, I have a geology background, so I tend toward the science side of things where rocks are concerned -- is to educate yourself about rocks.  I mean the geology part.  Learn how to identify at least the more common stones, and learn how to spot the more obvious scams.  

Related to that, in general, avoid buying rocks from "metaphysical" stores and sites.  With a few exceptions, their merchandise is low quality and over priced. (The one exception I know of is http://www.metaphysicalrealm1.com.  I know people who have purchased from the woman who runs that site and been pretty happy, even though it's high on the woo factor.)  Check out your local rock or lapidary shops.  Gem/rock/mineral shows are also good places to find fantastic deals -- and knowledgeable people.

An excellent online place to learn about rocks and to ask questions -- including questions about scams and about specific vendors -- is http://www.gemaddicts.com.  There is a list of "safe" vendors, as well as a forum associated with the site (the link is on the right side of the home page, a few lines below the picture of the mineral specimen) where you can lurk or post, and the regulars there are really great about answering questions.  

It's a wonderful community, too.  I've made some great purchases from forum members, many of whom have also sent me some really unbelievable gifts.  (I helped one member with his collection of state gems by collecting and sending him samples of my state's "gem" -- a type of agate that is relatively easy to find here -- and he thanked me with a stunning 14mm round cut Oregon sunstone.  It has the tiniest chip on the edge, which was easily hidden by the setting I had made for it, but is still worth about $800.00!  I'm not saying that's standard, just an example of how genuinely nice the people are.)

Anyway, the point is:  Learn about the rocks you're interested in.  That's the best protection against scams.

As for the $10 sapphires:  Without a picture or link, it's hard to say what they are.  But they could fakes or they could simply be very low quality sapphires.

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Polymorphia

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2013, 12:49:51 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;101627
The first piece of advice I'd give you -- and bear in mind that, while I do believe rocks have unexplored properties and can affect people, I have a geology background, so I tend toward the science side of things where rocks are concerned -- is to educate yourself about rocks.  I mean the geology part.  Learn how to identify at least the more common stones, and learn how to spot the more obvious scams.


This is a good idea. Luckily I've had a love for stones ever since I was a kid, and do know a little about geology. Though honestly, what got me back into it was my spirituality, so I'm still pretty new to it. (: New enough to get confused anyway.

Quote from: Aster Breo;101627
Related to that, in general, avoid buying rocks from "metaphysical" stores and sites.  With a few exceptions, their merchandise is low quality and over priced. (The one exception I know of is http://www.metaphysicalrealm1.com.  I know people who have purchased from the woman who runs that site and been pretty happy, even though it's high on the woo factor.)  Check out your local rock or lapidary shops.  Gem/rock/mineral shows are also good places to find fantastic deals -- and knowledgeable people.


I was actually looking through stone vendors on ebay. Though I'm always really apprehensive about going any further.

I was actually thinking about purchasing this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/390358868770?_trksid=p5197.c0.m619

since it's something of a starter kit and I don't have many stones, tumbled or otherwise. Would this be a reasonable purchase, or is it not worth the money? I'm iffy about it.

Quote from: Aster Breo;101627
An excellent online place to learn about rocks and to ask questions -- including questions about scams and about specific vendors -- is http://www.gemaddicts.com.  There is a list of "safe" vendors, as well as a forum associated with the site (the link is on the right side of the home page, a few lines below the picture of the mineral specimen) where you can lurk or post, and the regulars there are really great about answering questions.


Oh, thank you! This will come in handy. I was actually thinking of looking for a site/forum where I could get more info, so this is perfect. xD

Quote from: Aster Breo;101627
It's a wonderful community, too.  I've made some great purchases from forum members, many of whom have also sent me some really unbelievable gifts.  (I helped one member with his collection of state gems by collecting and sending him samples of my state's "gem" -- a type of agate that is relatively easy to find here -- and he thanked me with a stunning 14mm round cut Oregon sunstone.  It has the tiniest chip on the edge, which was easily hidden by the setting I had made for it, but is still worth about $800.00!  I'm not saying that's standard, just an example of how genuinely nice the people are.)


Wow, that is very nice.

Quote from: Aster Breo;101627
Anyway, the point is:  Learn about the rocks you're interested in.  That's the best protection against scams.

As for the $10 sapphires:  Without a picture or link, it's hard to say what they are.  But they could fakes or they could simply be very low quality sapphires.


Oh, I don't have a specific link, but if you search 'rough sapphire' on ebay you'll find a ton of cheap blue stones right on the first page. It's bizarre.

Aster Breo

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Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 01:09:01 pm »
Quote from: Polymorphia;101670
I was actually thinking about purchasing this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/390358868770?_trksid=p5197.c0.m619

since it's something of a starter kit and I don't have many stones, tumbled or otherwise. Would this be a reasonable purchase, or is it not worth the money? I'm iffy about it.

I only looked briefly at this listing, but it seems very high to me. You can find tumbles of most of those stones for $1-3, so 9 for $33 (+ shipping) is way more than necessary.

Check out the site I linked in my last post.  They have tumbles.  Compare the prices.  

Another site that has some good prices (mixed in with some too-high prices) is http://www.mineralminers.com.  But stay away from Heaven and Earth's site -- known scams and way overpriced, low quality merchandise.

Also, post on Gem Addicts that you're looking for a "starter kit" (specify tumbles, if that's what you're looking for in particular), and ask for suggestions.  There might be folks there who have what you need at better prices out can point you to it.

But I'd also recommend checking out any local rock shops in your area, also local clubs and upcoming mineral shows on your area can be great places to find all sorts of things.  Choosing your stones "in person" can be much better than buying online, because you have a chance to see them up close and to find out how you react to them.

And I have to say, some of my best rock friends are ones I picked up from the ground.  They're not anything particularly special -- mostly white quartz, basalt pebbles, and a few agates -- but they *feel* right.

Rock vendors on Ebay aren't all bad.  There are also some decent ones on Etsy.  You just have to be careful and do some research.  ;)

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Polymorphia

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 01:27:49 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;101682
I only looked briefly at this listing, but it seems very high to me. You can find tumbles of most of those stones for $1-3, so 9 for $33 (+ shipping) is way more than necessary.


Good thing I asked. xD I thought stones were just pricey. Thanks for the tip!

Quote from: Aster Breo;101682
Check out the site I linked in my last post.  They have tumbles.  Compare the prices.

Another site that has some good prices (mixed in with some too-high prices) is http://www.mineralminers.com.  But stay away from Heaven and Earth's site -- known scams and way overpriced, low quality merchandise.

Also, post on Gem Addicts that you're looking for a "starter kit" (specify tumbles, if that's what you're looking for in particular), and ask for suggestions.  There might be folks there who have what you need at better prices out can point you to it.


Yep, that's what I'm doing now! I feel better about asking people who know more about it than I do, rather than taking the risk and doing it myself.

Quote from: Aster Breo;101682
But I'd also recommend checking out any local rock shops in your area, also local clubs and upcoming mineral shows on your area can be great places to find all sorts of things.  Choosing your stones "in person" can be much better than buying online, because you have a chance to see them up close and to find out how you react to them.


This might not happen any time soon, but I'll definitely try to see what I have locally. (:

Quote from: Aster Breo;101682
And I have to say, some of my best rock friends are ones I picked up from the ground.  They're not anything particularly special -- mostly white quartz, basalt pebbles, and a few agates -- but they *feel* right.

Rock vendors on Ebay aren't all bad.  There are also some decent ones on Etsy.  You just have to be careful and do some research.  ;)

~ Aster


Thank you. ;) This will definitely help me get started. And I have to say, I love the idea of just finding stones on my own. I mean, there's snow on the ground here right now, but once it melts I'm definitely going out rock hunting!

Polymorphia

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2013, 01:51:03 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;101682
Check out the site I linked in my last post.  They have tumbles.  Compare the prices.  


Hmm, I tried to go to the forum on gemaddicts, but for some reason it isn't working. The page just says "Database Error: MySQL server has gone away". Is it just my browser messing up, or? xD

iisabelle

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2013, 02:04:06 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;101682
Rock vendors on Ebay aren't all bad.  There are also some decent ones on Etsy.  You just have to be careful and do some research.  ;)

~ Aster

I'm going to second the Etsy suggestion. Just generally steer clear of anybody selling "Lemurian quartz" for higher prices than regular or rose quartz, because it has been "blessed by the ancient civilization of Lemuria" or aliens or some other such garbage. Not that I completely rule out the possibility that aliens exist, I just don't believe such claims when the person in question is trying to sell me things... Anyway.

I've found some pretty good deals on there, and honestly there are some not-so-great deals, but you just have to use your judgment, and a lot of the time if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Oh and make sure to check the size of things, I recommend having a ruler out with inches and mm/cm while you're browsing, because when people take close-up pictures of things on etsy it's hard to tell the scale and sometimes people get surprised by how small a crystal they bought is even though the size was stated in the posting. Lots of negative feedback going on that is actually the buyer's fault for not checking. Also make sure to look VERY closely at all the pictures because sometimes certain angles are used to minimize how much damage there is to the crystal in question. Like if there's a crack or one of the sides is scratched they'll take pictures from all other sides so you can barely see it. Usually this isn't a problem with reputable sellers but buyer beware. Plus sometimes things look different in different light, so there's that.
 
I've had very good experiences with:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/fallinlovegems - right now they have some ammonite fossils (ok LOTS), tektite, double terminated quartz, garnet, aragonite, selenite, and citrine.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlissCrystals - some of her stuff is honestly overpriced but there are some deals to be had. Compared to the tumbled stone package you posted she has an "essential 11" tumbled stone set for $17. yeah, she has "lemurian quartz" listed but most of her stuff is legit and she makes sure to preface the "lemurian" garbage with "some believe..." and it isn't more expensive than, say, her lithium quartz. She also has an ebay store. http://stores.ebay.ca/Bliss-Crystals - looks like her ebay stuff might be a bit cheaper? I don't really have the time to price match but have a look.

these stores are on my favourites and I plan to buy from them but I haven't yet and can't speak for their quality:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/crystalsenses - I'm waiting on a purchase from her, she's lovely and helped me choose an appropriate stone for a specific issue, as well as gave me some healing energy advice for free. She ships from Singapore but the shipping is actually pretty affordable (as a Canadian, shipping is always expensive for me so YMMV). Just watch out, things seem bigger than they are in her shop, though measurements are clearly listed.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ilovelotus - I just wanted to list this seller because even though their prices seem almost too good to be true I'm tempted to buy from them because the photos seem legit and they have 800+ almost unanimously positive feedback. Can anybody more well-versed in geology give me any insight onto the legitimacy of the stones in the photos? I bought some palo santo as a test drive from them but I'm kind of hesitant to make any larger purchases.

I am NOT affiliated with any of these sellers in any way, just trying to pass on some good experiences. I've found that etsy is one of the better places for me to shop for larger crystals and stones which are far more expensive in the occult/metaphysical shops where I live as well as the mineral/geology shops.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 02:12:31 pm by iisabelle »

iisabelle

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 02:30:10 pm »
Quote from: iisabelle;101694
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlissCrystals - some of her stuff is honestly overpriced but there are some deals to be had. Compared to the tumbled stone package you posted she has an "essential 11" tumbled stone set for $17. yeah, she has "lemurian quartz" listed but most of her stuff is legit and she makes sure to preface the "lemurian" garbage with "some believe..." and it isn't more expensive than, say, her lithium quartz. She also has an ebay store. http://stores.ebay.ca/Bliss-Crystals - looks like her ebay stuff might be a bit cheaper? I don't really have the time to price match but have a look.

:hdsk:
I misread the ebay listing you linked and just noticed, in which case the BlissCrystals listing is NOT cheaper. Sorry!:o

PhantomQueen

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 10:25:51 am »
Quote from: Polymorphia;101592
Alright, so like with many things, I'm new to buying stones (I'll just say stones to generalize, instead of saying gems, crystals, minerals, and rocks individually). I've already purchased a few, like mookaite jasper and dragonstone, but I'm still looking to buy more.

Thing is though, Ebay can be full of crooks. I don't know where to buy, or what to look for. Could someone please refer me to some reputable sellers? And perhaps give me some tips?

 
I've looked around at the couple stores in town to see the price ranges they give, and have bought a couple.  Based on the pricer ranges from the stores I did go onto ebay and bought some obsidian.  They were comparable to the places I've been to and if they didn't 'feel' right I knew I could put thee obsidian to other uses (ie craft stuff for gifts and putting in the bottom of vases to keep silk flowers standing upright).  Before buying I had checked out the vendor's history from previous buyers, and it seemed like they were decent.  And they accepted returns too.   I wouldn't do it n a regular basis, but  the size of the obsidian was larger than what I could get in the stores here.  Aster's suggestions are great though :)

RabbitInTheMoon

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2013, 09:26:47 am »
Quote from: Polymorphia;101592
Alright, so like with many things, I'm new to buying stones (I'll just say stones to generalize, instead of saying gems, crystals, minerals, and rocks individually). I've already purchased a few, like mookaite jasper and dragonstone, but I'm still looking to buy more.

Thing is though, Ebay can be full of crooks. I don't know where to buy, or what to look for. Could someone please refer me to some reputable sellers? And perhaps give me some tips?

 
I've had great experiences with the following sellers:
http://stores.ebay.com/Astarte-Earthwise?_rdc=1
http://stores.ebay.com/Enigma-Creations?_rdc=1
http://stores.ebay.com/LQ-Gemworks?_rdc=1
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Adaire

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Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 10:22:01 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;101627

Posting because I can't find the bookmark function in tapatalk and this is good stuff :)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 11:37:25 am by SunflowerP »

Eastunese

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2013, 08:09:37 am »
I am a stone amateur from China, I collected a lot of mineral crystal stones, very glad to communicate with everybody.

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2013, 05:23:49 am »
Quote from: Eastunese;125054


 
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Aeronis

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Re: Buying stones/minerals/crystals on Ebay.
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2013, 11:20:44 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;101682

Rock vendors on Ebay aren't all bad.  There are also some decent ones on Etsy.  You just have to be careful and do some research.  ;)

~ Aster

 
Also, I'd just like to add that if you do choose to buy rocks from Ebay or Etsy, it might be smart to cleanse them of any negative energies they brought with them. You never know what the previous owner used them for, or charged them with.

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