This has needed a rewrite for some time and I finally got around to it.
With the help and advice of some expert jewelry sellers here, we’ve added, changed and clarified (and I TRIED to shorten) the things we’ve discovered on making great listings and most of all surviving in the jewelry category, which at times has been like riding a mechanical bull.
Please feel free to leave comments on this thread, but please do NOT ask your own questions here. If you have an issue, open your own thread where you’ll be better helped and we can keep things on point here.
I’ll need some help bumping for a few days.
So here it is…
SURVIVING IN THE JEWELRY CATEGORY -
Here’s some Do’s and Don’ts
Another revision to the jewelry thread, as we’ve obtained a little more information.
And it appears at the present time that Amazon no longer pulls Fashion Jewelry for testing unless you also sell Fine, but they still have the ability to do so. Most fashion people who get suspended made errors in the listing itself, which I will explain more below.
The first part of this is some tips Jewelry Department sent all of us a few years back. (Comments in italics are mine).
- Categorize your products as either “fine” or “fashion," depending on your product’s materials.
(This is done via jewelry template - can’t be done with Edit or Add a Product tool).
However, all under $20 items will go to Novelty regardless of how you classify them, and many over $20 items will go there also, for reasons nobody cares to explain. Sometimes you can get Support to move them, but we find a bot will move them back anyways. The big thing is searches, and being well indexed, and make sure the department is right. People generally search by womens, mens, girls, etc.
2 Provide attributes for Total Metal Weight, Metal Type, and Metal Stamp for all your products.
Well, I’m going to contradict this a little – don’t tell on me!!
If you are selling fashion, skip the metal weights. Not necessary nor required since nobody cares how much base metal was used.
FOR FINE SELLERS: This is not a required field, and most sellers I talk to, unless they are selling solid silver/gold expensive pieces where weight matters to customers, they skip it. Do it wrong and you can get suspended, so that’s one less thing to worry about on QA testing.
If you choose to do it, calculate your product’s Metal Weight based on size. For example, ring sizes may have different metal weights, which need to be stated accurately for each variation. Metal Weight should also include all components of the jewelry piece, such as earring backs, posts, pendants, and chains.
Be aware that Amazon has NO tolerance for overstating metal weights. Even 1/100th of a gram will cause the piece to fail. However, there is up to 5 grams tolerance for understating the weight. (In reality, seems to be more than that. We’ve heard of one seller getting a warning for grossly underestimating, but nobody else had any issues. .
If the piece has gemstones and your supplier didn’t give you an accurate metal weight, you’re faced with prying stones out to get the weight then replacing.
I THINK that the metal weight is rstill equired on your first testing when you are getting approved for the category, so if you send pieces with gemstones, you’ll have to remove stones and weigh. If someone is reading this and just got approved and had this situation, let me know if I am right)
Again, Jewelry Support recommended 5 percent understatement. So get you some scales that are accurate 3 places out if you are going to enter metal weights.
3 Identify your product as fine metal-filled or fine metal-plated in the title, product features, specifications, and descriptions.
For example, you must clearly identify applicable products as “gold-filled” or “gold-plated.” EVERY PLACE! If it’s plated, don’t ever refer to it as just “silver” or “gold”
(If you don’t know for sure it’s gold or silver plated, use “goldtone and silvertone” If you call it “gold” in the title, then list the metal as plated or base, you are in violation. We’ve seen more suspensions for this violation than anything else, so it’s a biggie, same as the pearl rule. If it isn’t solid metal, always use your “plated” adjective.
4 Indicate your gold product’s fineness, such as 18k or 14k, in the title, product features, specifications, and descriptions. This rule applies to all gold-filled and gold-plated items. Gold alloy products with less than 10k fineness cannot be described as “gold.”
(Again, they are “goldtone, silvertone or alloy And you’d better be sure of the carat purity, because if you get a 14k piece tested and it’s 13k you are toast!!).
- Do not use fine metal names or gemstone names to describe a product’s color. For example, do not describe an item as “amethyst CZ.” If an item has a gold color, you may describe it as, for example, “gold-tone."
(Another big deal and big cause of suspensions. You also cannot use the term “birthstone” unless you are referring to the actual stone. Don’t use it for a CZ or glass crystal. Also, unless it’s the genuine official birthstone, don’t use “birthstone” in the listing. I use “birth month” or “birthday” for my rhinestone birthday charms.)
And, based on my personal experience, I can tell you category the extremely literal interpretation of the Fed Guidelines by the QA team will give you a violation for using “diamond-shaped” for anything that is, well “diamond-shaped.” Which creates a real problem for “diamond cut” chains, which is valid jewelry terminology but could be putting you in danger. I think this is extreme, but it’s what they do, and they really don’t care what I think. (And you KNOW I’ve given them an earful more than once!!) .
- Provide Total Diamond Weight, Stone Color, and Stone Clarity attributes for all diamond products.
(See the Jewelry standards sheet for more information on this. And if you sell diamonds, you’d better educate yourself on all the grading standards. Diamonds must have 17 facets. Another seller was kind enough to look up the Fed standard on this:)
The following are examples of descriptions that are not considered unfair or deceptive:
(1) The use of the words “rough diamond” to describe or designate uncut or unfaceted objects or products satisfying the definition of diamond provided above
- Identify cultured, farmed, and freshwater pearls with the word “cultured” in your product’s title, product features, specifications, and descriptions.
And here is the standard for listing an imitation pearl.
Do NOT use “faux” “fashion” or “mother of pearl” This is an FTC regulation and again, Amazon will fail you on an audit if they find you doing it incorrectly.
(d) It is unfair or deceptive to use the terms “faux pearl,” “fashion pearl,” “Mother of Pearl,” or any other such term to describe or qualify an imitation pearl product unless it is immediately preceded, with equal conspicuousness, by the word “artificial,” “imitation,” or “simulated,” or by some other word or phrase of like meaning, so as to indicate definitely and clearly that the product is not a pearl.
HERE IS THE OFFICIAL FTC REGULATION SHEET ON THIS:
- Identify any treatments, such as heat treatment, irradiation, coatings, or oiling, for all gemstone, pearls, and diamond products. Glass-filled gemstones and clarity-enhanced diamonds are not eligible for sale on Amazon.com.
Another REAL REAL REAL BIGGIE. So pay attention to me here:
If you list a stone by name, you MUST list all the treatments. You can talk with your supplier. If these are valuable stones, they should know. If they don’t know, then you can do one of several things:
Do not identify the stone by name. Just call it “stone.” I do this for fashion pieces where the customer is buying the look. Fashion suppliers don’t usually specify the stone, and sometimes they are wrong. Most cheap turquoise, for example, is really dyed howlite.
Get it tested yourself. Worth it if it’s a pricey piece and you plan to sell a lot of them
If you know what the stone is, put treatments in even if you aren’t sure. Most cheap opaque stones, including turquoise are dyed. A lot of gemstones are heat treated - blue topaz, rubies, sapphire, lapis and tanzanite. Most onyx is dyed to hide the white veining. Rubies are often dyed and heat treated. Cheap turquoise, if it is turquoise, is stabilized. Rose quartz is often dyed. There is no such thing as “yellow jade” or”honey jade.” It is usually chalcedony. “New jade” is really serpentine. Real jade is rare and should not be listed without an import certificate
Blue topaz is always irradiated. To quote Gemselect: “Blue topaz in nature is very rare indeed and tends to be a very pale blue.” And yet we see non-irradiated blue topaz selling for under $50.00. These vendors are setting themselves up for suspension.
Green adventurine is classified as a fine stone and is always subject to testing. However, one of our knowledgeable resources reports if it doesn’t have yellow flecks, it is really green quartz, which is also classed as a fine gem. Her advice is, unless you have a paper certifying it as green adventurine, classify it as green quartz.
Here are some great resources some of our contributing sellers have found on this topic: [http://www.gemselect.com/gem-info/tourmaline/tourmaline-info.php]
9 On non-genuine stones, Identify simulated, imitation, or synthetic pearls, diamonds, or gemstones, such as CZ, in your product’s title, product features, specifications, and descriptions.
(Again, do this EVERY PLACE you mention the stone or pearl!)
There is an ongoing debate on whether you have to call CZ stones “simulated CZ”. I’m not going to get into that. I see it called just plain CZ everyplace and never heard of anyone flunking testing or getting suspended for not saying “simulated” so I’ll leave it at that.
When the testing program first started a few years back, they were pretty heavy handed and we were all paranoid and erring on the side of caution.
MORE IMPORTANT LINKS (besides the gemstone links above)
Some of these are in the jewelry help; some aren’t, but they shoud be part of your reference library. This is the LAW, and Amazon follows it to the letter!
Here’s a great document that HSN put out:
Other Things You Should Know
TIP 1: There is also a list of Fine vs. Fashion Gemstones in the Jewelry Help section, as well as fine versus fashion metals.
TIP 2: YOU MUST BE APPROVED IN FINE JEWELRY TO LIST STERLING, GOLD OR ANYTHING ON THE FINE GEMSTONE LIST!!
We see a lot of Fashion approved sellers listing sterling silver. When caught, you will be suspended for doing this. If you want to list sterling silver, go through the application and testing.
TIP 3: “Pseudo Silver” Beware of terms using the word “silver” that are not silver at all. Do not use Tibetan silver, palladium silver, German silver or alpaca silver. These are all zinc alloys and contain not a drop of silver. Again, your pieces, whether fashion or fine, will fail any audits.
TIP 4 Be careful of the term “hypoallergenic.” We had one seller for listing stainless steel as hypoallergenic, and frankly I always thought it was. Turns out it does have some nickel in it, and although it is inert, it cannot be termed “hypoalergenic” since by definition it contains nickel. Same thing as real crystal containing lead. The lead is inert, but anything with crystals cannot be marketed to children under 12 because it contains lead. (Nobody ever said all of this would make any sense!!)