Tips for Surviving in the Jewelry Category


#1

SURVIVING IN THE JEWELRY CATEGORY -
Here’s some Do’s and Don’ts

Here is some knowledge we’ve gleaned and our interpretation of some of the policies for the Jewelry Department
We’d like to keep this a tiips thread, so please add any more you have but don’t ask questions or post suspensions here. We hope this is helpful - Style had quite a bit of help compiling this!!

Tis not an official Amazon document but is our opinon and based on our experience. Always check Seller Help, as well as the Federal Jewelry Standards, which are the final word.

Jewelry Support gave us a list of Top 10 Tips, which are actually the Top 10 reasons most sellers fail testing. (I put a few of our comments in parenthesis - they aren’t part of the “official” document but are StyleSpeak.

Basically, the 10 Tips from Jewelry Support are as follows. They said these are the top 10 reasons for suspension and failing jewelry autids ( I combined a couple so I only have nine)."

  1. 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)

2 Provide attributes for Total Metal Weight, Metal Type, and Metal Stamp for all your products.
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.
(Actually, you are not required to list the total metal weight, for either Fine or Fashion. But IF you do list it, do not overstate it. It will fail testing if it is underweight by as little as 100th of a gram. Use the weight of the lightest piece in the lot. Don’t enter this figure unless you are sure it is accurate. Frankly none of my pieces, fine or fashion have weights listed, just dimensions).

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.”
(If you don’t know for sure it’s gold or silver plated, use “goldtone and silvertone” and list it in Fashion jewelry)

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).

  1. 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."
    (This is a 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” for my rhinestone birthday charms.)

  2. 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. I was also told that a very small diamond chip should include the disclaimer “Not verified to have 17 facets”)

  3. Identify cultured, farmed, and freshwater pearls with the word “cultured” in your product’s title, product features, specifications, and descriptions.
    (REALLY big deal. Everywhere you say pearl, you must say “cultured” if that’s what it is. Or as we were told by jewelry support, Amazon prefers “simulated” rather than “faux” for resin or glass pearls.)

  4. 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.
    (BIG BIG BIG DEAL - they are testing not only to make sure it’s the stone you identified, but for full disclosure of ALL treatments. Get this information from your supplier. Did you know that lower grades of turquoise are almost always heat treated, restructured, stabilized and dyed. Most “black onyx “is actually agate, and usually dyed; rubies are often heat treated? Some rose quarts is dyed. Another tip: Amazon defines “jade” very narrowly. And jade requires an import certificate. It is expensive, so those of us who are not fine jewelers or gemologists do not even think of using that term. Also do NOT use terms like “new jade, honey jade, etc.” Green stones commonly called “new jade” are actually serpentine. “Honey jade” is yellow chalcedony.

In fact, almost all lower end stones, including rubies, sapphires and tanzanite are heat treated. So you can safely put that in for these stones, and we haven’t heard of anyone being dinged for putting a treatment in and then it turns out it wasn’t there. However, if you omit any treatment that is there, that piece will fail quality assurance testing.)

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 a non-fine stone. Her advice is, unless you have a paper certifying it as green adventurine, classify it as green quartz. Fashion sellers can safely list it as this also.

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
http://www.hsn.com/article/gemstone-enhancement-chart/1286
http://www.gia.edu/gem-treatment

9 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!)


But that’s not all you need to know. So we’ll get the ball rolling, then others can add. We just ask that you NOT add your tale or woe or ask questions on this thread - this is information only and we’ll try to keep it bumped to the top.

{color:#FF0000}MORE IMPORTANT LINKS (besides the gemstone links above){color}

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!
http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&SID=c1ef1bc7f12ba8fe29bdfb0193a31fa0&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&r=PART&n=pt16.1.23#se16.1.23_119

{color:#FF0000}Other Things We Think You Should Know{color}
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.

{color:#FF0000}Please add some more tips - but ask questions or talk about suspensions on another thread. Let’s try to keep this one on topic and keep it bumped{color}. The suspension you prevent may be your own!

Style


Jewelry help needed
Selling fine jewelry, getting approved, seemingly impossible
Failed Jewelry Quality Assurance - Knowledge Quiz
The death of this new forum
Click Edit to fix metal type?
A to Z Claims
#2

Great guide.

Now where do I get my inventory? Hahahaha


#3

Get it off Ali Baba, Crack!
(thanks for bumping the thread)
Style


#4

THANK YOU Style! I for one know you’ve worked your tail off to accumulate this information, and it’s extremely appreciated!

I was told at one point by Jewelry Support that we could also use the phrases gold-tone and silver-tone rather than the one word versions (goldtone and silvertone). To me, the hyphenated versions read much better. I look at the word silvertone and I read “silvert-one.”


#5

Good tip, Tiff. Thanks.


#6

Hi Tiff,
thanks for your great tip.
How did you get Jewellery Support to give you instructions?
They told us, what we are NOT allowed to put in, but they did not give me a positive alternative idea… which makes it so hard to find a solution.
:slight_smile:
Noemi


#7

Hi Noemi,

A year ago when we went through our first round of stealth jewelry testing, we had several items that came back with violations for some rather random issues like Style has referenced above. When I finally heard from Jewelry Support, I was able to work with them over the course of a couple of weeks to create our plan of action and get everything (except for the bad items) reinstated, including our jewelry selling privileges, thank heavens.

I was able to arrange for a follow-up conversation with one of the jewelry support reps at the end to make sure all our i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. One of my questions was about the use of silver-tone and gold-tone instead of silvertone and goldtone, and I was told that was fine to use those hyphenated versions (which I personally prefer).

However, a lot of my other questions were kind of left hanging, as in “read the guidelines and figure it out.” I don’t love that approach. We’ll all be far better off with as many specifics as we can get. Which is why Style’s post is so helpful.

After the first round of testing and the near-death experience that it was, I actually downgraded a ton of our listings in order to try and avoid any potential problems in the future. For example, any items that were actually sterling silver are now simply listed as silver-tone. I determined that I’d rather drop the price, sell an item as silver-tone, and end up surprising the buyer with something better than what they were expecting, rather than risk having a sterling silver item fail a future test.

We are currently awaiting the results of a new round of stealth testing, and I’m waiting with baited breath. And of course, out of our several thousand jewelry listings, they managed to find and test the +handful+ that could have problems. I had ended up leaving a total of 8 items still listed as sterling silver (based on the fact that they’d been tested locally and had been verified). They pulled some of those, along with a few other items totaling 10 pieces.

So now we wait. Which is terribly stressful. We’re hoping they at least give us the the opportunity to correct any potential errors before they drop the sledgehammer, but past experience has shown that’s probably wishful thinking. Fingers and toes are all crossed.


#8

Hi Tiff,
thanks for telling me your story!
I am fingers and toes crossed for you too!
It is an awful feeling… I believe…
good luck for you and the rest of us :slight_smile:
warmly
Noemi


#9

I wanted to add this resource link I just found, regarding gold, silver and plating. I put it in my reference library.

Might be a good idea for everyone to keep a word.doc open and add things like this as you come across them, (plus please share it with s - you can put it on the end of this thread)

h2. [http://www.jvclegal.org/JVC_guide.pdf]


#10

An update bases on w suspension I read about on here yesterrday:

WHITE GOLD (or any metal, for that matter!)

DO NOT ASSUME that white gold contains no nickel. Sometimes it does, just like 925 sterling silver can legally contain a small percentage of nickel. If you assume it’s nickel free and put language like “hypoallergenic” or “lead and nickel free” in the description or bullet points, and the piece tests out with nickel, you can be suspended.

Please, jewelry sellers, feel free to update this thread with caveats you’ve discovered, even if it’s the hard way. We all need all the help we can get!

Style


#11

bumpity, bump, bump, bump


#12

Thank you, Go Figure.

A lot of new and would-be jewelry sellers need this info.

Style


#13

UPDATED ADVICE ON METAL WEIGHTS
Since many jewelry sellers reported they had been suspended for even a slight overestimate of metal weights in a listing, many of us felt it as better to leave that field blank.

However one member had two detailed conversations with Jewelry Support and tells us that Amazon has a tolerance for UNDERSTATING weights of up to 5 grams, since the customer would actually be receiving a better value than stated, and they knew of no suspensions for understating weights.

Best practice, if you’ are listing, say, five identicalpieces, to weigh them all and put the weight as that of the lilghtest piece.

But we continue to stress that if you have a piece pulled for testing and it is even 1/100th of a gram overstated, the piece will fail

Anyone else with official information on this topic, please feel free to add to this thread.

thanks

Style


#14

Thanks for this thread, as a newbie to the jewelry category its very helpful…i know you said no questions but i have only one, does all this apply to fashion or mainly fine when it comes to testing and such?


#15

Not a bad question at all. Hellpful point.
Nobody, Fashion or Fine, is immune to testing. You are more likely to be tested as a fashion seller if you have turquoise or other semiprecious stones, gold or silver plating instead of silvertone/goldtone, or say your crystals are Swarovski. Amazon tests to make sure your materials are what you say they are, so good idea to keep up on the US jewelry standards and other material in the Jewelry section of Seller Help.

Also make sure your pictures are professional and white background. If not, at some point, they go poof when a bot catches them or a customer or seller reports them as poor quality.

Be knowledgeable and professional and you’ll do fine.

Style


#16

*edit: I saw that you said no questions so I am going to post elsewhere. Sorry, very informative post.

Edited by: Fashionable Facets on Jun 25, 2015 1:33 PM


#17

Thank you for the information. I almost feel as if we have to be a GIA Certified Gemologist to sell on Amazon. I was recently audited and though the information was accurate in specifications, it is just as important to include it in the titles. I got dinged on not stating freshwater cultured in the title of a pearl item, although it was clearly in the specifications. Of course they don’t give you too much space in the title section, so you have to be very careful with what words you choose to cut.

I find that buyers generally purchase an item based on design or symbolic meaning of the jewelry item. So for them, knowing if a particular gem is heat treated or irradiated means nothing. But for Amazon, you need to make sure you cover all your bases.

I agree on understating the weight, customer is getting a better item. I don’t know if there is a tolerance on how low you can go with the weight. 5 grams as someone stated here seems too high to me. That is because I sell very small charms, sometimes as low as .5 grams and if you compare an item that is .5 grams to 2 grams, you can see a huge difference when it comes to gold. I would stick to about .2 to .5 grams minus on the low end. Perhaps the 5 gram minus on substantial pieces with stones may be appropriate.

Oh and yes, I don’t understand why they choose to audit items that we never sell. For one, if the item passes inspection and is returned to me, I am stuck with the jewelry since I now have to inventory the item. If they keep it, then I failed, and that is an even bigger issue. Perhaps they should choose your top 5 sellers and audit those instead. It makes me sick that I have to worry about minute details for items that I rarely sell if at all. My recent audit killed my business, my sole form of income. For the last two months I have been struggling with being in Novelty section. The best recommendation I have for anyone who sells jewelry on Amazon, make sure you diversify, meaning sell on other sales channels as well. You don’t want to suddenly get the rug pulled from under you and have nothing else to fall back on.

Thanks again for your post. Lots of great insight.

Edited by: Occasion Gallery on Jun 29, 2015 11:24 PM

Edited by: Occasion Gallery on Jun 29, 2015 11:25 PM


#18

Sorry, Occasion, and I feel your pain. Yes, purpose of this thread was to emphasize what MUST be there, what MUST be there on every mention, and what is better off either understated or not stated.

Big deal that anyplace on the page you say “pearl” that you also say “cultured” if it is indeed cultured. Every single time, including the titles. And best to put a treatment you think possibly might be there since apparently nobody gets flunked for calling something heat treated and it isn’t but sure do get bounced if it’s heat treated and not listed as such. I read up on particular gemstones before listing - there are certain ones that are almost always heat treated to darken the color. That’s one way to tell. By law, your suppliers are supposed to inform you but most don’t and probably won’t till they get cracked down on.

And for fine items, Amazon does recommend metal weight, but best to understate it somewhat since literally an eyelash over flunks it.

Plus, Amazon will pick items for testing that they think might be violating the policy. I’ve been tested twice, and it was indeed obscure items, a couple of which I’d meant to pull a long time beforehand.

So comb through listings on a regular basis, especially every time you pick up a tip over here, just to make sure ALL are in compliance.

Style


#19

I purchased jewelry from China, but high quality. Unfortunately, they failed to stamp 18k Gold Plate on the jewelry items or their mfg logo. They did stamp 925. Should I change my listing to say Gold-tone, even though I know it is 18k Gold plating?


#20

[quote=“Occasion Gallery”]
I purchased jewelry from China, but high quality. Unfortunately, they failed to stamp 18k Gold Plate on the jewelry items or their mfg logo. They did stamp 925. Should I change my listing to say Gold-tone, even though I know it is 18k Gold plating?[/quote]

I don’t believe plated pieces require stamping. I have an entire gold plated line (over base metal) that isn’t stamped. One of the pieces from that line was in the last audit and passed just fine (they do test fashion as well)

Are you saying gold over 925? You can select the metal type as gold-plated-silver

And it would still be fine as long as the gold is over sterling. Otherwise, gold plated base is Fashion jewelry.

And I know it says mfr logo should be stamped, but none of my pieces, fine or fashion are stamped with any kind of logo or brand name and I’ve not had a problem. The biggest concern you should have with gold/silver from China is that they didn’t short the metals. I know plenty of sellers who sourced from China that are not selling in jewelry today because their suppliers cheated. I pay more for my stuff that is from US brands that I know test, and I have imported from Thailand. But I would never personally source from China unless I had a wildly hot selling piece that I’d ordered hundreds of and paid for independent testing myself.