I don't care what other people do. Unless it's hurting someone, of course. But today I was looking around on etsy and I saw a couple of very weird things. I'd call it "taking advantage of others" or perhaps "fraud" or something like that.
I thought etsy was for handmade or vintage? Or supplies? A seller, who has sold thousands of things, is selling earrings, stud earrings in particular, that they don't make! They BUY them wholesale and then turn around and sell them as if they made them. And for $10, $20, $30 or more. For CZ earrings. Or fake opal or other types of "gems".
Now, buyers seem happy (for the most part), so I guess there's no real harm. But it bothers me because I GIVE THESE EARRINGS AWAY as a gift for each purchase. The same sterling silver earrings with the same size CZ stones. So I know where this seller is BUYING them. I would never think of selling retail what I buy wholesale. (Unless it's ebay!) And sometimes I give away sterling earrings that are set with genuine turquoise, or genuine onyx, or whatever I have on hand that matches their purchase---sometimes even genuine amethyst earrings or sapphire ones. Sometimes a bracelet or pendant. I like giving little "surprises" to people as a thank-you gesture!
I guess that's just me.
But the WORST OFFENDER I've seen in a long time is someone who is using etsy to try to sell a supposed Alexandrite for literally TENS of thousands of dollars. And it's NOT an Alexandrite at all! It's probably just a Chrysoberyl, which somewhat changes from a gold color to a green color depending on the light. An Alexandrite is a VALUABLE stone that absolutely MUST change colors from green to red to purple---it's TRICHROIC (meaning THREE color changes), always, always, always. They are claiming it's some sort of "special" Alexandrite from another country no less (uh, it's called Alexandrite because it's Russian, from Russia...) which makes zero sense---but hey, they'll say anything to make a buck (or over 30,000 bucks).
So this total FRAUD on etsy is pretending to sell some stone and they think that by charging a ridiculous amount of money, that some sucker will fall for it and buy it. FRAUD. If I had a lot of money (they're charging five figures for it) I'd buy that, then turn around and SUE them for ten times what I paid, for fraud and so forth. They deserve it!
Oh, I found this fabulous article about this VERY type of fraud, entitled "The Misconception and Erroneous Marketing of Alexandrite Versus Color hange Chrysoberyl" from the International Gem Society (IGS):
The sad part is that this etsy seller knows EXACTLY what they're doing. Buyer beware!