"From time to time, more than a few people who previously purchased jewelry from us on ebay, repeated their business with us and that we now have great relations with have asked the same question.. so why are you no longer on ebay?"
ebay is a great marketplace for finding all sorts of things and is indeed the place where our debut on the internet occured in 2006, even though we run an 80-year-old traditional mortar-and-brick business.
Many advantages that can be associated to ebay were great at one point for us and for our customers who had never been exposed to a rich array of Greek jewelry (one of of the largest and most extensive in Greece) which our traditional workshop has to offer. We were enabled to offer an extensive catalog of unique traditional jewelry designs to people woldwide who would otherwise never have access to so many options of genuine traditional greek jewelry unless they were inside Greece.
From time to time, more than a few people who previously purchased jewelry from us on ebay, that repeated their business with us and that we have now great relations with have asked the same question.. so why are you no longer on ebay?
I deemed this issue worth mentionning on our site since it is such a common question; why we switched from being 'Silver-Powersellers' and prominent in our field on ebay not so long ago, to withdrawing from ebay completely.
The answer is.. (and I am happy that so many repeat customers worldwide indeed care enough to have asked) that amongst ebay's advantages eg. an internet venue offering value for money, a decent framework for good communication, and being a place that inspires confidence for the less experienced internet buyer, alas there were a few disadvantages which came as a great surpise to us.
Primarily we began to see our own designs on ebay being violated and reproduced in very low quality and offered on ebay at lower prices (and consequently in much much lower quality) to unaware buyers. Coming from a 4th generation background specialized in Greek jewelry with a true appreciation of Greek jewelry as an art-form, we found it particularly disturbing to see original designs hand-carved by our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers; pieces which are truely part of our family heritage being copied so blatently without any respect for intellectual property or even showing any respect to the art-form itself.
To our surprise in the extent of only 2 years of our selling on ebay, we had managed to gain a large number of 'competition' much of which was based upon bad quality (and illegally copied) versions of our own products and designs. As a family that has associated itself actively and has been a pioneering influence in Greek Jewelry this was indeed a disappointment calling for action. Pieces that our grandfather or other family member recreated from awe, true skill and love 60 years ago, often kneeling in front of a museum window for weeks on end were now being simply copied in silicone molds to be sold on ebay (which is not only much poorer quality but also illegal) and reproduced in Greece and even China!!
As these crude copies with terribly low definition and quality for (even the most inexperienced eye) and of less value, they also could also be offered cheaply. We were not so much disturbed from the competition itself because the great majority of our customers tends to appreciate the superior quality evident in our products, which are of the same standard and quality that our family has offered serious collectors since the beginning of last century. What was infact most disturbing was the principle which was backed by ebay itself and total lack of respect of international conventions regarding copyright. Meanwhile, ebay as an associate, when requested, would not do anything to stop the sale of these blatently illegal (let alone tastless and defacing) copies from our family heritage on its venue nor reveal to us true identities of the sellers so we could begin to take specific civil action against them.
Thus rather than continuing to erode and compromise our most valuable family asset, which is the Vaphiadis family's dedication, love and not least, family history in ancient greek jewelry, we decided to move on. I am happy to say that we prefer that we are now unassociated to the ever decreasing quality level of jewelry that can be found on ebay and although ebay is still great for purchasing easily comparable goods such as technology (where there is a model and number), on the whole the standards of what is available by professional ebay sellers regarding art of any true artistic value has become ever more dissapointing and low standard.
Even though our relationship with ebay has ended, we do continue to offer Paypal as a safe means of transaction that protects our customers in a number of ways and we continue to be as dedicated to all of our customers that are interested in our area of expertise.
We will continue, from greek jewelry shop like our forefathers to focus on what we do best, creating fine ancient Greek jewelry and continue to unveil more designs that have never before been available on the internet to the appreciators who admire the beauty of ancient jewelry, made with know-how, care and finesse.
4th generation jeweler and goldsmith