December 19, 2003

A Guest Rant (from Kevin)

Last night I (Kevin) posted a rant in Shelby's comment section -- a riff on the topic of 'not getting your presents in time for Christmas', venting about my recent experiences with a particular eBay vendor.

The short version -- don't do business with Phoenix Jewelers Supplies, who can be found on eBay as the user 'findingking', and who maintain a Web storefront at

For the longer version, please click below ...

On the topic of getting presents on the actual day (or getting them at all): let me say here that if (hypothetically) your little brother wanted a rock tumbler for Christmas, and (again, only hypthetically) you decided to get this gift for him, *DON'T* do business with Phoenix Jewelers Supplies, who can be found on eBay as the user 'findingking' and on the Web at

I ended the auction on December 6th -- now, almost two weeks later, I not only don't know when to expect my package, I don't know if my package has even shipped at all! Emails go completely unanswered, or are answered by a very stale 'automated' message (gosh, we just moved so everything's disorganized, plus our computer system crashed, and did we mention that we're experiencing an extremely high volume of messages -- but don't worry, everything will be back to normal by Monday, November 17th!) Naturally, phone calls go straight to an answering machine (their phone number is [REDACTED], by the way; they keep that pretty well hidden).

Unless 'findingking' pulls off a miracle or has a sudden customer-service revelation, it looks like I'll be turning to eBay's 'buyer protection' service. I guess it's my own fault for being reassured by findingking's 20000+ positive feedback and "Power Seller" status, without looking at the actual feedback page to see how much negative baggage this guy is carrying around.

(A side rant: what in the hell is wrong with people on eBay? I was looking through some of the positive comments in findingking's record, and some of the people leaving the usual "A++++++ SUPER SELLER!!!! A REAL ASSET TO EBAY!!!!! WOULD DO BUSINESS AGAIN!!! A+++" drivel didn't get the goods they ordered for over two months! In what kind of world is that "A+++++++" performance?)

I just mention this here in hopes that it will be picked up by search engines and later found by somebody searching for 'findingking' -- a public service, just like when we previously announced to the world in this space that Journey Shenandoah Sassafras Root Beer is most seriously foul, should some future searcher have the wisdom enough to research his/her alternative root beer choices before going out to buy.

(If you think I'm ranting, you should see the guy who cared enough to go out and create

[ADDENDUM, 11/29/2005: A 'secret' findingking number other than the customer sevice numbers that they publish on their Web site used to be available in the user comments in this blog entry. However, apparently so many frustrated people, searching for another avenue to resolve their shipping complaints, used that number that the findingking people got upset and reported me to eBay. Now eBay has given me a 24-hour ultimatum: remove the phone numbers, or my account is suspended. (Would that my eBay complaints receive such a speedy and forceful resolution!) So, there we are. It's been almost two years since I last dealt with findingking, but it seems like they're still dishing out the customer 'service' that made me frustrated enough to write this entry.]

Posted by at December 19, 2003 11:56 AM

An end-of-day update: This afternoon, I tried calling their 'customer service' number again and found that now I couldn't even leave a message, because their voicemail box was full. So I rooted around on the Web, found another number for Phoenix Jewelers Supply [REDACTED], and called that.

The woman at that number first tried to disavow all responsibility (findingking was a 'sister company'), but after some back-and-forth, she took my name and number and said she'd have somebody there call me. Amazingly, about a half-hour later, somebody did! Susana-the-representative shared the amazing news that my package had *just* gone out today! She didn't have a tracking number for me yet, but I would get one via E-mail by the end of the day, as soon as they 'got confirmation'.

Now it's the end of the day, and gee, no tracking number . . .

Posted by: Kevin at December 19, 2003 05:26 PM

More update: Two days after Christmas, and still no shipment e-mail and/or tracking number.
Also, no response to an E-mail that I sent on the 18th, asking if they could ship the package to Shelby's parent's house, so that we could give the rock tumbler to Zach before we left Southern California. Also (shock! surprise!) no phone response to the message I left on their 'customer service' line, reminding them that they'd promised me a tracking number and had somehow 'forgot' to send that to me.

Posted by: Kevin at December 27, 2003 11:33 AM

I have been trying to contact eBay vendor because I do not trust their checkout system (

I purchased a Buy It Now item.

My internet research reveals Auctionworks system is subject to cross-site scripting which could make it vulnerable to security breaches.

I emailed the vendor, to tell them about my security concerns with their checkout system.

When you log onto Auctionworks checkout, there is no security icon on your screen. Their web page states it is a secure site, but there is no indication of an independent secure monitor during the internet transaction.

I do not want to pay with a money order. That is like sending cash, which does not give you a way to deal with a transaction if problems arise.

I have e-mailed three times.

I do not want to spend a lot of money and time trying to get through to their customer service.

Yes....I regret not having read their feedback first.

Does anyone have any recent experience which might help me in my attempts to pay them directly with PayPal?

Thanks much,

Posted by: Koko at December 31, 2003 09:25 AM

I'm loath to help these guys take other peoples' money, but they've started including this URL at the bottom of their automated 'gosh, we're too busy to respond to any messages' e-mails:

It includes instructions for paying them with PayPal outside of their Auctionworks setup.

Posted by: Kevin at January 3, 2004 10:08 PM

For those of you who've fallen into this story via a search engine, here's a final blog entry detailing the resolution of this saga.

Long story short: I got the rock tumbler. But given findingking's non-existent 'customer service', I certainly won't be coming back to them in the future.

Posted by: Kevin at January 4, 2004 11:45 PM

Did you guy's know that there is in fact TWO jeweler supply stores located in the same building. one being the infamous phoenix jeweler supply the other being AZ jewelry supply inc.. I wonder if they are the same co.?

Posted by: russ at May 26, 2004 12:45 PM
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