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What to be Aware of When Buying Silver Jewelry from Thailand -
Old 07-06-2016, 01:06 PM   #1
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What to be Aware of When Buying Silver Jewelry from Thailand -

Knowing many people have lived overseas or have relatives overseas, I thought I would pose my question here. I make my own jewelry (for me, not for sale) and am always looking for unusual components. I found a web site, thaisilverbeads.com, selling Hill Tribes silver beads direct from Chiang Mai at about 1/3 what a U.S. reseller charges (better selection, too). I would like to buy about $300 worth of merchandise.

Wondered if there is anything I should beware of before hitting the "order" button. The shipping/insurance costs are clearly stated (choice between Registered Air Mail for $25, and FedEx Courier for $44), and I've looked up the U.S. customs duty, which appears to be 7% for silver jewelry components. I would expect Customs to open even a small/low-dollar-value package from Southeast Asia, so I'm not counting on getting my package sooner than a month from time of ordering.

Thanks,

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Old 07-06-2016, 03:31 PM   #2
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Is it real silver? Do you have a way to check?

The spot price of silver should be the same worldwide. Make sure you are not paying less, it may not be real silver.

I used to order cigarettes for my Dad from Russia. Marlboro's for $15 a carton when the going rate was $45+. Customs never opened a single package.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:39 PM   #3
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I order small things from China, and they are shipped in the mail.
They used to print on the outside "gift" or "sample" as I think they wanted to avoid customs stuff.
Now they print something close to what it is, and the price.
My items are small less than $20 so I'm not too worried if it never shows up.

Either way Customs has not opened any of them. Customs often will x-ray/scan the package as it's a lot faster and better than peeking inside.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:44 PM   #4
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I've ordered thousands of dollars worth of stuff direct from China on ebay and also from the manufacturers.

It all arrived in excellent condition, as advertised and fast.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:46 PM   #5
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That is a good suggestion. The spot price is .65 per gram. The gram weight is listed: the biggest item I want weighs 19 grams and costs $28.00, which is more than twice the spot price.

I have bought Hill Tribes silver from a U.S. reseller and it is .95 or even .99 pure. Beautiful stuff.

One-third the U.S. reseller's cost is a bit of an exaggeration; it's more like 40%. But even with shipping and duties, it is barely half what the reseller charges.

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Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Is it real silver? Do you have a way to check?

The spot price of silver should be the same worldwide. Make sure you are not paying less, it may not be real silver.

I used to order cigarettes for my Dad from Russia. Marlboro's for $15 a carton when the going rate was $45+. Customs never opened a single package.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:48 PM   #6
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Thanks, Robbie.

The only item I have knowingly ordered direct from China was my cell phone, which took almost 2 months because the shipment got hung up in customs.

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I've ordered thousands of dollars worth of stuff direct from China on ebay and also from the manufacturers.

It all arrived in excellent condition, as advertised and fast.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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Before it was legal in the US we ordered and received several bottles of the forbidden "Green Fairy" from the Chec Republic. All arrived unopened and in perfect shape.

Check the website has HTTPS some online reviews suggest it doesn't. Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:04 PM   #8
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MRG,

Thanks for making me look! The site doesn't accept payment directly. They go through a third party, either Paypal or 2Checkout. The payment processing pages do display a URL with https:

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Originally Posted by MRG View Post
Before it was legal in the US we ordered and received several bottles of the forbidden "Green Fairy" from the Chec Republic. All arrived unopened and in perfect shape.

Check the website has HTTPS some online reviews suggest it doesn't. Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:55 PM   #9
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Amethyst, I don't know that company. I usually buy my silver from US companies or at "bead" shows. There are several vendors at the upcoming summer shows that sell Hill Tribe silver. Do you make any of the metal components like clasps or chain or spacers or pendants? I don't sell the jewelry I make. I make for myself and friends and family. There use to be more shows around but I think interest is dying. I order components and tools from Rio Grande Jewelry supply, Metalliferous in NYC, Thunderbird in New Mexico, All Craft USA in NY, Fire Mountain Gems, Monsterslayer, Potter USA, Contenti. I get my enameling supplies from Thompson Enamel in KY. Good luck with your buy.
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:46 PM   #10
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I buy my silver only from the US, but Hill tribe, presumably you can test with the first order and then either go back or never again? Having looked at a bazillion gem/supply sites, that one would inspire confidence.

I do purchase gems from India on a regular basis, pay about what you mention in shipping, Fedex UPS actually arrives in 4-5 days usually. Orders are always over $500, and never opened, xray only. Customs duties I don't always get, it's hit and miss, if they hit, UPS bills me later, probably 1 out of 5 packages. (registered/EMS takes far longer to arrive with no tracking so it's worth the extra to me).

Oh, and my supplier also goes to a 3rd party for payment processing, not direct like mentioned above. I do wish more show suppliers had decent websites but so many seem to tour only. I'm going to Tuscon next year!

Good luck!

ETA: Siifindings is a US based supplier that has a fair about of Hill Tribe. Their website is slow as molasses but I've ordered from them a few times and never had any issue. Not sure how their prices compare, but an option.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:26 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone! Based on your feedback, I will place a smaller order - around $150, to still get the over-$100 discount - and see how it goes. I'll make another post when the "results" are in. No, I don't make jewelry components myself; I just string 'em together. I'm particularly fond of using vintage glass beads from eastern Europe and Occupied Japan, but those are getting hard to find these days. They combine wonderfully with silver.

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Update: Silver Beads Just Arrived - wow!
Old 07-28-2016, 10:35 AM   #12
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Update: Silver Beads Just Arrived - wow!

So I thought I'd update this thread. Aerides, at least, may be interested to know that my silver beads just arrived at my door, and everything is very satisfactory.

I opened the envelope to discover a little zippered fabric pouch, smelling faintly of curry. Inside were the carefully packed silver beads and components. They are beautiful; and as I've said before, they cost considerably less than a U.S. reseller charges - on sale. From ordering online, to signing for the package, took about 2 weeks.

Amethyst
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:48 AM   #13
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The only thing I've ever bought from Thailand was Thai stick...
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:33 PM   #14
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Amethyst, That's great that it turned out well. Post something in the "what we're making" thread.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:03 AM   #15
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I'd love to post some of my hobbies, but anyone who knows me in real life would recognize them, and I'd like to maintain at least a shred of anonymity. For example, I am certain that some of the people I work with are on this forum. I heard two people mention Firecalc the other day.

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Amethyst, That's great that it turned out well. Post something in the "what we're making" thread.
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I'd love to post some of my hobbies, but anyone who knows me in real life would recognize them, and I'd like to maintain at least a shred of anonymity. For example, I am certain that some of the people I work with are on this forum. I heard two people mention Firecalc the other day.
So that is not your picture as an icon ?

By the way, thanks for posting your experience about the purchase, it's good to hear it went well.
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Old 07-29-2016, 03:44 PM   #17
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Amethyst, understand but thanks for posting about your buying experience. I already gave the link to a friend that makes a lot of beaded jewelry
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Old 07-29-2016, 05:08 PM   #18
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So that is not your picture as an icon ?
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