Saturday, 24 June 2017

Facebook Live Oyster Pearl Party Scams

A little off-topic but recently I've been asked so many times about the Pearl Parties live broadcasts appearing all over Facebook status walls. If you haven't heard of Pearl Parties, they are sales broadcasts where the hosts entice viewers to buy sealed oysters which are opened live on the broadcast, any pearls found inside are sent to the buyer, and there always seems to be plenty of pearls found.

So after watching a few of these broadcasts, it becomes clear why these broadcasts are appearing all over Facebook, as the party hosts constantly offer the chance to win free oyster opening to all viewers that share the broadcast. After further investigation, it becomes even clearer these Pearl Party broadcasts aren't the harmless fun the presenters insinuate but are scams.
Oysters Originate from the Far East & Individually Vacuum Packed

The oysters you see opened on the Facebook live broadcast are real enough, they are bought in wholesale by the oyster party, but the copious pearls discovered inside them aren't quite as legit, rare and valuable as you might think. I have discovered two methods behind the high number pearls found inside them.  Either the freshwater oysters have been cultured, basically hacked and farmed into growing the pearls, or the oysters had the pearls inserted within them, after which they are dropped into a chemical bath to make them snap close, killing and preserving the oyster. With either method, the oysters individually vacuum packed before being shipped off from the Far East to the party hosts in bulk.
Cheap as Chips Oysters are bought in Bulk

On the Pearl Party broadcasts I observed, it cost £30 to £50 to open a batch of 5 oysters, which is a considerable markup from the direct online price of around £1 to £2 per oyster. Often the punters don't get the chance to buy a set number of oysters to be opened in the hope of receiving any pearls found inside, as there is a random based game to be played to determine how many oysters are opened for their set payment. These games involve rolling a dice or spinning a wheel to decide the number oysters open, which in itself probably breaks gaming licensing laws in many countries. This game is part of the scam, it is used to make buyers think they have won something and disguise the fact are paying well over the odds for the low grade nearly worthless pearls they end up receiving.

Pearl Party Sales are similar to the Shopping Channels

As the party host opens each oyster on the broadcast, they blag how wonderful the pearls look, using lightening and display techniques to make each pearl look as glamorous as possible, the same techniques employed the professionals on jewellery shopping channels, but with fibs. The reality is these pearls are nothing of the quality of actual rare high-value natural pearls. Some hosts will even measure, rate the colour and shape, and conclude a value for each pearl, which is always way more the buyer has actually paid, again all part of the con. If the host really thought the pearls were worth as much as they are saying, why on earth would they bother with the broadcast and just sell them directly themselves!

The host will also offer to set your pearls in jewellery, like earrings and necklaces, all for an extra cost of course.

I also found some hosts operate on behalf of companies in a pyramid-like scheme, where they pay a set amount in, oysters are supplied to them, the more they sell the more they rise up the pyramid ranks and the more money they make.

So be warned, don't participate in promoting these scams to your friends by sharing Pearl Party Facebook Live broadcasts. You'd think Facebook would do something about these types of illicit practices on their Facebook Live service, but apparently not. Given the lawless of Facebook Live, I think we can expect further scams of this nature in the near future.

13 comments:

Nisar sheikh said...

nice

Anonymous said...

As a pearl consultant for a wonderful company, I refuse to give value to the pearls. They are worth whatever value someone is going to pay for it. I think talking up the value and playing random games for extra openings is all B.S.

Anonymous said...

I've bought some and they are pretty but any smart person knows they are marked up so the presenter can get paid or we could just order them from Asia or wherever in bulk, like they do. I don't buy anymore but it is fun to watch. With any company, Buyer Beware is a good slogan to follow. Nobody is making anyone BUY them.

Anonymous said...

Cultured pearls aren’t the most precious pearls like “wild pearls” this is known. However, your accusations about it being a scam, is far from the truth! In fact, it displays a hatred for it bacuse you weren’t the one to come up with such an original idea! So, if you wanna talk scams, let’s look at custom jewelry... the ones who advertise that their items are best!! Yeah, right! And in 30 days, either it breaks, it discolours your skin and so on! Please, if you’re gonna talk scams, get you’re information straight! I’d much rather wear these fantastic little pearls, than crap Walmart jewelry any day!

Anonymous said...

Those fantastic dyed little pearls are no better than Walmart crap, I know I have some. Rather go to jewellers and buy some decent stuff. Nothing worse than nickel based silver to bring you neck out in a rash..

Anonymous said...

I was not happy with the quality of the jewerly or the pearls cheap looking

JJ said...

I have at least 15 to 20 pearls and the jewelry that comes with it and for $20 That pays for my 24" Sterling silver necklaces all by it self never mind watching and receiving my pearls..basically an investment...buy from the right ppl. NOT A SCAM LMAO

JJ said...

Really...i spend $20 for an oyster opening and Sterling silver jewlery to go with..i have 15-20 pieces. If you can find that at Wal-Mart I'll pay you...i have actually made a small but real investment. One of my pearls were appraised at$50 and I pay 20 and get the Sterling. Those 24" necklaces are worth that alone if not more..do ur homework for real this time ppl

Anonymous said...

Wtf are you a "consultant"? Why not be honest and call yourself a pearl reseller or even better a scammer?

Anonymous said...

Hahaha unfortunately you've fallen for the scam. Go and get your pearl s appraised/valued by a REAL QUALIFIED jeweller. I guarantee you they're almost worthless.

anne renwick said...

I've bought from daisy-chainbespokebeauty.co.uk and all the chains bring me out in a rash... every item I've bought is cheap tat and they ask £ 30 + per buy. How are people drawn in ..they pretend to be friendly and to be honest they're all nice BUT they want our hard earned cash and they're selling crap ..£10 for one oyster ...I've got brains once bitten twice shy !! BEWARE

Anonymous said...

For a bit of fun opening the pearls you can order them yourself direct for $1 each. The sterling silver chains aren't real silver, there are different regulations in China and they seem to be able to claim nickel is silver ��

anne renwick said...

They should be aware that selling as sterling in the EU means no nickel. It's illegal for them sell any jewellery that contains it. Naughty naughty !