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 I did some research and watched several 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 appear to be deceptive.
Oysters Originate from the Far East & Individually Vacuum Packed

The oysters opened on the Facebook live broadcast are real enough, they are bought in wholesale by the oyster party rep, 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 deception, 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 lightning and display techniques to make each pearl look as glamorous as possible, the same techniques employed the professionals on jewelry shopping channels, but they really exaggerate the quality and value. In reality, the pearls you presented with 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. Consider this 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 jewelry, 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 and gambling 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.

29 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 !

Anonymous said...

Look at all the scam artist trying to defend themselves lol

Anonymous said...

Pearls are pearls and no matter what shape, color, or size they come they are beautiful. Shame on people talking BS. I love the pearl sellers on Facebook keep it up girls

Unknown said...

You do realize all pearls are cultured? Wild pearls are very hard to come across and they aren't perfectly round. Those pearls you see in the high end jewelry stores? Cultured. This isnt a scam. Before you start making accusations against people who are doing they're job, read more into what your talking about. Because to me you sound like an idiot. The brighter the color, the more rare they are. I'm a customer of these pearl parties, but I did my research before I went and bought one through a live party. I got my pearl appraised and it came out to over 200$. So stop running your idiotic mouth and look into it before you start dissing someone's job.

Anni said...

What a hateful and misinformative blog...I used to work for Tiffany & Co ( very expensive and marked up high end jewelry) .. so is that a scam too ?? Same as Armani, Estee Lauder and other brands..very marked up!! Not selling it for what they paid for it...so are these scams too?? Your reasoning to why this is a scam is nonsensical..People are paying for the experience of the live party and these are real freshwater pearls ..just like in jewelry stores, and depending on the vendor, silver or in some cases white gold chains...I can tell u one thing..Tiffany & Co would charge a lot more for a mass produced 925 sterling silver necklace than these ladies do..so where is the scam ? Any seller marks up their merchandise otherwise how the heck would it be profitable?? I've never seen a pearl party where the hostess is attaching a value to the pearl, other than saying how beautiful, and the size etc..next time you're at the mall, wander into any store and listen as the sales people tell you about their special product ..is that a scam.?..just because u can buy it online for less? ..

Unknown said...

But yet people have had their pearls appraised by a licensed gemologist and have given the company copiea of the written out appraisal and report on the baby blie pearl that was found and proof given that she paid $23 for a oyster that revealed a baby blue pearl inside appraised at over $800 so where u see scam n pyramid scheme at is beyond me and not all of the conpanies make u buy in so please research further before gi en false info i know one of the biggest pearl conpanies on fb right now u dont have to buy into and u file regular taxes like any other job and they have license for everything they do so this whole article is bullshit and the people who believe and agree with it are just as dumb as the person who p
Type this no sense up SMFH

Queenbiotch86 said...

And to tell someone to go get their pearls appraised vy a jeweler shows further more u have no clue to what your talking about a jeweler cant appraise pearls idiot only a licensed geologist can appraise a pearl so u go ahead n keep agreeing with uneducated people. Smfh and people have gotten their pearls appraised n nost conpanies sgow the appraisal slip thats done by a professional licensed gemoligist not jeweler thats appraised them for way more value then the customer paid for them

Queenbiotch86 said...

Thank you finally someone speaking with some sense who knows what their talking about

Anonymous said...

Nothing brings out the crazies like consultants balls deep in a mlm scheme! Lol. They're crap. It's fun to watch but it's not the same as a strong of tiffany pearls and real oyster farmers keep their oysters alive and are usually the forefront of the ecological movement, and use every part of the oyster including the shell. The oysters are packaged in dangerous chemicals, I haven't even discovered environmental effects of the dyeing process to know that is terrible for the environment. It's one thing to indulge for fun, but Facebook live oyster shuckers who smoke and swear while shucking raw, rotted meat preserved like middle school frogs to dissect and it's probably not even regulated, it's no Tiffany jewelry.

Anonymous said...

I am from Asia and i know they are selling cultured pearls. We have a lot of them here in the Phililippines. Are they scam? No i dont think so. There are several types of pearls and one of them is cultured. Wild pearls or giant "taclobo" as we call them here are as authentic as well. So i guess the writer is just not familiar witht these precious to semi precious stones/stuff.

iheartmygrandbabies said...

That's right...we know what we are buying when we buy...are you happy... I'm happy and will continue to buy...I guess everyone is entitled to their opinions... even if they are wrong lol... find a host you like and trust...the group I watch with and buy with we have all been friends since April gave birth...and we watch and all have a great time...

Anonymous said...

Looks like your analysis hit a little too close to home for some of these deluded (or worse, complicit) mothershuckers. Thanks for the spot-on commentary and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Where do you order them. Would be a fun thibg to do with the great grand kids

Anonymous said...

If people want to buy the pearls it's their business, it entertainment for them

laurie said...

Probably the percentage rate that knows these are not high end pearls is about 95%. You do get what you pay for. It is fun to watch and open a pearl regardless. Just like going to a carnival and spending money to win a stuffed animal that probably wont happen. The sterling silver necklace and whatever I buy at the end of it alone is worth the 30 dollars. We are having fun with our money. Don't tell you how to spend yours. I don't drink, do drugs, hit the bar scenes or anything. So if I choose to spend less then 50 dollars to open a couple of oysters for a fake pearl to put into a piece of jewelry of my choice to make me smile so be it. If you don't like it move along and let us be.

Lisa Hartley said...

I would like to see where anyone got a paper saying they got o.k n that was found in n one of these worth 800 $ . That's just silly they most I have seen have been placed inside the oyster. And u can go on Ebay and buy your pick a set of o estimates with twins in n it or just one in them or round or oblong and only way they can do this is to have placed them there. And they guarantee colors also. And they are so cheap on Ebay.

Lisa Hartley said...

Some may be cultured but I bet most ha e been placed inside them like I said before u can buy them on Ebay and Amazon so cheap and order the ones tha t.f have twins or just one or some 20 Pearl's inside and all colors or just white .