As my Christmas gift, my husband made an online ETSY purchase from AuroraDesigner of a gold ring with small sparkly diamonds that I had admired. When I opened it, I thought he had bought the wrong one as it seemed to be a plain gold band and looked nothing like the merchant's advertised photos. My husband admitted that when it arrived, he also thought it may have been the wrong ring but he wanted me to see it on Christmas morning before making any decisions.
I contacted AuroraDesigner, Jo Dane, and explained that the ring did not look like the photos and I would like to return the ring in exchange for a refund. I stated that I would pay for the return shipping and that I did not wish to be refunded the original shipping cost.
AuroraDesigner admitted that the ring did not look as it does online because their photos had been taken with a zoomed in macro lens to enhance the ability to see the diamonds. However, they said they would not accept the return because it was made to order. Because they actually had several of these rings in stock, I pointed out that this was not a custom order. They then said they would not accept the return because the return period had passed. When I reiterated that it had been a Christmas gift and therefore I had not actually seen the ring until the time that I contacted them, they asked for the order number and told me they would look into it. They then stopped answering my emails.
I so wish I had done research on this merchant before telling my husband about the ring. In hindsight, I found there were already other customers who had written online complaints about Jo Dane of AuroraDesigner regarding pieces of jewelry being defective or with misleading photos and the merchant's unwillingness to stand behind the product/refusal to acknowledge the customer's concerns/emails.
I have never had any experience with an ETSY shop that didn't end with my writing a 5 star review so I followed all the steps to file a complaint against the shop. ETSY asked for additional photos, which I submitted, but ultimately said they could not reach a determination regarding the ring and closed the case.
Because I appreciate the ease shopping online provides, especially at Christmas, I forget that there are merchants like AuroraDesigner who are all too happy to take advantage of an online shopper's inability to see the product in real life prior to purchasing it and must rely on the honesty of the merchant, the honesty of their photos, and their integrity in standing behind their product. I feel sick at being taken by AuroraDesigner and I wish I would have done a better job researching them.