When we were travelling on a package tour, the tour guide had insisted us to follow the itinerary strictly and the Tianmai Jade Jewelry Expo Center was kind of our last stop for our last leg in Shanghai.
So, What is Jade?
Jade is a precious ornament stone regarded as the legacy of the stone age. Jade is priced for its hardness, durability, musical qualities and beauty. Jade plays an important part of the Chinese culture since the Neolithic period from B.C. 4000 onward.
So, What is the Jade Scam?
When my family and I was travelling on a package tour in Shanghai, we were brought to Tianmai Jade Jewelry Expo Center “天脉艺术博览中心” and the tour guide has shared that this expo center is the place that is in-charge of preparing gifts for the royalty and government officials that visits China. The tour guide has also mentioned that the place does not sell to the consumer, it is meant for educational purposes and visiting like the name suggested. This experience reminds me of the infamous Thai gem scam.
When we enter the ‘expo centre’, we were greeted by a friendly sale staff giving us a tour around the expo, and bringing us into an exhibition room.
So, How did the scam played out?
Suddenly, the ‘CEO’ of the centre appeared and decided to talk to us and he gave us a tour of the expo centre. Constantly, telling us not to purchase as most of the items are overpriced.
The ‘CEO’ also sat with us and introduce the various jade to us and the benefits of it. As we had a previous stop at a Jade outlet, so some of the tour members had purchased some jade bangle and pendant. The ‘CEO’ ask the tour members to show him.
The ‘CEO’ ask the staff to take out some sample, and the staff mentioned that the price. The ‘CEO’ then decided to give us a massive discount, close to 90% off the price that the staff has mentioned.
When the staff heard the price, they started telling the ‘CEO’ that this is way too much discount, and they would be making a loss. The ‘CEO’ said that since we are his friends, he is willing to absorb the loss.
The ‘CEO’ has also asked their staff to prepare some small pieces of the jade pendant for all the students and younger kids to blessed them with good studies and health.
Many of the tour members bought more Jade.
One of the tour members had previously bought a Jade bangle at another shop and was ‘encouraged / coax’ into topping up the difference for a better Jade bangle at this shop. The tour member had a pretty difficult time wearing the first bangle that she bought from the first store, but after some ‘encouragement and coaxing’, and after they have negotiated the price. The staff used all sorts of methods to take out her existing Jade bangle, leaving her hands full of bruises and put in the new bangle that they had agreed on.
So, How much did we got scammed?
We are one of the lucky ones, we were not scammed a single cent. As my family are not into Jade, we did not purchase any Jade at all. The Jade that they gave my brother was broken when he accidentally dropped it. Jade is supposed to be stronger than glass and more durable. If your Jade breaks easily, it is likely that it is fake.
But many of the tour members has spent more than few hundred to few thousand in Singapore dollars on the Jade. I am not an expert in Jade, therefore, I cant comment on the quality of the Jade. But, I think that is not the right way to do business, it sounds like the Thai gem scam.
Have you been scammed before? Share me with your scammed experience in the comment.