Shanghai-ed!! Help!!!

Old Apr 27th, 2005, 12:01 PM
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Shanghai-ed!! Help!!!

Is anyone here familar with the Shanghai Antique & Curio store?
I recently bought some things there on my visit and brought them back to the US only to find out that I had been "Shanghai-ed". I bought 3 pieces of jade that were suppose to be high in value and authenticity and to have them appraised here at 1/100th of their value. Can anyone help me?
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 04:11 PM
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Hi blondeec, Sorry to hear about this scam. Things like that can really tarnish memories of an otherwise great trip. I'm not familiar with the store you mention, but if you paid for your purchases with a credit card, contact the bank or card issuer. They may be able to help you. If you paid in cash, I'm not sure anything can be done. You could try contacting the Chinese Embassy in Washington (if you are American, if not, the one in your home country) or a Chinese Consulate, and ask if there is a contact for this type of problem. Things like this are not good for tourism so they may have an outlet for getting some kind of satisfaction. Good luck.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 04:48 PM
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Did you get a formal written valuation on their letterhead? If so, you could hire a solicitor/lawyer to write a letter demanding compensation. Check out ones in the Chinatown area of your largest state city.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 06:09 PM
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if none of this works smear their name all over every travel site and publication that you can and also inform your airline and/or tour operator....
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 06:10 PM
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but before you do that how about writing them a formal letter telling them what you have learned and asking them if adjustments can be made....buyer beware is always the best travel advice unfortunately
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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Thanks everyone...I did not pay in cash so I am looking in to getting help from my credit card company. I have tried to contact the Chinese consulate here in NYC but they have been absolutely no help. I am currently working with an appraiser who was recommended to me by the folks at Sotheby's...he has had some luck in helping people out getting their money back...so we shall see.

Unfortunately the lesson is buyer beware! I just can't believe a Government run store would do this to people!
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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that takes it to an even higher level---gov't run store....
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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This is a good reminder for future travelers that you cannot rely on a store's assurance of quality/authenticity anywhere in China, government run or not. When in doubt, assume that it's either a fake or not of the quality that it's being represented as.

Unless you're an expert who can personally determine the value/authenticity of the product you're buying, you are better off not purchasing any high priced 'antiques' or semi precious stone in China.

This isn't to say you shouldn't buy something if you like the way it looks and consider the price fair, but do not assume that it's authentic or will appraise for what the store claims it will appraise for.

You may have some recourse through your credit card company, but I seriously doubt that the Chinese embassy or consulates in the US would provide any assistance. You might consider writing to Conde Nast Travelers' Ombudsman column. However, their success (if any) in obtaining a satisfactory resolution on your behalf ultimately rests on whether the store even bothers to answer their inquiry.

Sorry this happened to you. You are not the first and certainly won't be the last.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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This doesn't sound like the name of a government-run store. If it were a government run store you might have some recourse through the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. If it's not a government store, I would expect them to be of no help. The credit card company is likely your best bet.

Many travelers and guidebooks recommend that you consider everything you see in China to be a fake and to bargain with that in mind.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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Don't know about this store personally, but a google search shows that it's mentioned in many travel sites, including Frommer's and the Shanghai city government's.

From what I'm reading, it's a large store owned by the Shanghai City Government. Frommer's said it's "one of the largest and oldest" antique stores...
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Owned by the Shanghai city government? That's interesting. What do you think rkkwan, does she have any recourse?
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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Though I am not at all surprised by what transpired, I am sorry for your misfortune. A similar thing happend to my friend, buying from the "authorized" gov't museum shop in Yichang. She had a Chinese speaker call from Beijing months later point out that the certifcate of "authenticity" said one thing in English and the Chinese translation said another and since she paid by credit card, got her money back.

Like rhkkmk, I always recommend dealing with the offender first, politely and directly. Then, if that fails, then smear their name.

A great place to ask for help in ths matter is www.thatssh.com
a website that accompanies the free English language monthly publication for the English speaking community in SH. Email their editors to ask for help in seeking recourse and/or smearing their name.

As a rule, I assume everything comes from the "bada-bing" dynasty. Hey, you want a ming dynasty chair? Bada bing, bada boom , here you go!

Hope you get results.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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Thanks everyone for your responses...you are all really great! I just don't know what to do....I;m sick about this whole thing...and feeling really stupid for buying the stuff! I hope to have some recourse.

Someone suggested to me that I should contact some of the people from my office over there and have them talk to the store...what do you think?
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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If you have contacts over there, it is an excellent idea to have them speak to the store on your behalf. Just don't give up and try each of the suggestions, starting with the most polite and working down to the nastiest! If they are indeed a government store or saying they are, the gov't should offer some sort of recourse. Let us know if you have any luck.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 02:12 PM
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It's a good warning to people to be careful whenever something is being purchased outside your own country: convenient legal redress is difficult.

Personally, I never purchase anything unless I have personal knowledge of the value of the item or it is from a 100% trustworthy source. Only once have I purchased jewelry and then only after having 2 different concierge's check out the store (and it was worth what I paid I later found out).
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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You don't mention if you received certificates of authenticity with your purchase however, if this is the same Shanghai Antique & Curio store mentioned in the NY Times Travel section and sourced from Fodor's, then perhaps someone from Fodor's can help since they made the following statement:
"The government-owned Shanghai Antique and Curio Store has some good pieces; there's no bargaining, but you're sure not to get a fake, and the receipts are official.
-Fodor's"

Link:
http://travel2.nytimes.com/top/featu...=1083747039189

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