Apr 272013
 

A month or so back, I came across an article discussing how many large companies and consumers are being victimized by fraudulent websites.  One company specifically mentioned was Swarovski.   And the number of fake websites modeling theirs is growing.  Sadly enough, consumers and Swarovski crystal fanatics looking for a great deal on their favorite figurines and jewelry are likely to only end up with headaches and frustrated for weeks or months until the matter is closed.

The scenario is this….. a fraudster group of individuals picks a brand to target, in this case Swarovski.  They purchase a domain name (less than $50 for one year) that any normal internet user might believe is the official Swarovski brand.  Then the scammers get to work building the website (or pay to have it done).  Oftentimes, this heartless group will steal images, artwork, logos, and other material directly from the luxury brand’s own web site!  On the fake Swarovski websites, the prices will be so slashed, that it might be hard to resist.  The web site looks real.  The images are indeed Swarovski products.  The prices look great.  Why not!  Well, the ‘Why Not?’ should be easy…..if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.

Here are some of the non-official websites I located doing research for this article.  I intentionally did not link to them, so you will have to re-type them into another browser window to navigate to the site.    For legal reasons, I must say that I’m NOT implying that these sites sell fakes;  I am indicating that they are NOT the official brand that we think they are when looking at the products advertised on their sites.  Just like any other websites, consider the potential for malware (though I don’t believe there were any issues when I visited them):

  • Non-Official Site #1:  www.swarovskisale.co
  • Non-Official Site #2:  www.swarovski-store.net
  • Non-Official Site #3:  www.cheap-swarovski.net
  • Non-Official Site #4:  www.swarovski-shop.me
  • Non-Official Site #5:  www.swarovski-onlineshop.com
  • Non-Official Site #6:  www.swarovski-outletuk.co.uk

Just for kicks, I picked a non-official website, and began the process to place an order.  When I picked to pay by credit card, I was transferred to a 3rd party payment domain owned by an individual or company in China.  I switched my method of payment to Western Union, and saw that the recipient address displayed was again in China.  So, lastly I selected Bank Transfer, and again, the recipient information shows a destination in China. Might this be an indicator of a Swarovski scam?  Certainly so!  After all, the official Swarovski brand is NOT in China!

Is this the luxury brand’s official web site……?

Is this an official Swarovski website?

Or Is this the luxury brand’s official web site……?

Is this an official Swarovski website?

Or is this the luxury brand’s official web site……?

Is this an official Swarovski website?

Naturally, Swarovski’s legal team goes after cyber-squatters whose sole purpose is to defraud consumers.  Here is one such domain name that Swarovski has claimed: www.swarovski-sale.com .  From various sites where consumers report scams, this domain name appeared numerous times, so it was very wise for the crystal giant to display a blank page instead of the official Swarovski website.

Despite Swarovski getting control of the swarovski-sale.com domain name, I would be certain that the process is expensive and takes a good bit of time wading through all the proper channels of command, so there is plenty of opportunity time-wise for consumers to be victimized by the scammers.  In most complaints and cases I read posted by the victims themselves, they report:

  • Receiving cheap plastic substitutions
  • Having emails that don’t use the domain name itself, i.e. Swarovski-deal @ xyz-mail.com .  In some cases, there is no email at all.  They use a ‘contact us’ form that essentially does nothing.
  • If there is email correspondence, it contains  very poor and broken English and grammar
  • Social Networking text and graphics on the website pages are not actual links (“Share Your Story”, “Like Us on Facebook”, “Follow Us on Twitter”, “Share This”, etc)

Swarovski crystal collectors and those who enjoy Swarovski jewelry should stick with reliable sources.  Don’t become a victim of Swarovski fraud.  Send emails to the website company for more information about their guarantees and return policies to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate company.  Follow your instinct; if it seems fishy, it probably is fishy.

Crystal collectors can count on the Swarovski Experts at Crystal Exchange America to ensure the figurines purchased from them are indeed genuine Swarovski.  Check out the Crystal Exchange America website at www.CrystalExchange.com for retired and hard to find Swarovski figurines.

Apr 242013
 

Swarovski crystal fanatics may be interested in bidding on a Swarovski Beetle Bottle Opener on ebay with a tempting starting bid!  The Beetle Bottle Opener presently at auction can be found on ebay – Swarovski Beetle Bottle Opener .

Swarovski Beetle Bottle Opener (Silver-colored shown)

Swarovski Rhodium Beetle Bottle Opener

The Swarovski Beetle Bottle Opener extends about 4.25” in length.  The luxury crystal brand produced the Beetle Bottle Opener in its very early years: 1978 through 1983.  This item was available with 2 different metal finishes, gold and rhodium (silver colored).  Additionally, there are 2 different variations of the figurine, making a total of four different products.

Swarovski identifies the Swarovski Gold Beetle Bottle Opener with the product number 7505 076 001 and system number 011 840.  Similary, Swarovski identifies the Swarovski Rhodium Beetle Bottle Opener with the product number 7505 076 002 and the same system number 011 840.  So, if looking at the system numbers alone, it is not possible to identify if a particular Beetle Bottle Opener has a gold or rhodium finish.

During the 5 years that Swarovski sold the figurine through standard retail channels, the Beetle Bottle Opener (regardless of the metal colored trim) retailed for $80.  This figurine can be found only with the Block SC logo since its entire production run ended prior to the introduction of the Swarovski Swan logo.  The Block SC logo is found stamped in the metal part, not on the crystal component.

If you are looking for retired Swarovski Beetle Bottle Opener collectibles, Crystal Exchange America has an array of variations available. The Crystal Exchange America web site is at www.CrystalExchange.com  The Beetle Bottle Openers can be found in the category ‘Other Silver Crystal’, sub-category ‘Functional’.

Apr 122013
 

Yesterday, we received notification from the crystal giant that the limited edition Swarovski Flower Power Mo would be available online in mid-May!

Swarovski Flower Power Mo in the Lovlots Limited Edition family

Swarovski Lovlots Flower Power Mo

The news on the official brand’s web site indicates that the Swarovski Flower Power Mo will be the final ‘Limited Online Edition’ in the herd of Mo Cows.  While the news may sound sad at first, our contacts at the company indicated that there will be future releases of Mo Cows, it’s just that this will be the last one with exclusive online distribution.

Swarovski uses some unique color names, so converting that into English, Flower Power Mo basically has a sky-blue body and an olive-green head.  Lovlots Flower Power Mo is decorated with colorful pink, yellow, and violet daisy flowers on her body.

Some of the last couple limited edition mos had maximum order quantities in the product description.  Nothing of that nature was in the Swarovski announcement, so I don’t know if that will be the case with this one or not.  Swarovski Lovlots Flower Power Mo will retail for $70 when she is officially available next month.

Swarovski has produced nearly 20 Mo Cows in the Lovlots Mo herd, most of which are Limited Editions Mos.

  • Swarovski Alabaster Mo (2007 Exclusive Edition)
  • Swarovski Angel Mo, Limited Edition 2012
  • Swarovski Belle Mo (2010 – 2012)
  • Swarovski Bubble Mo, Limited Edition 2012
  • Swarovski Charming Mo, Limited Edition 2011
  • Swarovski Country Mos, Limited Edition 2010
  • Swarovski Flower Mo, Limited Edition 2009
  • Swarovski Glamour Mos, Limited Edition 2010
  • Swarovski Halloween Mo, Limited Edition 2009
  • Swarovski Hot Chili Mo, Limited Edition 2013
  • Swarovski Lucky Mo, Limited Edition 2012
  • Swarovski Magic Mo, Limited Edition 2012
  • Swarovski Missy Mo (2006 – 2012)
  • Swarovski Missy Mo, Large (2006 – 2009)
  • Swarovski Pinky Mo, Limited Edition 2007
  • Swarovski Santa Mo, Limited Edition 2011
  • Swarovski Soccer Mo, Limited Edition 2008
  • Swarovski Sunshine Mo, Limited Edition 2011

It will be interesting to follow the secondary market prices of the original Swarovski Flower Mo.  For years, it has shown to be one of the highest dollar limited edition mos.   This same trend is also true if you check out the online auction prices, where prices are presently in the $350 arena.

So, mark your calendar for the lucky day of May 13!  If you are looking for prior releases of the Lovlots Limited Edition Mo Cows, check out the Swarovski Limited Editions on the Crystal Exchange America website!