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(11 August 2010) South African online marketplace www.bidorbuy.co.za foiled an attempted trade in rough diamonds to the value of R3.6 million in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The would-be seller offered a heap of rough diamonds for sale, to the total weight of 1,800 carats with an asking price of R2000 per carat. The listing specified that individual stones were on average 4.76 carats big, that they were of good clarity (VVS1 to VS1) and nearly colourless (colour grade G to H).
A prospective buyer won the auction to the total of R3.6million for this parcel of rough diamonds. As soon as bidorbuy contacted him and made him aware of the legalities around the sale, he was happy to walk away from the deal. The seller, who is newly registered on bidorbuy, is not responding to emails or phone calls and has since been disabled on the site.
The sale might have gone through if it were not for the vigilance of bidorbuy. “In South Africa, the trade in rough diamonds is very strictly regulated”, says bidorbuy CEO Jaco Jonker. “Even being in possession of rough diamonds without all the relevant permits constitutes breaking the law”.
bidorbuy blocked the transaction, alerted by the unusually large amount of selling commission being generated through this sale.
Sellers do not pay anything to list their wares on bidorbuy. Instead, the site levies a success fee (selling commission) on items sold. This fee can range from 5% for low-cost items to 1% for high-value ones.
bidorbuy does not own nor sell any of the products listed on www.bidorbuy.co.za. “Furthermore, we are not able to check everything that about 30,000 of our active sellers upload onto the site”, says Jonker. “That would be impossible. At any given moment, there are over 450,000 items offered for sale. We provide a platform for sellers to reach potential customers among the 500,000 registered users and among over one million visitors who browse bidorbuy every month”.
However, as soon as any infringements are noticed by the bidorbuy staff or reported by any of the registered users, they are dealt with quickly and decisively. “We are dedicated to keeping bidorbuy a safe and secure environment”, says Jaco Jonker. “That is why we are also always ready to assist the authorities, whenever our help is required.”