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How the Instagram Jewelry Ambassador Scam Works

Does this sound familiar? – “Wow, we love your feed! You would make a great ambassador for our jewelry! Just pick three free pieces from Luximina Jewels and do it quick because spots are limited!” Not a day goes by that some jewelry ambassador isn’t messaging me to sign up for their “free” jewelry. And they are always very limited spots of course. If you’ve ever wondered if it is legit, the answer is ….Yes and No. Read on to get the details.

Be an Ambassador for Overpriced Jewelry

Instagram (and the Internet) is filled with scams. This is one that skirts the line of scamming, and it is possibly a legitimate opportunity, but also a terrible one. It all starts with a message from a jewelry company asking you to be an ambassador, and that you can pick out 3 or 4 items for FREE. Once you get them, they want you to share pics along with your promo code.

Pretty standard ambassador stuff, however things go bad when you get to the checkout. The sample pics I’ve used here are from the most recent one to contact me, but there are many others just like it by different names.

luximina jewelry scam

Free Jewelry That’s Not Actually Free

The Luximina website looks legit and may actually function as a real jewelry shop, but things are little fishy at the checkout. Normally when you input your address, the checkout system would recognize a wrong address and suggest a correction. I completely made up an address, city and zip code and the checkout accepted it with no issues. I also put in 14 items and the promo code made it all free, so there is no limit on the code even though they told me four items.

But what’s that at the bottom? A total of 34.45GBP, which equals to about $43 US dollars. So my “free” jewelry is going to cost me $43 to ship. Still seems like quite a deal to get this super fancy and expensive jewelry for free, jewelry they claim is “carefully made by artisan jewelers.” Unfortunately, there’s nothing artisan about the cheap junk they are selling at incredibly inflated prices. The shipping price you pay easily covers the real jewelry price and then some.

example of luximina jewels scam inflated jewelry cost

Grossly Inflated Jewelry Prices

Here’s the scam in a nutshell: The jewelry place sells items at hugely inflated prices and makes it seem high quality. You cover the cost of the items with an inflated shipping price, and then promote it to all your friends who do the same. Some of the items they are selling really only cost a few dollars.

While it’s not illegal to grossly inflate sales prices, it’s just unethical. As someone who once owned a retail store, I’m very familiar with retail pricing. Normal retail pricing doubles the wholesale price. These jewelry places are charging 10 times (or more) the wholesale cost.

For example, here’s the jewelry on the Luximina website:

jewelry scam example

This pretty sun and moon earring set costs a whopping $92 on Luximina. But its actual cost in bulk on Alibaba and Amazon is $12. Many of the necklaces on the website only cost $3. Alibaba is a wholesale website anyone can purchase from. They are also being untruthful about the 18k gold plating.

Here’s the same item on Alibaba:

actual cost of jewelry on alibaba

And the same jewelry on Amazon:

cost of jewelry on amazon

As you can see, the earrings cost more than 7 times the wholesale cost on Alibaba and even the retail cost on Amazon. And on Amazon you get free shipping! So in the end, all you get is cheap jewelry to promote. You’d be better off just buying it somewhere else and paying for it, rather than going with their “free jewelry” offer.

So don’t fall for this one! If a brand really wants you to be a brand ambassador, they will send you the products for free. And free means free shipping too!

About the Author

Candy Keane is a digital content creator and long-time cosplayer, most well-known for being on the cover of the Star Wars documentary Jedi Junkies. After making costumes professionally for over a decade, she now writes about about geek culture and mom life, and continues to cosplay for fun, while sharing her love of costumes on Instagram @SewGeekMama. Her first children’s book, I’m Going to My First Comic Convention, was published in 2020 and won a Story Monsters Approved award for Excellence in Literature.

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