70% sure I've been scammed. Do I have any options? (icollector.com, "High End Memorabilia")

So I just started getting into collecting some memorabilia, and I found the site icollector.com. I scored some movie props from there from Premiere Props, and then found this "live auction" with an auctioneer called "High End Memorabilia".

The auction prices seemed great. I got an awesome Sopranos plaque with a script signed by a bunch of the cast (including James Gandolfini) and a Rush album cover signed by three members of the band. For both, with shipping and premiums, I paid about $750.

Live and learn, it was only after I won that I did my due diligence.

This is the auctioneer's next upcoming auction (which has the same Rush album signed that I "won"):

http://www.icollector.com/Rock-Roll-Movie-and-Sports-Extravaganza_a...

I googled the auctioneer's phone number and it links to "Front Row Memorabilia". There are a couple of threads on here related to them being scammers.

Both "High End Memorabilia" and "icollector.com" have not answered my inquiries.

Ugh . .

Where do I go from here? I only have an invoice from Paypal for my payment. No communication, shipping info, or anything. Should I just open a Paypal dispute?

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That says it all. Do a search for LuxeWest and see what you find in listings. 

CJ, did you ever get your money back from your purchases from High End Memorabilia on iCollector?

Yes. Oddly enough they had great customer service. They returned my call,  and a nice woman tried to reassure me that the pieces were legit and they try their best for authenticity. I told her I'd just rather cancel the order and she understood. I was refunded within a day.

What's crazy is they STILL mailed me the items. I double checked my account to make sure I got thur money back and called them to explain. Another nice woman told me it was their mistake and they're sorry, and that it was probably best to just keep them!

That’s great to hear. Could you please post photos of the items in the COAs?

So I just received an email from the better business bureau regarding the complaint I filed regarding High End Memorabilia. they sent them a letter and the mail was returned to sender. I was out 695.00 and got back $665.00. They use square as their clearing company for charges.

I think they may be on to them as they had a guitar on recently signed by Queen. But someone pointed out the guitar was manufactured after his death. So the item dissapeared mid auction.

yesenia@luxewestinc.com or amber -

amber.johnson@luxewestinc.com

Email them every hour and call the number at different times. 310-801-3638

$665 is good. Their terms say that if they'd accept the return, you wouldn't get back the 25% commission  and you'd have a 30% restocking fee.

Do you know if the BBB letter was refused or returned address unknown?

I also bought some items from them - I sent 2 autographs to PSA and both came back as not authentic. Haven't started the refund process 

I'm sorry to hear that. Please post what you bought. 

Until the last week or so, High End Memorabilia's terms of sale said you can't return anything, and if you initiate a charge-back or don't comply with some other terms, you were admitting to fraud against them. They just changed the terms it seems, but they still state:

Signatures & Authenticity Guarantee

All autographed items come with a Lifetime Certificate of Authenticity with numbered tamper-proof decal. This Certification of Authenticity does not imply that the item will be certified by any other rival authentication companies. The accompanied certification is the only certification the auction company can confirm. These items are being sold as collectable pieces and there is no guarantee that this item can be resold on any online marketplace. Each of these companies has their own policies and politics.

"Collectable pieces" is a terms commonly used for reproduction. And they clearly don't guarantee that what they pay will pass any certification service or be resalable at all.

Hi Fred,

I was able to call my bank Wells Fargo and they reversed the charges. Luxe West/High End Mem - called me when they got wind of the reversal. I did speak with a nice woman, who "seemed" to be caught in the middle. (I suspect she is trained to be soft spoken and nice to calm down upset customers - this is just my opinion). She said they would refund me, and would send return labels. That was 2 weeks ago - I am not sure how this will end. I bought several item in the June auctions - Elvis Presley, Audrey Hepburn, Carpenters Autographs - the Elvis and Audrey came back fake - sent the to PSA, and I was so convinced about the Audrey I sent it to JSA an they said it was fake too.

The lady explained to me that they have ppl "they trust" send them info on what they have. Luxe West post these items, even though they may not even have them in hand. When you win they send a very nice bound authenticity. Unfortunately it doesn't mean much but looks very official. She went on to state that "sometimes we get duped too". I found that shocking as they know but they take the risk - how many people are embarrassed or believe in the nice Authenticity book.

Thanks for the advice David. I was hoping to resolve these issues amicably with the companies involved but since they are not responding to my contact efforts I think that I will have to get a hold of my credit card company to open a dispute.

Btw - I came across another company yesterday that also seems to be tied in to Dypto,  Luxewest, and High End Memorabilia. The company's name is Laguna Beach Auction House and they appear to be running the same type of scam. They were holding an on-line auction of autographed music memorabilia yesterday, also via Liveauctioneers.com, - who obviously are not doing much to vet the companies listing auctions on their site. The Laguna Beach House auction offered many of the same items that were being sold by Dypto in the auction I participated in May 12th including around 8 different Beatles albums allegedly signed by the Fab Four. I certainly have to question just how many people are really willing to part with something of that value - all at the same time.

Fred

Those authenticty books/binders are so nice they make you want to believe. Even after all this I found myself looking over them and wondering.. It took a lot but I tossed them. I kept the pieces as "collectible items". (They ended up shipping them to me after refunding me and told me to keep them, so I came out on top here - rare I know).

I may use the Sopranos frame and swap out the fake script for a real one someday, or just put an unsigned script in their. The Rush album is still an actual album, so it'll just go into the album collection.

Of course if I was a scumbag I could have sold the pieces as authentic and made some nice money, but this damn conscience!

Good job! iCollector.com stopped hosting High End Memorabilia's auctions a few months ago, as has Invaluable.com, ProxiBid.com and HiBid.com. Only LiveAuctioneers.com seems to still allow them, but High End Memorabilia has rarely posted an auction since April.

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