About 2 years ago eBay asked me to participate in a new program called Enhanced Member Reporting (EMR) for the Autograph and Entertainment categories.   It was the first time in my 12 years on eBay that eBay began to take noticeable action against the proliferation of scam operations. In particular, the massive number of online autograph forgers.   I recall one forger who sold an estimated 200,000-300,000 forgeries operated unscathed for about 4-5 years on eBay before they finally, after an onslaught of complaints, removed this individual from eBay.   But, not before he made millions$$ and even worse flooded the autograph industry with these forgeries.  

 

The outrageous part of this was that he was a very low level, unskilled forger. Every week he would post about 2000 forgeries on the same blue paper, and the same style forgeries of Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Humphrey Bogart and the list goes on.  Of course he sold these for a tiny fraction of their value , but he didn’t care because he had no overhead except for a lot of blue paper and blue flair pens. .   I know of several people that were reporting him to eBay back in the days when eBay just “looked the other way”. It was painful to see so many people/victims getting ripped off. Sure, we all hear, buyer beware and “anyone ignorant enough to buy a ridiculous fake deserves what he gets”. But, not all these inexperienced eBay buyers deserved being victimized by these eBay “crooks”.  A friend of mine just wanted a special gift for his very sick son who was a big Elvis fan.   He was an inexperienced eBay user and assumed everything being sold, with a COA was legitimate.  It was also painful for me to have to give him the bad news about the forgery he had bought.

 

Meanwhile, about 5-6 years ago someone referred me to Rob Chestnut who was the VP of eBay Safe Harbor at the time.  Rob was the first person I met at eBay who actually cared about this issue of blatant fraud.  It was uplifting to see action finally being executed against some of the most notorious eBay autograph forgery operations.  I even suspect Rob may have butted heads with executive management over this issue, because soon after the “cleanup” began, Rob was gone. And, I soon noticed my forgery reports were “falling on deaf ears” AGAIN and forgery operations began to gain new life.

 

The EMR program is not perfect (I still watch a forger of cartoonist art like Charles Schulz continuing to operate on a regular basis for the past 10 years). But it has been a step in the right direction.  And, I will go out on a limb and say I am proud of eBay management, even if much too late, to finally be taking an active stand in circumventing many of the fraudulent operations on eBay.  Even if it only amounts to a fraction of the illegal activity.  Below is part of the email I received today. Note, the second most active category,  Sports & Entertainment Memorabilia.  I am sure you can guess what makes up about 99% of the reports for that category?

 

“We would like to thank your participation in the Enhanced Member Reporting (EMR) program. For 2 years now, this program has been very important in reducing items that should not be listed on eBay and has improved safety for the eBay community.

 

EMR Statistics

·         In March, we took action on 75% of the reports submitted by members of the Enhanced Member Reporting community.

·         Top Reported Categories:

o   Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories

o   Sports & Entertainment  Memorabilia

o   Jewelry, Gems, & Watches”

 

Meanwhile., take a look at a report I wrote about this subject a couple years ago and share with anyone you think could benefit from tips on How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off on eBay or other online sources. . .

http://www.cvtreasures.com/safe-buying-online-guide-page-2

 

 

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Since you have not been paying attention. GAI is a NEW company...Global authentics LLC. The good part is that Steve Sipe ( from Upper Deck ) is FIXING the problems that the OLD GAI team made. Honest and straight forward. something this hobby needs.
since you have not been paying attention, I don't have an axe to grind with GAI New, old whatever I really don't care. They have done nothing but devalue Mantle's autographs. Why should I do anything for them? Do you think I would waste my time helping E-bay when GAI has a relationship with their security team which you gloat about. Like I said, I am only a collector who has studied Mantle and come up with my own observations. Most experts do agree with ths viewpoint. Their crap looks identical to STAT and Burzynski so if you call those fake, you MUST call GAI Mantle fake. Brandon, they are all identical. If you are a true autograph authenticater, I urge you to study Mantle's auto's for a day. You must want to know if what the collecting community knows? If you ask me to study Ricky Bobby, I will. Here's a few and NOTICE they are pushing GAI in their ads... all fakes. Personally, I wouldn't want to tie my anchor to the Titanic.

FAKE-

http://cgi.ebay.com/GAI-Certified-TED-WILLIAMS-MICKEY-MANTLE-Auto-8...

FAKE-

http://cgi.ebay.com/GAI-Certified-MICKEY-MANTLE-Auto-Color-8x10-L-K...

FAKE-

http://cgi.ebay.com/MICKEY-MANTLE-WILLIE-MAYS-DUAL-SIGNED-AUTO-8-X-...

Here are some real ones in pictures... correct me If I'm wrong guys???

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here Brandon, but as I say, you have to be a complete moron not to see the difference and I am just a lowly collector, who learned the old fashioned way, by getting beat like a red headed step child. All the fakes match perfectly with Stat, Burzynski, an GAI. PSA, JSA's and Upperdeck have a much different look to them. So while Global (GAI) all look the same, you will hardly ever find ( Isaw 1 in 4 months-sticker on left, all these are on the right?) a GAI that looks like the samples I've shown here. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Maybe Steve or someone who knows a helluva lot more than I do can check my work. I don't mean to be a dick, but I am passionate about this issue. If I can save 1 idiot from buying this trash, I'd be happy. Yes sadly, I'm an idiot too, because I've fallen for many fakes starting out, thats how dummies learn in this business, unfortunately. You either quit or do something about it. I'm choosing to sound off about my experiences. All the Best!, FUDD
Attachments:
The other thing worth noting that you don't care about Mantle... he's only the most collected autograph in Sports.

There are 2 times the listings in ALL OF NASCAR vs Mantle and most of those are out and out trash, where most of those go for less than $20.00. So, I don't care about Neil Bonnete, Robby Gorden, Carl Yarbourough or Tony Stewart. Not to down play what you do, because I know there are people who like Nascar, but Here's anews flash for you......basically they are a Pimple on Mickey Mantle's ASS

So maybe you should start caring if your company has passed horrible putrid fake Mantle's in the past? Before you can go forward, I would think you should at least "care". If yo don't it just goes to show your true colors. Again, I don't have an axe to grind with GAI or you, but you should understand that I think it is sickening that your companies name is associated with E-bay and their security team.
The title of this forum discussion made me chuckle I do have to admit. Ebay cracking down on something that they clearly reap the benefits from is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN, and never has happened. If Ebay has told you something different, and pulled a few listings down here and there? ... then they are just trying to get rid of you and your complaint(s)

The top 3 major rules ebay stated they would NOT tolerate since they began were ... 1) forgeries/fakes, 2) Your bid is a contract to purchase and 3) No shill bidding will be tolerated. Yet these very three things if you complained about (and I have many, many times over the many years with hard azzed proof in hand), eBay will not do anything but tell you they did investigate your complaint in their typical computer generated email back to you and telling you they found NOTHING wrong. THEY LOVE THE MONEY PEOPLE!!!! .... DONT FORGET THAT!! 98% of companies dont get that rich and wealthy in such a short period of time without being shady somewhere along the way. Thats just a hard core FACT!

People need to just ditch eBay all together because they are not changing that side of their shady business plan and everyone needs too find alternate means to do business online, and at this time there are many of those places online that have structure, morals to doing business, follow the law, etc, etc. Patronize those places and solid products will enter the market place and scammers will have very little places to set up shop because nobody will be shopping there where they sell.

Cheers!

J.R.
Kevin, I agree with you and one of my pet peeves is a seller who offers a LOA and thinks that buyers will believe the authenticity since they simply offer the LOA. I get asked many times a week by potential buyers why I don't offer a LOA with my autographed items and I explain to them that a LOA is only worth the paper that it's printed on. I tell all buyers to do their homework by checking several reputable autograph sites to compare the autograph that they are interested in before they make any purchase. What I do offer everyone is a lifetime money back guarantee as I stand behind my product and if they can prove that the autograph is not authentic by a reputable party I will refund their money back.
Let's hope that Ebay is able to bring down more of the many bad autograph sellers in our community.

irv Gelb

MyMovieMemorabilia

The issue of EBAY is like no other and they are allowed to continue even with the safeguards in place.  They make it way to difficult to report an item.  E.g here is there listing selection;

and you might think to use Frauduelent listing that "you" think are fraudulent and select from the sublist;

only to have it disappear into the big black hole of EBAY never to be heard from again.

So if people like Fuddjacal are so SURE it's not authentic then are they just making noise to make noise or reporting these items...   then if they are "why" isn't there a listing of what's been removed, & why (they can mask the seller unless the seller is banned).

 

I have also heard that some get banned because they are novices and list something not realizing it's a banned item or banned coa (which is pitiful in terms of the limited people on it).  Why isn't that link more promenant.  Speaking of which were is that link as i have a hard time finding it.

louie - hmmm, very interesting but everyone knows the risk when they go outside of an ebay sale once it's over...

 

but speaking of risk, this statement is the one that's bothersome; "I still watch a forger of cartoonist art like Charles Schulz continuing to operate on a regular basis for the past 10 years" and yet nothing has been done.  Why is information about EMR held close to the vest and only open to some?  Why are reports and "walls of shame" not maintained? 

So what is needed to bring these people down?  If it's a court conviction then we are all in for a long wait.

DB,

Trust me there is no "Why is information about EMR held close to the vest and only open to some".   I have no idea what goes on behind trhe scenes at eBay.    I wish they would take up your recommendations.  Becasue altough I think they are doing more then they did ten years ago (which WAS REALY ZERO), they coiuld do 10 times more.   Anyone who has been on eBay for more then 10 years remembers the Countless OPEN , OBVIOUS Forgers.  I don't mean skilled, but outright unskileld forgers.   


Lou,

I am not sure how that is relevant to authenticating autographs.   Obviously you are sore about not being able to bid on the letter.

But, that’s life.  And what I learned a long time ago on eBay is when there is something you really want, you had better make an offer. Because guess what?  If you don’t someone else will.  I missed out on more items, “Watching” them and suddenly as you experienced they disappeared.  Sellers accept offers all the time.  I had no control over whether he wanted to do a Buy it Now or sell outside eBay.  I actually requested BIN because by NOT doing a BIN, I accepted a certain amount of risk.  But, he wanted to sell offline, no other option   But for you to insinuate I was unethical for making an offer is , well ridiculous.  You are just PO’d that you didn’t have an opportunity to bid on it.   And, not much anyone can do about that.

 

You're NOT PO'd???  Yeah, whatever.  Like It’s not TOO obvious.   You're in here having a big Hissy Fit about  an item your ARE PO'd about not being able to bid on. So,you concoct this angry driven, ludicrous theory of unethical behavior.


The only thing obvious here is this discussion with you is not going to get anywhere close to rational. I WAS NOT the seller.   I did not make the decision.   So you think I should have refused the item because he would only do an offline sale?  What fees did I "avoid"?     This is just an absurd debate and I'll leave you to mourn your wounds and say whatever you need to,  to get you through the day.    I'll just leave it at that.

 

P.S.  Per your other conspiracy theory "Do you use your position with them to benefit you in other ways"   I have NO Position

wait a minute here - you both have Wayne's!  Now I'm ticked off ~  now fess up, how many have you have been to the OC Airport?

 

One of these days - I'll find one without an inscription.  Incidently, in the old corp recruits were always accused of trying to act like John Wayne and reminded just as quickly it was the "movies" and the enemy was not firing real bullets.

 

I don't consider buying offline a problem, just risky and a risk to the seller who I believe can get tossed off of ebay as I recall.  But it happens all the time.

 

What's important Kevin & Louie is that if you are in a postion with ebay to leverage the type of suggestions made, Make them, then lest us know who, what, & where it went. SO we won't beat the same tom-tom and people like fudgy don't have to pick up their bat & ball and go home while he does his hissyfit.

Kevin, just cjanced upon this thread, very interesting!

I believe eBay also have an EMR program in mainland Europe, but not it seems in the UK. Here we had a great eBay forum that last year succesfully had removed a stack of forgers, and we did this without eBay's help too.

We simply got together and targeted a forgers buyers. By inviting them to our autograph forum on eBay, they would see that waht they had boufght was fake, and this then resulted in the buyers leaving negatives and asking for refunds. A stack of forgers had to call it a day! Sadly, eBay then gtwind of what we were doing, and threatened to close down the group, and changed the way the forums worked as well, so thatwe could not do the same thing again!  

Now the forgers are back, although now we see that they have droped the usual signed 10 x 8 photos, and moved on to signed books and other items of much higher value. One of these sellers was recently arrested by the Met Police Art and Antiques unit.They called me the day aftr as they had seen my post about the seller on an eBay forum, and was abl to help them with some further information.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-12361124

The most annoying this is that had been roporting another seller on an almost daily basis, who had also been offeri fake signed Churchill items (amongst others!).

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RICHARD-NIXON-ORIGINAL-HAND-SIGNED-FDC-ENVELO...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/WINSTON-CHURCHILL-ORIGINAL-HAND-SIGNED-SET-BO...

Both of these are the same person, and are making a nice tidy profit from fakes. I and others have reported these on dozens of occasions, and when the first seller was arrested i even reported the last two for selling Churchill fakes on the same day, and told eBay that the should read the papers etc! eBay would have already known anyway, as the Police confirmed this themselves, but despite one man being arrested (he also had more than one seller ID), and other on eBay selling obvious fakes, ebay.co.uk did nothng at all.

The UK sellers are sick of this, and it seems that the UK office ignore all mails the receive.  I often work wth our Trading Standards and Police on these things, and even they tell me the same stories.

How can i or ayone else get invoved with this EMR programe in the UK?

   

 

 

 

 

 

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