Ebay's new authenticity guarantee. Coming to autographs soon?

EBay just announced a new "authenticity guarantee" program which has items of a certain selling point get sent directly to an authentication service before being delivered to the buyer. EBay actually pays the authentication fee and this will be a requirement. If it doesn't pass the buyer gets an automatic refund and the seller gets dinged.

Currently, this new policy only applies to watches that sell for $2,000 or more. Although this is just the initial step and I believe will eventually cover autographs as well. Here is the link to this new policy.

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That could work.

now thats scary

If this were ever to spread to autographs, they'd have to have a price threshold as well. The sheer mass volume of low priced material would make it completely impracticable. But even for the high priced items, it would evolve into a battle of what authenticators are approved. Obviously they would approve the three big box TPAs, likely to to the exclusion of specialists -- like me! :-)  -- and reputable dealers and auction houses who issue their own COAs.

Bottom line: it would be a big mess.


I agree, Steve

I could be wrong although I believe some changes are coming. Flaws and all. Six months ago I would not have guessed that eBay was going to require access and some control over my checking account either in order to sell. Nor did I foresee them to start issuing 1099s if your sales volume reaches a certain amount. But, that is the way it is now.

Ebay thinks on a corporate level. 

Why just watches? I'm sure they are not including all the possible watch authentication experts either. Just putting it out there for thought. It's really not about protecting the consumer although it presented that way. It's about protecting eBay.

I have to think there are far fewer shades of grey with watches. Authentication has to be a bit more definitive here. In forging autographs, you can get away with spending minimal time, effort and expertise on an item, not mention zero skill or competency. Really, all anyone needs to do to make some easy cash on Ebay is to be a dirtbag and have some spare sharpies. Creating a watch decidedly involves more, and there pronounced difference in craftmanship, materiels, etc is what it is. Authenticators - and often people even modestly competent in watches - can much more conclusively render yes or no answers.

Autographs are just all over the place. Authentic watches - and even fake ones - take some time and ability to create. Not so with any autograph, real or fake.

Unfortunately, reputable dealers and auction houses who issue their own COAs have fallen prey to TPA services.  I still prefer to collect my autographs the old fashioned way.  If I need a TPA to authenticate an autograph after I purchase it, I never should have purchased it in the first place.

the big auction houses dont use tpa they use in house specilst for bonhams heritage sothebys and place that high calibur


imagine stuff being pulled all the time also some tpas have a conflict of interest

that means anyone who lists a graph can have it pulled for any reason and will they tell u what tps said its bad so u can go to there competition and get it aproved. i mean u can get 3 differnt answers

If they were to include autographs, it wouldn’t be an “authenticity guarantee” unless the entity providing the opinion accepted financial responsibility for that opinion. Otherwise, it would have to be a “certain percentage guarantee of authenticity.” We guarantee that you‘ll have a certain percentage chance at authenticity, which varies by autograph and is based on various factors.

Not going to happen.



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