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.
I agree, Christopher. The more I think about it, the more I realize that this is all just wishful thinking.
I hate to sound more like Eyore than Eyore but I cant see how this scheme could work either with autographs but also with watches. The independent watch experts would have to be top of their game,- its not that easy to spot some high value high fakes so how would ebay vett these so called experts?
watches i understand as they have a copywright and fruad deptment so not a big stretch for watches.
It appears that no one likes the current autograph selling environment on eBay. Although it also seems that no one foresees any agreement on an effective solution. Perhaps that is the reality of autograph collecting in general. There is no perfect solution but change is inevitable. Hopefully for the better.
I've been reading this thread with much interest because I conducted research over a year, on all the fraudsters who I clearly see selling fakes on Ebay in the UK. My findings are currently with The UK Trading Standards at the moment. Not that anything will change.
It would indeed be hard to find all, because many of the same fraudsters operate under multiple accounts such as the list that follows:
The above bull pointed career fraudsters who operate in Withernsea Yorkshire in the UK, have up 50 (maybe 100s of) accounts and have been selling multiple worthless fakes for many years, without any trouble. When complaints are made to EBay with evidence. Ebay simply ignore everything.
It is easy to spot the above fakes that these guys sell because their items are appalling, but it is not so easy to the untrained eye. Also, this particular fraudster above uses the same traits that many other fraudsters use and they manipulate the Ebay algorithms with ease, garnering large amounts of positive feedback to unsuspecting buyers who think they have the real thing - then they eventually drop the accounts that receive bad Feedback and start up new ones. They make an easy living from Ebay and unfortunately Ebay support and literally protect these people who continue with their daily business of selling worthless fakes weekly.
I have stacks of further evidence that I wont post because sadly there is simply too much of it and there are 1000s (maybe more) of fake accounts operating daily, simply because Ebay continue to allow this practice to continue.
Owen, I understand your frustration. It is annoying to see fake autographs being so openly exchanged without retribution. It's not fair to the consumer nor it is fair to the honest sellers. But, it is what it is.
As long as there are buyers of bad material there will be unscrupulous people taking advantage of the situation. As long as uninformed people feed money to the pig the pig will continue to eat and thrive.
Sometimes the only thing an honest person can do is just keep doing the best they can. I believe there will always be honest people out there and they will eventually reach a certain level of success. Eventually the wheat does get separated from the chaff.
The one thing I have learned in life is it is still up to the individual to do the threshing and not count on others to do it for them.
As this discussion clearly has shown. There is no clear cut solution except personal responsibility. People need to be more careful how they spend their money.
Thanks for the response Joe.
Owen, keep doing what you are doing. Fight the good fight. EBay is making many changes right now. I believe something will come down the pike eventually.
Cheers Joe, thanks for the encouragement.