I brought up eBay seller: this-n-thatsportscollectiblesplusmore the other day and after going through his account and calculating how much money he has made on forgeries, I decided to call eBay yesterday. After being transferred around, I finally get a hold of someone in (Fraud Resolution) and this person seemed to have knowledge of autographs.
At any rate, I firstly explained my frustration with eBay allowing forgeries to constantly be sold on their site and how it seems that eBay has a serious lack of concern in relation to the problem of forgeries being sold on their site.
HIS RESPONSE: The Fraud Department does its very best to weed out easily identifiable forgeries and those of higher valued items by using Third Party Authenticators to look at items that have been reported. However, it is the buyers responsibility to do their own research before bidding
I then asked why Global Authentication is still an eBay approved authenticator with their reputation of authenticating thousands and thousands of forgeries on a monthly basis.
HIS RESPONSE: I will have to defer on that question because I don't have an answer for you. I will pass that comment along to the fraud department.
I then brought up seller this-n-thatsportscollectiblesplusmore who has sold over 250,000 $$$ dollars in forgeries all authenticated by Global Authentication. I explained that I go in weekly to report his items, yet they never get removed.
HIS RESPONSE: In order for an item to be removed it must be reported by multiple eBay users.
SO AFTER THIS WHOLE CONVERSATION, I feel that eBay is very passive on forgeries. Based on this conversation, it honestly seemed to me that they don't give a rats tail if people sell forgeries.
LET'S DO THIS...GO TO this-n-thatsportscollectiblesplusmore and report every item you think is fake. Let's just see if we all report if eBay will do anything about him. He has sold over 1,000 Tom Brady signed Helmets and Footballs and I have reported EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. By myself NONE OF THEM HAVE EVER BEEN REMOVED. Let us see if as a team, we can get action. So go look at the autographs you feel are fake and report them. Will it get a response out of ebay?
done, it didn't want to let me copy and paste your actual words so I screen capped your comment.
Nice work, Mike.
Over the course of the last decade I have had 3 different people, each in a position to directly report Star Wars forgeries to ebay, approach me and ask for my help. They either sent me links to items or asked me to point out specific problem pieces. The standard ebay auction runs for 7 days, and guess how long it took ebay to act upon any reported item? Yep you guessed it, 2 business weeks. 10-14 days to react to a bad auction lasting 7 days.
Each of these 3 people, quit within a month of reporting items to no avail. Then there were the actual people within ebay receiving the reports, the first few moved on to other positions and the last informed my contact, that ebay would no longer be using the reporting system.
EBay has become nothing more than a garage sale for autograph collectors.
Like garage sales, if you know what you are doing, you can find some gems among all the junk. Educated collectors can find authentic bargains all the time. It can be a buyer's market.
That said, we will pay the piper when it comes time to sell. Our authentic material will be driven down in price by the tsunami of fakes that will reside in collections for decades to come.
If one could wave a magic wand and make all the Mantle, Williams, Jeter fakes fakes go away, I wonder how much the price of the remaining authentic examples would rise?
Steve, "You took the words right out of my mouth."
I have always gotten some awesome deals on Ebay; and I mean awesome!!!
The deals are there if you know what you are looking for.
But with Ebay's population of suckers and wannabe autograph collectors (the gullible), people will continue to believe the scams and lies from Ebay sellers of forgeries.
Then will come the day, because many of us are older, when we will have to sell our treasured autographs....
What Steve wrote "That said, we will pay the piper when it comes time to sell. Our authentic material will be driven down in price by the tsunami of fakes that will reside in collections for decades to come."
Autograph collectors who are new to the hobby will unfortunately assume that eBay is more than it actually is. They will treat eBay as if it were actually allowing only authentic items to be sold. I know that I did when I made my first autograph purchase on eBay back in 2001. It was a forged Robert De Niro autographed 8x10 photo. I have since thrown it into the garbage. I have yet to add an authentic Robert De Niro autograph to my collection, but I am working on it.
While this is true, you can still expect to get a fair price for certified items, which is good.
Average price for "Derek Jeter autographed baseball": $194.72
Average price for "Derek Jeter autographed baseball psa": $375.00
Average price for "Derek Jeter autographed baseball steiner": $426.58
The sample sizes aren't huge, but the data definitely correlates.
Yes, certification helps the price, BUT...
If you removed all the fakes from circulation, you'd have that many more people competing for significantly less supply. I suppose there are bargain buyers who would drop out of the running because that's all they will ever be able to afford are low priced fakes, but for the most part, the rising tide would float all boats.
Absolutely, but on the flip side, you won't be able to bargain hunt. Right now you can save an average of over $200 buying an uncertified Jeter ball, than one with a Steiner cert.
It is very difficult to get a deal from RR Auction because all their pieces command a premium, often prices much higher than you could get an identical item anywhere else. If ebay (and other marketplaces) were to become as regulated as RR, there would be significantly less demand for these premium items and prices would drop across the market. The premium prices that RR is able to get for their items is directly related to the vast amount of forgeries on the market. People are willing to pay more for confidence that their item is the real deal. If this confidence was no longer valuable, prices would drop.
Don't get me wrong, I agree 100% with you Steve, the more forgeries eliminated the better, I just like playing devils advocate and trying to see the positive light on the other side of a dim situation. In some of these situations, genuine items are more valuable because of the amount of forgeries on the market and boats like RR Auction are floating much higher because of it.
There will always be bargains.