Ebay Representatives Audrey Zwibelman & Gordon Cheng Meet With Dealers/Sellers At 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention

Below is a link to Rich Mueller's "Sports Collectors Daily" from August 5th, 2018.

Rich, by the way, does a great job of posting hobby-related news and I highly recommend subscribing (doesn't cost a penny) to his daily column.

I want to thank Rich for posting the below.


Quoting Ebay representative Audrey Zwibelman "“Authentication at eBay in general,  and not just this category, is near and dear to our hearts,” she said. “It’s a huge priority for us.” 

Is that why, Audrey, you and Ebay, in my opinion, have allowed and enabled the "Florida" forgeries and other obvious garbage to flood Ebay over the last twenty years, which in turn makes it difficult for dealers/collectors to sell their authentic items!!!

As a matter of fact, from my observations over the last few years, Ebay no longer enforces their own "Banned COA List."

Then you go on to say that you want collectors/dealers on Ebay to take advantage of the "Report A Listing" option.

And according to Audrey, "Ebay has a security team which reviews (and in my opinion ignores) those reports on a daily basis."

Is she (Audrey Zwibelman) serious!!!

Since the EMR Team was terminated years ago, I must have "Reported" hundreds upon hundreds of auctions (forgeries) and they simply get ignored.

And to top it off, I would have at least a half-dozen of my collector friends "Report" the same auctions and not one has ever been removed!!!

Not one!!!

So what she (Audrey Zwibelman) says is bogus, in my opinion.

Topic 2:

I'm not sure which (Audrey Zwibelman or Gordon Cheng) genius said this, but they commented on giving "tips for sellers."

They said "One of those that seems basic but often results in missed opportunities for sellers is making sure you’re ahead of the curve when it comes to selling items of specific players and hot teams.  The resulting interest on eBay often comes from beyond the realm of avid collectors. It’s true of any collectibles market.  The most important things are stay on top of pop culture and by that I mean current trends and events,” Cheng suggested.  “If a player is really hot, like Shohei Ohtani this year or Aaron Judge last year, just make sure you stock up on their items and have plenty of them to sell."

Talk about genius.  Geez.

If we all knew next year's hot player(s) or item,  we would all be rich buying them low and selling high.

The irony being, Ebay wants all us to be "ahead of the curve" on "loading up on next year's hot items," while Ebay "remains behind the curve when it comes to "Authentication at Ebay in general."

I'll be polite when I write "Ebay's facade is transparent."

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Comment by terrier8HOF on August 5, 2018 at 8:17pm

Allowing the sale of thousands of those GFA certed forgeries is not exactly in line with the comments made by Ebay at the National.  

Comment by Scott Paul on August 6, 2018 at 5:39am

One other thing I do not believe that the professional TPA's should get off the hook so fast either. I have told many sellers that they have a secretarial Andy Griffith even though it has a "reputable" TPA.  Most often they ignore it a tiny few thank me and some think I am some sort of a moron because I do not sign a fancy card.  There are lots of those TPA certified on eBay right now.  I am not against TPAs and feel they can help IF they would admit their mistakes.  Surely they must have a database of every Andy Griffith they certified (or Charlton Heston, Dick Van Dyke etc) even if they would invalidate those numbers it would help.  Everyone I checked on their site comes back "Authentic" even though they have their nice legal get out of jail free card of saying "It is the opinion of PSA/DNA Authentication Services that the signature(s) listed below is/are genuine."  Why don't they have a place to report their absolutely unquestionable mistakes on their site?  I think it would make people trust them far more at least I would.  Once pointed out most of these secretarial examples are a no brainer and  you do not need a big magnifying glass to see it either!   The defense will say it will hurt their business to admit they certified things that are proven later to be fake (officially fake or otherwise).  My response is they took someone's money for a service then failed just admit it. Might it cost a bit of money?  Sure but what is an honest business reputation worth? Even if they just limit it to another certification for free for the original purchaser of the certificate.  Like I said I think overall they get it right the majority of times but with the amount they do even a small percentage wrong is huge.

Comment by Fuddjcal on August 6, 2018 at 7:42am

The funny thing about the reporter in the news report said it was a "new dealer" at the National. If it was in fact Tony Podsada as reported, he has been in "the industry since the 1980's that I know of That's a new guy?

E-Bay, GFA and Tony's Famous Florida Fakes go together like Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet. 

Comment by Mike Kaminski on August 6, 2018 at 9:02am

I think it was actually a director of the NSCC that called him a new dealer - which is even worse since I believe he has been selling there for at least a couple of years? 

Looks like they turned a blind eye for a while there. 

Comment by Steve Zarelli on August 11, 2018 at 5:43pm

As usual, a great article, Chris.

It’s difficult to take eBay’s claim seriously when they do not enforce their own banned COA list and they dismantled the EMR program. The program was not perfect, but it put a serious dent in the mass forgery sellers and kept them on the defensive. Now, the fake sellers are completely emboldened and offer their product with impunity. 

Additionally, they continue to allow items authenticated by rubberstamping so-called forensic authenticators who everyone knows are shams.

This isn’t rocket science. All eBay needs to do is to establish a panel of known and respected experts who can push a button and kill auctions. Use the same people that established reputable auction houses use. If humans are involved, mistakes will be made. But, it would still be far better than what we have today, which is total chaos and a tsunami of fakes being sold on a daily basis.

Make no mistake. The sheer massive volume of forgeries being sold on eBay is decimating the autograph market.

Comment by Christopher Williams on August 11, 2018 at 5:54pm

Thank you, Steve.

Think about this...

If the EMR Team was in place Sept. 2011, the crap authenticated by Stephen Rocchi and his Guaranteed Forensic Authenticators group would have all been removed and GFA possibly placed on Ebay's Banned COA list.

Comment by Richard S. Simon on August 11, 2018 at 6:30pm

You are oh so right Steve.

The hobby has taken a major turn for the worse.

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on August 11, 2018 at 9:32pm

Great blog, Chris, with spot-on comments by members. About 5 years ago, a former eBay employee told me that eBay wasn't happy with the how much business being so careful about authenticity was costing them. The EMR program faded away shortly thereafter.

Comment by Richard S. Simon on August 12, 2018 at 4:41am

Steve, Was that JG?

Comment by Christopher Williams on August 12, 2018 at 4:53am

Thank you, Steve, and Wow!!!!

I wonder who "that" employee was?


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