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  eBay's autograph authenticity warning for sellers

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Author Topic:   eBay's autograph authenticity warning for sellers
neo1022
Member

Posts: 51
From: Santa Monica, CA
Registered: Jun 2013

posted 11-21-2013 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for neo1022   Click Here to Email neo1022     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I listed a few signed items today on eBay, and was surprised to find a new warning that popped up.

It urged sellers to make sure the autograph was authentic (authenticated by reputable agency or in-person acquisition), and explicitly stated that eBay would retain the right to cancel auctions of signatures that did not resemble known examples.

Moreover, the warning stated that they would be forwarding suspected forgers to federal authorities for fraud investigations.

Who knows how enforceable any of this really is, but at least it seems to be on their radar. Yet another reason to "blow the whistle" on bad citizens who repeatedly sell fake space autographs. Maybe things will begin to improve a bit, with out vigilance and reporting. One can dream, I suppose!

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2386
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-21-2013 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd like to see that happen with the number of autograph auctions on the site.

Playing devil's advocate, it makes it a bit more difficult for those who get in-person signatures. I have a Kate Rubins autograph where it looks like the first letter is an 'N', not a 'K'.

And what about those who change their signature, like Roman Romanenko?

The cynical part of me thinks this is just a CYA maneuver by eBay.

gliderpilotuk
Member

Posts: 3153
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-22-2013 04:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
The cynical part of me thinks this is just a CYA maneuver by eBay.
Of course. Or maybe they are about to buy an authentication service and make it compulsory to pass everything through it... for a fee.

Either they should say "caveat emptor" or enforce authentication. All they have done for a long time is to sit on the fence and pretend that there might be some sort of oversight of authenticity.

Have you ever tried reporting a fake to them and getting prompt action?

Steve Zarelli
Member

Posts: 423
From: Upstate New York, USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 11-22-2013 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
Playing devil's advocate, it makes it a bit more difficult for those who get in-person signatures.
Hart, I wouldn't be too concerned about eBay scouring autographs like the example you gave. In my opinion, the new disclaimer is a CYA and it clears the deck for eBay to remove bad items without protest when reported by EMRs.

In the past year there has been a lot of movement within the safety and trust department of eBay and bad items are not being removed like they used to be. (Bear in mind, due to the pure volume of listings, EMRs cannot police every autograph, but they usually focus on high risk/high dollar items and sellers that appear to be selling quantities of mass-produced fakes.)

Hopefully this is a sign they are getting their act together and putting some effort back into removing bad items.

Believe it or not, relatively speaking space and aviation is squeaky clean compared to sports and entertainment. There are literally dozens of sellers who are part of forgery rings that sell thousands of fakes every week in sports and entertainment. You can usually tell they are part of a ring because sellers who are geographically close will all be selling the same product in mass quantities. It takes a lot of effort to get them banned and then they do get banned, they just pop up under a different name a week later selling the same junk.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2386
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-22-2013 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This moves eBay into dangerous and uncharted territory. Forever, eBay (and other places) have said, "Don't shoot us, we're just the messenger." Translated: We're just the venue where buyers and sellers come together, we got nothing to do with what's being offered.

Now, by eBay retaining the right to cancel autograph auctions, what's to prevent people from suing eBay saying, "Hey they did this for their autographs. Well, I bought a Coach bag/part for my '83 Mazda/Eminem CD/first edition "Leaves of Grass" that wasn't real and if eBay implies they police their autograph auctions, they should do the same for other auctions."

And by extension, if eBay is no longer the messenger, neither are other auction sites.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29230
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-22-2013 10:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This isn't a new policy in so much as it is a more prevalent warning of the existing policy for sellers. eBay's User Agreement, to which every seller and bidder agrees upon registration, allows eBay to remove listings based on numerous reasons.

Further, the agreement includes an indemnification clause wherein you, the seller or bidder, agrees not to hold eBay liable for the actions of third parties (e.g. other sellers or bidders), or the actions taken by eBay in response to third parties. Indemnification clauses are fairly common for any legal agreement, including the user agreement for collectSPACE.

neo1022
Member

Posts: 51
From: Santa Monica, CA
Registered: Jun 2013

posted 11-22-2013 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for neo1022   Click Here to Email neo1022     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that this is likely a CYA move, but eBay has really been a "buyers market" for some time — in any dispute, the seller is expected to make good (often at a significant loss, for instance, refunding full sale price — including S&H — even for simple cases of "buyer's regret," and even when the seller stated that returns would not be accepted except in cases of material misrepresentation).

In any case, their move toward greater explicitness on this matter might suggest they are more willing to listen to complaints against serial offenders... And god knows, there are a few very active forgers working the eBay space niche...

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