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  Ok, u Space Cadets - Need some assistance (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Ok, u Space Cadets - Need some assistance
db54
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posted 01-13-2006 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I see you puzzle thru a questionable piece of merchandise, I add the following information from PSA/DNA that was communicated to me regarding R&R auction house. What is very troubling is that what is being described appears on PSA/DNA letterhead. Have any of you had similiar items? If so, when? While the issue below is regarding sports articles there are similar claims on space authentications as well. Need any insight on this that you might provide...
......
I have not seen your item, I am only going off an email from R&R stating that they made a error when typing up the description. They were the ones telling me that they had "Thomas Ashwater", not "Thomas
Ashworth". To answer your other question; yes we authenticate the whole item; but as I mentioned earlier, we only list the notable names on our full LOA's. On your auction LOA you will notice in the first paragraph it states " R&R Enterprises, Inc. describes the item(s) as: ", then the
next paragraph describes the item(s). This is their description, not ours. They write the description, and then send us the file, and then we print them out on our letter head for them. When we go to the auction
houses and do authentication for them, we do a limited service. The items are authenticated, but do not go through our full process. Only when the item(s) come through the office does it get photographed,
labeled, and the DNA daub place onto the item. Our policy has always been to only list HOF inductees, and or notable signatures. I hope this clears things up for you.

db54
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posted 01-16-2006 05:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would advise you all to be very careful on acquiring any piece that has a "COA from PSA/DNA" on any item (especially from R&R).
In discussion with UACC Regional Director just yesterday, I'm informed that they have a pending lawsuit against PSA/DNA. The 2 links below are from IADA and a very reputable Richard Simons (out of NY).
http://www.iada-cc.com/NewsDetail.asp?NewsID=115
http://richardsimonsports.com/hofauto2.htm

While of course the focus is on sports however there are a number of listings by R&R on the space side that follow a similar deceptive practice, in my opinion.

db54
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posted 02-04-2006 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to follow up (and hopefully you are not caught up in this slight of hand) -
In a long discussion, last week, with Joe Orlando from PSA/DNA, he concurred that auction houses such as R&R were purposely misleading bidders and misusing the PSA/DNA branding.

To that end, he retracted the original (see the link above) with the verbiage on an auction LOA and replaced it; http://www.psadna.com/notice.chtml

Of course, that corrected material is puzzeling as Orlando seem to be more inclined with the original link in the earlier message. It also doesn't go onto indicate that there are strict submittal timelines and it can only be done by the original bidder but it is better than what was there before.

According to a long time UACC member, "i had certainly opened up a can of worms". Hmm, I wonder if that has anything to do with why I have lost my "bidding status" for R&R Items!

[This message has been edited by db54 (edited February 04, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by db54 (edited February 04, 2006).]

earlyduke
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posted 02-06-2006 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is disturbing, both that R&R may be intentionally misleading their
customers, and that db54 may have had bidding privileges revoked
because of whistleblowing activity. I'm suprised nobody has commented on this
until now.

Fortunately Scott Cornish, as one of R&R's authenticators, may be in a
position to find out if there is anything to this story. Hopefully he
can report back soon with positive news.

Scott
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posted 02-06-2006 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by earlyduke:
Fortunately Scott Cornish, as one of R&R's authenticators, may be in a
position to find out if there is anything to this story. Hopefully he
can report back soon with positive news.

I am in no better position than you to find out about this. My role is exactly as Ken's was - I simply review the autographs which are sent to me for inclusion in the Space Exploration section. I, as Ken before me, have nothing to do with PSA/DNA or any COAs issued by them and have no knowledge about how any of that works. I wasn't even aware of this PSA/DNA COA issue until it was posted on cS. You are of course free to contact R&R yourself using the contacts listed on R&R's website.

earlyduke
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posted 02-06-2006 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't mean in any way to imply that you were somehow personally
involved in any possible funny business over at R&R; if that's the
impression you got, I apologize.

I am a bit suprised though at your insistence that you would have no
greater chance than me, or any other non-connected person, of getting
some questions answered. As a member of their staff do you not have
occasion to speak with Bob Eaton, John Reznikoff or others who actually run
R&R? And if you don't, how much would R&R really pay attention to
objections you might raise about questionable autographed material? If
they would pay attention to your concerns in that area, why would they not
grant you a hearing so you could air concerns about other matters
regarding their public image? (If you called and demanded answers, would
they actually hang up on one of their own authenticators?)

If it were me, I'd certainly want, and dig for, answers to pertinent
questions about a company's ethics and business practices before putting
my imprimatur on anything they issued to their customers. Why would
anyone settle for less?

Scott
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posted 02-06-2006 08:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yves (or whatever your name is),

How about you and I just put aside this latest ginned-up nonsense of yours regarding me and cut to the chase? As you know, a very well-known and respected intermediary has at my request recently contacted you and asked you to email me directly so that we may work out the issues you so apparently have. This gesture on my part was more than coming half way, as I had requested this of you myself long ago and was met with silence. You have again refused to contact me. I can only conclude therefore that you are completely disingenuous, which to be honest is what I had suspected all along.

Sorry, earlyduke, but I'm no longer going to chase any more of your rabbits.

[This message has been edited by Scott (edited February 06, 2006).]

earlyduke
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posted 02-06-2006 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott, how about a quick run
down of some pertinent facts?

1) I didn't know 'til reading your last post you had asked anyone to
contact me; the email address I was using is nearly inactive and I
haven't checked it for weeks (I've been slowly making the move to a new
service provider); at the end of this post however I'll post my email
address and you can contact me directly if you like; so much for me refusing
to have contact with you. Before that though, there are a few more
things that should be said out in the open.

2) My last posts here are neither about you, nor, as you put it, are
they "ginned-up". It 's simple commentary and observation that a CS
member, db54, had posted some pretty serious allegations, I think, that
went unanswered for days. I found the non-responsiveness to his comments
somewhat unusual since a) you are an official representative of R&R and
2) you usually post here at CS several times a day, and usually respond
within minutes to other queries that could even remotely involve you or
your interests; this made your silence regarding db54's comments rather
glaring, IMO.

3) Before YOU take ME to task for any disingenuousness, re-read your
earlier post. I, for one, found it to be literally incredible, and a
cop-out to boot. You seem to beat the accountability drum pretty
regularly around here, and make emphatic points about transparency and
straightforwardness, but all you could muster when it came to addressing
questions about R&R's accountability was a lukewarm "I am in no better
position than you to find out about this".
I don't think anyone here is THAT naive. And of course, this raises
even more questions, since it makes clear you either can't or WON'T do
anything to look further into the issue. An authenticator who can't or
won't authenticate; just lovely. (If you really can't do anything to
get some answers from R&R, why don't you at least explain why you aren't
resigning from such a company to protest their stonewalling)?

And last but not least, you continue with the insipid and
unsubstantiated drumbeat of yours that I'm not really who I say I am. How worn.
But, hey, if that's the best you've got Scott,....(or should I call you
Audrey) well...what can I say.

My name is Yves. I can be contacted at ydcalcon@yahoo.com.

Paullywoggles
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posted 02-06-2006 11:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paullywoggles   Click Here to Email Paullywoggles     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting comments. Makes for fine reading.

I would like to change the topic if I may.
There now questionable items at RR, there are questionable items at Signature House.
Are there any reputable auction house out there? It is always "a buyer beware" I understand, but that said didn't these auction houses have standards to follow and we could trust?

I am thankful we have a place to discuss issues and items.

Paul

gliderpilotuk
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posted 02-07-2006 06:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think Scott has any need to justify his position. He has probably done more than anyone else on this website to clean up the filth in the space autograph world and his interaction with R&R beyond pure authentication is HIS business.

Now, to answer Paul's question.
I don't think I've encountered an auction house where I've not seen fakes/forgeries/autopens overlooked in their cataloguing at some point. On the whole they do not seem to employ sufficient expertise to filter out the rubbish, which is unacceptable given the fees they charge.

That aside, what differentiates one from the other is (a) their reactiveness to these items being pointed out (and delisting them), and (b) their attitude to refunds if you buy a fake on the basis of poor information. I've never had a problem with returns but as has been discussed before, if you read the small print in auction catalogues you'll see disclaimers of all sorts which do not guarantee the exchange of goods which are subsequently found not to be the real thing.

Obviously some players are better than others but I don't think it is appropriate to draw up a ranking of the good vs the less good!

Paul Bramley

Scott
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posted 02-07-2006 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks PB. My service to R&R is indeed only pure authentication on space items. An item is sent to me. If I give it a thumbs up, I hand sign a regular R&R COA stating I believe it authentic. This same COA is later co-signed by Mr. Eaton. That simple.

I am only one of many people, including yourself, who has helped other (particularly newer) collectors, as we had been helped. I am perfectly content with and make no apologies for what I've done to help collectors. I may have made a few enemies, but I've made the right ones.

Michael
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posted 02-07-2006 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael   Click Here to Email Michael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Hello,

Am I the only person who is tired of Earlyduke attacking the character of people trying to help collectors??? I agree with Scott. To me....Scott tries and helps collectors get authnentic items while Earlyduke attacks Scott and everybody else who tries to help. It is the guy with the Most Forgeries that has the Biggest Mouth !!!
Mike

Bob M
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posted 02-07-2006 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it surprising and disappointing that usually it's the ones who have no financial stake or motive in the sale of space material that so often give _free_ advice and information, but are the ones often questioned and criticized. If knowledgeable and experienced collectors dropped out of the picture, as some have, only those who sell and profit from space material would be left to offer and give advice - don't know if that would be an ideal situation.

Bob McLeod

machbusterman
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posted 02-07-2006 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As one who reads these threads almost daily I am relieved to find that I am not alone in finding Earlyduke's comments about Scott highly offensive. There are a small number of collectors who are without doubt very knowledgeable in the field of autograph authentication.... and Scott is most definately one of them.

In the past I have bought items described as "autopen" from one of the major auction houses and later found that I had purchased a very attractive lot which did not exactly match the catalogue description. As mentioned above by Paul Bramley this is a trait that is becoming more common with each passing auction. I don't think that the auction houses "intend to mislead" their customers... rather that due to poor attention to detail in certain cases some items are listed with less than ideal descriptions.

Earlyduke, get off Scotts back... he's done more to help people in this hobby and if you can't accept that then I guess there's no point in talking any further.

- Derek

earlyduke
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posted 02-07-2006 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Certainly Scott does not need to justify anything here to anybody if he doesn't care what others may think. I can only speak for myself in that I am disappointed, and astounded, that someone who has been so vociferous for so long here on the boards at CS can't or won't do what seems do-able insofar as furthering his long stated goal, i.e., making a difference where a big difference can be made to clean up messes in the hobby. Considering he has often, and loudly, taken others to task for the same thing, I find it disingenuous and hypocritical of him to now claim he isn't in a position to question the powers that be at R&R, when at the same time he is prominently listed on their website as their top space authenticator. It's a cop-out, plain and simple.

Scott wrote that if he finds a submitted autographed item acceptable, he just signs off on the COA, which is then co-signed by Bob Eaton. Simple? Not really. Scott is a geophysicist. That means he understands the implications of having his name on a scientific paper with a colleague who may or may not have, in other instances, submitted questinable data for peer review. Would any (ethical) scientist allow their name to be submitted alongside the name of a colleague who stood accused of serious impropriety without questioning that colleague as to whether there was any merit to accusations made? The answer is obvious. Scott certainly doesn't have to answer to me, or to anybody else if he doesn't want to. But I for one will take his acquiescence in this matter into account anytime future instances arise where he is heavyhanded toward or berates others for not acting assiduously.

Scott wrote he may have made some enemies. I'm sorry he sees me in that light; while we're certainly not friends, I don't consider Scott my enemy, nor do I consider myself to be his. But when he writes he is perfectly content with, and make no apologies for what he's done to help collectors, he is disingenuously sidestepping the very straightforward issue here; it's not what he HAS done - - it's what he WON'T do.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-07-2006 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all due respect Yves, in what position are you to judge what Scott can or cannot do?

Was it a good suggestion to point db54 to our resident R&R contact? Sure. But when he explained that he's not the person to turn to, that should have been the end of it. Your attempt to further use his reply to criticize him is way out of line.

This board, as I have explained before and which every member has agreed upon registering, is not for airing grievances with others. Any further deragatory posts will be removed without warning, regardless the member who makes them.

Either discuss the topic that db54 raised or do not reply.

General Lee
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posted 02-08-2006 01:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for General Lee   Click Here to Email General Lee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all due respect to everyone, doesn't R&R Enterprises sell questionable material on more than a regular baisis? If the answer is Yes, Why would you want to be associated with such a company? Also, Why Did Ken stop working for R&R? These are legite questions that should be answered?

The General

earlyduke
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posted 02-08-2006 02:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know if it's an accurate statement to say RR sells questionable material on a "more than regular basis", but they've certainly sold their "fair share" of questionable material if Armstrong "hooktails" count as questionable (and many here at Cs certainly seem to subcribe to the notion that they are).

The more pertinent question however seems to be what an auction house, or its employees, will do to make things right once a problem is brought to their attention.

And as for why Ken Havekotte left RR, I was wondering that myself. He wasn't with them very long, and was replaced with Scott. (As far as who approached who, I have no idea. Maybe others who care to could add more info).

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited February 08, 2006).]

Scott
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posted 02-08-2006 06:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by General Lee:
With all due respect to everyone, doesn't R&R Enterprises sell questionable material on more than a regular baisis? If the answer is Yes, Why would you want to be associated with such a company? Also, Why Did Ken stop working for R&R? These are legite questions that should be answered?

The General


To answer your question regarding questionable material being sold on a regular basis (by "baisis" I assume you mean "basis"): All I review and can comment on is the Space Exploration section, and no, not at all - at least since Ken or I have been reviewing for it.

Are you implying that there are bad space items which Ken or I have reviewed and approved? I don't believe so, but we are only human. I am open to anyone writing me and pointing out something they think may be questionable. Their concerns will be addressed.

As for Ken and R&R, that's none of my business - and actually, to be frank, none of yours, either. I was asked to join after Ken was no longer with them, which I first found out when asked to join. My first contact with R&R was when Bob Eaton contacted me and invited me to join them. As one can imagine, I was humbled and honored.

I am darned proud to be working as the Space Authenticator for R&R. Make no mistake. I see it as an honor and a chance to help collectors. Show me one auction house which even approaches R&R's reliability on space autographs since Ken and I have been with them.

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited February 08, 2006).]

gliderpilotuk
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posted 02-08-2006 07:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by earlyduke:
The more pertinent question however seems to be what an auction house, or its employees, will do to make things right once a problem is brought to their attention. "Passing the buck", I would imagine, isn't usually chalked up as being helpful or responsive to clients' needs.

Read what I said earlier - I have returned at least two items to R&R in the past because I felt they were not as described and the refund was prompt. Their offerings have been cleaned up an awful lot over the past year. Would you rather NOT have Scott (and Ken before him) screening items? It sounds like it.

Paul

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-08-2006 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by General Lee:
Also, Why Did Ken stop working for R&R? These are legite questions that should be answered?
Participation in this forum includes your and every registered members' agreement not to use this board to post any material which is knowingly invasive of a person's privacy. If you absolutely must know the details of a person's private business decisions, then the answer is to e-mail or otherwise contact that person (or the company for which he works/ed).

earlyduke
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posted 02-08-2006 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If that's what you have taken away from what I've written, Paul, you're mistaken, and if you care to look back at things I've written since I started posting here I think you'll find I've been consistent.

I haven't been critical of Scott because I am impugning his skills (and I've certainly not been at all critical of Ken). Rather, I have been criticized here by others, pretty strongly, for "attacking" Scott, and the main defense of him has had to do with how much he has been a help to the collecting community (so I should "get off his back"); but there is quite a difference between being critical of someone because of who they are as opposed to being critical of things they write and stands they take.

Has Scott been a great friend to Joe Collector? From everything I've been able to glean, the answer is a resounding YES. Has he been especially helpful to "newbie" collectors? Again, an emphatic yes. Is he knowledgeable when it comes to space autographs? From everything I've seen the answer is again, yes. Does he mean well? Certainly seems so to me. I haven't disputed any of those things, but when I have been critical, I believe justly, Scott and some his supporters, rather than address the points I raise, simply either look away, bristle, attack or hide - - not exactly the kind of behavior that is conducive to constructive debate.

In an earlier post, Michael from Brooklyn wrote "Scott tries and helps collectors get authentic items while Earlyduke attacks Scott and everybody else who tries to help". This is a ridiculous statement. Have I written critical things about you, Paul, or Bob M., Gerry, Ken, Robert, Donnis or anyone else here who has also been helpful to collectors? There are plenty of friendly, knowledgeable and helpful people here at Collectspace, - - including Scott; but what has that got to do with him getting an automatic pass?

My criticisms, I believe, have always been pretty specific and well supported. A magnifying glass is helpful sometimes; it seems the only kind of glass well tolerated here though is the rose-colored variety.

fabfivefreddy
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posted 02-10-2006 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
General-

Wouldn't trying to improve your auction company's authentication panel of experts be a good thing to do?

It seems that Bob Eaton has assembled quite a few amazing experts. R and R catalogs are getting bigger, not smaller. Seems they are doing something right and trying to improve all the time. I respect that.

-Tahir

db54
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posted 02-11-2006 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry about not having been back in a few days. Don't go about beating each other up on these as it is truly "caveat emptor" when the sun sets.

What is disappointing is the misleading of bidders with what authentications actually exist. All of this, as you know, is purely based on bidding up the amount and thus the profit. Correcting something afterward while commendable is also a flaw as it ought to be prevented to begin with - especially when the practice borders fraud.

One has no idea if the authenticators from PSA/DNA are really doing the review or merely providing their name.

So how did my article (remember we are speaking of a sports item here, although I see PSA/DNA also authenticates space items). It was returned with a PSA/DNA hologram, daub, & loa with article picture. Looking good except here is the rub - PSA/DNA only listed 3 people on the loa from the 19 indicated by R&R that were COA'd by PSA/DNA. Why? PSA/DNA will only authenticate notables so they say. SO when asked the point blank question; Does The LOA authenticate all 19 or only notables? - Only Notables. Does the LOA "marketing" wording imply the other 16 are genunine then why are you not listing all 19 names? - No Answer. In a court of law, I project, the LOA wording would be considered ambiguous and thus only the 3 names from the 19 would be considered genuine.

And of course, all of this is known by auction houses so why would an auction house purposely mislead the truth about the authentication coverage? Now, I sort of sound like Joe, don't I.

Since, there are some on this thread that apparently take their authentication seriously and hopefully have the credentials without the conflict of interest - they should only worry about questionable practices which gives the whole collectable industry a black eye... but it is after all, as someone said, - caveat emptor - when procuring something from someone else - especially auction houses that purposely mislead.

and if someone is thinking, why don't I then.... I have.

db54
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posted 02-11-2006 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:

Was it a good suggestion to point db54 to our resident R&R contact? Sure. But when he explained that he's not the person to turn to, that should have been the end of it.


Sorry Duke, if I drew you into a firefight with your counterparts. That, as you know was not my intent. The essence of your question is right on target and it is what it is.

Since I have procured other articles, I never thought I would run into such a quagmire but that is also what it is. Since I have some space items (Col Glenn inscribed one to me from his Merc days , since we were both marines, and I would not take no for an answer) & would love a neil armstrong (someday maybe) one, I will alter what places I do business with and check more thoroughly websites & blogs such as this one, before I do.

The good news is that most of my vast collection are obtained in person with a smaller % not in person. And as you know, you place quite a reliance on authentication with the latter.

But again, thanks for asking the direct and implied question as those need to be continually asked.

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited February 11, 2006).]

earlyduke
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posted 02-11-2006 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're welcome, db. I was suprised and frustrated to see your original
post lingering for days without any response.
Sadly, this whole question of possibly shady business practices has
been left unresolved, as is the question you raised that you may have had
your bidding priviledges revoked by RR simply because you posed tough
questions. Is that still your assertion? If so, it's troubling to see
you being punished for trying to do the right thing.

I'm glad I'm not the only one here who thinks the issue was/is being
dodged.

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited February 12, 2006).]

db54
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posted 02-12-2006 05:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It Tis indeed my firm conviction. Seems everyone wants to edit messages these days... but perhaps that is due to, or so I have been told, that authenticatian services and auction houses like to muffle the noise using legal tactics.

I was asked by certain authorities to also ferrit out websites such as this to see if there were similar experiences.. I was completely unaware of some of the information (some supplied early) that has created a furor over Auction House LOA's being passed off as real/full "COA's".

When you ask the person whose name appears on the LOA if they examined the article and signed the LOA and receive the Response: Check our website.... That is very telling and chilling regarding confirmation of a genuine article.

It reminds me of "operation foul ball" which was a sting operation run by the feds in 02 (maybe 03, time flies when you get old!) that resulted in numerous authenticators, artists and one of the premier sports (Stans Sporting Goods out of PA) being closed, indictments handed down and so on... Of course Stans had been a primo advertising in Becketts and respected for many years. But in discussions with the FBI., it seems they became greedy and the rest was history. Of course, imagine someone who has a Stans COA (is it or is it not!).

Unfortunately, events such as mine, Foul Ball, and PSA/DNA/MaestroNet, are the best kept secrets. The latter one for example indicated that a chief authenticator's name was used on the COA (that did not examine the article but had no longer worked for the company).

One has to draw their own conclusions as you have done. Essentially, if you are not present when it is signed you are at risk. While, I would have liked to believe that the places I frequented were above reproach - it is events such as these that provide a dope slap reality check.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-12-2006 05:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by db54:
Seems everyone wants to edit messages these days...
If this was in reference to the editing of your reply three messages above, then to clarify, it was only to correct a formatting error where you quoted an earlier post. You had missed copying over a part of the code and it left another UBB code fragment dangling. My apologies if there was any confusion.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited February 12, 2006).]

alexanderautographs
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posted 02-13-2006 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alexanderautographs   Click Here to Email alexanderautographs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello, Gentlemen - I'm new to this site and board and stumbled across this fascinating thread this morning (causing a one hour late arrival at work). Thought I'd add my experience as to how PSA/DNA issues their auction house certs. We were pitched by that firm a few months ago to have them send a rep to our offices to examine the 1,700 lots we had coming up for sale. They would examine the lot, take our description, paste it into their "Auction Letter of Authenticity", and that letter would be sold with the lot. The buyer then has the option to "trade up" to their "Authentication Letter of Authenticity" which depicts and describes the item which itself is daubed with their "synthetic DNA" (!), all for an additional fee of $50 or so. BTW: We declined.

db54
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posted 02-13-2006 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good for you alexauto... because according to PSA/DNA official responses below... Now that this is published, I am sure this official response will be altered. Ron, thanks on the edit clarification.

...The application of invisible DNA laced-ink, in conjunction with our tamper-evident label and matching Certificate of Authenticity, is the PSA/DNA security matrix which will identify your collectible as certified. However, if you do not want the tamper-evident label and DNA applied to your collectible and want our professional opinion only, we will be glad to accommodate you. Be aware that your collectible will not be certified by PSA/DNA, nor will you be able to claim to others that it has been certified by PSA/DNA...

So, the short story is, that if you are buying based on the security of also having a PSA/DNA COA in addition to whatever authenticator is chiming in with their perspective then go back and read the prior paragraph.

alexanderautographs
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posted 02-14-2006 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alexanderautographs   Click Here to Email alexanderautographs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks db, but I'm not sure that's the reason for their elaborate procedure. Basically, PSA makes money from the auction house on every auction certificate they issue. THEN, they profit AGAIN when they issue their super-duper "Authenticity Letter of Authentication"(!). For example - I, as auctioneer, might pay them, say, $25 to issue an "Auction Letter of Authenticity" for an Edison piece. Then the buyer submits the same piece back to PSA/DNA for their "official" cert and is charged an additional, say, $50: PSA makes $75 on the deal. Multiply that times tens of thousands of lots and, voila, you have a multi-million dollar company. Does that mean that the first examination was not as carefully undertaken as the second? Or are you paying for a dab of DNA?(I'll leave my tendency to make a crude joke out of this for now). It becomes particularly interesting when PSA authenticators are themselves consigning in auctions where they are authenticating material. Smells to me like a conflict of interest. And of course, PSA certs are only an "opinion", not a guarantee, so the company doesn't have a nickel on the line.

Scott
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posted 02-14-2006 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alexanderautographs:
It becomes particularly interesting when PSA authenticators are themselves consigning in auctions where they are authenticating material. Smells to me like a conflict of interest.

Though I don't have anything at all to do with PSA/DNA, I do want to clarify that because I am R&R's space authenticator I do not and will not consign any subjective items (i.e., non limited-edition autographed, etc) I may own to an R&R Space & Aviation section auction. This is a personal choice on my part. Subjective space autographs I may sell will be offered on eBay or on cS Buy/Sell (as with my Apollo XI signed postcard recently).

And yes alexander please don't elaborate on the DNA reference. LOL.

[This message has been edited by Scott (edited February 14, 2006).]

alexanderautographs
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posted 02-14-2006 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alexanderautographs   Click Here to Email alexanderautographs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's commendable on your part, Scott, and I heartily applaud you for it. There is NOTHING wrong with being employed anywhere to autheticate autographs - the problem arises when those who are supposedly disinterested third-parties are vetting auctions in which they themselves are offering all kinds of material without the limitations you note in your post. In general, I don't authenticate for third parties - only the material consigned to our auctions, which I warrant for the life of the buyer.

[This message has been edited by alexanderautographs (edited February 14, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by alexanderautographs (edited February 15, 2006).]

db54
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posted 02-17-2006 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's face it - this auction house, regardless, is now suspect and ought to be treated as such. In the SEC, we have a new ruling called Sarbannes Oxley Act, there are guidelines for all public companies to ensure they instill internal controls over financial reporting. Failure to do so results in big time fines & for some Jail. Some notable ones such an Enron and Andersen come to mind.

If one is employed by a company and there are unethical business practices going on and fail to address or bring attention to it then under SOC they would be as guilty of being a co-venturer.

Too bad we don't have SOX in this business as there would be a lot less authenticators.

Regarding PSA/DNA., Joe Orlando, indicated that they are losing money by not having this auction houses present an LOA correctly and stop misleading people. I am quite sure that the thousands of people who have won articles from this auction house have no idea.... and those that do, have found out that they are in deep mud with their article.

Essentially, R&R took the "COA" from their consignment suppler, Sports Images, and transferred it verbatim to their "COA" and then onto, verbatim, to the PSA/DNA Auction House LOA. The discrepancy was so obvious but it clearly points out the lack of review and authentication this house seems to be allowing onto their offerings.

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posted 02-18-2006 12:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I'm glad there isn't the same kind of regulation of the collecting hobby as in the securities industry, db54 makes good points in that there are still troubling issues out there that need resolution, or at the very least, clarification.

Of course, valid authentication becomes a much lesser problem when there is a lessened need for it, and that can only come about as more collectors educate themselves. Luckily, the longer collectors stay with the hobby, the more that education occurs, but "newbie" collectors are nearly always short on the kind of experience that would allow them to make knowledgeable decisions on their own.

Apart from any specific problems or possible scandals involving PSA/DNA or RR Auctions, however, I'm just as bothered by the allegation that supposed whistleblowing is being countered with revocation of bidding priviledges, or blacklisting. Of course, the word "priviledge" implies that no inherent "right" exists, and certainly, even if the charge were true, RR Auctions is certainly breaking no law by invalidating anyone's ability to bid in their auctions. But it is clear, if db54's allegation is true, if RR really is blacklisting in response to any legitimate whistleblowing, there is good cause to worry something unseemly really is going on that RR doesn't want us to know about.

Is RR really blacklisting db54 because of some vendetta for too much poking around matters they'd rather keep hidden? I'd sure like to know. I'd think others would too.

alexanderautographs
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posted 02-18-2006 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alexanderautographs   Click Here to Email alexanderautographs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From this auctioneer's perspective, it's really pretty simple. R&R catalogs tons of material, that's a fact. Mistakes are bound to happen - I've made my share. But when you make an honest mistake, simply admit it, withdraw the lot, and move on. No retribution against angry customers, no lies, no cover-ups: suck it up and take your licks. The group of autograph collectors is relatively small, especially compared to those collecting, say, stamps or coins. So, mistreat a few collectors, or act in any way suspiciously, and the word gets around. In the immortal words of George W. (and this is verbatim): "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, we won't get fooled again"

Scott
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posted 02-18-2006 09:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the quote you are referring to is slightly different than what you wrote. It is here:

http://liberty.hypermart.net/images/images/BushFool.wav


That's probably not the best quote to reference if you are trying to make a statement.

db54
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posted 02-18-2006 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AlexAuto - right you are and I could not seem to get Scotts entry to play..

Nonetheless, I can ascertain with most certainty that any auction in their book that portrays a PSA/DNA COA on the article is purposely misleading and fraudulently portraying the article coverage and authenticity - especially when it is a multi-signed article. It was probably why there were a number of inquires on this based on an email I received from their shipping manager.

my just reward - "banishment" from their auctions (even though I have been a winner of other itmes a number of times).

So, rather than take it on the chin it appears R&R would prefer to have the customer take it on the chin.

db54
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posted 02-28-2006 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for db54   Click Here to Email db54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting article in barrons online about psa/dna ..

2/27/06 Barron's Feature: Kinda Sorta Genuine BY NEIL A. MARTIN Print
Critics have questioned the origins of autographs authenticated by Collectors Universe. The company's troubled coin business also might give investors pause. Did Mark McGwire really sign that card?

Requires an online subscription to access but if your happen to also be an IADA-CC.org member you can get it there as well. Failing that, email me directly and I will send along the full article.

alexanderautographs
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posted 02-28-2006 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alexanderautographs   Click Here to Email alexanderautographs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
C'mon, be fair! Their dozen or so authenticators have a lot to do! Let's see: within the last few months they've had to personally view, carefully examine and sign-off on 1,400+ lots (some multiple) at Heritage History, plus lots at Heritage Sports, EAC, R&R, Mastro, Universal Rarities, Grey Flannel, Robert Edward Auctions, who knows how many no-name auctions, lots referred to them via eBay and their web site for "quick opinions", lots shipped in for first-person authentication (or re-authentication), and so on. Plus, a bunch of their authenticators run their own businesses selling autographs, etc. So, cut them some slack already...it must be easy to make mistakes when you're working so hard...


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