Best Site To Watch Football World Cup Online How to Avoid the Sellers of Fake Autographs on eBay

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How to Avoid the Sellers of Fake Autographs on eBay

eBay, The World’s Online Marketplace® and no doubt a great place to buy signed items, but only if you know what you’re doing, because buying on eBay without the right knowledge could end up being a very expensive affair.

I’ve been in the autograph business full time for over 20 years, I’ve done over 25,000 transactions on eBay alone, I’ve lectured on eBay, attended eBay University and even broadcast a fake autograph workshop live from eBay HQ in London, but I can still let duped into buying worthless junk through the web, so if I can be duped, imagine how easy it must be to dupe a newbie to the wonderful world of eBay!

Trying to buy anything signed on eBay can be a nightmare, at best you can get something that’s genuine and cost you only a few quid, but at worst you could be ripped off for many hundreds of pounds. that won’t even arrive at your door! On the other hand, by following a few simple rules, you can consistently find real gems and get more than a few bargains.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve learned a lot to help anyone shop safely on eBay, and I hope to show you a few tricks and some rules to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

Being the world’s largest online marketplace, it has become the world’s largest marketplace for fakes and shady sellers! Do a search for signed items on eBay any day of the week and you’ll find hundreds of fakes among the many good ones being offered by reputable sellers around the world.

Learning to spot a fake autograph takes years of experience and a trained eye, so here we focus on showing you what to look for that will allow you to spot a fraudulent seller rather than a fraudulent item because it’s a little easier.

Let’s say you’ve been looking for a Frank Sinatra autograph and you end up finding what you think is a good deal on eBay. Of course, you should do some basic checks on the signature itself, because only by doing these checks and comparisons will you learn how to tell a real one from a fake one. There have been some articles published on the Sinatra autograph, so with a few clicks on Google you should be able to find some help. If you are an avid collector, you should already invest in reading some reference books such as Ray Rawlins’ books or at least a copy of the Sanders Price Guide. Again, Google or Amazon can be useful here, and doing your homework is part of the autograph buying process.

Remember, I’m only focusing on bad sellers here and not bad autographs, but there are articles that can help with autographs, so look them up and read them.

Always check as much as you can about a seller on eBay, and there are many ways to do this. Always read the whole page at least twice, make sure you check all details about the seller etc. Assume he is a scammer and find reasons to trust him rather than the other way around.

1/ Check their feedback on the same or similar items. If the item you are looking for is rare (like the Sinatra), have they sold it or do they have any others? Use Goofbay (Google it) to check what they have sold in the last 90 days as eBay only allows you to check the last 30 days. That alone can sometimes tell you all you need to know.

2/ Do they have many other rare and hard to find autographed items? Have they been selling the same ones for the last few weeks? Are these items repeatedly sold at a lower price than other well-known sellers?

3/ They use ‘Private Auctions’ watch out for the little bit that says ‘This is a private listing, your details will not be shared’ What does that mean? It really means the seller is hiding something, and despite what they may say in their auctions, it’s not because they’re protecting you from spam emails or sellers with similar items. Their likely real reason is to prevent you from finding out the truth as they use private auctions or private bids to prevent you from finding out what they have sold in the previous weeks and prevent other eBay users from alerting you to a possible fake item you are bidding on .

4/ where are they located? They may say they are “best on eBay” on the location and try to hide their true location from you. Some of these so-called “dealers” operate their scams from another country, Spain, France, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Singapore and Australia, all of which have counterfeiters who have targeted the UK because they simply cannot be caught by UK police or Trading Standards. Don’t just accept what the item’s location says. If they are registered on eBay as a business seller then they will have their full business address at the bottom of the page. Additionally, click on the seller ID in the top right next to their feedback and it will also tell you which county they are located in.

5/ Read their feedback, see what others are saying about them. But sure, as you say, all these forgeries and frauds will all show up in feedback, but why should they? The seller sent the goods on time, which the buyer believes to be authentic (otherwise he would not have bought them), so the buyer leaves feedback. It can take years for the buyer to learn the truth, and then it’s too late. Feedback should always be checked but don’t rely on it, it can be fake (shill bidding) boosted (buying cheap stuff) and doesn’t always tell the truth about the seller. Just use it as a guide and look deeper to find out the truth. You can find out where the seller is buying from on the Seller Feedback tab (click on the number in parenthesis next to the seller ID and then the From Sellers tab), it will show you the items the seller has bought on eBay and can be very informative! This feedback page can tell you more about the seller than they want you to know, so take a good look! I have seen many sellers on eBay who have 100% perfect feedback but have never sold an actual signature in their life!

These 5 pointers should help you get a much better picture of the seller, but there are still more things to look for.

One scam that is sometimes used is for the seller to show you the real thing but send you a fake one. I’ve been caught with this more than once and there’s no real way to be sure a seller is doing this, but if you check their past sales you can sometimes find the exact same image more than once.

The really smart ones only start re-listing the same items after 30 days, which is why you should use Goofbay to check each seller before bidding, as it allows for a 90-day search.

Some sellers will have more than one account but rotate between them. This allows them to sell on one account for say 7 days and then switch to another account to sell similar items for another 7 days and so on. If they get caught on one account, they simply switch to another. You’ll find that sellers who do this will often offer different items on each account and change the location to try and throw you off the scent, but they’ll still make the same spelling mistakes, use the same terms or description, etc., so a little detective work here can really pay off.

Always remember you won’t be the only one to find a Frank Sinatra signature from 99p guaranteed to be genuine! Hundreds of other very experienced collectors and dealers will also be looking for the same item, and if they believe it is genuine, they will bid as well. So if an item only goes for 50% or less of what you’d expect it to go for on the last swing, then chances are sellers and collectors have walked away because they didn’t like it.

In my experience, an original item listed as a low price starter usually ends up being around 75% or more of what the seller would be offering the same fixed price item for. And if you’ve done your homework, you’ll already have a good idea of ​​what that Sinatra autograph is worth, right?

There was once a seller in Italy who offered autographed covers of the 1966 World Cup and other football titles every week. He would show the real thing, but then send his own fake. He would also offer a second chance to bidders, selling several of the same fake items at the same time, as well as accepting bids from buyers before the item was discontinued. He would like to pay them directly via PayPal, but of course they would also receive a fake one. It was a clever scam and still is, but if all his buyers read this guide, few would be fooled!

If the seller won’t accept PayPal, then I would be very wary of buying from them. PayPal does have its pitfalls, but it offers you tremendous protection from a buyer’s perspective. If the seller wants to use a form of payment other than Paypal or will only accept cash, then just walk away, as this is not only risky, it also violates eBay’s payment rules and the seller should be reported to eBay. If you should get ripped off using this payment method, eBay will not help you.

What about those gorgeous COAs? Any good marketer will tell you the same thing, they are not worth the paper they are printed on. A good seller will certainly provide one and it should always have their full contact details etc printed on it, but always remember that nothing proves authenticity other than perhaps where you bought it. An item is either genuine or it isn’t, and no COA, even one with triple holograms, DNA, matching numbers or decorative ribbon, will ever turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse! And those sellers who suggest their items can be proven authentic by some third party verifier or forensic expert? Forget it, even one of those used by eBay has been shown to verify both printed signatures and autopens as genuine, and indeed a number of them have recently lost the ability to even be mentioned as genuine on eBay!

What if the seller is a member of XYZ association? Well, they may be, but does this association really exist? Does it really mean anything or could someone chime in? I’ve seen a number of sellers simply come up with an association name and in two cases even create a website. In any case, always verify that the Association exists, that the seller is a member, and that they have other members! The only associations worth being a member of for any dealer are PADA, AFTAL or UACC (but only as a registered dealer, not just a member).

Always avoid one-day auctions, only a fool or a scammer uses them! One day auctions are used for quick kill attempts and are popular with eBay ID hijackers, those people who send you those phishing emails! Once they have your ID and password, they hijack your ID and then upload auctions for anything that sells quickly (they don’t have merchandise, so it could be anything really). They only use one-day auctions because it normally takes eBay at least 24 hours to respond to someone reporting a hijacked ID, so the scammers give a full 24 hours to upload the auctions and make the sale. Of course, the money goes to the hijacked PayPal account and then to a foreign bank somewhere. Tip! Never use the same password for your eBay account as your PayPal account.

By getting to know a few good sellers, you can build a relationship with them and be able to ask them for advice on other items. I talk to other dealers daily which allows us to learn from each other and pass on valuable information. I and almost every other seller I know are always happy to help with any aspect of autograph collecting and get to know some real live sellers rather than just the “virtual” ones on eBay and you might be surprised what you can learn!

There are many other things to watch out for when buying autographs on eBay, I’ve covered the important things here but you still need to be careful so keep your eyes open, check every detail and if it seems too good to be true , well, it probably is!

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