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  #11  
Old 07-29-2017, 08:44 PM
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drcy drcy is offline
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If collectors and the hobby treated the letters as third party opinions in the first place-- which is what they are--, there wouldn't be this issue. The problem isn't that they are offering opinions, but that make people try to take them as or make them into something that they aren't.

Last edited by drcy; 07-30-2017 at 02:15 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-31-2017, 01:57 PM
kerichar kerichar is offline
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Default TPA Liability

Yes, they can be sued. TPAs present themselves to the public as experts in autograph authentication. When they make a mistake, they can be sued for their negligence.

The measure of damages might be the sticking point. As I recall, JSA has a limitation of damages clause in their COA that limits JSA's liability to the cost of authentication. This poison pill clause hardly makes a lawsuit a cost effective.

The moral of the story is read the fine print on the COAs.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2017, 12:59 PM
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drcy drcy is offline
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Considering the margin of error and lack of time they give examining each autograph (I read that PSA/DNA examines 300,0000+ autos a year), the hobby problem is that sellers and auction houses use them as final arbiter including visa vie sales returns.

I think JSA and PSA/DNA give a worthwhile service-- offering an independent third opinion. But obviously they make mistakes and there is a margin of error, and obviously their opinions should be a supplement not a replacement for seller and buyer knowledge and opinion.

If there is a bad autograph and PSA (or JSA) has made a mistake, the seller doesn't or auction house doesn't allow refund/return because "PSA is the final word" and PSA only allows refund of the opinion, there is an institutional problem in the hobby.

It's like with card grading-- where grading involves subjectivity and margins of error-- but entities treat the numbers of the label as 100% accurate. The problem isn't that there is a margin of error-- there is a margin of error in everything--, but when people an entities treat it as being 100% accurate.

In my opinion, the seller is responsible for the refund when an item is fake. And I think legally, that is the case. The authenticators are saying they are offering an opinion-- and if others treat it as something else, that is the others' misinterpretations and misuse. An old saying of mine is: "If you go to a Three Stooges movie expecting Orson Welles, that's your fault not the movie's."

Not to pick on anyone, but I remember a game used collector who posted here that had an LOA from years back and a previous sale, and he thought the LOA should apply forever, he should be refunded what he spent (as opposed to the original sale price) and by the original seller/LOA writer even though he wasn't involved in that sale. It said nothing to that effect on the LOA, but he thought that should be the case. Golly gee, life would be easy and we'd all be rich if we could years later magically rewrite contracts, change guarantees and cross out "in my opinion"and replace it with in "word from God, and if we're wrong we buy you a new house."

However, I do agree that, even if they are just saying they are offering their opinions and people should take their opinions as opinions, authenticators can or should be held liable if they misrespresent their abilities or don't do their due diligence. The numbers of of autographs PSA/DNA examines was an eye opener, and, if push came to shove, it could be evidence of shoddy work and bring up the question of how exactly were all these autographs examined.

One thing to remember is that you should buy items-- autographs or cards-- on the merits of the items themselves, not just by a LOA or grade label. If the LOA opinion or grade assists you that is fine. I always encourage collectors to get second opinions, even if it's just acting a collecting buddy. However, you don't know the future of grading or grading companies, and you don't know the future value of the of a particular company's LOA or label. Remember that 15 years ago GAI was widely respected as a grader and autograph authenticator. Maybe PSA will be around in 20 years and still be the hobby institution that it is (And I am in no way suggesting they won't be), but will change their grading system and you will have to your card re-graded.

Or, as my other old saying goes: "Collectors should only collect what they can authenticate themselves."

Last edited by drcy; 08-01-2017 at 02:00 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2017, 02:04 PM
kerichar kerichar is offline
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Default PAS/JSA Liability

Nicely said Drcy.

I agree that an auction house is responsible for selling non-conforming goods.
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2017, 02:37 PM
btcarfagno btcarfagno is online now
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But what about when an alphabet soup third party authenticates something (auction LOA style) and then later refuses to authenticate the same item? So not a different opinion from a different TPA. Same TPA. Same item. Originally authenticated. Then refused.

Tom C

Last edited by btcarfagno; 08-02-2017 at 02:38 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2017, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcarfagno View Post
But what about when an alphabet soup third party authenticates something (auction LOA style) and then later refuses to authenticate the same item? So not a different opinion from a different TPA. Same TPA. Same item. Originally authenticated. Then refused.

Tom C
At the least, it is proof of the margin of error in their system, and why the hobby anointed arbiters shouldn't be treated as infallible.

I see some institutionalized design problems with the hobby, in particular where fallibility is treated as infallible. As I've said, there is nothing errant with there being a margin of error and there is a margin of error in everything-- but the margin of error has to be part of the design.

You can likely guess what I think of card registry "scores" that are simply calculations to the 0.00 of the numbers on the labels. Beyond the bad science, I would argue that the math itself is bad.

I remember when my grandmother complained that the weatherman being wrong, because he had said that there was a "30% chance for rain" and it was sunny all day. I fruitlessly tried to explain to her that his prediction was accurate.

Last edited by drcy; 08-02-2017 at 05:36 PM.
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2017, 05:46 PM
Klrdds Klrdds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcarfagno View Post
But what about when an alphabet soup third party authenticates something (auction LOA style) and then later refuses to authenticate the same item? So not a different opinion from a different TPA. Same TPA. Same item. Originally authenticated. Then refused.

Tom C
Exactly. then it becomes TPA LOA ping pong between the AH and the TPA and the so called statute of limitations as they call it at the AH , even though Statute of Limitations applies to criminal activity , which in some ways this is. And the amount of liability from the TPA for the price paid for the item versus what they consider their financial liability for their "error".
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  #18  
Old 08-05-2017, 01:23 AM
mighty bombjack mighty bombjack is offline
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Don't forget that there are very few cases where a TPA can be proven incorrect without the use of another party's opinion (e.g., situations where the signed card was printed years after the player's passing). Those do exist, sadly, but the vast majority of "errors" that I've seen are along the lines of "this other expert disagrees" (Nash's site is notorious for this in its worst, anonymous form: "Experts we spoke with thought..."). Whether or not you and I agree with that expert's judgements, these things are very difficult to prove in a court of law because it comes down to one expert's opinion over another.

Example: In the court of Net54, a TPA-slabbed item that Ron K. says is bad is going to be deemed BAD. Many members will take that as truth, many others will research (or already have researched) the auto and form their own opinion. But a jury in a court will hear the opinion of Ron K. vs. that of TPA Jabroni X and not know what to think or who to believe. They'll conclude what many here are rightfully saying: this is opinion, not demonstrable fact.

To put it another way: Whether or not the person whose name is written on an item was actually written by that person is VERY difficult to prove. We have opinions and opinions of the people giving opinions.
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Last edited by mighty bombjack; 08-05-2017 at 01:24 AM.
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