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  #1  
Old 03-21-2003, 11:22 AM
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Default Watch Out for Crooked Ebay Seller or the laments of a novice collector

Posted By: Adam J. Baxter


Greetings All,
Just wanted to give everyone a heads up about an Ebay Seller who's selling phony stuff. The sellers ID is TALLSKINNYALIEN. When I first dealt with Allen Pyne (his real name), last year he was using the ID name PYNETAR and then MOSTLYMOAB. He specializes in obviously fraudulent N172 Old Judges. Back in 2002 I bought several of them from him on Ebay, which he was listing as the real deal. He sent them to me and they were obvious fakes, really well done too, the forger has some talent. They were poor out of focus copies of pictures of N172's cut to size, glued to stained cardboard and coated with a rought feeling brownish coating that had a caramel/wood glue like smell. (Yes, I smelled them!). A lot of effort was put into making them seem "aged". He sent them to me prior to purchase for viewing and realizing they were fake, I sent them back with a polite letter explaining to him that I could not purchase them as they were not at all authentic. Of course he contiued to sell them as such for some time, not disclosing to Ebay bidders the information I had given him. He now sells them in different catergories, such as ANTIQUES:OTHER, although he now SOMETIMES states that they may be reprints. I came across him again while purchasing a 3.00 Old Judge reprint under his new TALLSKINNYALIEN ID, not realizing that he he was in fact the same person that I had dealt with before. I received the "Cap Anson Item" today, Item # 2162703108. It is printed on blank backed printer parchment paper, with a sloppy coat of what appears (and smells)to be glue, giving it it's brown tone. I had to complete the transaction to protect the sanctity of the buyer's contract. I'm not gonna cry over 3.00. At least I know what his new ID is. Most advanced collectors out there will probably know right away that these are fakes when they see the scans on an Ebay auction. I thought this might be most helpful to any novice 19th century collectors out there or any one getting started on a N172 collection. Hope I've been a help. Ebay's new policy on authenticated items should make it a little more difficult for sellers to pull this crap. But it will probably only work to an extant.

Thanks,
Adam

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Old 03-21-2003, 12:00 PM
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Default Watch Out for Crooked Ebay Seller or the laments of a novice collector

Posted By: hankron

According to eBay's new rule, it is possible that he could be banned from eBay. As he had earlier sold many reprints of Old Judges, he obviously knew what an Old Judge was and when it was made. You should report him,

Below is eBay's rules concering authenticity disclaimers (cut and pasted from their website).

*

Authenticity Disclaimers

Sellers may not disclaim knowledge of, or responsibility for, the authenticity or legality of the items offered in their listings.

Sellers should take steps to satisfy themselves that their items are authentic before listing them on eBay. If you cannot verify the authenticity of an item, do not list it.


The following examples violate eBay's Authenticity Disclaimer Policy:
"I cannot guarantee the authenticity of this item, so please bid accordingly."
"Vintage Handbag Chanel???"
Warning:
The repeated use of authenticity disclaimers could result in the ending of your listings and possible suspension from eBay.




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Old 03-21-2003, 12:14 PM
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Default Watch Out for Crooked Ebay Seller or the laments of a novice collector

Posted By: Hankron

My personal reocommendation to all those who read this board, is to save that eBay text somewhere, perhaps in a word document. And whenever someone is selling a problemantic item with an 'as is' return policty, send them the text of that eBay's rule.

I would also like (if possible, as we all know he's a busy man rearaning those cards in his office waiting room) that Adam quote the California law concerning forgery, alteration, etc of cards and other colletcables. In a similar manner, we can all copy down that law and quote it to eBay sellers as neccesary.

My opinion is that a liberal quoting of law and eBay rules, may be effective.

* *

I want to add, that both I and, likely eBay, don't intend their rule to be applied in an arbitrary and absolutist way. There are many genuine and valuable items that reasonably cannot be dated to a particular year or a particular company or artist. For example, I've often sold photographs that date 'circa 1940s' or a premium that is 'from 1944 but the issuer is unkown.' If you go through a Lipset or MastroNet auction catalog, I'm sure you will find a variety of items where significant details are resonable up to debate.

I beleive that eBay applies this rule in particular to items like a Babe Ruth autograph or T206 Ty Cobb or Old Judge Cap Anson, where the difference between an authentic item and fake is significant price wise, where there is common knowledge about the item, and where a seller should make a good and sincere authentic before offering it.

I also beleive that eBay will not penalize a seller if he or she breaks the rule just once. The person would be banned if it is the common selling practice for them to move their problematic product.

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Old 03-23-2003, 12:34 AM
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Default Watch Out for Crooked Ebay Seller or the laments of a novice collector

Posted By: Adam J. Baxter

Hankron,
I appreciate your thoughts. There's definitely no question that in order to bid on vintage material on Ebay and to protect yourself from fraud. You absolutely have to do your homework. It's a real shame that some many people get ripped off by folks like "tallskinnyalien", it really hurts the hobby. I can't imagine how many new collectors (the future lifeblood of the hobby) must be turned off by collecting because of scam artists like this guy. I don't mean to sound all preachy and stuff, it just infuriates me. Bringing guys like this out into the open and alerting other collectors really helps.

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