SECRETS EBAY NEVER WANTS YOU TO KNOW!
I've been wanting to cover this topic for quite some time now, but my discovery of this secret had nothing to do with myself (since I haven't been on eBay for a year or more) and my eBay Member helpers weren't involved in this specific fiasco either. So I waited to totally protect the person who reported this NIGHTMARE to me with absolute proof (copies of eBay e-mails, copies of the CROOK seller's eBay e-mails, etc.).
This story starts with a semi-expert female Tiffany collector and her grown children who chipped in to buy a $500.00+ Tiffany item from an eBay Seller. The children also did all of their homework before buying this Tiffany item for their mother's birthday. This is a very honorable woman whose been more in her life than anyone deserves because quite frankly this world is full of scumbags who couldn't care less about anyone but themselves and they are more an enemy to decent people in this country that the IRS, the Government, and the 1% of Super Rich people COMBINED. I say this because 99% of the time these SOCIOPATH scumbags have had a lifetime of practice stealing from people, so the average person would never have a clue that they were being scammed until it was way too late. If you think you are immune: YOU ARE JUST AS IGNORANT AS YOU ARE EGOTISTICAL AND DESERVE WHATEVER HAPPENS TO YOU! Fraud is at an all time high in all areas of collectibles and you all need to wake up and accept this as fact!
I have been investigating fraud at all levels in the sports card and memorabilia hobby at my own expense to help others since 1992 with as much vigor as if I was being pain a Million Dollars per investigation, but I do every one for free. I know no one else does this, but then again I never met anyone like myself before and neither has any hobby expert (as per their words if they took the time to get to know me).
Either I do something to the absolute best of my ability, and/or will learn everything I can possibly learn before doing any investigation- OTHERWISE I WON'T DO IT AT ALL. I admit there are several things I REALLY wish I could fight since 2005 but my illnesses just won't allow me to and that bothers me every single day.
So this woman gets her Tiffany gift and red flags are seen. So the woman starts questioning the buyer and the answers don't fit, or change with time. Then the seller lists ANOTHER ONE of the EXACT SAME Tiffany item (which was SOLD OUT by Tiffany for a LONG time) that she was given as a gift from her children that bought it from this same eBay seller.
Of course the buyer files an eBay Buyer Protection case at this point. Anyone would have been confident that they had an iron-clad case against the seller, BUT NOT ON EBAY!!! eBay tells her she needs a letter FROM TIFFANY (not a Tiffany expert, or Tiffany Retail store) but from Tiffany itself ONLY! Tiffany sellers who are experts likely know that Tiffany will not issue letters stating one way or the other whether their items are authentic. But why would an average knowledgeable Tiffany collector know this?
This woman did not know that: as why would she? This is not something Tiffany advertises, nor is it something eBay advertises anywhere either. It's something collectors ONLY find out AFTER THE FACT the hard way.
I call this FRAUD, plain and simple!
It turns out that eBay has UNWRITTEN RULES as rules that TRUMP their BUYER PROTECTION POLICY (and Seller Protection Policy too!) in all collectibles categories!
If you pay more than $500.00 on eBay for anything that can be construed as a collectible and it turns out to be FAKE: you are ON YOUR OWN! eBay's Buyer OR Seller Protection Rules or Policies no longer apply.
SO IF YOU ARE A COLLECTOR OF ANYTHING; THIS APPLIES TO YOU AND YOU HAD BETTER READ CLOSELY OR YOU'LL BE STUCK WITH A WORTHLESS PIECE OF JUNK AND YOU'LL BE OUT $500.00 (or your children will as was in this case).
I have never been more sickened by learning such information, NEVER! The ONLY WAY you may be able to get around this and force eBay to enforce THEIR RULES is if you are willing to pay an attorney THOUSANDS of dollars to win your $500 back??? This of course is something only the top 1% of the USA population might do, but then again even the ridiculously rich in most cases are not stupid enough to spend thousands to win $500??? It just doesn't hold water, which is EXACTLY why eBay does this!
I have a Sports Card and Autograph story that falls right in with this Tiffany story, but on the other end of the spectrum.
First I need to say that I do not think anyone should be allowed to sell ANY autographs on eBay unless they are On Card Certified Autograph Inserts from established card companies since their Authenticity rate since 1990 is over 99.99% AUTHENTIC! No one can claim an Authenticity Rate anywhere near that number.
I personally would allow Steiner and Tri-Star Autographs to be sold on eBay because the have spent decades building a reputation for selling autographs that they have only personally obtained in-person at private signings. They don't sell autographs they bought from others (at least that's what I know) if it's proven otherwise for either company- then I'd make sure those autographs would NOT be allowed to be sold on eBay.
Now I'll quickly explain WHY I said this. It is far too easy to forge autographs: I've forged autographs and sent them to PSA/DNA or James Spence (or someone in my group has with other members present) and they were Authenticated as real EVERY time!!! I feel safe to say that there are as many Authenticated forgeries on the market as there are real Authenticated autographs. Is 50% Authentic a justifiable reason to pay as much (or more) for an Authenticated autograph vs. an On Card Certified Autograph Insert from a large card company? Well that's what's happening on eBay for over a year now!
Too much time has passed since Operation Bullpen from the FBI out of San Diego was fresh in people's minds and a whole new generation of IGNORANT BUYERS are buying forgery after forgery on eBay simply because they are TOO LAZY to do just a little research on Google!
ANY AUTOGRAPH COLLECTOR (other than ONLY On Card Certified Autograph Insert collectors like myself) NEEDS TO GO TO GOOGLE and type "Operation Bullpen FBI San Diego" and read until your eyes can't take anymore. Then wait a couple of days and start where you left off until you read the ENTIRE Operation Bullpen report! OR you can go to Amazon and buy: Operation Bullpen Paperback – October 15, 2006 by -
eBay has ANOTHER UNWRITTEN RULE for sellers of autographs and any collectibles. Regardless of whether you accept returns OR NOT (which is a "CHOICE" EBAY give every seller). If the buyer complain that they want a refund, eBay will AUTOMATICALLY GRANT THAT REFUND! So why does eBay give sellers a choice to check off as to whether they want to accept returns or not? TO GIVE SELLERS A FALST SENSE OF SECURITY, that's why!
eBay doesn't know, nor do they care that there are many buyers on eBay (mostly the young generation who learned FRAUD from the last generation) who buy MINT cards purposely so that they can switch it for their damaged card and then they will request a return. When the sellers says what ALL their listings say: "WE DO NOT ACCEPT RETURNS", they simply contact eBay, open a case saying they received a damaged item (a lie), and eBay will AUTOMATICALLY ISSUE THE BUYER A RETURN. To add insult to injury eBay makes the seller pay the return shipping fee for the lying buyer!!!
THE SICKEST PART OF ALL OF THIS IS THAT NO ONE HAS ENOUGH MONEY, BRAINS, OR ABILITY TO START AN AUCTION ONLY SITE THAT FOCUSES ON COLLECTIBLES ONLY WITH RULES THAT BENEFIT EVERYONE EQUALLY TO GET ALL OUR COLLECTIBLES OFF OF EBAY WHICH WILL BANKRUPT THEM???
COMC is a joke if you need to sell because you need money, like many do for medical bills thanks to F-------- USELESS OBAMACARE AND BUDGET CUTS TO THE DISABLED AND ELDERLY!!! If you cash-out of COMC THEY GET 40% (if you are owed $100- you only get $60??? Come on now...)!!! I have a very high level of INTEGRITY AND HONOR, so I can't sell my items through crooks on eBay by consignment (WHO ALL SELL AUTOGRAPH FORGERIES THEN BLAME THEIR CONSIGNEES), I don't need to mention any names. So what option is there??? NONE!
I live on Social Security Disability (since 2003- I "WON" it in 2006 after 3-yrs of fighting) which hasn't increased yearly in SIX YEARS! Then my mother stole over $10,000 from me to gamble with (she's the worst gambling addict I ever thought existed & ONMLY on slot machines). HER ENTIRE HOUSE IS OWED ON LOANS FROM GAMBLING!!! Sure the Government try to make it LOOK like they raise SS & SSD by $40-$60 a year, but then my Food Stamps are LOWERED by EXACTLY THAT AMOUNT OF MY INCREASE EVERY TIME OR THEY RAISE MEDICARE PREMIUMS TO THE EXACT AMOUNT! Do they really think we are that stupid, NO they just know we are too sick to do anything about it.
Try living on $1,180 a month in this economy. I am legally homebound and 99% bed-ridden and thanks to 'budget cuts" I can't get any help from the government (city, state, or federal) at all. I can't stay on my feet for more than 5-minutes or I will collapse. Try being 6 ' 7" tall & 255 pounds and collapsing with no strength in any of your limbs. Each time I fall it's life-threatening. Plus I have no family, my mother's mind finally snapped after living with severe mentally illness and she's in a Nursing Home with no mind left, and my father who abandoned us when I was 18-months old passed away in April, 2015. So now I have literally no family left being an only child OF an only child. Not that my family ever did much to help me, but it was more important just knowing they were there- even though they were little to no help. And forget about "friends" when they realize how sick you truly are they are GONE- that was 2007.
Just know I'm still fighting for all collectors no matter how sick I get. Maybe this will eventually inspire SOMEONE to do what I did when I was healthy from 1997-2004 online with a website fighting hobby fraud when I won EVERY case I investigated at one level or another. Don't forget I put TWO card companies OUT OF BUSINESS by myself (Playoff and Pacific) for fraud most wouldn't believe and had NO ONE helping or guiding me. Think what you could do if you get a group of a dozen or so hobby experts who are collectors only- fighting only for collectors?
PLUS YOU HAVE ME TO GUIDE YOU!!!
James McCay - firstname.lastname@example.org