Buying on ebay, a few tips.

Posted by autographs.co.uk 05/10/2019 0 Comment(s)

Buying autographs on ebay can be a minefield and with the Corona Virus in full swing the forgers appear to have added thousand of fake items on to ebay in order to make some quick easy money, although is a minefield ebay have recenlty made it slightly easier for you to pick the good from the bad, and i think that with the tips i show you below, you should be able to sort the good from the bad relatively easily.

  • A low price does not always mean a fake, but it should certainly make you very suspicious. After all why would any seller offer a high value easy to sell item at below the true market value? If an item is genuine and desirable then it would be possible to offer it to a dealer and obtain a much better price without all the hassle and fees of ebay. Never accept what the seller tells you as the truth, as a forger is only interested in getting your money into his pocket. Those stories they weave may well be checked and found to be correct, but that does not mean that they apply to that seller!
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  • Always check the sellers other items for sale as this can often tell you more about the seller. If they have too many of the same names at a low price then be more than carefull. ebay have now made it easier to see what sellers have already sold, simply look for the "See other items" link on the right hand side of any listing in the seller information box, then click it and you will get a full listing of all the items for sale, then go to the left hand column and look for the heading marked "Show only"  and tick the box marked "sold listings" you will then see all the items that the seller has sold most recently and if they are forgers you might now be surprised at what you see! Lots of similar items at low sale prices should tell you all you need to know.
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  • Watch out for multi signed items in gold silver or metallic markers. Multi signed items are always harder to obtain in person and most in person collectors avoid gold/silver pens etc as they are much harder to use, the same applies to film posters as getting those isgned in a crowd is a nightmare!
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  • Always check the bottom of the item page and in small print on the left hand side you may see the words "This is a Private listing" this does not mean its a private rather than busienss seller, it means that the seller is trying to hide his sales from you as they will not show up in their feedback! If you see this then my advice has to be to avoid this seller.
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  • Any seller offering a lot of the same signed photos week after week must surely be a full time seller and paying tax etc right? So in that case they would be registered with ebay as a business seller which means that their full contact details will be shown at the bottom of the listing, and that is not just an ebay rule, its the law! So if there are no contact details listed then they are likely either selling fakes or are not a genuine business, not paying tax, and are not subject to the same rules as a business, and that means it may be harder for you to get a refund.
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  • Always check the feedback, but do not assume that 100% feedback means they are genuine. The reason is two fold, first, buyers have already decided the item is genuine otherwise they would not have bought it, and second, if you read the feedback its mainly about speed and quality of delivery and not the authenticity of the item they have purchased. Remember that many fakers have more than one id, and in some cases they will even buy their own items and leave positive feedback for themsleves saying how genuine and wonderfull the seller is, so do take some time to read it.
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  • Whilst searching on ebay for an item always take note of the sellers location (its just under postage) this should tell you where the seller is based. You will find that some sellers of fakes have more than one ebay ID, and they will l often sell similar items under different ID's but do not always have the brains to change the location (they can do this) and so you might find a seller with very similar items, very similar style of listing, and in the same location. Do beware of this. If the location is given as something other than a real location, then again you should think twice. 
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  • If you buy any item and it has a COA that does not have a genuine and full address details on it, then again, the seller is trying to avoid something, i leave it up to you to decide why!
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  • If you are in any doubt about an item or the seller, then just avoid it. Signed photos and most autographs are like buses, miss one and another will be along soon enough, and if you still cannot decide, then try our Quick Opinion service by simply clicking this link.

Hope this has been of some help.

 

Garry

 

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