eBay Could Reduce Fraud by Hiring Experts

24/7, fakes are listed for sale on eBay at all price points, yet eBay NEVER removes counterfeits unless identified by the respective copyright holder, who often times is not even aware there is a counterfeit item on eBay.

If a vigilant eBay user reports the suspected fraud, although eBay states it will review the alleged fake, nothing is usually done, and the user is never informed of any action. eBay is aware fraud is a huge business; according to an estimate from the International Chamber of Commerce, by the end of 2015 annual global counterfeit sales are projected at $1.7 trillion.

During 2014, according to Consumer Reports, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents confiscated more than 23K shipments of counterfeit goods, valued at $1.2 billion had they been real.

Categories With Fakes Seized by U.S. Customs  
Fakes seized by U.S. Customs

eBay PR creates a false perception it cares about ensuring a counterfeit free site, but the facts show otherwise.  Given the extent of actual fraud, eBay erroneously informs Sellers that: 
eBay claims it does NOT allow replicas, counterfeit items, or unauthorized copies to be listed on eBay. Unauthorized copies may include things that are bootlegged, illegally duplicated, or pirated. These kinds of things may infringe on someones copyright or trademark
A flowchart created by Lollipuff demonstrate the complicated review process required of buyers who think they purchased a fake on eBay. Sadly, getting the authentication support isn't easy and never cheap, and rulings are more like Russian roulette, even when the facts show otherwise. 

How could eBay do to reduce Fraud?

eBay could hire Department Art Experts to police the site instead of relying on its users to report fraudulent listings.

How do we know this print is fake? 
Although the Calder Foundation overtly and clearly states the following purported print was not created by Calder, it didn't stop an eBay user from listing it for sale.

Fake Calder had $1,499 starting bid
During July 2014, the following fake Alexander Calder was offered for sale with a starting bid of $1,499 by an eBay Seller known the-strongman; first discussed in 4 Lithographs Not Created by Calder You Should Never Buy on The Fine Art Blog by Joseph K. Levene.

Top eBay Seller Sells Fake Calder
Most concerning, eBay indicates the-strongman is a Top Rated: Seller with highest buyer ratings, which according to eBay, indicates the Seller has achieved:

eBay Top Seller Credentials 

Counterfeit Calder Lot listed on eBay in July 2014  
Images used by the-strongman on eBay Lot to offer Counterfeit Calder

During July 2014, many Counterfeits first sold on +eBay were later listed for sale on +Paddle8 

One day the eventual buyer of this fake Calder will realize there was nothing "fine art" about this purchase, as they were conned out of $1,499  because eBay fails to implement a pro-active fraud policy. In our opinion, the-strongman, the eBay seller of the fake Calder shown above and listed on

eBay should be prosecuted for fraud, but eBay continues to condone this inappropriate action because it favors getting listing income. 

There is no question the Calder listed by  the-strongman on eBay is fake; you don't need to speak to anyone; the facts are there for anyone to see on the Calder Foundation website. Neither Sotheby's nor Christie's would offer the Fake Calder, why shouldn't eBay should be held to the same standard.
  • Why can't eBay hire a full time expert to remove obvious fakes 24/7?  
  • Why can't the fake Calder image be added to an image collection on eBay of known fakes so that when someone else tries to sell this forgery, it is immediately flagged? 
  • eBay uses sophisticated techniques to know when a seller tries a duplicated lot, don't they care about avoiding fraud before someone is hurt? 

During 2010, over 120 Counterfeit Works purported to be created by #Banksy were sold on +eBay, yet those Banksy buyers were NOT reimbursed by eBay.

During 2015, a Pastor sold Counterfeit Damien Hirst's on eBay

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

And remember that Meg Whitman is responsible for the eBay's lack of ethics, allowing fraud to breed freely.