December 30, 2007

eBay Could Easily Eliminate Fraud With Department Experts

Today, there are several eBay Lots, purportedly by Keith Haring; each counterfeit.

What could eBay do right away to stop Fraud?

eBay could immediately hire Department Art Experts to police the site; that would help reduce the obvious fraud, which continues to be an enormous problem for eBay as reported in a variety of media, including the New York Times.

Here are two examples of eBay Lots purportedly created by Keith Haring:

A tile, offered for $1,000. If the tile was actually created by Keith Haring, you could easily add a zero to the price, so why does the Seller offer it for so little?

That is easy!

Because it is not a Keith Haring; it is a blatant counterfeit, and the Seller knows it.

Above is a small painting, that so far, has attracted over 30 bids, and is now at $2,550, and again, if really created by Keith Haring, the Lot would be worth 10 times the price.

One day the eventual buyer of this purported Keith Haring canvas, will realize there was nothing "fine art" about this purchase, as they were conned out of thousands of dollars because eBay does not have a current fraud policy.

In our opinion, the seller of this Keith Haring should be prosecuted for fraud, but eBay continues to condone this inappropriate action.

Everything about these purported Keith Haring Lots is incorrect, including the signature and the fact that a reputable art dealer and/or auction house would immediately recognize these lots were not created by Mr. Haring. Neither Sotheby's nor Christie's would offer these lots, and eBay should be held to the same standard.

What should eBay do to ensure all Keith Haring Art offered for sale is Authentic?
  • eBay should only allow Sellers to list Unique Keith Haring if the eBay Lot is also accompanied with an Authentication from the Estate of Keith Haring.
  • eBay should require all Art Sellers, whether from the United States or not, to conform to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The UCC requires all Professional Art Dealers to stand behind all sold Works for a period of 4 years, not just the seven and/or 10 days suggested by eBay.
  • eBay should not allow Sellers to state a Lot is accompanied with a COA from an obscure Art Expert's name.  Sure it is possible the respective Work sold on eBay might be genuine, but too often, it is not as the COA is not worth the paper it is written on.
A COA is moot if the Buyer is in receipt of a Professional "Invoice" and/or "Bill of Sale". Reputable Art Dealers always provide Buyers with an Invoice and/or Bill of Sale to document the all Works of Art that are sold.

If documented correctly, an Invoice from a Professional Art Dealer automatically provides at least a four year window for Buyers to confirm that the Art purchased is as described and accordingly, authentic.

The next time you are told you only have "only seven days" to determine if a Work of Art is authentic, our advice is to request an Invoice, and be certain you know the location of the Seller, otherwise, it might be a lost opportunity.

There is only one COA that confirms whether a Work by Keith Haring is authentic or not, and that is issued by the Estate of Keith Haring; no one else!

Meg Whitman would never buy either of these Keith Harings, and eBay Management should not permit this rubbish either.

Submitting a purported Keith Haring to the Estate of Keith Haring is easy, and best of all, free.

To Authenticate a purported Work of Art by Keith Haring, you must first provide the Estate of Keith Haring with a signed Release and Indemnity Agreement.

Visit the Estate of Keith Haring for more detail.
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