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A Chat with Dan Neary
Fakes, Frauds and Fantasy Items
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Changing the subject to some of the concerns voiced to me -- I asked Dan about the some of the problems collectors have when purchasing items. Especially fraud and fantasy items.

Neary said that one of the problems eBay has encountered is knowing when a complaint is valid or not. At times it could be a disgruntled competitor, or someone just out to cause problems. Since eBay folks are not experts, it's not always apparent when an item is fake or when there is a problem with it. Therefore eBay has instituted several plans.

One very successful program is VeRO, the Verified Rights Owner Program, with a lengthy list of companies participating. As an example Rolex is one company that is enrolled in VeRO and keeps a vigilant eye out on Rolex Auctions. Anytime they see an item that is fraudulent, eBay is notified and the listing is ended. Rolex in doing that, are the experts in their field.

As to fantasy and misrepresented items, Community Watch was started with a stamp program just to address that particular issue. eBay set up a committee of members of the community -- buyers and sellers, along with the American Philatelic Society.

Stamp Community Watch

Situation - Accusations of fraud were making the stamps category an unfriendly environment for buyer and sellers.

Action - Set up Community Watch group in Stamps category.

Process:

  1. Community Watch group collectively votes to raise concern about a seller.
  2. Complaint is vetted by the American Philatelic Society, an independent and objective third party that is an expert in stamp collecting.
  3. If approved by APS, the complaint is forwarded to eBay to take action.

Result - Dozens of auctions ended, accounts suspended, many sellers voluntarily complied when problem raised with raised with item descriptions.

Supplied by eBay, Inc.

"The Stamps Community Watch has been very successful and we are now in the process of rolling out that program to Coins, Arts and Antiques."

Meanwhile the Feedback system is being re-vamped, look for more information to be released in the next week.

"Some of the challenges we've observed is that eBay brings transparency and reach. And as part of that -- the collectible market had dropping prices. As an example, suddenly that Hummel Collection is not worth what the collector thought it was. But then the prices can and will go through the roof for the items that are truly unique."

"We've done research and found that, on average, the eBay user/collector is much happier, collects more, spends more and, also, collects more things than the non-eBay user."

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