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Ebay autograph policy
I was doing some checking on Ebay today and came across this regarding
autograph sales. It may be old news to some, but I found it interesting and
wanted to share it.
Autographed items, commonly bought and sold on eBay, are unique in that they
can be highly valuable yet easily forged. eBay strives to maintain a
marketplace that is safe for both buyers and sellers of autographs, and has
developed the following guidelines and policies designed to protect you, the
members of our community.
Autographs are commonly sold with so-called "Certificates of Authenticity"
(COA), which are designed to offer the buyer some assurances that the
autograph was indeed properly signed by the person(s) in question. However,
COAs are only as valuable as the reputation of the issuing party. Literally
anyone can offer a COA, so it is important that savvy buyers investigate the
background of each "authenticator". Blank COAs are not permitted and
certificates of authenticity may NEVER be sold as a stand-alone item.
There are indeed reputable autograph experts, and eBay has identified a
partial list of such authenticators for your benefit. Such authenticators
offer various services for buyers and sellers of autographs.
eBay reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to remove any autographed
item listed on its site and refund the associated listing fee, if eBay
believes that the listing of the item is inconsistent with eBay's goal of
providing a safe trading environment, or if in its sole discretion eBay
believes that the sale of the item might create liability for the buyer, the
seller, or any third party.
eBay may also seek an opinion from a disinterested 3rd party regarding any
autograph listing. If the 3rd party has any concerns about the authenticity
of the listing, eBay may at its sole discretion, remove the listing from the
site. Sellers whose autographs have been repeatedly identified as
problematic may be warned, put on probation, or suspended from all eBay
buying and selling activity, at eBay's sole discretion.
eBay strongly recommends that all autograph sellers include in their
listings all relevant information known about the autograph and the item it
appears on, including a clear scanned image of the actual autographed item
for sale. If a seller promotes that an autograph comes with a "certificate
of authenticity," the seller must include in the listing all relevant
information about the certificate, including the name of the person or
company issuing the certificate. eBay also highly recommends including a
scan of the certificate. Listings that do not comply with these requirements
may, at eBay's discretion, be removed from the site.
Sellers should also clearly set out their refund policy should any reputable
dealer (including those dealers listed in the relevant authentication
section of eBay's site) find that the item is likely not authentic.
Unacceptable Authenticators on eBay
Many users may have heard about a federal investigation by the FBI and
United States Attorneys' offices in San Diego and Chicago into forgeries of
sports autographs and certificates of authenticity that may have been
falsely issued in connection with sports autograph sales. As a result of
that case, eBay will not permit any use of certificates of authenticity on
its site that have been issued by "SCAA", "J. Dimaggio Co.", "Universal
Inc.," "Universal Memorabilia," "Sports Management Group," "Stan's Sports,"
"Pro Sports," "Pro Sports Memorabilia," "Dave Niedema a.k.a. Dave Madiema,"
"Steve Ryan," "North Shore Sports," "Sport Card Kid Hunting Beachor,"
"Forensic Document Services-Robert Prouty," "R.R.'s Sports Cards &
Collectibles," "All-Sports Cards & Memorabilia," "Sports Alley Memorabilia,"
"Slamdunk Sportscards Memoribilia,"Universal," "Donald Frangipani," "Sports
Management Group," "Stans Sports Memorabilia," "W.W. Sportscards &
Collectibles," "SCCA / Front Page Art Angela-John Marino," "J. Dimaggio
Company," "Legends Sports Memorabilia," "Classic Memorabilia," or "Hollywood
Dreams". Any listings that refer to examinations or certificates of
authenticity from these companies will not be allowed.
Further, in an unrelated matter, eBay has learned that hundreds of
certificates of authenticity originally issued by autograph authenticator
Donald Frangipani have been fraudulently copied or altered. Until further
notice, eBay will not permit any use of certificates of authenticity on its
site that have been issued by Donald Frangipani. Listings that refer to
examinations or certificates of authenticity from Mr. Frangipani will not be
Finally, eBay has learned that forensic examiner Robert Prouty and a company
known as Forensic Document Services caused a number of certificates to be
issued based upon only limited, "cursory" reviews of autographs. Based upon
information from the N.Y. Department of Consumer Affairs, federal law
enforcement and Mr. Prouty, it appears that these limited reviews were not
sufficient to provide meaningful assurances about the authenticity of the
autograph. As a number of items issued with such certificates may be
forgeries, eBay will not permit any such limited certificates of
authenticity issued by Robert Prouty or Forensic Document Services to be
used in any way on eBay. Any listings that refer to examinations or
certificates of guarantee or authenticity from Mr. Prouty will not be
~~ Star Collector ~~
Autograph Authentication Guide
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