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eBay: Counterfeit conspiracy.

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Bedrock of the Community
United States
11123 Posts
 Posted 12/06/2018  1:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

If eBay wanted to take down counterfeit coin, currency and bullion listings, their reporting system would have choices for that -- they don't.

I'm not a defender of eBay by any means.

But here is the big thing a lot of you are missing, they DO NOT have professional graders on staff reviewing reports.

This idea that just because someone files a report it should be taken down when it's some random CS person looking at it is terrible.

If that is how it works what would stop someone from reporting every competing listing? I've been on the receiving end of that before.

Or how about if you don't give someone a big discount so they can get something for pennies on the dollar they just report all your listings ect.

There is a lot more to this and generally whenever they have gotten proactive all it has done is hurt honest sellers. Scammers will always find a way to scam.

To sort of sum it up, I'm not defending the scammers and ignoring a lot of China listings and too good to be true ones will eliminate most of them. That said there's a lot more to it though than just saying they should take something down because a random report was filed
Edited by basebal21
12/06/2018 1:38 pm
Valued Member
United States
76 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2018  5:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Counterfeit coinage is not something new, nor will it disappear. Although in recent years with globalization and the advent of technologies where one can buy things and receive them quickly the volume increased dramatically. Politics have also played a larger roll in these fakes entering our financial market and hobby. As pointed out by another member, the powers that be simply can not prevent this from happening or continuing. At best we can only hope it be slowed by cracking down hard on the known "mints" within Chinese borders. A simple Google search lead me to a page of photographs with a well written article. So surely the government knows this as well. Strengthening our customs agency at home would be the most effective.

As for EBAY, there are two rules I follow before even bidding. The first, if it is a known coin high on the counterfeiter's list I buy only TPG coins. Even though these too are counterfeited it lessens the chance of being deceived. The second, even with listings from reputable dealers, I click on their link and look at their buying record. If they buy a lot from Asia or Europe I pass. Slabbed or not.

EBAY, as a company, exists to make money. No other reason. For that, I do not fault them. Where I do have an issue is their functionality as such. By that, I refer back to my second rule in the previous paragraph. To my knowledge every internet based company has a commuter system and network designed to protect them from unscrupulous individuals. I am 100% certain that algorythums exist which can monitor these same types of activity. Where the seller/listing originates, where transactions occur and the frequency of each. These in turn are compared to feedback ratings and replies, both from the feedback page and contact seller link. So, as most have stated, EBAY employees are turning a blind eye to an increasing epidemic.

I commend the staff and leadership of this site for their never-ending commitment to help protect the hobby. I for one thank each of you for such.
Valued Member
United States
69 Posts
 Posted Yesterday  11:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add edthelorax to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I love shopping for coins on ebay. I feel like I am fortunate to know how to spot most counterfeits. The best deals by far are raw coins. It is not myself that I am wishing to protect. It is the newer, young collectors that I am concerned about. At 50, I am one of the younger members of my local coin club. If we can't get and KEEP new numismatists, our hobby will die in the coming decades.
I agree that it is the responsibility of the buyer to educate themselves how to avoid possible copies in the first place, how to know the diagnostics for the coin they wish to purchase, and to get a professional opinion on the coins they buy.
I also understand that ebay can't just delist or even review every coin reported. They sure could review those that have been flagged say 3 or more times by separate users.
PCGS graded 160,276 coins in the last 30 days. that is about 8,000 a day if they only work 5 days a week or 5,300 if they work all 7. Now each coin is graded at least twice, so double that. If you have ever seen the video of them grading, it doesn't take long.
The majority of problem listings, the seller admits in one way or another that the coin is a violation of ebay's policy. These would not require a professional grader. A normal employee or two could remove the obvious and send the rest to a single professional. In 2017, ebay sold 88 Billion dollars worth of items with a gross profit of about 8 billion dollars. So adding 200,000$ for 3 salaries would take about .002% of that gross profit.
Part of the reason that there are so many listing to be looked at is the fact that they let a seller get away with it so many times before any real penalty.
I am not looking for a complete fix from ebay. Just a little help from them would take the weight off of those that are willing and able to volunteer their time so that the real problem coins could be addressed. (Those that aren't obvious fakes)
It has become our responsibility to protect our hobby and those that are just starting to show an interest in it.
Ebay is the largest coin marketplace in the world. That makes them the easiest and most logical place to start pressuring for change.
I love coins, I love finding deals on ebay, I care about those who are not fortunate enough to have experience.
We have the power to have changes made. I refuse to sit back and watch ebay let the Chinese kill my hobby.
Anyone is welcome to email me to discuss this in private.
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