I recently read a thread on eBay's "Trust and Safety" Forum Board that disclosed, in my opinion, one of the most important pieces of information regarding fake pottery sellers to come out of eBay in years.
Many of us have spend countless hours dialogging with eBay about the problem of "career" fake pottery and glass sellers on their website, only to be amazed at the lengths their representatives will go to in ignoring seller violations, pottery experts, and even US law when it comes to the issue of counterfeit vintage pottery. Over the years, getting a definitive statement from eBay regarding their position on fake pottery on their website has proven elusive. They send many mixed messages. On one hand, they decry counterfeits of ANY kind, pledge to do "everything" they can to keep the website free from fraud, and then systematically ignore the fact that their site is the #1 haven for fake pottery sellers in the world at this point. On this forum thread, a pottery collector has run across "Miss Faye" and discovered the world of "fake pottery" for the first time. He is angry at first, pledges to "do something" and over the course of the thread, is disillusioned as the long timers educate him to the reality of eBay. Need help with a reproduction seller
In the midst of this depressing, and all too common, thread, a new piece of information suddenly jumped out. To really understand the significance of the information, it's important to understand the source, Jim Griffith. From eBay's website
: "Griff," as he is popularly known, has been the foremost education expert on eBay since 1996 when he was invited to join the company as its first customer support representative. For the past three years in his role as both eBay ambassador and instructor, Griff has been traveling around the country leading eBay University seminars and attending community gatherings on how to buy and sell on eBay. Griff has shared his eBay expertise with audiences across the country. In addition to presenting at dozens of eBay University events, he's made more than 100 local and national television and radio appearances. Griff is also the author of the Official eBay Bible and host of eBay Radio.
Anything Jim Griffith says can reasonably be assumed to be the position of the top eschalon of eBay. It's almost impossible to fathom that he would express any stance that is out of synch with the top of the eBay totem pole. ericaluv, an eBay member, writes in her posting to the thread of the following email discussion she had with Jim Griffith: (ericaluv)Maybe this information will save anyone who feels that reporting listings like this will get anywhere. I had a the pleasure of emailing back and forth with Jim Griffith to finally get some kind of explanation as to why after my 100's of violaiton reports resulted in absolutely nothing. see below for his answer. Jim Griffith works for ebay and works with the CEO Meg Whitman. me (ericaluv):I sell a lot of the same items and know 110% these items are brand new. So again, you are telling me it is not in violation of ebay's rules to list a fake reproduction as the name of the real one which goes for a lot more money as well as saying the age of the item is unknown even though it is brand new? Jim Griffith: As long as the actual name or brand used is not currently held as intellectual property by being copyright or trademark protected, then yes, it is ok to list the item on eBay.
I bolded the entire response for emphasis, because it CANNOT be overstated. According to Jim, if the item is not currently covered under a "live" trademark or copyright, it is "OK" to list a fraudulently marked fake on eBay and not disclose it is a reproduction. That is incredible, but that is what the man said. Going on, ericaluv presses: me (ericaluv):: “... you feel that "no chips or cracks" is not a misleading statement? if looking to purchase a brand new car online wouldn't it strike you as odd if the description stated the car has no dents or scratches?...” Jim Griffith: No I wouldn’t. In fact, I would appreciate the fact that the seller is making the condition of the item clear.
So.... If you have EVER spent one second of your time trying to educate eBay about fake pottery and fake pottery sellers, it appears you, like us, have been wasting your time. We have all bemoaned on websites galore that "eBay doesn't care".... and you know what.... "eBay doesn't care". Straight from the horse's mouth.
"Griff's" remarks are coming from beyond the Twilight Zone. My career was in investigative reporting and I was so puzzled by a misrepresented photo that often appeared on eBay, I wrote a little book about it, mentioned at antiquestreasures.blogspot.com. As your site makes clear, the buyer who isn't armed with knowledge is a lamb determined to become a lambchop.
Wow, so glad I found this site!I wrote an eBay review concerning American Pottery Fakes on eBay just hoping to save one new collector from wasting their money... the review has been read over 12,000 times and I get email weekly begging me to help. This site is a god-send and I will gladly relay it to newbies in the world of pottery. Thanks very much for Griff conversation, mind-boggling! Sincerely, Robin (sanjaccats)