This is just the tip of the iceberg.....

eBay - forgeries, fakes, dodgy sellers, scams:

the tip of the iceberg

Released  18 June, 2001 (AEST)        Last updated:   11 August, 2008 (PDT)

The educational articles below deal with stamp forgeries, fakes, alterations, fraud, scam auctions and the problems of buying and selling in the eBay Stamps category. They aim to provide eBay stamp collectors with information that would help them make more informed decisions as buyers or sellers on eBay.

Click on the link or thumbnail image to read each article.
eBay - the good, the bad and the downright ugly
Last update: 11 August, 2008
'eBay - the good, the bad and the downright ugly' article An overview of the ugly side of eBay, including scam auctions and dodgy sellers of fakes and forgeries, illustrated by examples of less than ethical tactics by eBay sellers such as "riny218", "apostolicchurch" and "arnoldpwc".
U.S. Classics on eBay - as is
Last update: 24 October, 2004
'U.S. Classics on eBay - as is' article An overview of the pitfalls of buying U.S. classics on eBay. It discusses the most common mis-identifications and misrepresentations, using examples from the listings of eBay sellers, such as "schuylerac", "rogernorth", "stamplady99", "dmlengyel1", "stamptraders" and "brinerstamps".
Altered U.S. stamps on eBay - exposed!
Last update: 21 November, 2004
'Altered U.S. Stamps on eBay - exposed!' article An overview of the factors that make early U.S. stamps prime targets for alteration. It tells the story of how an upstate New York group of buyers and sellers took advantage of collectors by buying, altering and selling early U.S. stamps on eBay.
Fraud on eBay - exposed!
Last update: 15 November, 2004
'Fraud on eBay - exposed!' article An exposť of fraud on eBay showing hundreds of before/after comparisons of altered stamps by an upstate New York group of eBay buyers "chickfrdstk", "stazy4" (changed to "booksnbooks4u" then "short369") and "tremor111", and sellers "pcheltenham", "schuylerac" (changed to "crustaceans" then "wackeywood") and "32gyt78".
"atdinvest" - fake overprints and modern fake blocks and sheets on eBay
Last update: 23 November, 2004
'Modern forgeries and fake overprints from Hialeah/Miami/Sunshine State on eBay' article An exposť of the activities of the Florida seller "atdinvest", who sold fake overprints and modern fake imperforate and perforated sheets and blocks (known as "Hialeah forgeries") on eBay.
Peter Winter and the modern German forgeries on eBay
Last update: 12 March, 2005
'Peter Winter and the modern German forgeries on eBay' article The history and characteristics of the Peter Winter and modern German forgeries (also known as "House of Stamps forgeries") listed on eBay.
eBay buying tips - I'm not getting burned again!
Last update: 27 October, 2004
'eBay buying tips - I'm not getting burned again!' article Ashleigh Islington (eBay id "as_is") has learned a few things since she was an eBay newbie. Check out her list of eBay buying tips, and maybe you won't get burned on your next eBay purchase.
Spotted a misdescribed fake on eBay?
Last update: 23 January, 2003
'Spotted a misdescribed fake on eBay?' article Strategies for stamp collectors who see eBay listings of forgeries, fakes and "tampered with" items not described as such by the seller, illustrated by case histories from the listings of various sellers.
Selling a possible fake on eBay?
Last update: 6 December, 2002
'Selling a possible fake on eBay?' article' article Strategies for eBay stamp and postal history sellers to list honestly and clearly items outside their area of expertise or which may be possible forgeries, fakes or "doctored" items, illustrated by case histories from the listings of various sellers.
What have others said about these articles?
Last update: 27 October, 2004
What have others said about these articles? A selection of the brickbats and bouquets I have received since the first article on the Hialeah fake overprint seller "atdinvest" was published online on Jun-17-01 at 05:06:38 PDT
Links to other Forgery and Fraud sites
Last update: 15 August , 2006
Links to other Forgery and Fraud sites A list of other articles and webpages relating to each article

eBay - only a venue

eBay is only a venue, according to the eBay User Agreement. It doesn't get to see the items offered by sellers, and as such cannot authenticate them. It is up to buyers to find out all they can about items, sellers and the terms of sale before they bid and complete the transaction.

Before you buy at eBay, the words "caveat emptor", meaning "buyer beware" and seen at the end of each category search listing, are far and away the most important to remember.

eBay and StampChat+ Boards

These articles cover many of the issues raised on the eBay Stamps chat board, which I first visited in April 2001. Censorship of eBay Stamps chat board postings precipitated the creation in May 2003 of the StampChat board, and in April 2004 its successor, the StampChat+ board.

These popular forums discuss issues important to the online philatelic community, including misdescribed items and fraudulent activities on eBay and elsewhere.

Board members include specialists and collectors from many parts of the world. They do their best to answer questions on almost any topic (both philatelic and non-philatelic) that you care to name. But they also perform another important function - that of the voice of the collecting community. Issues raised receive informed and often diverse commentary, to the point of action when less than ethical practices are discovered.

Feedback

In order to keep informed and to help update the "tip of the iceberg" (TOTI) website, I welcome any comments, help and information, so please feel free to email me at sheryll at sheryll dot net.

Sadly, the task of trying to stay abreast of many issues at such a volatile time in my life means that I often do not have the time to respond to each individual email. My apologies in advance for this!

A selection of feedback received is published on my Comments page.

Stamp Collectors Against Dodgy Sellers (SCADS)

Much of the information in these articles has been passed to me by SCADS members, whose tireless efforts behind the scenes has helped to keep eBay "a safe and fun place to trade".

Visit the SCADS website www.scads.org to see the latest effects of their fraud-fighting activities.

SCADS - Stamp Collectors Against Dodgy Sellers
Fighting against philatelic fraud

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