Many Art Buyers mistakenly end up purchasing eBay Fake Art instead of Fine Art because they believe they are getting a “great deal”.
But the famous “it's too good to be true” happens all too frequently, especially on eBay.
Many Buyers Purchase Worthless eBay Fake Art.
Many Art Buyers find out that the purchased eBay Lot is not authentic, when it is too late, and they are unable to obtain a refund from eBay, PayPal or the Seller. Although eBay brings buyers and sellers together, even in 2010, eBay has not implemented a fraud protection system to immediately eliminate Counterfeit Listings. Most disturbing, eBay will not investigate counterfeit claims unless the complaint originates from the “rights owner”, the party holding the trademark and/or copyright.
No Authenticity Assurance From eBay.
Determining whether an eBay Art Seller is offering Authentic Art is not simple nor easy. Unlike most websites, eBay does not have a blanket warranty and/or Seller Guarantee regarding "Any Lot" offered on its site. eBay takes absolutely no position regarding quality, authenticity, accuracy and/or condition of any Lot offered or sold. Read that again for clarity on just what eBay offers and does not offer.
Deceptive Sellers Prefer The eBay "Hands Off" Policy.
The absence of a solid Counterfeit vetting system makes eBay ripe for deceptive Sellers who promote Counterfeits with “famous” Brand names. Whether it be Counterfeit Tiffany Jewelry or Counterfeit Andy Warhol Art, the same principles apply. As a result, eBay continues to attract thousands of deceptive Collectible Sellers who convince unsuspecting buyers who seek "great deals". And these days, Sellers of fraudulent goods realize the power of Brand Names, especially on eBay.
What About The eBay and PayPal Guarantee?
Both eBay and PayPal now widely proclaim that Buyers are protected against Counterfeits. However, in the case of Art, PayPal and the new eBay Buyer Protection Program require the Buyer obtain an "expert opinion" to obtain the refund. In other words, both PayPal and eBay require the Buyer to obtain an "expert opinion" to prove Authenticity.
Expert Opinions Are Never Fast.
Try to obtain a fully documented "expert Authenticity opinion" in one week from any major Artist, Estate and/or Foundation, and you will immediately realize it is virtually impossible. For instance, obtaining an official "Authenticity opinion" from the Estate of Keith Haring can take 6-8 months, a time period beyond what most Sellers state is the allowable time period for refunds.
The Benefits of Buying Art From a Professional Dealer.
Too many eBay Art Buyers end up learning the hard way that there are benefits of buying artwork from Art Sellers who are Professional. We encourage Art Buyers to do their own due diligence, and be certain, the Art you purchase is accurately described by legitimate, Professional United States Art Sellers who have a “reasonable” return policy in the event the Work purchased is not Authentic and/or not described properly.
Certificates of Authenticity Do Not Transform Counterfeits.
Many eBay Sellers state that their eBay Lot is accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity. eBay has made the fake Certificate of Authenticity into a cottage industry. Art Buyers must recognize that the inclusion of a meaningless Certificate of Authenticity does not instantly transform a Fake Work of Art into being "an Authentic Work of Art". To this point, the inclusion of a Certificate of Authenticity cannot magically change a counterfeit, reproduction, photo copy, etc., that is worthless; it is impossible.
Read More Art Guides by Joseph K. Levene