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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:


Tomo.T

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The rise of faked WW1 items being offered for sale appears to have reached epidemic proportions over the Centenary period. I am aware of the site policy concerning criticism of items offered for sale and will reluctantly confine my comments to non specific items. However a recent on line trawl dredged up some blatant horrors which are definite traps for the unwary collector.

There is currently a rash of extremely dodgy cap badges on offer, poorly cast with flash visible on edges and lacking the definition of originals, they are often distorted as well. A source of amusement to the experienced collector no doubt, but what about the young enthusiast trying to build a collection ? Hudson whistles are now being re produced in aged form and have the appearance of dug up relics. To be fair these are clearly labelled as 'repro' but how long before some smart **** tries to re sell as original ?   Another item I saw, which was of initial interest to me, bore a stamped label with it's W /I\ D mark proudly displayed. On closer inspection the arrow had been 'made up' from separate chisel marks, (each leg being in three parts,) which set off the BOGUS alert in my suspicious mind ! There is no doubt that some people are deliberately taking advantage of the increase in G.W. interest and with the ever increasing price of original artefacts, the faker's work has become worthwhile. Caveat Emptor, like never before ! 

Edited by Tomo.T
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Its a hobby hazard I am afraid. My advice is to any collector is to invest in good reference works, try and handle known original items, not always easy I know before spending anything on actually buying an item.

 

I watch ebay with frustration when mocked up 08 frogs are being sold as original and not cheaply and the seemingly unending flood of random items marked with the fake ME Co 1916 stamp which are doing the rounds. Sadly people fall for these. CAVEAT EMPTOR!!

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Be careful with telescopes, too. There are many on sale with bogus maker's marks for Kelvin & Hughes, Ross, Broadhurst Clarkson etc., along with WW1 dates.  Fakes can usually be recognised by an objective lens substantially smaller than the barrel diameter (and often non-achromatic too), a heavily parallel-knurled eyecup with no swivel shutter, and crossed overstitch instead of parallel understitch on leather barrel-covers. Also try comparing them with others sold openly as repros - many will differ only in the engravings.

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What I didn't mention regarding my narrow escape with the ( alledgedly ) faked item above, is that it is still live with one day to go. Out of curiosity, I visited the seller's other items and what a surprise, there is another very similar funnel listed, with an identical copper label attached, claiming to be ex WD, this time dated 1941. There are several other soldered up items on the list. I have contacted the seller who has replied and stated all these items are from a house sale and nothing to do with him. I am unable to report these items as I am no longer the high bidder, and I cannot contact the new high bidder because his identity is hidden. The system is not good in this respect and seems to protect purveyors of dodgy merchandise, in my opinion. Perhaps some changes are due ?

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Update. The seller continues to protest his innocence, but has removed my bid, therefore taking me out of the loop and returning the item to it's asking price. There is nothing I can do to prevent this sale, or to contact the other bidder, even though I am convinced these items have been tampered with to give them a false military history. I can't even name this person to warn members to be on their guard. Suffice to say, he is a dirty biker, so what can you expect ?   

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Dirty bikers are dodgy then? Few are clinically clean after any time on the road, especially in the current weather - what about those?

 

Seriously, I've long given up trying to take fakers, or potentially innocent sellers of fake goods, to task. If you've gathered enough knowledge of a subject to identify such stuff reliably, it's very difficult to document and distribute it unambiguously - and you may find yourself targeted with disproportionate reprisals.

 

You can't realistically dispute his rejection of your bid, since you're presumably not going to buy. 

 

Looking at prices such items have realised, I've formed the opinion that the market does tend to work to keep them well below the value range you can expect for genuine goods - but that might just be my own subject area.

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22 hours ago, Tomo.T said:

...  I cannot contact the new high bidder because his identity is hidden. The system is not good in this respect and seems to protect purveyors of dodgy merchandise, in my opinion. Perhaps some changes are due ?

Some ten years ago, one was able to contact other bidders and see what their specific collecting interests were. Then that changed, to almost total anonymity and very general descriptions of items bought.

 

I'm sure I squeaked about it here at the time, but one vendor was listing a postcard taken by a Salisbury photographer showing two soldiers by a hut door. The vendor suggested that they were of the Wiltshire Regiment. (Salisbury=Wiltshire), which prompted some bids from someone, who from their purchase history, collected items to do with that regiment - hardly any of whose battalions were based in Wiltshire during the war. I contacted him to point out this and to say the badge on the door suggested another unit entirely (the 7th London Regiment). The vendor grudgingly allowed him to cancel his bid - leaving me a clear field.to win one of the very few postcards I have relating to Sutton Mandeville Camp.

 

That wouldn't be possible nowadays.

 

Moonraker

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2 hours ago, MikB said:

Dirty bikers are dodgy then? Few are clinically clean after any time on the road, especially in the current weather - what about those?

 

Seriously, I've long given up trying to take fakers, or potentially innocent sellers of fake goods, to task. If you've gathered enough knowledge of a subject to identify such stuff reliably, it's very difficult to document and distribute it unambiguously - and you may find yourself targeted with disproportionate reprisals.

 

You can't realistically dispute his rejection of your bid, since you're presumably not going to buy. 

 

Looking at prices such items have realised, I've formed the opinion that the market does tend to work to keep them well below the value range you can expect for genuine goods - but that might just be my own subject area.

 

Mik, that was a clue. I'm also a Biker, although not until the Spring thanks ! I don't mind a bit that the seller has removed my bid. I can't believe I nearly fell for it and I'm just sad I can't do anything to stop it.

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22 hours ago, MikB said:

Seriously, I've long given up trying to take fakers, or potentially innocent sellers of fake goods, to task. If you've gathered enough knowledge of a subject to identify such stuff reliably, it's very difficult to document and distribute it unambiguously - and you may find yourself targeted with disproportionate reprisals.

 

+1. British libel laws favour the faker and the burden of proof is on you, not them. Maybe you could get one or two of them theri just desserts, but you'd have to be really committed, have time and energy and be prepared for some serious unpleasantness. The best-known such cockroach was successfully taken to court a year or so back but it doesn't seem to have stopped him or his seemingly endless supply of mugs.

 

This particular seller is new to me but the clues were not difficult to follow. It's pretty obvious all those markings are bogus. Whether or not the story about selling off a collection is true I have no idea, but sadly this kind of thing is a fact of life. People have been faking things for centuries and they're not about to stop doing it. Now, where's that "flogging a dead horse" emoticon?

 

 

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£ 43.50 and quite a scrap for it as well.:blink: Utter Madness !

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My favorite complaint is the fake RACD acceptance stamps you see on head gear.  They all have the correct format of number over W/|\D over letter (usually P).  However, they all look like they have been stamped in the last 5 minutes.

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Certainly no suggestion of fakery or forgery, but when I do my weekly eBay search for "collectables" relating to specific localities in Wiltshire, most of the items in some cases are copies of old postcards, especially those relating to railways, with asking prices of £3 each. On eBay the illustrations are usually "watermarked" to prevent them being copied, but quite often it's possible to find similar unprotected images where this is possible.

 

The exception is the Australian dealer who (as I've probably ranted before) lists "OLD LARGE HISTORIC PHOTO OF AUSTRALIAN ANZAC SOLDIERS" -  for example - when in fact it's a copy of such a photo, "in excellent condition .. a great collectors piece". At the moment he has the same copy listed four times, each with a different asking price. Though he as 99% positive feedback, there are still 96 negative comments complaining about the misleading description. I would have thought that these would have prompted him to be more careful with how he describes items.

 

Moonraker

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1 hour ago, Moonraker said:

Certainly no suggestion of fakery or forgery, but when I do my weekly eBay search for "collectables" relating to specific localities in Wiltshire, most of the items in some cases are copies of old postcards, especially those relating to railways, with asking prices of £3 each. On eBay the illustrations are usually "watermarked" to prevent them being copied, but quite often it's possible to find similar unprotected images where this is possible.

 

The exception is the Australian dealer who (as I've probably ranted before) lists "OLD LARGE HISTORIC PHOTO OF AUSTRALIAN ANZAC SOLDIERS" -  for example - when in fact it's a copy of such a photo, "in excellent condition .. a great collectors piece". At the moment he has the same copy listed four times, each with a different asking price. Though he as 99% positive feedback, there are still 96 negative comments complaining about the misleading description. I would have thought that these would have prompted him to be more careful with how he describes items.

 

Moonraker

got a link?

(please)

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8 minutes ago, caulkheader said:

got a link?

(please)

 

Please, no link. Thanks....

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If you suspect an item is not as described, you can just click the " Ask a Question" button which appears just below the seller's details.

You don't need to be a bidder to do this.

Something like " My reference books confirm that the W/|\D  stamped on this item bears no resemblance to the mark on a genuine item. Is this a forgery?" or equally subtle should suffice, and will be visible to all browsers on that page.

 

If you are convinced  that the item offered is bogus, and don't feel the need to ask a question,  you can click on the "Report Item" link on the item's page.

I think that opens up another page where you provide more information about the item to eBay.

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32 minutes ago, AlanCurragh said:

 

Please, no link. Thanks....

Would I?  As it happens, I've given enough info to lead directly to the person in question, and having just checked that it's easily done I see that he uses the same ploy for many items; presumably many of his purchasers know what they were bidding for and are happy with what they got. It's just that his wording could be better.

4 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

If you suspect an item is not as described, you can just click the " Ask a Question" button which appears just below the seller's details...

If you are convinced  that the item offered is bogus, and don't feel the need to ask a question,  you can click on the "Report Item" link on the item's page.

I think that opens up another page where you provide more information about the item to eBay.

Again, I've bleated a couple of times about the American dealer who describes four postcards of Chisledon Camp as depicting an early RAF station and personnel. I pointed out to him that this was not the case and gave overwhelming evidence to this effect; I even suggested that if he Googled he would find absolutely no mention of "RAF or RFC Chisledon". He ignored all this and did not alter his eBay entry. For the past year he's been asking £110 or so for each card :D "priced to sell". I've just sold a duplicate of one of his cards for £3.99 ...

 

Can I - should I - be bothered to report the misdescription to eBay?

 

I've also pointed out to a well-known Australian dealer (who asks very high prices) that he's confused Fovant and Codford when it comes to the locations of military badges carved in the hillside and depicted on contemporary postcards. He hasn't changed anything.

 

Moonraker

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All,

 

I think we get the gist of the OP thoughts on this matter. It is always down to the purchaser to have done his or her homework if investing. We are getting dangerously close to identifying individuals and their is a risk to the Forum and individuals. 

 

I feel this thread has run its course???

 

Perhaps if the OP is happy they can lock it.

 

TT

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2 hours ago, trenchtrotter said:

TT,

I agree. The highlighted part of your post reinforces my thoughts on the matter. Where there is a quick buck to be made then unscrupulous types will exploit the opportunity. Plus ca change!.  

Quote

 

 

All,

 

I think we get the gist of the OP thoughts on this matter. It is always down to the purchaser to have done his or her homework if investing. We are getting dangerously close to identifying individuals and their is a risk to the Forum and individuals. 

 

I feel this thread has run its course???

 

Perhaps if the OP is happy they can lock it.

 

TT

 

Edited by mark holden
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