08/18/2021 at 1:21 am #90387So Cal JoeParticipant
PWCC listings have all been taken down now.
08/18/2021 at 7:28 am #90390
08/18/2021 at 8:32 am #90391JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Shilling is the one big no-no in the auction world. Things like this can kill a companies reputation.
08/18/2021 at 5:51 pm #90396jaepeteParticipant
- Location: Carrollton, TX
interesting article. also mentions PWCC has their own online auction site. Perhaps for PWCC, EBay was becoming more a means of advertising their own auctions. Also mentions Ebay was only getting a 1% to 3% payment from PWCC. Maybe Ebay decided it was no longer worth it.
08/18/2021 at 10:05 pm #90403craig rexParticipant
- Location: south jersey
PWCC’s scammy practices are probably the worst-kept secret in the modern card world. Each of the three biggest consignment card sellers (COMC, Probstein and PWCC) sell so many cards every day, including many very expensive ($10,000+) cards, and they have all had major problems of one type or another over the last few years. To an extent, I can understand it. Some issues with shill bidding and/or unpaid auction items are almost inevitable when you have thousands of consignment auctions ending every day. But PWCC’s shill bidding is so widespread. Most of their sale prices far exceed similar cards, to the point where most experienced collectors (myself included) actively avoid their listings.
PWCC’s problems are bigger than shill bidding, too. Here is a thread from the Blowout Cards Forums which details how PWCC has engaged in altering thousands of very expensive cards without disclosing that they’re doing so, and in fact taking steps to hide their dishonesty. Alterations or retouching is more common is some fields, but it’s a huge act of deception in the card world. In fact, the lowest grade on a professional grading scale, even lower than 1 – poor (which is basically a card your dog chewed up), is authentic altered. By contrast, PWCC and the criminals they worked with were altering cards to improve their grade from 7 to 9 or 5 to 7 — and not just your average cards, but the highly sought after expensive cards. So the leap in value by altering these cards so they would grade higher was truly massive. We’re talking millions of dollars.
The scope of cards which were altered is massive, and the detective work by some members of the card collecting community (known as BODA, or the Blowout Detective Agency) to unmask these deceptions is truly amazing. There are so many cases of deception in card sales, particularly among the very expensive cards.
However, the thread I linked is from over two years ago. There was talk then of an FBI investigation, which has happened before in sports memorabilia sales. About 20 years ago, a large autograph forgery operation was taken down through an FBI investigation called Operation Bullpen and many of the bad actors involved went to prison.
The funny and kind of sad thing about all this is that even though it’s huge news in the cards world, it’s so far removed from the day to day of my eBay life. I have 8400 feedback on my selling id and (knock on wood) have never received a negative feedback. I’ve never had a buyer attempt a bait and switch, or claim that the card was in lesser condition than I stated, or anything else like that. Not one, over 10 years of selling and 4 of doing it basically full-time, and I am careful and honest but I am also human.
I think the reason is that my average sales price is under $50. It’s a very different world from the one with these high-end consignors whose items regularly sell for $1,000 or $5,000 or $10,000 or more, and the consignors net a small percentage of the sale. I can see how greed can take over, especially with the lack of oversight around cards compared to stocks and things of that nature.
I hope that eBay restricting PWCC listings is the first step towards an investigation and penalties for those who have committed fraud. This is such an unusual action by eBay that it wouldn’t surprise me.
08/20/2021 at 1:16 pm #90418Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
After having spent 20 minutes on removing painter’s masking tape from a 400-year old map that some “professional picture framer” decided was the appropriate tape to attach it to the mount, I must admit I have a sneaking regard for Gary “Scissorhands” Moser. For which I apologise 🙂
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