Ethical Question

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,386
2,139
113
72
Pasadena
Country
Region
I noticed two new eBay listings this morning for a watch I sold about a year ago for $3,050. The two listings are posted by different sellers, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast (the purchaser of my watch was on the West Coast). Both listings use the photos in my year-old listing (without my authorization) and plagiarize my year-old listing description. One or both of these listings almost certainly is fraudulent. Do I (as a former owner or mere observer) have an ethical obligation to do something to counter this fraud even though any serious prospective buyer should come across both listings on his or her own? If I should do something, what should I do? The use of my photos and description wouldn't, by itself, bother me although I know I could raise a stink over it.
 

Dr. Jon

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Dec 14, 2001
6,351
762
113
New Hampshire
Country
Region
At a minimum I suggest you report the fraudulent listing to eBay.

If the person selling used your listing description and photos you probably have a claim against any profit, but as a lawyer I am sure you know the law and the details and problems of getting anything from this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: etmb61

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
7,347
3,874
113
New York State
Country
I would notify ebay on both of them and let them sort it out.



Rob
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,386
2,139
113
72
Pasadena
Country
Region
This has proven to be a strange affair. Since the two original fraudulent listings were taken down, new fraudulent listing were posted on eBay at least three times by three different sellers, in each case using my photos and in each case being taken down within a day before any sale.
 

John Matthews

NAWCC Member
Sep 22, 2015
2,800
1,262
113
France
Country
Region
Ethan

This seems very odd. I particularly find it difficult to understand how/why/motivation of three/five different sellers. This would mean that the watch and your original listing are the only aspect in common across the postings. I have no knowledge of selling on ebay and what is required to verify identity and address. I think the incidents would be more understandable if the listings were by a single person or close associates, although the motivation would still be a mystery, and possibly worrying. Difficult to believe that they are unrelated individuals, who have no connection with you.

John
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ethan Lipsig

nutmegtinker

Registered User
Dec 25, 2020
48
3
8
CT
Country
Region
Sounds like someone is trying to use the item as bait for a scam, as in getting money for something they do not have. Just for the sake of curiosity and to add a little flavor to your story, could you provide a link to your original listing?
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,386
2,139
113
72
Pasadena
Country
Region
Nutmegtinker, you asked "Just for the sake of curiosity and to add a little flavor to your story, could you provide a link to your original listing?" I can't because my listing is too old, and no longer available on eBay. The fraudulent listings also aren't available, but the listing was for this 18k Sir John Bennett, a very pretty watch in excellent condition that I sold because the English-looking movement was made in whole or in part in Switzerland. The case has 1896/97 London hallmark and an "AB" sponsor mark, for Arthur Baume of Baume & Co. The watch sold for $3,050 last fall. If that seems high, the net scrap value of the 70 gram case was close to $3,000.

IMG_5800_edited.JPG IMG_5803_edited.JPG IMG_0892_edited.JPG DSC03148.JPG
 

Dr. Jon

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Dec 14, 2001
6,351
762
113
New Hampshire
Country
Region
One thing to keep in mind is that eBay is on the hook for a scam listing. They take these down not out of ethical concerns but becuase they have to reimburse the person who gets taken on the scam.

The net effect of this is that the person who actually baought the watch from Ethan will have to take original photos, if they can sell it all on that venue.
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,386
2,139
113
72
Pasadena
Country
Region
Graham, here is a photo that shows the "AB" stamp.
IMG_5804_edited.JPG
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
12,334
2,031
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi Ethan,

Thanks, I was just curious to see it because the Baume mark applicable for 1896/7 is listed in Priestley as having this cartouche shape but with a 'striped base to the shield' which isn't apparent in this example. As there are no plausible alternatives listed, perhaps they were using an old punch; they did register a good many over the years they were working.

Regards,

Graham
 

nutmegtinker

Registered User
Dec 25, 2020
48
3
8
CT
Country
Region
Nutmegtinker, you asked "Just for the sake of curiosity and to add a little flavor to your story, could you provide a link to your original listing?" I can't because my listing is too old, and no longer available on eBay. The fraudulent listings also aren't available, but the listing was for this 18k Sir John Bennett, a very pretty watch in excellent condition that I sold because the English-looking movement was made in whole or in part in Switzerland. The case has 1896/97 London hallmark and an "AB" sponsor mark, for Arthur Baume of Baume & Co. The watch sold for $3,050 last fall. If that seems high, the net scrap value of the 70 gram case was close to $3,000.

View attachment 640942 View attachment 640943 View attachment 640941 View attachment 640940
I am new to this watch collecting and appreciate you sharing this obviously fine time piece. The scrap value perspective is certainly jaw dropping.
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,386
2,139
113
72
Pasadena
Country
Region
This has proven to be a strange affair. Since the two original fraudulent listings were taken down, new fraudulent listing were posted on eBay at least three times by three different sellers, in each case using my photos and in each case being taken down within a day before any sale.
Since I reported the posting of those fraudulent listings, other fraudulent listings for my watch using my photos have popped up and been taken down. This morning, there were three such listings from three different sellers in different locations. I presume they will be delisted shortly. Very odd!
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,145
184
63
Surrey
Country
Region
Nutmegtinker, you asked "Just for the sake of curiosity and to add a little flavor to your story, could you provide a link to your original listing?" I can't because my listing is too old, and no longer available on eBay. The fraudulent listings also aren't available, but the listing was for this 18k Sir John Bennett, a very pretty watch in excellent condition that I sold because the English-looking movement was made in whole or in part in Switzerland. The case has 1896/97 London hallmark and an "AB" sponsor mark, for Arthur Baume of Baume & Co. The watch sold for $3,050 last fall. If that seems high, the net scrap value of the 70 gram case was close to $3,000.

View attachment 640942 View attachment 640943 View attachment 640941 View attachment 640940
I find that very sad that such a beautiful watch sold for $50 over scrap. That’s madness. Why does this not happen with silver or base metal cases? Such watches are clearly valued as well, watches.
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,386
2,139
113
72
Pasadena
Country
Region
99% of pocket watches are worth a small premium over scrap value. I don't have much experience with pocket watches cased in anything but solid gold or platinum -- more than 95% of my collection is cased that way -- but it might be that the premium over scrap a watch commands is higher when the movement is sold uncased or in a case of little value.

The three listings of my ex-collection Sir John Bennett that were posted this morning have now all disappeared. Very odd!
 

Roy Gardner

Ticker Stopper
NAWCC Member
Jun 14, 2016
28
20
3
Cameron Park, California
Country
Region
After reading this thread, I searched for such a watch on eBay about 45 minutes ago and found an auction with Ethan Lipsig's pictures and description,. Auction # 124632823190, Cambridge, Massachusetts, starting bid $2.90. Ten minutes later, the listing had been removed.
 

Bruce Alexander

Sponsor
NAWCC Brass Member
Feb 22, 2010
7,331
775
113
Country
Region
If I'm recalling correctly, eBay used to give the Seller an option to "Watermark" their uploaded photos with their screen name. Is that option still available? I haven't seen it in a while. I suppose that if you are posting/listing photos of something as valuable and beautiful as this watch it might be a good idea to watermark it if your photo editor has that capability.
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,386
2,139
113
72
Pasadena
Country
Region
Thanks, Rick. I saw the listing too and put it on my "watch" list about an hour ago. Since then, it was taken down and is no where to be found.

The repeated fraudulent re-listings of this watch wouldn't puzzle me so much if they ever stayed up long enough for the watch to be sold, but the listings are taken down so soon that I wonder why any conman would find it worth his or her while to keep relisting the watch.
 

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 25, 2018
2,225
3,273
113
36
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
That account was loaded with strange listings for expensive articles. I wonder if they just post these random listings hoping someone would quickly try to complete a transaction outside of the bay.
 

John Matthews

NAWCC Member
Sep 22, 2015
2,800
1,262
113
France
Country
Region
I don't sell on ebay, so I have no idea what information a seller can see when potential buyer bids. I would be interested to know what information is displayed. It may be that a fraudulent seller might be able to identify information that can be exploited.

Even if the information is just that is displayed on Bidding History, it is possible to identify some traders - e.g. if you perform a little research when a sold item appears on this forum.

John
 

Forum statistics

Threads
164,838
Messages
1,434,308
Members
85,815
Latest member
supatint
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,863
Last edit
Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff