EBay Held Accountable for Fakes Sold on Their Site
Big news from Paris, France today! A French commercial court decided that eBay must payLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA $59,000,000. The french designer fashion firm sued eBay over the large number of knock-off and counterfiet desinger products offered through sellers on eBay's auction site.
EBay does take down auctions of proven counterfeits, but numismatists know that many, many counterfeit coins slip through and are sold to unwitting novices every day on eBay. Those of us who work professionally in coins get calls regularly from eBay buyers who are just begining to arrive at the notion that they have been taken in a particular transaction.
The trademark seams on the edge or at the rim of a cast fake, or lack of flow lines as found on a struck coin are simple things to look for when judging if a coin is legitmate. In numismatics, simple education can help a great deal in the buyer making better choices.
Perhaps eBay would be wise to enlist expert assistance in establishing tutorials designed to give participants a solid, but brief overview of specific fields of collection or high end products. They do have some on their site, but there are many areas which are not covered at all. A little shared knowledge might go a long way in policing the eBay community.
In the meantime however, you can learn a lot about coins from websites such as NumisMaster, or Ken Potter's website. Books like the U.S. Coin Digest, Coin Collecting 101, Strike It Rich With Pocket Change, Bill Fivaz's Counterfeit Detection Guide and Detecting Counterfeit Gold Coins can also offer valuable information to keep people from wasting time and money in bad numismatic choices.