After a long time watching how eBay sellers get away with fakes, I have decided to write something about it.
Fake pieces are all over, online and on 47th street. There are a few dealer on 47th street who specialize in producing fake signed pieces.
I have studied the patterns and behaviors of these fake sellers and I have studied what items are mostly copied. It's very simple to spot a fake item if you know what to look for and what to ask.
As a result of all the fakes going around, I ONLY DEAL IN OLDER SIGNED PIECES.
Older pieces are not faked b/c it seems that the fakers are after cheap fast money and they do not understand which pieces are collectible. Plus it's hard to fake the wear on these pieces...wear is not always bad!
Here are some pointers to find faker and fakes.
Most fakes are NEW/NEWER silver pieces, silver is cheap and one can produce alot of silver pieces.
OLD, ANTIQUE, VINTAGE and WORN PIECES ARE SAFER THEN NEW OR MODERN PIECES....BUY OLD, NOT NEW, NEW YOU BUY AT THE STORE!
Pay attention to wear signs, they are a good hint that a piece would be real and authentic (not always though).
When it gets to 18K and Platinum you are much safer b/c they are more costly and involve more of a loss if something goes wrong.
99.99% of all Chinese (or East Asian) signed pieces are fakes, they don't enforces laws against it. Also, you will find fakes come out of major city areas that have warehouse and Chinese importers...One must know the area to understand...For example...Buying from Flushing, Queens or Manhattans China town is like buying directly from China.
When someone has a "New" or "Modern" signed piece with box and no papers....guess what? probably fake. Chances of losing the receipt within a month or two is very unlikely. Papers can allow you to verify the authenticity of the piece, but reports from GIA, Christies or other reputable sources do help. Note that some of the finest pieces around don't have papers...But then again fakers don't product expensive items...too risky.
Check the sellers other auctions and PAST auctions too. If a seller sells alot of one item, or he has a pattern of selling MODERN signed pieces in MINT or NEW condition, he's probably selling fakes.
Most fakes are what's hot, Tiffany's, Cartier, Bulgari, David Yurman etc...
Check feedback and return policy.
Last but not least....if in doubt do without.
If a seller keeps selling the same item over and over again, chances it's fake b/c the name brand stores do not dump their product like this, especially if it's new.
Remember, eBay is a great place to find great pieces. Just be weary of new pieces, why would anyone sell something that came out of Tiffany's 2 weeks ago for less then half the price and with no papers?