This is part 2 of the original ebay guide Fake Clock Dials : Red Flag Signals in Descriptions. The guide revolves around the offensive exploitation of Black Americana being faked on vintage and antique clock dials. If you are new to this guide, I would suggest going back to the original article to understand all the details of these forgeries coming out of the Central Pennsylvania Area.
Silverdollar Productions is committed to bringing you professionally serviced and reconditioned clocks. Our signature goes on every clock we sell or restore. This is our guarantee that the clock you receive has been researched and 100% authentic. We advertise that "A Silverdollar Productions clock may not be meant for everybody". Well apparently neither are our eBay Guides. Since our first guide on Fake Dials appeared in June 2006, we have received some sharp criticisms and negative votes in the "Helpful" survey located at the very bottom of this article. We don't think it's buyers like yourself who send us emails full of 4-letter words and cast negative votes. Rather, we speculate it's sellers who have been caught and don't appreciate being exposed. Well, if they didn't like us before, they are really going to hate us now.
Part 1 of this article dealt with real life eBay examples of how buyers are getting screwed by forking out good money for basically worthless clocks. Understand these fakes expand further than just Black Americana. Now, I am taking this second part even further. Since the writing of the original article, I have taken it upon myself to police eBay ads in search of more fakes. To determine authenticity, I email the seller with particular questions to help me properly identify the clock. Once I determine that it is an actual fake, I inform the seller who I am, proof of the fake, and suggest that they change their description as not to deceive prospective buyers.
One thing I have discovered is that almost all the sellers have excellent feedback. There is nothing in their prior eBay transactions that would tip a buyer to the fact they were getting duped. So you would think that a responsible seller would heed the advice of a professional and either stop their ad, or modify it to reflect the fact that the clock is a fake. The unfortunate truth is, almost all the sellers are as fake as the clock they are selling. They either hide or dodge the truth in order to avoid bidders from walking away from their auction. Greed is the driving factor behind these unscrupulous tactics. They made the mistake of over-paying for worthless clocks, and try to make it up by hiding or candy-coating the truth. This is just another reason that buyers should turn to reputable clock sellers who know their product and won't risk their reputations by deceiving buyers with fakes and forgeries.
Please note: The object of this project is not meant to chastise good, honest sellers who themselves have unknowingly fallen victim to these forgeries. The idea here is to contact the sellers with some basic questions. Our questions are based on knowledge of these clocks, an attribute that many buyers may not possess. For example - a vintage Coca-Cola collector seeing a Coke clock may think it's authentic based on the sellers description. In truth, this particular collector may not even own an old clock, and not know the first thing about them. Since there is no getting around our questions, we wanted to see what kind of direction sellers would take to keep you, the buyer, properly informed. Some sellers were very disappointed to find out they were scammed, and took action to make changes. Just because their clock appears in this article does not mean they are bad sellers. The clock appears here to help you better identify the fakes. We applaud those who have the decency to keep eBay an honest shopping place. Unfortunately, you are outnumbered.
Take a look at this really offensive dial. "Guaranteed Old and Original" was the claim made by the seller. Check out those moving eyes! Nice, authentic touch, eh? This is an alarm clock, but notice that there is no alarm hand. Hmmmmmmm. This clock had me a bit confused. A) The seller is out in California, not Pennsylvania; B) It look like a a Big Ben from the front, but has something not right. So, I decided to email Bill, the seller, with a couple of questions concerning the materials the clock was made from. Metal? Or Plastic? His reply was "Sounds to me like you are a collector. If you are not sure, maybe you shouldn't bid. Sorry, I can't answer your questions". After a second email, Bill did confirm my suspicions. Most of the clock was made of plastic, including the lens. Yup, a Big Ben alright. Hey Bill....It's a Fake! No Reply. Those non-luminous, open style hands suggest that the clock is mid-1970s. What threw me off here was the base. It's on backwards, most likely on error by our scammer when he reassembled the clock. And why no alarm hand? Can't put it on! If you turned it, it would jam into those protruding eyes! Despite my warning, I never heard from Bill again. He made no revisions to his ad nor posted my suspicions. The icing on this cake was the clock is in "Non-Working" condition, making it pretty much worthless. Yet, six different eBay members bid! The good news is that five people won. They weren't the high bidder! The real loser came out on top paying $67.50 on October 21st. "Guaranteed Old and Original"? Tsk...Tsk...Bill! I may be wrong, but I think you knew from the start it was a fake. Very deceitful!
Another Central Pennsylvannia Seller offering up a Black Sambo fake. Looks antique, right? Actually, it's another 8th generation Big Ben clock made between 1964-1981. The chrome looking bezel is actually plastic as well as the lens. A countless number of these clocks were sold and are still in service, and can be bought on eBay for about $3-$5. That's the whole idea behind this con man who makes these. Buy them dirt cheap, sell them high. After informing the seller that the dial was fake, I received the reply "I kinda figured that is was not an old clock, that's why I didn't advertise it as such" Well, the observation here isn't whether or not the clock is old. It's whether or not it's authentic. Clearly the seller had doubts but failed to disclose them. Despite my warning and the seller's apparent admission, there were no changes made to the seller's ad. The auction ended October 15th, 2006 with a single $20 bid. A clear case of "Buyer-Beware" (Better yet, "Buyer-got-screwed").
This particular clock was advertised by the Philadelphia seller as " Rare Little Black Popeye Clock Electric". Actually, it wasn't a bad choice to use to create a fake. This is an early to mid 1930s Electric Westclox Ben Bolt. Although a desireable clock to have, I'm sure our scammer picked it up for a song. It was advertised as "Non-Working", making it pretty much worthless. This black Popeye dial was a favorite of our scammer, being used on many brands of clocks. After listing the clock twice at $100 and getting no bids, the seller relisted it again at $50. After informing the seller the dial was a fake, I was asked to provide proof. After doing so, the seller changed the description to read "I don't know if this clock is real or a fake so look at the pictures and do the research before bidding". I give this seller credit for coming forward. Although, our $50 clocks come with research already done for the buyer. We like to think of it as "Peace of Mind". It closed once again on October 17, 2006 with no bids.
"GREAT 1939 NY WORLD'S FAIR WORKING MARBLE ELECTRIC CLOCK
(Yes...it's a Fake!)
Here is a typical reaction I get from sellers who run a clock like this in their storefront for $75. The description says "It may be a Fantasy Item", whatever that is. Must be a nice word for "Fake". After the seller provided me with the number on October 18th, I responded "Yea...the PA Scammer really screwed up on that one. That model is called the(Telechron) 'Sportsman' and wasn't introduced until 1947. Yea, it's a fake. By the way, it's made of onyx...not marble." In turn, here is the reply I received: "F&#%YOU AND YOUR SCAM BULLS#&$. YOU F&%#$/* ^&#HOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THANKS FOR MAKING ME WORK SO YOUR EGO COULD BUILD> I HOPE IT EXPLODES ALONG WITH YOUR BRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Want to do business with somebody like this? Wait! There's more!
Gee! How do they do it? Like I stated in Part 1 of this series, we buy hundreds of clocks each year and have never run across any authentic dials like these. Yet some sellers get them by the box-load! These are more examples from the eBay Storefront owned by our friendly Seller above with the World's Fair Clock. You can buy any of these worthless gems bargain priced from $50-$100. Interesting is the red square clock. That's a 1952 Sessions No. 386W Square Kitchen Clock. Notice that the dial is the exact, same one shown on the Westclox at the top of the page. The "Sambo" stamping on the back is also fake. Just another deceptive touch meant to fool people.
Again, we need to remind sellers that eBay's policies on fakes are clear! Whether you know it's a fake, unsure it's a fake, or totally unaware it's a fake, eBay considers a fake to be FAKE! This seller describes these as "Fantacy Items". You can candy-coat your descriptions all you want. Although, according to eBay's policies, you are still 100% responsible for the item you are selling!
The "Garcon" was one of the more popular and abundant kitchen clocks produced by General Electric/Telechron before Word War II. As you can see by our clock shown on the right, these were pretty basic clocks that came in 7 different colors. Their colorful nostalgic appeal makes them popular with interior decorators and collectors. Unfortunately, the Garcon was never made with a Harly Davidson dial. This exact same dial has also appeared on other Telechron clocks classified as fakes. Notice that the red-dot power indicator shown on our clock to the right, is missing on the fake. After being contacted, this seller thanked me for the info and quickly changed his description by adding "The Harley Davidson logo is not original to the clock, was added later". Thanks for being honest!
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