Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Update on Velvets Acetate--Bogus eBay Sale

I suppose many people figured it had to be too good to be true, and so it was. Why our own paper can't report this (or as usual it can't be found after a reasonable search online) I don't know, but the UK Globe and Mail tells us that the high bidder's accountholder emailed record finder Warren Hill, claiming a friend used his account to ramp up the bidding unbeknownst to him. I'm not sure I buy that story, but either way Hill is not getting any $150,000 for the thing, and Mississippi Records owner Eric Isaacson will not have his Goldmine magazine account of the find heralded for all time as the reason for going to garage sales.

This continues to be a central failing of eBay for me--low protection against fraud. Intentional or not, this had to have been a pain in the ass for the other bidders, not to mention Hill and Isaacson. The article mentions that it may be possible to discover the last legitimate bid, in which case that's how it should be solved, IMO. If not, they'll find another buyer--Hill ironically isn't even much of a Velvets fan.

But the point is that you really have no idea who the dude bidding on your stuff is--or conversely, you have no idea about the stuff you're buying from other people on eBay. I still use it, but maybe I would have sought an actual, physical auction somewhere with an auction house. Might have been worth the trouble, in the end.