The Daily Beast has a nice story on the problem with fakes on eBay. Though the company’s fraud consultant acknowledges there isn’t enough due diligence on the site and that, ” sense of urgency in these online auctions plays right into the hand of these people who create fraud on the Internet.”
Finally, Colette Loll, the consultant, says “We need more eyes on the site, but we also need to address the consumer demand for artwork that looks real but is priced significantly below market value.”
“Art fraud is a confidence crime that takes two willing participants,” says Colette Loll, an expert in art fraud who consults with eBay and has trained federal agents in forgery investigations. “People still believe that there are all these treasures out there and that they’re going to be the ones to discover them,” says Loll. “There’s still this Antiques’ Roadshow mentality infiltrating the online art marketplace.”
Buyers are purchasing works as one would a scratch ticket, with the idea that they’re going to get lucky. A recent academic study estimated that up to 91 percent of supposed Henry Moore drawings and sculptures sold on eBay were fake. And often, it’s the more sophisticated buyer— the art collector—who thinks they’ve won the lottery when they discover an undervalued art work on the Internet.
But when people smell a good bargain, they abandon their sense of judgment. “All good dealers and collectors look into provenance,” says Loll. “But people still believe there was that one work that showed up in grandma’s attic that exists without this chain of ownership.”
Why eBay Is an Art Forger’s Paradise (The Daily Beast)