Restoration and Grading Scam Victim's support thread
1 1

28 posts in this topic

6,873 posts

Hi. With all the talk recently about buyers (such as myself) being ripped off by a fraudulent seller on Ebay with a restored or grossly misrepresented comic book, I thought I would start a thread where we could all explain briefly our own experience, along with the resolution of the case and even the seller’s name if you want to divulge. Briefly explain the details, what happened, if any legal action or reporting took place and if the seller ultimately made good or not on the deal.

 

This thread may also be useful as a sort of support group for the victims of “comic fraud” as I know that I for one “just needed to talk” about it with others who would understand.

 

My very, very brief story:

 

Back in November of last year I purchased an Amazing Spider-Man #1 on Ebay for $2,325 from a dealer who advertised the book as “7.0 or better” and described the small flaws in detail as well as stating that the book had no abnormal defects. He did not specifically state there was no restoration, but by the wording in his description a buyer would assume that it was not. So, book is paid for and received. I immediately notice that the book was highly restored AND even with the restoration looked to me somewhere between 4.0 and 5.0. I immediately contacted the seller and requested a refund. He insisted that his grading was accurate and that the book was not restored and refused to refund. He had no interest in finding a mediator to give an unbiased opinion on the restoration and grade and did not believe in CGC as he felt they were unreliable. So, just recently I received the book back from CGC and, just as I had thought, Moderate restoration APP 4.5. I e-mailed this guy with CGC’s results and he will not answer my e-mails. My next step is to mail the guy a copy of the results from CGC as well as a written letter by me explaining that I now have proof. I have filed fraud claims with Ebay, the FCC and FITC. So far I do not know if any of them have contacted the seller. I have not yet filed a legal suit.

 

I did not want to divulge this guy’s name when I wrote about this problem on these CGC boards months ago. Now I will. His username on Ebay was GM67 although he is now no longer a registered user. His name is George Matos from Connecticut. If anybody here has dealt with this guy before then please contact me with a PM.

 

Anyone else that wants to share their story please do.

 

-----Sid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20,663 posts

Call his local police too. Tell them he defrauded you out of several thousand dollars and that you have proof. File a complaint with them.

 

Also, how did he ship the books to you? If US Mail, then he has committed mail fraud. You can also report him to the postal authorities.

 

Hi. With all the talk recently about buyers (such as myself) being ripped off by a fraudulent seller on Ebay with a restored or grossly misrepresented comic book, I thought I would start a thread where we could all explain briefly our own experience, along with the resolution of the case and even the seller’s name if you want to divulge. Briefly explain the details, what happened, if any legal action or reporting took place and if the seller ultimately made good or not on the deal.

 

This thread may also be useful as a sort of support group for the victims of “comic fraud” as I know that I for one “just needed to talk” about it with others who would understand.

 

My very, very brief story:

 

Back in November of last year I purchased an Amazing Spider-Man #1 on Ebay for $2,325 from a dealer who advertised the book as “7.0 or better” and described the small flaws in detail as well as stating that the book had no abnormal defects. He did not specifically state there was no restoration, but by the wording in his description a buyer would assume that it was not. So, book is paid for and received. I immediately notice that the book was highly restored AND even with the restoration looked to me somewhere between 4.0 and 5.0. I immediately contacted the seller and requested a refund. He insisted that his grading was accurate and that the book was not restored and refused to refund. He had no interest in finding a mediator to give an unbiased opinion on the restoration and grade and did not believe in CGC as he felt they were unreliable. So, just recently I received the book back from CGC and, just as I had thought, Moderate restoration APP 4.5. I e-mailed this guy with CGC’s results and he will not answer my e-mails. My next step is to mail the guy a copy of the results from CGC as well as a written letter by me explaining that I now have proof. I have filed fraud claims with Ebay, the FCC and FITC. So far I do not know if any of them have contacted the seller. I have not yet filed a legal suit.

 

I did not want to divulge this guy’s name when I wrote about this problem on these CGC boards months ago. Now I will. His username on Ebay was GM67 although he is now no longer a registered user. His name is George Matos from Connecticut. If anybody here has dealt with this guy before then please contact me with a PM.

 

Anyone else that wants to share their story please do.

 

-----Sid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,831 posts

Anyone ever bought an ungraded book from comic-keys that turned out to be 7.5 or better and NOT restored?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9,004 posts

I have 2 warnings -

 

Rich Muchin - I bought 2 books from him on separate occasions at shows about 10 years ago. Sgt. Fury 1 and Hulk 6. Years later, my more knowledgable eyes have detected that both books are restored with color touches and tear seals. The Hulk 6 is a very sharp 7.0 - 7.5, so I sent it to Matt Wilson to see if he could remove the resto so I could get a blue label. Unfortunately, because it was amateur touches, he could not remove the color touches. Of course, no restoration was disclosed at the time of purchase. 893censored-thumb.gif893censored-thumb.gif

 

Samco1 - I recently bought a few books from him on ebay. Out of 2 books, one book had color touches (a $25 TTA). He accepted a return with no problem, then found another comparable copy and sent me that as a replacement. I can't tell for certain, but I strongly suspect there is a small color touch on this comic as well. 893frustrated.gif Too bad, because it's a gorgeous glossy VF+ otherwise. Not really worth sending to CGC to find out for sure. confused.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,514 posts

How I found these boards......

 

Rustysstarwars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21,762 posts
Rich Muchin - I bought 2 books from him on separate occasions at shows about 10 years ago. Sgt. Fury 1 and Hulk 6. Years later, my more knowledgable eyes have detected that both books are restored with color touches and tear seals. The Hulk 6 is a very sharp 7.0 - 7.5, so I sent it to Matt Wilson to see if he could remove the resto so I could get a blue label. Unfortunately, because it was amateur touches, he could not remove the color touches. Of course, no restoration was disclosed at the time of purchase. 893censored-thumb.gif893censored-thumb.gif

 

Samco1 - I recently bought a few books from him on ebay. Out of 2 books, one book had color touches (a $25 TTA). He accepted a return with no problem, then found another comparable copy and sent me that as a replacement. I can't tell for certain, but I strongly suspect there is a small color touch on this comic as well. 893frustrated.gif Too bad, because it's a gorgeous glossy VF+ otherwise. Not really worth sending to CGC to find out for sure. confused.gif

 

Rich Muchin - his website basically says that he doesn't disclose restoration on books in the grade where the restoration would not affect the grade(?). Here's the quote and a link - It is my policy to identify ALL restored books where the restored defects are beyond the set of defects allowed for that grade. For example: A book is in Fine condition overall but has a small tear that has been sealed. This would be noted as FN (st) because the small tear is a defect outside the scope of a FN definition. A book graded a Fair+ would not be identified as a restored book if the defects that were restored (sealed tear, tape removal, color touch, etc.) are common to a book graded as Fair+.

 

Samco1 - I also bought books from them advertised as unrestored, that came in with heavy color touch. So heavy in fact, that either they're inept at detecting restoration or they're blatantly ignoring it and selling the books without disclosure hoping the buyer doesn't notice. 893naughty-thumb.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9,004 posts
Rich Muchin - his website basically says that he doesn't disclose restoration on books in the grade where the restoration would not affect the grade....

 

Yup. I wish I had know this 10 years ago. Unfortunately, he, his mylars or his prices did not indicate there was any restoration on the books I bought. Both were 7.0 - 7.5 range. So obviously he thought color touches and tear seals weren't worth mentioning on books in these grades. 893whatthe.gif

 

crazy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9,004 posts
Samco1 - I also bought books from them advertised as unrestored, that came in with heavy color touch. So heavy in fact, that either they're inept at detecting restoration or they're blatantly ignoring it and selling the books without disclosure hoping the buyer doesn't notice. 893naughty-thumb.gif

 

The color touch on my book was powdery... almost like someone took black crayon or pencil dust and lightly rubbed it into the color breaks. It actually looked good at arms length, but at an angle, the reflectivity is different. I rubbed my thumb over the spot, and sure enough, some black easily came off. 893frustrated.gif893censored-thumb.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21,762 posts
...rubbed my thumb over the spot, and sure enough, some black easily came off.

 

I still have one of the books and will give it the "thumb test" this evening and let you know... thumbsup2.gif (pun intended! 27_laughing.gif)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6,873 posts

No more stories guys? I think it would be cool to have a thread that contained a bunch of little snippets of how we have all been scammed with restored books and bogus high grades, and how/if they were resolved. I could be a learning experience for a bunch of us. confused-smiley-013.gif ---Sid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21,762 posts
No more stories guys? I think it would be cool to have a thread that contained a bunch of little snippets of how we have all been scammed with restored books and bogus high grades, and how/if they were resolved. I could be a learning experience for a bunch of us. confused-smiley-013.gif ---Sid

 

Link to more sordid stories of restored books and bogus high grades! mad.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37,595 posts
Samco1 - I recently bought a few books from him on ebay. Out of 2 books, one book had color touches (a $25 TTA).

 

Yeah, I remember this guy. He kept listing NM copies of FF 120-123, and they continued to sell at less-than market rates, which made me very suspicious, so I basically wrote the guy off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,626 posts

Just in terms of how obvious restoration is, if I got a book professionally done and had pieces replaced and the spine tightened, does the restoration work usually stand out like a sore thumb, or could it look decent?

 

I know this is a bit off topic, since I plan to get a book worked on rather than being the victim of a scam. Still, before I send my book off, I want to know what I can expect.

 

Finally, I've been taking fantasyfootballbono's advice and contacted Matt Nelson at www.comicrestoration.com. Anyone else had any dealings with him? Just want to know before I send my Amazing Fantasy 15 to Texas if anyone else has had any reports on the guy pro or con.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6,873 posts
Just in terms of how obvious restoration is, if I got a book professionally done and had pieces replaced and the spine tightened, does the restoration work usually stand out like a sore thumb, or could it look decent?

 

I know this is a bit off topic, since I plan to get a book worked on rather than being the victim of a scam. Still, before I send my book off, I want to know what I can expect.

 

Finally, I've been taking fantasyfootballbono's advice and contacted Matt Nelson at www.comicrestoration.com. Anyone else had any dealings with him? Just want to know before I send my Amazing Fantasy 15 to Texas if anyone else has had any reports on the guy pro or con.

 

I'm certainly no expert on this topic, but if you think you may ever want to sell this book then I would not get it restored. Buyers seem to avoid restored books by the plague. Am I wrong? I know that there are professionals that restore comic books as well as amateurs. I would only go to a highly recommended professional, if you can afford him. And that is only if you want to keep the book. As an investment book, I say do not restore the book. IMO. -----Sid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,626 posts

Well, one day I hope to sell the comic, but in the shape it's in now, it really needs some work... You can see it here:

http://www.howardhallis.com/restoration

Of course, I would never attempt to scam anyone, and would always inform any potential buyer that restoration was done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21,762 posts
Well, one day I hope to sell the comic, but in the shape it's in now, it really needs some work... You can see it here:

http://www.howardhallis.com/restoration

Of course, I would never attempt to scam anyone, and would always inform any potential buyer that restoration was done.

 

If you're going to get those chips replaced, they're going to be noticable as the color in the repaired areas won't have the "dot matrix" print pattern found on early marvel covers. Also, the brown is going to be tough to duplicate. I'd be curious to see what Matt has to say about the color/pattern match.

 

Can anyone provide a close-up scan of a piece replacement on an early marvel where this issue was relevant? FF's FF 3 perhaps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
91 posts

Is this thread only for members who have been scammed with restored comics or for those who wish to share their nightmare stories about scammers selling comics on ebay as well? Also, if someone could direct me to a good website or a thread for reporting bad ebay comic sellers I would really appreciate it.

Edited by bocabill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1