Insights

Ban on replica, counterfeit sales starts at eBay

New policy prohibits auctions of all replica coins
By , Coin World
Published : 02/28/12
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The ban by eBay on sellers posting listings of coin replicas went into full effect Feb. 20, although some listings placed before that day remained open.

Listings posted as late as the evening of Feb. 19 will remain online at ebay.com until the terms of the listing expire, which is no longer than 30 days, Johnna Hoff, media spokesperson for eBay, said.

The number of replica coin listings as of the morning of Feb. 20 was slightly higher than three days earlier, as sellers apparently took advantage of the window to post listings before the ban went into effect.

Officials of eBay implemented the replica ban as a means of policing the proliferation of counterfeits from Chinese sources that have filled the replica listings of eBay for several years.

Banned are replica coins, counterfeit coins, counterfeit bank notes, counterfeit bonds, counterfeit money orders, counterfeit securities, equipment used to make counterfeit items, and reproduction or replica versions of any Canadian currency.

The ban includes pieces that are stamped with the word COPY that may or may not have met the criteria for replicas or reproductions under the U.S. Hobby Protection Act.

Rather than attempting to track and police individual sources for the targeted listings, eBay banned listings of replicas altogether.

For several days after the ban went into effect, an informational page at the eBay website incorrectly suggested that certain replicas could still be sold through the website, most notably pieces marked COPY.

Coin World downloaded and printed at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time Feb. 22 — two days after the replica listing ban was scheduled to go into effect — policy pages with language different from eBay’s official, new guidelines involving replicas.

The eBay policy Web pages printed Feb. 22 inaccurately indicated replica U.S. and foreign coins were permitted to be listed for sale as long as they conformed to the stipulation that they bear the word COPY as required by U.S. law. The listing was also required to illustrate sharp images of the exact piece offered, with the images showing the word COPY.

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