Author Topic: This is very strange ???  (Read 40153 times)

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Offline Obsidian

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2013, 01:48:32 AM »
NGC responded to my note by saying,

 "Thank you for your email.  This is a photo shopped image that they are using to sell these coins.  If you were to purchase a coin, it would have a different certification number that would match the label..  Dealers will do this when they have a large quantity to sell."

So they don't seem to be worried about it.

I guess I still don't understand how taking a photo of a label on a slab, and then using photoshop to cut it out and paste that label on a different slab, is easier than simply taking a photo of the slabbed coin you want to sell?  Is making such composite photos of different slabs, labels, & coins consistent with eBay policies?  I just want transparency, so I don't feel like I always need to be looking over my shoulder for some scam.

From that response I don't know if whoever from NGC answered your question really understood the question or took the time to understand the issue.  It seems like they might just be referring in general to photoshopped photos or stock type photos.  I personally understand why a dealer selling thousands of modern coins or bullion type coins would hope to use stock photos or something else that would increase efficiency.  If I were a buyer of these types of coins I would want to buy them as cheaply as possible. In many cases it isn't exactly reasonable to assume they are taking pictures of each coin.  I personally don't worry a lot about it if the seller has a decent return policy.  If I get a coin I don't like, I return it.  Usually I can't even see how nice a coin is from a picture.  That is exactly why we have grading services and return policies.

I know many of you don't agree but that is how I see it.

With the issue being discussed I think NGC has the least to worry about.  I have a much bigger issue with MCM and especially with what appears to be shill bidding.  As has been said before, use caution when bidding with them I guess.

Offline davidt3251

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #76 on: June 23, 2013, 02:04:15 AM »
Comeaux,

After reading the Florida law, it would seem that resealing coins to look like OMP would also fall under the definition of a violation.
In my opinion, a Photoshopped image is just a modern-day, software enabled cousin to a resealed coin.

-David

Offline comeaux

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #77 on: June 23, 2013, 02:32:53 AM »
Quote from: Obsidian
From that response I don't know if whoever from NGC answered your question really understood the question or took the time to understand the issue.  It seems like they might just be referring in general to photoshopped photos or stock type photos.  I personally understand why a dealer selling thousands of modern coins or bullion type coins would hope to use stock photos or something else that would increase efficiency.  If I were a buyer of these types of coins I would want to buy them as cheaply as possible. In many cases it isn't exactly reasonable to assume they are taking pictures of each coin.  I personally don't worry a lot about it if the seller has a decent return policy.  If I get a coin I don't like, I return it.  Usually I can't even see how nice a coin is from a picture.  That is exactly why we have grading services and return policies.

Yes I can see where a lot of this makes sense except there is a big difference in “stock” photos and “photoshopping” … I still do not see the reason needed to photoshop as the MCM coin was attempted.

It is my understanding that “stock” photos are against Ebay policy just as shilling.


Quote from: davidt3251
Comeaux,

After reading the Florida law, it would seem that resealing coins to look like OMP would also fall under the definition of a violation.
In my opinion, a Photoshopped image is just a modern-day, software enabled cousin to a resealed coin.

-David

According to the Florida law I would also agree with you … when it involves “Consumer Protection”, laws throughout the US are nearly identical. I would be willing to bet Canada as well. 

I (and many others) have always felt that resealing coins is very deceptive … it is just as deceiving as photoshopping coins. 

Offline panda88

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Offline wg

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #80 on: June 23, 2013, 03:59:33 AM »
 
In my opinion, a Photoshopped image is just a modern-day, software enabled cousin to a resealed coin.

agree







Offline Obsidian

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #81 on: June 23, 2013, 04:14:21 AM »
Here's good one  GENUINE After  photo shopped All the marks , dings are GONE.
Sold on Ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1982-China-1-oz-Gold-Panda-NGC-Genuine-EXCLUSIVE-GREAT-WALL-LABEL-SKU27601-/130872154367?pt=US_World_Coins&hash=item1e789698ff&nma=true&si=RVhRs19rhnzbubdMYSe5Re4uTKc%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Compare to NGC :

http://www.ngccoin.com/certlookup/CertResults.aspx?CertNumber=3695648-001


I see no issues with either of those comparisons.  They both look like the same coins to me.  Anytime 2 different people take picture of a coin there will be subtle differences.  The angle of the camera, lighting, and many other factors can make a difference on how a coin looks.  Neither of those coins look dramatically different relative to the NGC pictures.

Offline jc888888888

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #82 on: June 23, 2013, 07:20:09 AM »
I see no issues with either of those comparisons.  They both look like the same coins to me.  Anytime 2 different people take picture of a coin there will be subtle differences.  The angle of the camera, lighting, and many other factors can make a difference on how a coin looks.  Neither of those coins look dramatically different relative to the NGC pictures.
I agree ,I am no expert and can tell they are the same........

Offline Birdman

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #83 on: June 23, 2013, 08:06:30 AM »
Here's good one  GENUINE After  photo shopped All the marks , dings are GONE.
Sold on Ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1982-China-1-oz-Gold-Panda-NGC-Genuine-EXCLUSIVE-GREAT-WALL-LABEL-SKU27601-/130872154367?pt=US_World_Coins&hash=item1e789698ff&nma=true&si=RVhRs19rhnzbubdMYSe5Re4uTKc%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Compare to NGC :

http://www.ngccoin.com/certlookup/CertResults.aspx?CertNumber=3695648-001

I see no issues with either of those comparisons.  They both look like the same coins to me.  Anytime 2 different people take picture of a coin there will be subtle differences.  The angle of the camera, lighting, and many other factors can make a difference on how a coin looks.  Neither of those coins look dramatically different relative to the NGC pictures.

At first glance, there seem to be significant differences between the two photos on the temple side of the coin (at 10, 2, 4 & 8 o'clock.  Coin removed from bezel?).  

My sense at the moment is that MCM likely has a template eBay listings for the various date and denomination pandas (For instance, 1982 gold 1 ounce panda).  It has three photos of that type of coin: An entire slab, a close-up of the panda side, and a close-up of the temple side.  It seems that they may photoshop in the label of the particular coin they are selling into the slab photo and keep the other photos the same.  Then they list it.  Simple and quick.  By reusing the template, they only have to take and upload one photo, instead of three.  The issue with this, of course, is that the particular coin they are selling and that you will receive may not have the blemish-free surface of their template coin.  I bet they would give a refund if you were disappointed, but it is deceptive, as the pretty coin you see in the photos and is influencing your bidding may not be the one you will receive.

At other times, MCM doesn't even take the step to photoshop in a new label, they just reuse the same stock photo with the same certification number.  This also has its problems, as it reduces transparency, and prevents a buyer from ruling out certain unethical dealer practices.

In my personal opinion at the moment, if you bought a coin from MCM, I think you would receive a coin in a slab that is unaltered and properly graded.  I have no reason at the moment to believe NGC is lowering their standards or in collusion with MCM.  I just have an issue with the way MCM is selling their coins.  The photoshopping of photos is deceptive  and there are some troubling signs that there may be some highly unusual bidding patterns in MCM auctions.  I think that MCM is such a good customer that NGC and eBay may not be as strict in enforcing some of their policies.  

It wouldn't surprise me if there are some dealers that create mutliple bidding accounts and are currently shill bidding.  I am not a tech expert, but I suspect that by using something like a proxy server, some dealers might be able to generate different IP addresses for their different bidder usernames, so that a casual review by eBay wouldn't uncover any solid evidence of shill bidding.  As has been mentioned before, if the dealer generates large fee revenue for eBay, it may not be in eBay's short term financial interested to do the higher level technological detective work to verify the shill bidding.  The shill bidding would allow the dealer to push up prices.  If the shiller got stuck with the high bid, they could either retract their bid, or they could "buy" the coin, and the seller could just quietly relist the coin later, hoping to get a an unsuspecting buyer stuck with the high bid the next time.  By reusing stock photos with the same certification number there is no way to detect such deception.

I cannot say for certain what is going on with MCM.  Clearly, I am supicious that there is something that is not entirely honest going on.  We have seen that NGC and eBay, by not strictly enforcing their policies with MCM, can have their reputations influenced by MCM's non-transparent practices.

If I were eBay or NGC, I would tighten up my enforcement of my policies so that my reputation was not dragged into the mud by association with others.

As for MCM, their silence is deafening.


Offline Birdman

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #84 on: June 23, 2013, 08:45:02 AM »
Look at these photos.

(1) A panda in a style of bezel with 4 points of support.
(2) The NGC file photo of that "Genuine" graded 1982 with apparent marks in the locations one would expect if it were damaged by such a bezel
(3) The MCM photo of that "Genuine" graded 1982 with no apparent marks.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #85 on: June 23, 2013, 10:37:55 AM »
OMP vs graded.  Why not own one of each?  Collect a 69 slabbed and a OMP w/ box & coa...........

Offline comeaux

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #86 on: June 23, 2013, 01:30:52 PM »
Quote from: Birdman
At first glance, there seem to be significant differences between the two photos


I agree birdman … definitely different coins because of what you have alluded with bezel marks on one but I noticed the eyes immediately without any other comparisons. Definitely not the same coin. Obsidian an JC are correct and that photos at different angles can produce various results on identical coins but these photos are both basically taken from nearly straight on front and back.   


Quote from: Birdman
My sense at the moment is that MCM likely has a template eBay listings for the various date and denomination pandas (For instance, 1982 gold 1 ounce panda).  It has three photos of that type of coin: An entire slab, a close-up of the panda side, and a close-up of the temple side.  It seems that they may photoshop in the label of the particular coin they are selling into the slab photo and keep the other photos the same.  Then they list it.  Simple and quick.  By reusing the template, they only have to take and upload one photo, instead of three.  The issue with this, of course, is that the particular coin they are selling and that you will receive may not have the blemish-free surface of their template coin.  I bet they would give a refund if you were disappointed, but it is deceptive, as the pretty coin you see in the photos and is influencing your bidding may not be the one you will receive.

At other times, MCM doesn't even take the step to photoshop in a new label, they just reuse the same stock photo with the same certification number.  This also has its problems, as it reduces transparency, and prevents a buyer from ruling out certain unethical dealer practices.

Good post birdman … When large companies use stock photos, they use the exact image for all of their listings, this is obviously the quickest and most efficient method. It makes no sense at all to photoshop with templates as we have seen MCM doing. While this may not take much time … it takes MUCH more time that just using a stock photo. I think we can all agree that MCM is less than reputable and uses the photoshop “with template” method to enhance the appearance of specific coins they are selling.


Quote from: Birdman
In my personal opinion at the moment, if you bought a coin from MCM, I think you would receive a coin in a slab that is unaltered and properly graded
I’m not so sure that I will take this leap of faith.

I agree you will receive a coin that’s properly graded but not the one you bid on. Collectors like you and I along with the majority of members here would be able to discern any possible defects in the coin purchased and the one received but what about those less experienced collectors who may not see subtle differences?

After further consideration I do feel that this issue lies mostly with MCM but I also feel NGC has a problem on their hands if they do not address MCM “altering” or “modifying” a certified and authenticated NGC coin image with the intention to make that coin more marketable.     

Offline Obsidian

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #87 on: June 23, 2013, 02:34:42 PM »
After taking a look at the other closeup photos provided by MCM.  I initially only looked at the main slab photo. I would agree, the close-up shots do not appear to be the same coin, especially the temple side.  The picture of the entire coin and holder looks like it could be the same coin to me.  Even different lighting, contrast adjustments and such can really hide details.  I see a lot of coin dealers that use pictures that show the frosty devices really well but the mirrored fields practically look black.  This type of photo can easily hide problems in the field on proof-like coins.

I do have an issue with modern coin mart using stock photos or photoshopping.  Their listing specifically says the coin pictured is the coin you will receive.  This isn't junk silver or gold they are selling.  I assume they are making enough money to employ some cheap labor to take pictures and input the actual photos of the coins.

Offline jc888888888

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #88 on: June 23, 2013, 02:44:17 PM »
great post Comeaux ! your statement below I agree with 1000% and hits right at the heart of the matter ,if I was NGC or even just as a lowly NGC customer who has spent considerable dollars and put a great deal of faith in NGC to fairly and accurately essentially determine the value of a coin (grading)  in an unbiased professional manner with a high degree of accuracy then they need to vigorously  police there reputation for their sake and their customer,s well being also.

Comeaux quote:"After further consideration I do feel that this issue lies mostly with MCM but I also feel NGC has a problem on their hands if they do not address MCM “altering” or “modifying” a certified and authenticated NGC coin image with the intention to make that coin more marketable."    

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: This is very strange ???
« Reply #89 on: June 23, 2013, 02:56:19 PM »
I trick I often use to see if the enlarged pics on ebay are of the same coin as the slab is to right click on the picture in the ebay listing, select properties.  It will give you the file name of the picture.  

The slab pic file name is http://www.moderncoinmart.com/store/images/D/1982_g1oz_panda_genuine_web.jpg
The panda side enlarged is http://www.moderncoinmart.com/store/images/D/1982_g1oz_panda_ms_obv_web.jpg
The temple side enlarged is http://www.moderncoinmart.com/store/images/D/1982_g1oz_panda_ms_rev_web.jpg

Their file naming convention is to put the grade in the file name, such as in the 1982 1oz MS66 currently listed http://www.ebay.com/itm/140988453475
http://www.moderncoinmart.com/store/images/D/1982_g1oz_panda_ngcMS66_obv_web.jpg

Notice for the genuine coin enlarged pictures the word "genuine" or "number grade" is missing from the description, this tells me the enlarged pic are stock photos.  

When you look at my enlarged photos on ebay listings, the slab photo may have file name IMG_453, while the enlarged will have IMB_453 - Copy, which ensures I post the right enlarged photos with my pics, many dealers have a consistent convention, find the consistent convention and then use that info to test any pics you think are in error.

Of course not everyone should become tech detective in order to safely buy on ebay or have anti-shilling procedures in place to foil shill bidding. If the seller is too busy to take pictures of every coin they should watermark the words "stock photo" on every pictures and include text in the description that pictured coin is similar in quality to the coin you will receive.  If they don't want their coins to sell to cheap use reserves, high starting prices or buy it now.

Arif