There has been an increasing rise of complaints about a variety of issues around the net about It’s a Wrap’s management of the Star Trek eBay auctions. [Reference: It’s A Wrap Homepage, It’s A Wrap eBay “ME” Page]
On the Movie Prop Forum, there is a long-running topic discussing all things related to these weekly events (currently over 450 posts long):
Mark Short, one of It’s a Wrap’s most active customers, has in particular faced ongoing frustrations with long-running issues of late in getting items paid for months ago shipped, missing items, a lack of communication, and miscommunication.
He has a complimentary topic on the Movie Prop Forum that is more issue-oriented:
Alec Peters, of the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Blog, has been discussing such issues as well, on his blog and discussion forum (Star Trek Props, Costumes, & Auctions Forum). Other issues raised on the forum include collectors receiving items that they did not bid on or win. There are also some polls which show the results of contacting It’s a Wrap for customer service support in resolving issues.
Alec’s latest blog post on the issue can be found here:
Alec outlines the issues he identifies as well as suggested solutions, which focus heavily on the need for a Director of Customer Support.
One of the other issues, outside of business management, delivery, and general customer service and responsiveness that has grown in the last month or so, is the prevalence of zero feedback bidders participating in the auctions. The fear from many collectors is that some of these bidders are not legitimate bidders, and are interfering in the auctions and placing high bids on items and not following through on those obligations.
Alec has been an advocate of finding a resolution to this issue, and his last update on his blog can be found here:
I’ve always found zero feedback bidders on eBay to be highly problematic. What follows is an excerpt from an e-mail I sent to Alec back in August with my view on this issue:
I’ve found I’ve had issues with zero feedback bidders on eBay going back years. It’s one of the reasons I hate using eBay. The few times something comes up that I feel is a really good piece, I have, at times, bowed out because of zero feedback bidding. I just have fundamental issues bidding against someone that may or may not be a legitimate bidder.
In my experience, sometimes it is just someone messing with people and playing games. Other times, it is a collector who places “to win” bids (i.e. something well out of proportion for what the item is, like $10,000 on a $500-$1,000 value item). They see where they land, then pick and choose what to pay for, based on the results.
I really think this is an eBay issue as much as anything. There should be some restrictions on zero feedback bidders, in terms of number of items bid on and a ceiling per item and overall. It would also be nice if eBay restricted accounts in some way – such as one account per SSN or something – but doubt that would ever be implemented.
As far as IAW goes, given that it is not just a nuisance but a “problem”, they really should implement some policies to take care of things on their end. I sell on eBay very infrequently, but I monitor my auctions. I always come at it, as a seller, from the perspective of a buyer. So if a zero feedback person bids on my item – I e-mail them and make sure they are legit. If not, I cancel the bid. I don’t want to waste my time, and I don’t want false bids unfairly pushing the price up on the true and honest bidders.
IAW has tools at their disposal. I’ve seen other Studio Resellers require some sort of confirmation on bids on pieces that exceed a certain dollar amount (typically $1,000).
Example (scroll down to the bit just above the shipping calculator):
IAW can mirror Hollywood Vault’s policy and solve a lot of these issues.
I have yet to win any of these Star Trek auctions being managed by It’s a Wrap, so these issues have not impacted me personally. If you are a collector and would like to communicate with other collectors experiencing issues, I would encourage you to join the discussions at both The Movie Prop Forum in the link dedicated to these issues provided above as well as the Star Trek forum, which has an entire subforum dedicated to discussing and resolving issues with It’s a Wrap transactions: It’s a Wrap Issues
Jason De Bord