Updating & Analyzing the Jazz Vinyl Fraud
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve heard anything new on the Nautiluso Jazz Vinyl Fraud. We’ll place a call into eBay after the holiday weekend to see if they have more information, but there has been no new feedback on Nautiluso and nothing from the Berlin police about any arrests. We imagine eBay would like to put this to rest and has probably paid off all of the victims. One of our readers and loyal commentators, Gregorious, was doing a blog entry on the fraud for The Our Stage Blog and asked us for some comments on the fraud. This is what we said:
“I’m always watching records for the Jazz Collector site. When I saw the group of records that Nautiluso had for that week I was pretty stunned: It was probably the best collection I’d ever seen in one week. I posted an item about it and immediately started getting comments and emails from collectors who
were suspicious. Apparently there had been a major fraud about two years ago, and people were still upset and cautious. My tendency is to be trusting, but I’m also a journalist so I am not without a healthy degree of skepticism. I started watching and actually reaching out to buyers.
“Once I spoke to some of the buyers, it became clear that something was wrong: They weren’t getting answers from the seller and they weren’t getting their records. Finally, some of the victims began posting negative feedback on eBay, which made the whole thing quite public and official. I posted a few more items and contacted eBay for their comments. I think this was critical — contacting eBay on behalf of the buying community — because it put the heat on eBay to address the issue and do something about it. The last thing they want is the negative publicity of a major fraud: E-bay’s entire business model is built on trust. If buyers are not certain they are buying in a safe place, they will go elsewhere.
“So by putting the heat on eBay and making them aware that the community was watching, it may have helped to ensure that each of the victims was compensated and their money was returned. So far, we have heard of no instances where a buyer did not get his or her money back, which is pretty incredible when you think of $130,000 in potential fraud. For me it was nice to be part of what I would think of as community journalism or citizen journalism, where the Internet enables small sites like mine to have an impact way beyond what you would expect based on our readership.
“And, to eBay’s credit, they did the right thing in both refunding the money and filing a police complaint to prosecute the perpetrator. Hopefully some day, if we keep pursuing this, we’ll get a clear explanation as to exactly what happened and why. In the meantime, we’ll keep watching records on eBay, not just for fun but to be somewhat vigilant on behalf of the entire community.”
To see the full post from Gregorious, click here.