Sunday, March 25, 2012

Top 10 ways to spot a Forgery


1.Is the seller listed as living in the United States? If so don't stop there, if they list their email or telephone number check it out on one of the numerous reverse address search sites (I use find out where that cell phone or email address is really coming from. If it is listed as coming from anywhere but the location they provided in the listing be wary!)

2. It seems obvious but check to see if they have multiple listings of the same original, on the same site.

3.If the price is less than $1.50 per square inch from a well known artist is is a bootleg.

4. Check to see if the artist is listing under the "direct from artist." Contact seller and ask if he/she can tell you anything about the origins of the painting and what inspired him/her to paint it. Or "are you the Artist?" If you get a no, or I don't know for either of those questions, walk away.

5.If they are listing it as signed by artist ask whose signature is on the painting. Enter that name into Goggle and if can find a website, email/phone number contact them and find out if the seller has permission to sell their work and ask the questions listed above in #4. Again anything seems out of place it probably is.

6. Type in the ebay search some of the keywords that describe the art you are interested in and check to see if there are similar works being sold. If they are priced higher, that may be your original artist. Contact them (most artists are more than happy to talk with potential clients and fully appreciate a tip concerning a possible bootleg.

7.Ask the seller, via email if they have any other art for sell. If they respond check the spelling and grammar in their reply. Yes we all make typos but too many is a red flag.

8.Check toward the end of the listing for some fine print that says something similar to this "* Although this painting is an original that is painted and signed by the artist, there are several examples/interpretations of this painting that are very similar in design. These reproductions are also painted and signed by the original artist" (Make sure you inquire as to whether or not these are actual originals, as the same painting done twice or mere a Giclee'), limited edition, or where an artist (not the original artist) paints over the copy, with a clear texturing agent to appear as a painting.

9.If the title of the Auction says Original and the 1st sentence in the ad is "this is not a print" that is a sure sign that it is a print.

10.Check out the Sellers store, if he is selling more than 10 non art items, or his store is listed with a non-art related title he is not an artist. Artist may sell other things with their accounts occasionally but true artists sell primarily ART. Check the feedback to see how much of the positive feedback is coming from Art Sales. If they are going to consistently sell other things they will open a different store.
For Further reading on copyright infringment, ect concerning ebay, I recommend:


Alma Lee Art is one of the most Forged art on the internet. Every effort is made to prosecute the bootlegger to the fullest extent of the law. Widespread, and largely un-prosecuted crime the key is quick action. If you find any forgeries while surfing please let us know.

Found on EBAY
Original is SOLD, No Licensed prints Contracted.


  1. Interesting stuff. Bummer that you've had that happen to you!

  2. This is a dreadful infringement of your copyright and a violation of you as an artist. Have you tried getting a lawyer involved. You may be able to find someone who will take your case on pro bono. This is a truly horrifying scenario.