I recently read a listing for a vase that was somewhat more ornate than is usually considered "mid-century modern" design, even though it very likely was produced in the mid-1900s. The vase retained the Rosenthal Netter paper label, so the seller got the name of the distributor right, but the maker was listed as "Bisotti," rather than Bitossi. The seller had obviously heard of Raymor, another major distributor, and Aldo Londi, the well-known Italian ceramics designer, pulling together these fragments of information to claim, "...the designer is most likely Raymor Londi."
As I often opine, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, especially when listing something on eBay, Craigslist or Etsy. Nothing says "I really don't know what I'm selling or how to price it" like including incorrect information about a piece. That's why my motto is "Check, check and check again."
As a buyer, I usually shy away from items with listings like this, because the seller has just enough knowledge to put a huge, unrealistic price tag on a piece that has been incorrectly identified in the first place. I've found I'm much more likely to get a bargain on a "real" piece if the seller knows nothing at all or knows a great deal...and more likely to get burned if the seller knows just enough to be wrong.
Still, I hate to see a seller floundering. It's either the teacher in me, or I have co-dependency issues that I need to deal with, because it brings out the caretaker in me. :) I'm always tempted to drop a quick email that says something like "Thought you might want to change your listing..." and then supply the correct information.
I usually don't though, because some people don't take kindly to unsolicited advice. I'd want to be told if I had a listing up that was incorrect, but I'm sure some people would resent the intrusion.
So what do you do when you run across a seriously inaccurate listing? Do you tell, or do you mind your own business?
At the other end of the spectrum are excellent sellers like these, who really know their stuff and accurately identify and describe the pieces they have for sale. This is the kind of seller I love to buy from. Take a look at these beautiful items:
|Accurately identified as an Italian vase imported by Raymor|
etsy.com - ten22home
|Accurately identified as an 1865-C Adrian Pearsall chair|
etsy.com - scoxx30
|Accurately identified as an Italian vase imported by Rosenthal Netter|
etsy.com - ClubModerne
|Accurately identified as a Peter Hvidt table for France and Sons|
etsy.com - artebella
|Accurately identified as a Paul McCobb design for Jackson China|
etsy.com - SmugglersCoveVintage
|Accurately identified as a Tapio Wirkkala Pollo vase|
etsy.com - modernrelicsshop