Right guys, I have not been on since last time I posted on this thread due to the way folks felt it was ok to speak to me/at me & treat me for just trying to do the right thing by the hobby IMO, I am still TBH unsure if I want to dive back in as it left a very sour taste after all my years collecting calling this my SW home.
But I feel you all have a right to see what has transpired since so I will leave this here so everyone can see whats what, or more of whats not really. -
These are the most recent emails between myself & jeff trying to reach some kind of resolve to the fakes issue after UKG refused to look at them & returned them, which was IMO a wise decision on their part may I add.Frank -
Marc H contacted me for some help with his baggies which I have done, he also stated you were hoping to get all your baggies checked over so you could finalize refunds & get everyone straight including your own items.
After careful consideration I sent this reply over to him -
"I have thought long & hard about the suggestion you put forward & have decided it would be in the best interest of the hobby as a whole that all the baggies are indeed inspected/opened & or authenticated, but if I am the one doing it I would only be willing to do so under some provisos.
1. that it be done in a neutral location in a setting with multiple witnesses, ideally well known collectors.
2. everything to be documented & photographed
3. as I am already on a huge loss in both terms of cash / time & integrity of the hobby I love, it is not a service I would be offering FOC
4. any baggies found to be authentic would need to be passed on to a independent 3rd party for onward sale & all those being owed a refund paid before the remainder of the funds returned to Jeff - it's only fair everyone gets paid, the 3rd part would also need some kind of payment for their time & efforts IMO
5. any baggies found to be fake must be opened there & then & also documented in full"
I have spoken with the organizers of Echo Base live which will be held on the 14th October 2017, in the Kingfisher Shopping Center, Redditch. (details below in the link)
https://www.facebook.com/EchoBaseLIVE/p ... cation=ufi
They have agreed that the event would be an ideal location to do this & would be happy for a space to be made available for the job.
I have also spoken with a few other long time trusted baggie collectors who would be happy to assist me on the day.
I am in the throws of having to move house so my time is quite limited, but I would be willing to put the time in for this matter to be dealt with.
Kind regards Jeff -
Thank you for offering to sort out my baggies for me after all that has occurred.
I am Ok with most of the conditions on your list and a few I'm too sure of .
I will need to think about this but most likely it would be a go if we can come to an agreement with all involved.
I will reply again once I have had time to discuss this with my contacts and we can all agree how I should proceed.
I'm would not be selling off all these baggies as many are apart of my collection .
If I did decide to sell any then I would want to sell these myself .
After all you would be Oking them as to speak, I would be silly to sell any other baggies you had not seen and passed.
I'm will not be collecting any more baggies myself once we can have closures on this matter so there will be no further supplies incoming.
As for refunds I have refunded most now and have only 3 others to fully refund and one part refunded , once I have had my financial situation settled and my divorced finalised I will see it they all get refunded in due course.
Kind Regards JeffFrank -
Do have a chat with your contacts & have a think about it, but I have discussed the outlined criteria with both the baggie admin & with the investigations group before coming up with those criteria, in our opinion it is the only way to be 100% sure everything remains above board & totally impartial Jeff.
Several other long time well respected baggie collectors would also be there on the day to assist with the task for a 2nd/3rd & 4th++ opinion, the 3rd party asked to help with the sale of the baggie would be a trader of vintage toys who again is well known & well respected.
The decision is obviously something you must be happy with, as you must appreciate I must also be happy with the way things are dealt with for this to go forward.
I also feel it is very good of the Echo Live team to make a space available in a public setting for this to be done impartially & in the eyes of the community so both sides feel comfortable.
Thanks for your reply
I’d be happy to attend the next Echo Base Live show on October 14th 2017 and look forward to meeting with you and to finally putting to bed this whole Baggiegate saga.
As everyone knows by now I have had to endure this while sharing it with my divorce proceedings which has been so depressing and a big reason for me being not always vocal and not defending myself through out this matter. I'm sure i would of been 1000% on the ball if I were not in this situation and presented more evidence but I haven't had the time or energy to do so.
I was simply not worried about the fact I was supposedly making these but was more concerned at the cost involved and finding the funds in refunding everyone who had brought from me, while funding a very expensive solicitor and a wife who was also after 70% of my assets.
As you know my good friend Marc Hockley has been a real source of strength through these awful last 8 months and without him and a few other friends I think I would of dumped the whole hobby and walked away. But thanks to them I have managed to stick around and help put things right. After all I knew I hadn’t made any fakes or resealed any baggies, I’d just ignorantly bought and sold some on that had been.
I have recently spotted a fair few baggies on EBay and on other sites that previously I would of snapped up, ie 263200800215 but on refection I now see these may well be fakes or reseals. My point is that I had been doing that very thing for many years and unknowingly been hording them without any means of listing who and where these items had come from. I wish I had kept better records, something Marc always does, which to his credit has helped him with some of his own baggie issues, as they were not all bought from me.
Marc has kindly agreed to attend Echo Base Live with me on 14/10/17 and a few of Marc’s friends in the hobby will already be in attendance and so they can look over the baggies with you and the small team you have too. As you may know this is Marc’s birthday weekend and he normally books it off to spend somewhere nice with his fiancé but as this falls on the same weekend he believes, like me, that it is too important a meeting to miss.
I have now gone through all my baggies and using all the recent knowledge I have learnt have separated those I believe could be fake...re-sealed or unknown, in the hope that this will help save you all time on the day.
All the others I have grouped into lots of the same in individual clear boxes for you all to inspect.
Whilst I happily agree with most of your conditions, one concern is the cutting open of the baggies seen to be fake or re-sealed, as I worry that any that are later found to be simply unusual or overstocks could be lost from the hobby forever, however I will accept begrudgingly so long as everyone on the team is in agreement, as I know this may be the only way forward.
However, I will not be leaving any of the baggies or opened figures with anyone and I will not accept a third party selling them on my behalf. This is purely because agreeing to the Echo Live audit and the subsequent opening of any fake or resealed baggies should be enough to remove any doubt in the items I have left to sell. Enabling me to sell the remaining items in confidence. I want to ensure everyone who bought incorrect items from me in the past is refunded as soon as possible. Many already have been, something I have been working very hard to do all year.
Finally, you asked me to fund your time when inspecting my baggies and I can confirm that you will all be going through some 800+ baggies on the day and this will talk up a good deal of time, but since you are already attending and will be looking at them as part of the team, would it be agreeable to you all that instead of payment I make a donation to charity on the teams behalf, or even put some items into a charity auction that everyone can bid on at the event?
Hopefully when you all cast your eyes over them on the day, we can eliminate any doubt, rebuild some bridges and put some great items back into the collecting community.
Looking forward to it
Kind Regards Jeff
PS There is a guy still selling on eBay, that I purchased many baggies from over the years including 25x At-St drivers, he is still selling them… Item Number: 322495699092 Frank -
Well the criteria I forwarded are what was spoken about at length by myself & the other members of the investigations group & are firm, so I am afraid it's all or nothing.
I was as you know willing to look over all your baggies FOC for the good of the hobby, you declined & sent them to UKG for inspection instead, I even offered to be there to help UKG with the authentication process, you were quite specific that I was to be totally excluded from that process, this was your decision not mine, UKG would have been looking at a minimum of 5 pounds per item to authenticate, which at 800+ baggies is 4k & you want me to miss my day at echo live to deal with these for you & drive a 400 mile round trip for free??, sorry but that ship has long since sailed Jeff & as said that was your choice not mine, I was even willing to to take payment in baggies rather than cash as I know you have many folks to get refunds to.
The 3rd party is also a given for obvious reasons, but you are free to take any figures removed from baggies back with you for onward sale.
It's your choice & I know you have other things going on in life as do I, I was/am willing to do this, but only if all criteria are met, I am also not willing to renegotiate this at a future point in time as to be honest I would like to move on & put this behind me.
Kind regardsJeff -
Ok if you wont accept a charitable donation for your time then what would be your fee ?
Will the other guys helping you also want paying as you haven't mentioned them ?
The idea of not allowing you to originally check out them out was not decided myself, as you know from our first phone call conversation I was up for driving to your door with them.
I was advised not to let you check them by numerous people, mostly those I have befriend in the hobby and some that have nothing to do with star wars what so ever.
They all agreed that you were a conflict of interest and it was best left to a third party who had nothing to do with the original investigation.
Steve from UKG and his right hand man also agreed this when I called him, stating he was happy to act as the middle man and had more knowledge with baggies as he has been grading these this since the mid 80s and therefore was the way to proceed .
My Agreement with Steve was for him to check my baggies and grade those loose he thought were not genuine if they were scored above an 85.
we agreed £6 per figure to grade and case. (Not a fiver each to simply check them.) and provide me with a written report on all of them.
I said that if the amount for grading was over 2k then I would of been happy to supply him with a set of near mint loose figures as he originally mentioned, Obviously this never happed .
I thought the whole idea of this exercise was to gain trust again so I can carry on buying and selling star wars items and learn from my mistakes not ostracise me from the hobby.
I'm sorry but will no way be leaving nearly 35K+ worth of assets with anyone I do not know and certainly wont want all these sold.
As for these so called many refunds I have already refunded 10 buyers including Kevin Blesoe and yourself with only 3 people left on my list to refund being Marc Carrway which I have already refunded 50% ...Jason Lynch , (If he don't decide to grade them loose himself ) Scott Brittle and just recently Marc Hockley.
I'm hoping to refund these remaining guys once I have my new mortgage in place and can use my Credit cards again, Also with the sale of some genuine baggies I have promised to get all these guys sorted by Christmas.
There has to be trust on both side here ,and if we cant come to an arrangement that suits us both then as you said, "if it doesn't happen this one time" then we will lose an great opportunity to resolve this matter bury the hatchet once and for all.
Your still making comments which shows you still believe I'm faking or making these baggies I.e. To give all Ok baggies to a 3rd person So no baggies can switched after being checked....This deeply offends me .
If we can not come to an agreement then you also leave me no choice but to simply sort out these baggies between my friends who have a fairly good knowledge base within the hobby that we could all agree which are good and which are bad.
Although your baggies is not live or via SWFUK I can still access these via google for reference, Then I just can sell them myself or maybe third party if this were to be an issue with buyers.
There is also a third option of simply sending these to AFA or CAS and letting them grade them all as I know these are on the expensive side but I have all the time in the world .
[/color] Frank -
You really think we collectors do not speak to one another??, 6 Pounds to grade & case a figure - really??, I just confirmed with Steve thats a total fabrication, grade cost to you would have been 13 pounds per figure or 23 per baggie as it is to me & everyone else, he also confirmed just looking at them would have been a minimum cost of 5 pounds per item, I was as it goes going to ask you for 10 baggies rather than cash to look at your 800++ baggies as I know it would make life easier & you could get cash to those owed, you send them off to CAS for grading & good luck getting them sent there & back & graded for 6 pounds an item, I have already spoken with Ross Barr from CAS & he has confirmed they would be willing to look at them all, they have Todd DeMartino working with them who is the co-author of the SWCA baggie guide, so an ideal person to help deal with them.
There are many other collectors I know of that have baggies from you which have not been refunded as yet, I have no doubt a great many who have had these baggies are not even aware of the situation as they are not on the forums or facebook, so it's a lot we are talking about not just the few you stated above.
There is also the situation of all the fake multi packs that has not even been looked in to fully as yet.
I made what I (& others) feel was a fair solution to make headway in resolving this situation, you do not wish to agree to the few simple terms & that is your choice.
Jeff -Hi Frank
Sorry I think I should of explained myself clearer on the cost involved in checking all and grading only a certain number of figures, I had agreed with Steve that he was to receive a full set of near mint figures in 4 collectors figure cases for his time and work he was doing for me, which worked out to around that per figure. Anymore than that was to be charged at a rate of around £12 per figure, but this price was via a third party who regularly uses Steve Services .
Anyhow, that aside the main subject here is checking my baggies so I can sell with confidence and I have taken your offer seriously and have thought very long and hard what to do.
I have spoken with a number of people in the hobby and even to my friends who don’t collect, just to get a balance of advice and as you know i am willing to bend to some of your strict criteria here but I feel you are not.
I'm really not happy with leaving thousands of pounds worth of my property with a total stranger to sell on and I feel that reading between the lines, despite my efforts, that you and your team still have nothing but contempt for me.
I feel you've been very aggressive in the past with me and even now there is still an undertone of this, so much so, that I have concerns that even a public meeting could turn sour if we can not agree on something as simple as a heat or tape seal etc.
In addition, Steve has told me in the past, as have others, that you simply do not know it all and sometimes you can be wrong.
So, after careful consideration, despite the cost involved, I have decided to decline your offer & instead decided to send them to CAS, but only once I have paid all those that I still owe on my list.
Any collectors who are not already on my list, those that haven't come forward in the last 8 months, will not be refunded, I started out saying 6 weeks to send them back its now been well over 6 months, even decades of mis-sold PPI has a cut off date.
I need to deal with this best I can and move on, I think I have done far more to put right any damage caused than anyone in this hobby has done before, instead of going to ground I’ve stood up and been held accountable, something I think you’ll agree is unprecedented.
A great deal of money has already been refunded to collectors who purchased incorrect baggies from me including yourself and I will refund the others on my list just as soon as I have access to credit to do so.
Kind Regards JeffFrank (final message) -
Yes sending them to CAS is a good idea as I am sure Todd DeMartino is well qualified to check them over & you can get them all graded & sold at the same time.
As for me not being your greatest fan right now, well can you really blame me? after spending thousands on fakes & wasting 100's of hours trying to make sense of writing a guide that was all being made problematic at best by all the faked fonts/bags, as you know I was there for many years for you as I am for anyone asking for advice, always willing to help whenever you had questions as the 100's of emails showed.
Under the circumstances & taking on board all the advice from the members in the investigations group the criteria seemed the only totally impartial & safe way forward for all involved.
I am glad to not have to be involved further as it is quite a relief, I hope CAS can check them all & that everyone owed funds will be being paid back in full, though saying any further folk owed will get nothing is a little rough on those not on social media or forums who may well be unaware of the situation, but that is your call.
There was no further communication after that last message.
There is as was stated above also the major issue on the faked brown box multi packs to be looked into in full, some are currently with Tom Derby for inspection, though to me it is glaringly obvious the baggies within these "sealed packs" are fakes