Is a company liable for auctioning an illegal item? Posted on May 17, 2011

I recently won an online auction for several President pins in good condition. Upon receiving them I immediately could tell they were reproductions except for 2 of the 35 of them. Besides being in poor condition because they obviously were in the sun, the remaining 33 pins were not labeled "reproductions". eHow's webpage states that the pins must be "labeled" by law. An email to the auctioneer fell on deaf ears with my return request for a refund, less a 20% fee, was met with: "Thank you for writing. I have reviewed the listing in great depth and have carefully considered your request. I do not see a major distortion/discrepancy in the listing as we list items as they appear and state that we are not experts in any given field. There was really no way for us to know the origination period/"authenticity" of these items. This is also why we strongly encourage contacting us with any and all questions prior to bidding to avoid and confusion or to clear up any misconceptions (as we sell our items 'as-is.) As our terms and conditions state, we can only issue a refund when an item is received in a condition significantly not as described. I hope this helps to clarify and regret any inconvenience to you.” Thus I have two questions, the first being, Aren't they liable for auctioning an illegal item, as the pins do not have a "reproduction" label on them and it was their responsibility to make it known in their ad? Secondly, how should I proceed from here? Thank you very much for your assistance, I know your advice will prove useful now and with future purchases that I make online.

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