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Seller to avoid: greenesbooks (Ira Greene)

mjp

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I think I will avoid bidding on any eBay auction listed by "greenesbooks" (Ira Greene).

In December of 2006 there was a post about a suspect auction of Play the piano drunk by eBay user greenesbooks, and now in July of 2007 there is this listing from eBay user greenesbooks:

greenesbooks2.jpg

which is one hell of a poor forgery (and there have been some pretty bad ones lately).

Since we know that this is not a real Bukowski signature, it makes you wonder about his other "signed" books.

If you look at his auctions (he's got a lot of signed books, this guy) you'll notice a couple of things; first, a large percentage of them are not signed books at all, but "bookplates" stuck into the books. Second, many of the "autographs" are jerky (as if the pen was stopped many times in mid stroke, to compare what is being written to a real signature) like the forged Bukowski examples.

I know the Bukowski above is a forgery, but I'm no expert on other author's signatures. But if you look at his auctions and compare some of the signatures to examples of legitimate signatures, you will see that many of them do not appear to match. My opinion is that a good number of his "signed" books are forgeries.

Why? Well, first of all, too many of the "signatures" are on bookplates. It has become somewhat common for lesser known authors to "sign" books this way. Google the term "signed bookplates" and you'll find dozens of authors willing to send you autographed stickers. You've never heard of any of them though, and that is an important point.

eBay user greenesbooks would seem to have the world's largest - or only - stock of signed bookplates by famous authors. Because I couldn't find any other examples of signed bookplates by the famous authors in his current listings. None. Odd? You tell me.

None of this is proof that eBay user greenesbooks forges signatures himself, of course. But does it really matter? He is selling them.

Interestingly, when confronted about the issue, rather than acting surprised or apologetic, eBay user greenesbooks seems to become defensive and abusive. Look at this feedback he left on eBay when a buyer complained that they did not receive a signed book, but rather a book with a "signed" sticker: "Reply by greenesbooks (Dec-11-06 20:12): Moron can't READ!Ad stated BOOKPLATE attached. No Email to me for refund. Moron."

He has also said in posts on this forum, "...prove any one of them is a forgery..." and "...either authenticate them or prove to me they are forgeries." Huh? The buyer has to authenticate? Silly me, I thought that was the seller's job.

None of eBay user greenesbooks contain a word about provenance. Provenance is basically the chain of ownership. Something like, "Ray Bradbury signed this book for my mother, she has had it for 30 years and now I am selling it." Or, "I obtained this signature at a book signing," or through the mail, or when I ran into so-and-so at the golf course - you name it. All greenesbooks says about the books (aside from a generic description of the book and author) is, "...extremely beautiful collectible..."

But wait, he does say, "All books guaranteed," so that makes him honest, right? Well, no. That makes him willing to give your money back if you discover he has sold you a forgery. But anyone who would buy a forgery in the first place obviously doesn't know enough to spot it, or is trusting the seller, so they wouldn't ask for a refund.

My personal opinion is that eBay user greenesbooks (Ira Greene) knowingly sells forgeries on eBay. Unless he can prove that even a fraction of the signatures are genuine - let's say one out of every 20 - then I will continue to believe that they are all questionable.
 
Reply to Bill who thinks he is infallible

Well Bill,
I see you have finally given me grounds for legal action against you. I appreciate that. After all of your smarmy emails to me in private. Yes I do use bookplates. And no they are not forged. They come from reputable dealers. And yes they are married to books. I have an excellent collection and my job is to find books that are signed or unsigned. For this I spend my time going to conventions and estate sales, bookstores, etc. And if a book is questionable I pull it and destroy it or if someone can show me that a bookplate or signed book is not genuine I pull it. Considering that I have sold over 3700 books with few complaints and many to major institutions or other extremely knowledagble book dealers perhaps people can be a little suspicious of your motives in this case. Maybe this is personal Bill and you've got an axe to grind and a public forum to do it on?

The fact that I bought this Buk book and offered it and was gracious enough to send you a large scan of the signature indicates I had nothing to hide. Is this the action of someone peddling forgeries? You yourself asked me to remove it as you were suspicious and I canceled the sale
(after it was sold by the way) simply because of the uncertainty and your claim to be an expert . Is this the act of someone trying to decieve?

You yourself on this column said you were not sure as the date looked like his and perhaps he was "shit-faced" as you put it. You even asked others for their opinions.

Then you decided in your wisdom to begin suspecting my bookplates figuring I must be corrupt since I had a signed Buk for sale. I then sent you photos of blown up bookplates and you could not show me one that was not a legitimate author signature. That did not stop you from impugning them and assigning me motives. When I responded you hid the thread away from this forum to some private area.

Now in your private emails you decided to create a vendetta against me, inciting others to hassle me because you feel you are always right and no one else can possibly be wrong. Well sir, now you will have to prove your allegations in court as I am contacting an attorney. Your arrogance is astounding.

Ira @ Greene's Books
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Ira,
Have your lawyer contact me. I have sent you a private e-mail and let my feelings and my actions be known.

This would be a great time for you to drop the issue before it gets out of control and you cannot stop it.

Bill
 

mjp

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Well Bill,
I see you have finally given me grounds for legal action against you.
Not only do you appear to be a dishonest bully, you're apparently also quite stupid. Bill didn't post the first message in this thread, I did. And Bill cannot "hid[e] the thread away from this forum to some private area," only I can do that. So you had better sue me too. Your vicious team of highly paid imaginary corporate lawyers can contact me here:

Michael Phillips
1001 Fremont Ave. #218
South Pasadena, CA 91031
That address is no longer valid. Contact me.

I will change my request to have you prove that 5% of your "signed" books are genuine.
Just prove that ONE of them is not a forgery.
Go ahead. I'll wait here.

The onus is not on me, it's on you. I see that your auctions say, "All books guaranteed"? Why not change that to "All signatures guaranteed genuine"?

Why is it that even in your rants here in this forum you never claim that the signatures are genuine? You say that the forged bookplates "come from reputable dealers," which is meaningless, and that you have "sold over 3700" "signed" books, which is also meaningless.

It is my opinion that you knowingly sell forgeries but are very careful to avoid guaranteeing the signatures are genuine or accepting any personal responsibility.

I have learned from you "Ira," as you will notice that I say that the assertions in this thread are my opinions, which I am entitled to, and I do not suggest that anyone steer clear of your auctions, I only say that I intend to do so.

If your "signed" books are genuine, then you have nothing to fear if potential buyers find this thread by searching "greenesbooks" or "greenes books" on Google (it doesn't show up yet, but it will soon - sorry, I can't stop Google from indexing the site). The truth is incontrovertible, so if you are telling the truth, you can't lose.

I don't know what you're so wound up about anyway. You act like all your signatures are forgeries and you don't want anyone to look too closely. Not that I'm saying they are forgeries, just that you act like they are forgeries. You don't argue like an innocent man. You bully like a criminal. Not that I'm saying you are a criminal, just that you behave like one.

I hope that's all straightened out now.
 
Here are 5 bookplates all guaranteed.

I can send a lot more if you'd like to view them. I have nothing to hide or defend. I don't like being attacked as I try to conduct business with responsibility.

annerice1.jpg dickfrancis.jpg cornwell.jpg
grafton.jpg KenKesey.jpg
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
How are they guaranteed? I don't have the money or time to be sued by you, so let me be clear that I'm asking this from a neutral stance, not an accusatory one. Are there letters of authenticity by autograph experts? Did you personally view them being signed? Were they purchased from reputable sellers? Or is it simply a means to shift the burden of proof to the buyer (eg: if you can prove they AREN'T real, then I'll give you your money back)?

Also, where do all of those unaffixed bookplates come from? The reason that I'm asking is that I'm somewhat of a collector myself, and those seem like nice items to have... yet I rarely find them on Abebooks.com or eBay. Is it just that they are exceedingly rare?

I don't want to be a bother, but I have one other purely inquisitive question to ask about the bookplates. You see, I'm really interested in building a collection of signed bookplates, and I'd like your professional opinion on the matter.

Are there standard designs for bookplates that authors choose to use frequently? The reason I ask is that there are a few bookplates currently being sold on eBay that use the same border (it looks like a book with a three-pronged page holder sticking out of it). Here are two examples:

http://cgi.ebay.com/STORM-WARNING-J...ryZ29223QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting
and
http://cgi.ebay.com/MANY-WATERS-Mad...ryZ29223QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

Actually, is there a special significance to the three-pronged book holder? The Ken Kesey bookplate to which you provided a link features the same design, rotated 90 degrees.

Here is another example... This one: http://cgi.ebay.com/MEN-OF-MEN-Wilb...ryZ29223QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting
matches the Dick Francis bookplate exactly.
(as does this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/THE-ONION-FIELD...2QQihZ015QQcategoryZ29223QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)
(and this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/SAHARA-CLIVE-CU...ryZ29223QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting)

Here's that three-pronged book holder again: http://cgi.ebay.com/IN-THE-BEGINNIN...ryZ29223QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting
and here: http://cgi.ebay.com/THE-CLAN-OF-THE...ryZ29223QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

Thanks for your advice as I start my collection.
 

mjp

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I can send a lot more if you'd like to view them. I have nothing to hide or defend. I don't like being attacked as I try to conduct business with responsibility.
These scans and your "guarantee" are meaningless. Provide some proof that they are genuine.

Also, where do all of those unaffixed bookplates come from? The reason that I'm asking is that I'm somewhat of a collector myself, and those seem like nice items to have... yet I rarely find them on Abebooks.com or eBay. Is it just that they are exceedingly rare?
They can't be rare, look at how many he sticks into the books for his auctions. So the question of where they come from is valid. And the idea that all these authors are out there signing these bookplates (that we never see anywhere but in greenesbooks auctions) is a bit of a stretch.

jordan said:
Are there standard designs for bookplates that authors choose to use frequently? The reason I ask is that there are a few bookplates currently being sold on eBay that use the same border (it looks like a book with a three-pronged page holder sticking out of it). The Ken Kesey bookplate to which you provided a link features the same design, rotated 90 degrees.
Wow, it didn't occur to me to look for the same bookplate signed by different authors. I didn't think anyone would be brazen enough to try to pass such things off as genuine. I can't wait to see the answer to this one.

Here is a visual aid, since those links won't last forever:

FORGERYbookplates2.jpg
FORGERYbookplates1.jpg


Look familiar?

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZmoodybks1QQhtZ-1

FYI, should anyone wish to sue me now or in the future, please direct all queries to my new imaginary, bloodthirsty, sociopathic lawyer, Binky McFaraway, c/o H&L Munster Law Offices, 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

I have retained his services to defend me against any and all claims of slander, bias, censorship and nuclear regulatory infractions.

I win, suckers.
 

jose leitao

Charter Member
Founding member
If I may use Interweb geek jargon for a minute, allow me to say the following:

PWNED!

Most entertaining thread of the week, thanks to Bookseller.
 
jordan said:
Are there standard designs for bookplates that authors choose to use frequently? The reason I ask is that there are a few bookplates currently being sold on eBay that use the same border (it looks like a book with a three-pronged page holder sticking out of it).
why yes, they all came from Bookplates Unlimited back in the early 1900s....they printed millions of bookplates before they went out of business, and only used 2 separate styles so that in the future everyone could just buy one of the two styles and not have to worry about being unique

that's how writers from different era's are able to use the same bookplate

[/SARCASM]
 

mjp

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This thief (which is only my opinion, of course) is still going strong: http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZgreenesbooks

Though you may notice he has included some different designs on the fake bookplates now (though he continues to use those pictured above), in addition to signing more books directly on the title page.

Oh yeah, and all his auctions are "private," meaning the bidder's identity cannot be seen. Now why would he do that?
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Well, as "cigarpipeman" says in his feedback from July 19, '07:

"Greenesbooks is an honest seller - Ira Greene is a man of his word, His integrity is beyond reproach." :rolleyes::D
 
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jordan

lothario speedwagon
doesn't cigarpipeman post on this forum? he sent me these emails on some of my ebay auctions that would have been HUGELY asshole-ish, except i assumed he was acting all in good fun because we "knew" each other from this forum.

also, did ira greene ever sue anyone?
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
it's so hilarious that this is now in the spotlight forum.

maybe there should be a picture of schilling martyr here too? chop out the whole thread, but leave the picture (which you have no permission to use, by the way).
 

mjp

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I think I've given the shilling martyr enough attention for now. But I can't help linking to those baby bibs...
 
Never been a book collector, for show that is, I just read them and put them on a shelf somewhere. I apologize in advance for the question that will seem obvious to all of you. But, I might someday choose to buy an autographed book and need this info.
Are bookplates, a sticker that the author signs repeatedly and then it gets stuck on various books? If so why would they do it that way instead of just signing the books?

BTW - I would never buy a signed item from Ebay. I am skeptical of all items sold there.
Also, thanks for the thread...it was entertaining and informative.

If anyone is selling forgeries, may Thor piss down their throats. Unless they're into that...
 

mjp

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Are bookplates, a sticker that the author signs repeatedly and then it gets stuck on various books? If so why would they do it that way instead of just signing the books?
They wouldn't.

Well, to be fair, some have, but bookplates are traditionally printed for a person who stuck them into their own books - you know, the From the library of Fernswald Dimsdale type of thing. I guess the theory being that your friends will be less likely to steal your books if they have your name in them.

What is laughable about Ira Greene's "signed" books is that he uses the same blank bookplate designs repeatedly and expects us to believe that hundreds of different authors just happened to take the very unusual approach of signing a bookplate, and that they all signed the same half dozen bookplates to boot.

He's a thief. Period.

FYI, all of Bukowski's signed editions were signed on the loose colophon (or blank) pages, and then those pages were inserted into the books later at the bindery. He never handled the book as a finished product. The exception being those that he signed in person, etc.

BTW - I would never buy a signed item from Ebay. I am skeptical of all items sold there.
You don't have to be skeptical. If you have questions about something, run it by us in the "Buy, sell, eBay" forum. I think all the eyes here have a pretty good track record at ferreting out the bogus from the legit.

Of course, you also draw attention to the auction by posting it there, but that's unavoidable. Chances are we're all watching it already anyway.
 

chronic

old and in the way
Also, buying the signed and numbered Black Sparrow titles on ebay is pretty safe since they have distinctive bindings that identify them as the limited editions.



Fernswald Dimsdale?
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
just for reference, ira told me that all the bookplates look the same, because he bought a bunch of bookplates in a couple styles and then sent them out to authors to be signed. so much for his earlier statement about scouring estate sales for hidden treasures. he reminds me of wimbledon green.
 

mjp

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...ira told me that all the bookplates look the same, because he bought a bunch of bookplates in a couple styles and then sent them out to authors to be signed.
I thought he got them from "reputable dealers"? He can't even keep his lies straight.

An explanation for the bookplates still wouldn't explain the laughably fake Bukowski signature at the top of this thread, or the many other apparently fake signatures that have been reported to be seen in his auctions.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
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Never been a book collector [...] But, I might someday choose to buy an autographed book [...]
BTW - I would never buy a signed item from Ebay. I am skeptical of all items sold there.
FYI, all of Bukowski's signed editions were signed on the loose colophon (or blank) pages, and then those pages were inserted into the books later at the bindery. He never handled the book as a finished product. The exception being those that he signed in person, etc.

You don't have to be skeptical. If you have questions about something, run it by us in the "Buy, sell, eBay" forum. I think all the eyes here have a pretty good track record at ferreting out the bogus from the legit.
Also, buying the signed and numbered Black Sparrow titles on ebay is pretty safe since they have distinctive bindings that identify them as the limited editions.

And if you haven't already, may I suggest you look over this (recently moved) thread too...


Buying Signed Books and Autographs - Helpful Tips Thread
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Oh yes! Both the "L" and the "U" looks very different from the real signature. Incredible, that Ebay let's him continue with these questionable signatures. Of course, we all know why, but still...
 
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Some recent purchases of unsigned books of Julia Child by this seller:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370399348167
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290447006556
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170502248457
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230481377659

Purchase of this photo to be tipped in to the book:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110541238664

Sale of book with Signed 8x10 glued in for $425:
http://cgi.ebay.com/MASTERING-ART-FRENCH-COOKING-Julia-Child-Signed-/230490688817?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Antiquarian_Collectible&hash=item35aa50cd31

A known Julia Child signature, which is VERY different than the photo (as are all known authentic examples that I have found), which was then tipped into the book:
http://clevelandrocksclevelandeats.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/juliachild.jpg

It is clear that this seller bought the book and bought the photo and glued the photo in the book for a profit of about $200. I am certain that greenesbooks did not forge anything on this (as they obviously bought the photo on ebay), but they did paste in a photograph with serious authenticity issues into a book and sold it as a signed book without disclosing that in the auction. Per the provenance on the ad from the original ebay seller, the autograph was asked for in a letter. There is a possibility that this was signed by a secretary given that it is clearly not the same as known examples. Gluing it into a book gives the impression that it was signed in person by the actual author.

See you folks later,
Nicki Belane
 

mjp

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I can see it now; Thompson sitting in his kitchen (in SF apparently?), a few months before he committed suicide, and a little envelope of bookplates arrive in the mail from Ira Greene. His wife Anita, knowing how important it is for Hunter to sign bookplates when he is in constant discomfort and chronic physical pain, gently places them on the kitchen counter (in SF apparently) in front of him. Thompson sighs and smiles. "Well," he chuckles weakly, "I never passed up a request to sign bookplates, and gol darn it, I'm not going to start now!" He picks up a pen, grimaces a bit, straightens himself up in his chair and gets to work.

Because that's just the kind of man he was.

While Ira Greene is late for an appointment in hell to suck lava out of Satan's ass. Forever.

Sounds about right.
 
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