Your Reputation Is Everything!
inJuly 13, 2012 - 8:16am
A good friend of mine, our local Humane Society gal, brought me a picture of one of my barn mama's and her twins that I had sent to her computer. She prints them out, brings them back, I frame them and sell them with the $ going to her KittyKabin surgery fund. (some of her charges need lots of care before they can be adopted.) She made this particular picture a sepia tone and, if I put it in a 100 yr. old frame, that picture would look completely original/authentic! I was stunned and also taken aback at how easy it was to create the look of age and originality.
That brought to mind a situation that arose a year or so ago, when somebody implied through body language, raised eyebrows and rolled eyes, that I was an idiot. Which is not to say that my IQ doesn't come into question on a regular basis anyway. I freely admit to having HAD an actual IQ before the sheer wonder of the '70's took their toll. And it was fairly high, too. (no pun) These days, well, not so much.
But, getting back to it, I had acquired a truck load of things from an estate, and found some autographed sports memorabilia. I did some research and the autographs looked fine, though there were no Certificates of Authenticity. The items had been owned by rabid sports fans who invested thousands to travel to see their teams play, purchased expensive high-end tickets, etc... I put the items up for sale, noting that there were no C.A.'s. Then I found some reputable places that do autograph authenticating, chose one, and sent the items. (small investment can net larger selling prices) The results came back inconclusive. That sent up a red flag for me, and I sent the items to the actual sports figure, inquiring about his signature. The end result was, he wrote back stating that those were definitely NOT his signatures. What I did after that is what caused the rolling eyes "You're an idiot!" look. I destroyed the items. And here's why.
Those items were excellent fakes and the people who had owned them trusted absolutely everyone who crossed their path. They paid alot of money from an unknown 3rd party who happened upon them after an out of state game. They thought and treated the items as genuine. Now, I could have sold them to some other unsuspecting person, or sold them as fakes to someone who would sell them as genuine to someone else.
But here's the thing. We all live in a small world, and I'd rather NOT make a few hundred dollars than risk my reputation. Even if it didn't come back on me, somewhere down the line there would be someone disappointed or hurt or mad at having been made a fool of. I didn't want to participate in that on any level. So, I broke this one small cycle. Not a big deal in a world where you have to question every little thing, but if everyone did one small thing to counteract the cons and scams, maybe it would make a difference. I don't know.
I DO know that you can't buy a good reputation for a couple hundred bucks. So, I may have actually made a different sort of investment in my store. When you've worked for years to build a business and have gained your customers trust, well, that's worth more than gold. Even at today's prices!
Taking some time to check out the facts and bring to light the fakes is worth alot because, Your Reputation Is Everything!
Written by Elizabeth Allison
The Other Place, ABC Shop on Ruby Lane