Dear fellow Cranberries fans and collectors,
First, we would like to thank all of you who went out their way to share their thoughts with us by emails, PMs, on our socials or on our website, regarding the eBay listing, analyzing all possible details.
As the auction is to end tomorrow, here is our last recap on the Cranberries World’s plans and all the infos we gathered these last 8 days.
First thing you all need to know is that we contacted eBay so as to make sure we would be covered by their « buyer protection » if these tapes turned out not to be as claimed.
They answered that bootleg concerts are not allowed to be sold on their platform.
A quick look at eBay’s policies and you’ll see that « Counterfeit copies are illegal and not allowed on ebay, examples include Bootleg recordings from concerts. These items may infringe on someone’s copyright ».
Digging deeper, we found out that Paypal lists « items that infringe or violate any copyright » under the « things that are not covered under the buyer protection ».
It is also specified that counterfeit and illegal items are to be « confiscated » and not returned to the seller in case buyer were to ask for a refund, meaning those tapes would be lost forever.
As a consequence everyone has to be aware that buyer is very likely not to get any refund if these tapes do not feature the content that is listed!!!
The financial risk is thus huge, as it now means losing several thousands of dollars.
Nonetheless, The Cranberries World team, with the help of other fansites and fans, has decided to keep going with the initial plan providing that we receive the samples seller stated we will all obtain, as these are more than ever essential to prove what’s on these tapes.
Therefore, we do ask that fans refrain from bidding so that the final price won’t be ridiculously high, especially since we believe that there’s only about a 1% chance that these items are legitimate.
As we now know, seller should be able to send those samples shortly before – or AFTER – the end of the auction, which means we might only be able to make our mind on whether or not these recordings are genuine in the hours following the auction!
If the samples are not received before it ends, our plans are to try to win these tapes whatever happens, and insist on receiving the samples before we send any money to the seller. If he still can’t provide those samples – which we have been asking for since June 5th – 48 hours after the auction ended, we will most likely withdraw, as we believe 12 days are far enough to find a way to send some samples!
Below are the pros & cons that shed light on why the Cranberries World team wants to remain super cautious and won’t be sending any money if samples are not received:
- Seller is a new eBay member
- This listing was oddly listed once, deleted, and re-listed
- Seller initially told us he had no way of playing the tapes as he had « no VCR to play the tapes on », yet he stated in the listing that his sisters’ “VCR played PAL tapes and I can include it with your purchase if you would like“
- When we suggested he used his sister’s VCR to send us samples, he explained that it was no longer working
- How could this seller list what’s on the tapes and state the video were of good quality if he had in fact no mean of checking the content himself ?
- Seller won’t send screenshots before auction ends despite numerous requests from us and others since June 5th (10 days)
- Seller says in the listing that “Her notes indicate that any show her friends sent to her from outside America was filmed in something called PAL format (…) Anything she filmed was in something called NSTC format” but this is nowhere to be found on his sister’s notes, he also told us there was no other notes and nothing on the back of the note we own, so where did he get this detailed information from?
- NSTC is wrong, it’s called NTSC, which he should know as it’s the VHS format in his own country
- The sister would have been in her early 20s when the note was written but the style is very childish like from a very young teenage girl, yet she uses professional grading terms for the tapes
- The dates on the notes are written in the European way « day, month, year » but she was an American and would have written it « month, day, year ».
- The writing around the edges of the notes seems to be saying some sort of message, these along with the writing on the audio tape seem to have some meaning for buyers, such as “Can you afford to buy that diamond? Still Can’t“
- On the note The Newcastle 1992 concert says “confiscated” but the performance is still rated and the concert is still for sale on the listing
- Seller says that some tapes are master tapes and other are copies sent from UK. Where are the originals of the copies? Why haven’t they been traded to other people?
- How come no big Cranberries collector has never heard of the existence of these shows before, nor ever traded with this US woman or her UK friends? We’re not dealing with a few unknown shows here, but approx 80% of this list is new to all collectors who got in touch with us – even die-hard ones!
- How come does a collector who trades tapes with her UK friends does not own any of the common bootlegs that were shared back in the days? How odd her 90s collection features only boots that are rare in 2020?
- How come her UK friends who filmed the shows back in the early 90s do not know that Coventry isn’t in Scotland but in England?
- How could her British friend would have known about the Cranberries playing support act in Ireland in the 90s when the band hadn’t yet released any material?
- Why did the seller go into such personal and intimate details about his sister’s passing when these are not necessary for a sale?
- In the original picture on the listing, all the label sides of the tapes were turned away from the camera, was this deliberate?
- In the new pictures of the tapes that the seller added, the labels are showing but they look brand new, modern printed, and don’t seem to feature on the original picture
- In the same original picture there is one tape at the back of the left box that has no labels on
- The tabs are still on all the tapes (no serious collector would leave them on in case they accidentally taped over them, especially if masters copies!)
- How odd that the only audio tapes she owns have the only unknown Cranberries song on it?
- How could she write the only few known lyrics to this unknown song on the Glasgow tape when they were only deciphered last year when the tape was cleaned up?
- Seller is not answering when asked to send samples of the audio tapes
- Seller states the tapes were stored well and are in good condition but he can’t verify this and they look dusty and are not in their cases
- Seller told us his sister « left the damn VHS tapes everywhere, had to put them in and out of the rewinding machine to find the date at the start of the VHS (…) our house was a disaster when she came home on school breaks » – this doesn’t sound like looking after the tapes
- Seller is not able to tell us what’s the length of the videos and confirms he hasn’t seen them all
- eBay listing features Féile 1991, but it’s very likely The Cranberries did not play there in 1991
- Seller uses the Uncertain CD as a proof but a lot of people have the Uncertain CD and it is easily available online
- Seller told us he wants to be careful with what his sister would have wanted him to do with her collection, yet he writes he’s ready to throw away the Uncertain CD and audio tapes if buyer don’t want them
- Seller couldn’t tell us his sisters surname because he’s not sure if she used her maiden name or not, all we know is that she was “Jennifer“
- Seller can’t provide sister’s concerts tickets (does anyone know any big fan who doesn’t keep tickets as a souvenir?)
- There are 7 bidders, the 2 that are doing most of the bidding seem fake as they have 0 and 1 feedback : seller making price climb?
- Seller sort of confirmed he’s bidding himself as he states he accepts offers and that “If we come to an agreement, you may make the bid on eBay (…) I will accept your bid and end the auction early with the sell to the highest bidder option”. To do so, he would have to bid just under the agreed price to settle the auction this way.
- Seller says his sister’s tapes are master copies, but they are full size VHS, so how did his sister manage to take a full size camcorder and illegally film so many shows without being caught – unless she was authorized by the band (?)
- Seller only offered to meet him in Boston to check the content on the tape the day before the auction ends
- Seller told us he would be happy if those tapes were shared with the world when he is not supposed to know of our plans – does he read CW? He is not supposed to as he is not a Cranberries fan (his sister was, not him)
- Seller is happy to write words, words, words and some more stories, but never actually sends any convincing proofs
- A friend of us does remember trading tapes with someone from Massachusetts in the 90s
- A few of these bootlegs have been identified by fans as « possibly existing » : Indiana 99, « Edinburg gigs », Wembley 99, Glasgow 94, and possibly Killarney 2003
- The fact seller agreed on providing more pictures of the tags on the tapes (although it weirdly took him 4 days to take these pics)
- The sister’s note looks old and faded, with notes that look like those of a real bootleggers
- Seller found an Uncertain CD showing she was an old fan
- Writing on the audio cassettes seller found this week fit the writings on the notes and look faded too
- Ebay listing states there’s a Feile 91 video but the actual tape doesn’t seem to feature a Cranberries concert, only a Van Morrison concert
- It is possible that unknown material exists and don’t circulate, some rarities still surface from time to time
- It is common to hear of fans who lost interest after 2003
- If real, price expected is absolutely fair
- Seller is open to send samples/screenshots and meet bidders in Boston to play 10 tapes (yet no one has seen anything yet)
- Why ? Why would someone lose so much time with such scam ? Why would they pick The Cranberries when some other bands could trigger much higher bids ?
UPDATE – JUNE 14
AUCTION HAS ENDED EARLY AT 5.45 PM UK TIME TODAY LIKELY BOUGHT BY A U.S. CITIZEN
UPDATE – JUNE 15
It’s been some intense 10 days for our team, working extended hours to try and find out what was the best way to verify the content of the tapes and make sure these videos would go to the fan community.
As you know, the seller decided to end the auction early, resulting in these tapes slipping through our fingers.
We understand this might be a regret for many of you reading this, however we don’t feel this way as we did consider every single possibility to get our hands on these tapes, including making private offers to the seller; but the financial risk, knowing that eBay hinted that we wouldn’t get any refund through their buyers protection if the content turned out not to be as claimed, was much too important for us considering we were perfectly aware that this would be a matter of several thousands dollars. We were therefore left with no other choice than awaiting convincing proof(s) before engaging financially in this.
It goes without saying that we did also contemplate travelling to Boston to check 10 of those tapes by ourselves or asking friends to do so, but the worldwide Covid-19 situation made it impossible to work out.
If there’s no regret, there are some elements of frustration though, as this means none of us might ever know if these videos were genuine.
The mystery remains unsolved!
Once again, we’d like to thank every single one of you who went out of their way to help us.
Special thanks from our webmaster to: the Dolores O’Riordan Spain team who has been by our side since the earlier stages of the auction, Justin at Cranberries Library, Luis, Jay, Alex, Alan, Andrea, Danny, Claire, Tex, Maurizio, Sören, Paul and Patrick.
Last, we have to say that if we were to go back in time, we wouldn’t have done things any differently, as we truly believe that the most intelligent strategy to obtain these (possible) treasures was to go public and offer the biggest collectors to work hand in hand with us on this.
We’re quite happy of the response of The Cranberries community on the matter, which encourages us to pursue our work at Cranberries World in an effort to build the most exhaustive database about the Cranberries and, of course, keep Dolores O’Riordan’s memory alive.