Did you know that the signed memorabilia market is now a multi-million industry?
With the advent of the internet, there are almost endless sources for finding celebrity autographed memorabilia. Yet, that means there also countless opportunities to get scammed.
Dishonest sellers have taken advantage of buyers’ lack of knowledge to peddle fake items on websites and at internet auctions.
But heading into a brick and mortar shop isn’t always a guarantee that you’re getting the real deal either. So we’ll take a look at few options to ensure you’re not getting scammed.
Beware of the Certificate of Authenticity (COA)
Once you start searching for legitimate autographed items, you’ll find that most sellers offer a COA.
For example, you may have looked high and low for a specific autographed photo, only to come up empty. Then one day, you stumble upon the very photo you’ve been looking to acquire. But is it legitimate?
Once the seller shows you the COA—a very official-looking document that verifies its authenticity—you may be sold. After all, you’ve searched for a long time for this. The problem is, anyone with a printer and a word processor can offer you a COA.
This isn’t to say that you’ve stumbled upon a fake. Just don’t rely on the COA alone. You’ll need to do a little more research.
Turn to Google
Just as you might Google a person you’re interested in dating, hit the internet to find out as much as you can about the seller. If there are any negative reviews, read them carefully. If there are a lot of negative reviews, that’s a red light.
And unless you’ve already committed the image to memory, you’ll also want to Google the celebrity’s autograph. Shady dealers have been known to sell reproductions that look close enough to the undiscerning eye. But “close enough” means “worthless,” so be vigilant.
Insist on Credited Dealers
Like every other industry, the autograph industry has governing bodies. One of the best is the Universal Autograph Collector’s Club (UACC).
Any autograph dealer that’s been credited by the UACC has followed stringent guidelines and been heavily vetted by them. Looking through the club’s directory of dealers will tell you whether you’re dealing with a legitimate seller.
One of the telltale signs that they’re credited will be their willingness to provide a lifetime money-back guarantee—since they can say with certainty that the autograph is 100% genuine.
Once You Have the Autographed Item
Hopefully, you’ve given some thought to where and how you’re going to store your special signed piece of memorabilia once you finally acquire it.
With something like a baseball or other three-dimensional item, a display box is recommended. But if it’s photos you’re collecting, you really have to know how to store autographed photos. Otherwise, they could get easily ruined. So be sure to do the research.
Get Legit Celebrity Autographed Memorabilia
Landing celebrity autographed memorabilia is exciting. Especially if it’s something you’ve pursued for a long time.
Just keep in mind the above steps to ensure you’re not getting bamboozled and you could end up with an amazing investment.
And for more informative articles with tips and advice on a wide array of topics, keep checking back with us!