View Full Version : Autograph Authentication Be Cautious, Be Educated or Simply Beware!

03-01-2011, 04:26 PM
One major autograph professional has finally come out and said it and he said it to law enforcement. Basically what he said is 3rd party autograph authentication companies have done more harm to the autograph hobby than the forgers of autographs.

Many of the forgers continue to exist because their works are backed by Certificates of Authenticity from autograph authenticating companies.

Thousands of collectors and uneducated sellers of autographs have been victimized by autograph authenticating companies.

The result is that the collecting base is shrinking as people look for another hobby.

Some things you need to know. These high profile companies have on numerous occasions authenticated as genuine secretarial signatures, machine signed signatures, rubber stamped signatures, forged signatures and on many occasions even authenticated the wrong person.

This is one reason why these companies will not guarantee their work. They guarantee nothing.

They claim they have experts who give “opinions.” Does that sound to you like that has been written by an attorney? If you truly have an expert why can’t they say your item is real or not? Isn’t that what you want to know and are paying for?

First question, if you’re even thinking about spending your money with one of these high profile companies you need to ask “what is the name of your so called expert that will look at my item?” We can almost bet they won’t tell you.

Next, should you be lucky enough to get a name, your next question is “what is this person’s qualification to be called an expert?”

See if you can get them to admit not a single one of their “experts” on staff has taken even one of the fourteen autograph educational courses that were available around the United States. Matter of fact not a single one of their experts has even taken the basic course on autographs available on the homepage of this web site. So what makes them an expert?

Now realizing they have no genuine experts on their staff, what makes you think if they even use exemplars that they know the exemplars are genuine? In may cases, they don’t! This is why these companies make so many mistakes turning down genuine items because the signatures on the genuine items don’t match their bad exemplars. This is very common and happens more often than you could imagine.

Some companies would like to tell you that you need their authentication because your item will be worth more. We have experienced so many times where a reputable dealer is getting more money for a similar item than one with a COA from a high profile authentic company. Reason is many in the hobby have been educated and are well aware of the very high percentage of mistakes made by these authenticating companies. Many will tell you if it comes with one of their COA’s you need to have a professional autograph dealer examine your item.

One statement recently adapted by an authenticating company seems to be outrageous and has caused quite a stir. The company states: “a seller’s reputation is of paramount importance.” True and a reputable seller has done his own homework and guarantees what they sell. The authenticating company continues: “Those with the best reputations have their collectibles graded and/or authenticated by….” Sound like an attorney wrote this one. Why would a professional, reputable seller of autographs need a third party authenticating that can’t come up with a genuine “expert” to offer simply an opinion?

Now, the kicker: “If you are known as a seller who does not, your credibility may suffer.”
Can these people be serious? Do they think everyone is dumb?

It is our experience that those professional sellers who do not use these third party autograph authenticators and who guarantee what they sell hold the highest standards in the autograph industry. For a reputable, educated seller of autographs to offer something that comes with a COA from an authenticating company is almost an insult. It gives the appearance the seller knows little and needs a “guess” or an “opinion” from a company who has no genuine experts. Red Flag!

By the way, the company who had made these outrageous statements had a full page advertisement in an autograph publication that illustrated a machine signed signature of Bill Clinton on a photograph. So much for their experts!http://www.autographalert.com/2010-12.html