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I have a very rare Nile Kinnick autograph that has been in my family ever since Nile won t try he heisman for the Iowa Hawkeyes back in 1939. I have decided to try to sell it and I'm looking for some advice. Should I put it on Ebay or try to sell it somewhere else??

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Comment by Chris Klamer on September 14, 2010 at 7:14am
You might check with Heritage Auctions they have a huge following.
Comment by Dan Fritz on September 14, 2010 at 2:30pm

I've collected Iowa Hawkeye-related autographs for over 20 years and have a couple different Kinnick's in my collection. I've also helped in the sale of several Kinnick's over the years. If you could give me some more information on the signature, I could probably give you a pretty good estimate of what it's worth. There are many Hawkeye collectors that are looking for Kinnick autographs that I know. If I can be of any help, feel free to email me at Kinnick is a very desireable autograph, especially here in Iowa. Value depends a great deal on the item it's signed on and the quality of the signature. Thanks, Dan.
Comment by Matt Fall on September 30, 2010 at 9:00pm
Chad, My advice is to stay away from your sports auction houses. They will charge you an arm and a leg and promise you the world. If you sell it to a private party, even if it is less than what they can sell it for you for, you will still Net out ahead. Visit places like R&R Auctions, Legendary Auctions, etc and you will be able to see what some of them have been sold for in the archives. Also, be careful of those collectors that act like they want to help you in any way they can to give you a value, and then squirm their way in to be your best friend and buy it from you for cheap, giving you bad advice. A Nile Kinnick autograph is rare so it should sell itself. Just be cautious and be smart about it. Get several opinions.
Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on October 1, 2010 at 6:48pm

Thanks for sending me the Kinnick. I’m not an expert, but I checked both autographs in our January issue on Heisman Trophy winners and yours looks right in line with those. I think it will very likely pass authentication at PSA/DNA or JSA.

If you want to try to sell it yourself (which shouldn’t be a problem), you’ll probably sell it faster and for more money authenticated by either of them. PSA tends to bring a bit more on average,and their fees are probably about the same, but both are good choices—I looked up PSA/DNA’s fee and it’s $150.

You can consign it to a good auction like Legendary, Heritage, Hunts or RRAuction and not spend the authentication fee. They typically charge 20% to you and 20% to the buyer (who will figure it into their bid) and they’re often a good way to go, as sellers often more money than by selling it themselves. But with something as rare as Kinnick, I agree with should have people clamoring for it so I don't think you need to go that route.

I don't know Dan, and you definitely need to do your due diligence and check references before sending it to ANYONE, but I think that what he's saying makes sense, too--he may have some very interested collectors willing to pay top dollar-plus so not to miss out on the autograph if you offer it on eBay. I think it can't hurt to send him an image to hear what he has to say.

A Nile Kinnick signature is listed in Sanders Price guide at $5,000, which in football, baseball and basketball is based on popular third party authentication, since that's the way most people go. I don't know the market on Kinnicks otherwise, but they're so rare and popular that they probably bring as much today as they did before the economy went south.

If you list it on eBay, I think you'll do best using the auction format, with a strong reserve. Reach out to members here and others who buy and sell on eBay for advice on putting together the best listing possible.

You can try the moon money or best offer approach Travis mentioned, too. I don't do much on eBay so this is where getting advice from the trenches makes sense. The $16,000 or best offer Kinnick Travis mentioned is on a full autograph page and he added the inscription "Left Halfback Iowa University", so that's worth a big premium. Like yours, it looks in line with the ones we published authenticity-wise.

Congratulations on owning an important piece of football history.
Comment by john reznikoff on October 1, 2010 at 7:01pm
That is solid advise steve. I cannot speak for the other auctions, and they may have great clients for this, but I do know that Doug Allen at legendary knows his football and would be a good person to ask.
Comment by Tricia Eaton on October 3, 2010 at 9:45am
Hi Chad,

Consigning to a reputable auction house is the best way to go over eBay. An auction house will get the best prices because they have a large clientele base, garnering the highest price for your unique item. Not to mention their customers trust that what they'll be buying is authentic and many auction houses use PSA/DNA or JSA to authenticate which further validates the signature.

Best of luck!



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