As a collector of autographs, rock memorabilia, I feel that I need to allow for a percentage of forgeries that I may have purchased over my time of collecting. Well I hope to keep the percentage small, but I think it's almost impossible to have a 100 percent success rate ,not being an expert that is. Even these days people are disagreeing with tpa.

 Well that seems to be the reality for me , how about you and your collection?

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I only buy when I am 100% comfortable about the source. I feel over all extremely comfortable with my collection so far. From either examples or blessings from those in the top of the field. I could never afford to make a huge blunder, so I only buy "bigger pieces" once or twice a year.

And only if I do my own research and get multiple opinions. Still without being there you will never know...However being born in 1983 I was never alive to at the prime of the 1960's and 70's when all my favorites were big. I like vintage as much as possible. I am just not vintage age to have collected back then...haha.

I have found that there is always some risk. We usually have to purchase something without the benefit of holding it in our hands and inspecting it up close. Trusted sources, unless they are in person sellers, are vital but no one who has done this for any period of time has a perfect track record. The main thing, is always do business with someone who has a liberal return policy. And, be a bit forgiving, we are only human after all.

There's no doubt we've all been burned before. When I first started serious collecting back in the mid-90s, my very first purchase of an autograph was an 8x10 signed Michael Jordan photo. I bought it from a store in the local shopping mall. I believe this was before eBay, and I had never even heard of Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA), the company Michael Jordan signs for. I just assumed (you make an ass out of you and me) that the local store owner was trustworthy. He said they were "out of stock". He would have to "order" it from one of his "contacts". Finally, it arrived, and I paid $139 for it (yes that's too cheap for a real MJ). Months later I realized it was fake, and then I learned only to buy MJ stuff with a UDA COA.
That wasn't my only experience of being burned, but now being a more experienced collector, I can honestly say I don't think I have any fakes in my collection. My last "burning" experience though was about 3 years ago. Hopefully, that's the last time. But you never know, even experienced collectors get tripped up. Perhaps the most important word for collectors is "caution". It can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
The Prince lp you almost.
No doubt...I came very close to getting burned when I almost bought that Purple Rain maxi single 12x12. Fortunately, a few people here like you, Eric, and Steve, and maybe a couple more helped to steer me right. Thanks, again.

I only have a small collection of autographs all bought off eBay and I found out to my cost don't buy nirvana.I bought 3 nirvana pieces and only found out when I joined this site they were all fake.Less famous bands are not forged as much as forgers can't make as much money on them so it's mainly bands like nirvana they forge.I would like to thank all the members on this site who have given me help over the years, without you I would have a ton of fakes now lol.

There a tough gig those Nirvana graphs, Alastair.

The absolute best advice I can give anyone who is considering starting or expanding your collection...is to get out there. Sure a site like this can be a huge help, but if you get out to whatever local venue you might reside near, be it a concert, a ballpark, or a theater....get out there and meet the people collecting. There is no better source for good material, working with the in-person collector or even buying direct from them, this will save you the huge sums of cash. The added fees tend to come from the autograph dealer that buys from these in-person graphers.

Here is something everyone knows, but no one thinks or talks about it.

If you are as lucky as I have been, you will become friends with these guys, and even when you can't get there, you may get first crack at items they are willing to part with. A grapher in the streets may get $20 from a dealer, that dealer may then put the item on his site for $100. Wouldn't you rather flip the collector $40 or $50?  The collector is thrilled that he is doubling his income, and you have just saved 50% off what you would have paid the dealer.

Buying an autograph off ebay or from a dealer you don't know... is no game. Before you even consider buying from ebay, you should have a minimum of 20-50 references, all 100% proven to be legit, on any particular autograph. Only after you feel that you have a strong working knowledge of the signers habits, should you even think about buying from someone you don't know.       

Autograph Live is the place to be if your dream autograph is from someone long gone. Chances are you will find someone here willing to offer samples or advice if you are after a Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury or Babe Ruth. Today's inperson graphers may not have the ability or the knowledge base to be much help there, but again the key is knowing the autograph. This is a waiting game.....wait until you know the ins and outs of the signers handwriting, then wait until the right piece comes up. Rushing into anything is a horrible idea, the minute you feel the need to strike immediately.....is when you will get burned.    

One of the best replies ever, Pete. I agree. Great points all around.

This is a great  thread guys....I've been burned too and I've kept that bad piece around the house as a reminder to be careful and go slow...

The one thing that really irritates me is when folks find out they own a fake item and then make an effort to resell to recoup their loss.

I confronted one guy out in California for doing this. He's a well known dealer on Ebay (and still is)  He had an obviously fake Elvis autograph up for sale. He knew me because we had done some business together  so I suggested to him it wasn't real and that he would be doing his customers a real service if he would remove it from his listings and not burden another collector with it.  Welll  boy-oh-boy did he get mad!! He became quite agitated and loud! And no he did not remove the Elvis autograph from his sale items...

What's the term...offence is the best defense??

I totally agree with you, Don. Anyone can make a mistake but when someone is selling autographs and they find out the item has a strong possibility of being a fake and they still try to sell it. That's morally wrong and it speaks volumes of their character. At minimum, they should pull the item and have the item examined by a credible authentication service before trying to pass it on to some unsuspecting person.

There are grey areas when it comes to opinions but a seller should do everything necessary to ensure accuracy. Just my two cents worth.

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