I was sued for defamation by Todd Mueller and Todd Mueller Autographs in 2014 and the case is still ongoing (along with others he and Nelson Deedle/Iconographs have filed against me).
One of the things Mueller sent me to answer a year or so ago was what is called a "Request for Admissions," where you are asked to admit to certain things.
One of Todd Mueller's requests is circled in the image above. He wanted me to admit that there is no forgery industry.
I thought that would be great topic to discuss:
Is there a forgery industry?
Thank you, Barry.
And thank you Mr. Williams for helping to keep this going!
Everyone...thank you. I am rather overwhelmed and appreciate you support so much.
I just wanted to repeat................
Here is something I am curious about...
Is there a benefit to Mueller if Steve admits "That there is no forgery industry."
By now it's blatantly obvious that there is a forgery business outta control.
Now I have another question to add.
Is there some kind of starter kit package for people to get into this biz?
I ran into another start up ebay seller (hd_autographs from the UK) and he's got what looks like a starter kit lineup or something. Madonna, Elton John, Arnold, Ozzy, Gilmour etc ... all for $12.85 start bid.
If not a "starter kit" service, then how are these people getting their junk?
There's absolutely no question that there is a FORGERY INDUSTRY and it's far bigger than the Authentic Autograph industry has been ever since eBay started allowing forgery sellers to continue selling no matter how many hobby experts called eBay and told them otherwise regarding specific sellers who sell nothing but forgeries.
MOST autograph sellers on eBay show no PROVENANCE and have no provenance because when you ask these FORGERY SELLERS; "Where did you get your autographs?". They reply more often than not "I bought a huge collection from a guy, so I have no idea where these autographs came from.". Yet when experts tell them exactly why what they are selling are VERY OBVIOUS forgeries, most of these sellers go right on DEFENSE and curse out anyone trying to get forgeries off of eBay???
Greed took over eBay by 2005 and it's gotten progressively worse ever since, yet 40% of sports autograph and sports card buyers on eBay now are from ages 20-30. This generation never had several different Price Guides and hobby magazines to read and educate themselves from. Nor were they ever able to call card company executives, or most price guide writers and ask questions to educate themselves because these people BLOCKED their business emails and phones to INTERNAL contacts only!
So this whole generation of collectors decided to believe whatever they decided was correct: this is called NARCISSISM (everyone is wrong but them)!
Like I've been saying non-stop since 1999. The only autographs that will hold their value are autographs that were obtained and distributed legally by trusted BIG card companies. I can still only count the Certified Autograph Inserts (the term for card company autographs) where some of any specific player autographs turned out to be forgeries on one hand!
But the Authentic Certified Autograph Inserts in the hobby make up 99.99% of them. Card companies have done some very stupid things due to greed like making fake game-used jersey cards- but they thought they'd never get caught doing that because you would only get a very small piece of an entire piece of memorabilia. I busted two BIG companies for doing this and both have been OUT OF BUSINESS for over a decade now thanks to my hard work exposing these truths. However, Certified Autograph Inserts are a WHOLE piece of memorabilia and with enough experts in the autograph hobby, I knew these would be put up to a much higher level of scrutiny exposing every instance of forgeries.
I'd personally stick with pre-2006 Certified Autograph Inserts because starting in 2006, every card company started using more STICKER autographs on cards than On Card autographs. I believe that sticker autographs are worth far less than REAL On Card autographs, stickers are UGLY, make athletes shrink their natural autographs, and only serve to save card companies money. With the billions of dollars card companies made off of collectors from the mid-1990's to 2005 alone; I see no reason to want to make them more money by having UGLY autographed sticker autographs placed on cards which no one collecting autographs would WANT to do (unless they were given no other option like Leaf Pop Century does). Leaf Pop Century have been released every year since 2011, yet less than ten of these many hundreds of celebrity autographs are On Card autographs starting with Levar Burton in 2011. How many of you would collect these if they were all On Card autographs? FAR MORE THAN YOU COLLECT THEM NOW, I PROMISE YOU THAT! But the owner of Leaf couldn't care less about collectors, because he's the biggest Narcissist card company owner currently in business! I have email after email proving this!
In other words, if you collect sports autographs would you go to a game a bring nothing but a sheet of Return Address Labels to get autographs on (that's exactly what Playoff used from 2001-2005 and a mailroom clerk came up with that idea of using Return Address Labels for autographs to save the company money when some athletes never returned the unautographed cards and Playoff had to spend quite a bit to reprint them). Then if you got stickers autographed yourself you could stick them on whatever you want when you get home? Would you want to do this? Most of you are saying to yourselves: OF COURSE NOT! So why would collectors buy products with nothing but sticker autographs on cards in them, or why would they buy sticker autographs of players they like as singles on eBay or anywhere else?
The last forgeries made by athletes who signed contracts to hand sign the cards sent to them were some from DAK PRESCOTT (the fly by night Cowboys QB who will be gone from Dallas in a few years because his EGO far outweighs his talent, much like Josh Freeman and Jameis Winston from my Buccaneers). He should have been turned over to the FBI for creating forgeries by paying off a printer to pre-print signatures on his Certified Autograph Insert cards (that I figured out) while Beckett was fumbling and making wild guesses that he had someone else forge the autographs, then the blamed it on an auto-pen when NEITHER was the case. If Adrian Peterson's career could be destroyed for hitting his child, then Dak certainly should have been suspended for TWO YEARS for creating forgeries that he was contracted to hand sign with a company fully licensed by the NFL (when Topps lost all of their NFL licensing for this season too!)! Plus since he was the very first MORON to forge his autograph on card company Certified Autograph Inserts since 1997, he definitely should have gone to FEDERAL PRISON FOR A YEAR AND A DAY! But guess what Roger Goodell did to Dak? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!
Still wonder why no one cares about the NFL compared to five years ago?
Both the Sports Card hobby, eBay and the autograph hobby needs to be cleaned up in a very major way with a governing agency of EXPERTS overseeing what they do, and developing strict PUNISHMENTS for any fraud that is found. Otherwise all three of these things will go the way of stamp collecting did in the very early 1980's.
I wish everyone luck, but nothing Trumps (pun intended) constantly educating yourself.
James "Cardcop" McCay
GREAT POST !!!
And I totally agree that a governing agency is very much needed, and soon !!
there does appear to be a forgery industry. I just saw 3 totally different style George Reeves forgeries on ebay by history direct. it's absurd, they can't even keep their forgeries consistent.
Update: After I complained, they pulled down the 3 auctions in question.
unless you know the dealer and he has a great return policy I would stay away from Mantles, Ali, Ruths, and all the big names who we know their autographs sell for top dollar.....I would stay away from ebay as well....to many fakes.....the certs they give you are worthless....unless you get the autograph yourself you are never 100% sure.....for the $$$ they are asking for its just not worth it....buyer beware.....