Hope I have chosen the right section to post this.

Can anyone please try and explain a bit to me about RACC and AFTAL and others and if their association to sellers means a lot or a little.

What do each stand for and truly mean? Do they essentially authenticate a seller as being legitimate and buyers can trust their items for sale are the real deal?

Sorry if this post sounds incredibly novice. I am a newbie and genuinely want to learn. I appreciate any replies.

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I think that RACC Trusted Sellers is a great group overall. But there is one member that I feel was a horrible addition to RTS: Pristine Auction. Their inventory looks much better to me today than it looked until recently, but I think that it's because they were called out so much here.

Here's a sample:

A reputable dealer organization should only have members who have a long-time history of being reliable. Not ones that don't do the right thing until they have no other choice. That's my opinion of Jared Kavlie, the owner of Pristine Auction, and why I would never, ever want to be associated with him.

I think that RTS has mostly great, reputable dealers. But as long as Pristine Auction is a member of RTS, I will never give it 2 thumbs up.

I'm not familiar with Pristine Auctions. I see they've been called out on sports forums as well. That's disappointing to know they are  RTS. 

I've had good experiences with RACC sellers. Then again, I still don't buy on trust alone. I always do my own research and get other opinions. But nothing I've purchased or seriously considered purchasing have been fakes. Some rushed and sloppy, but I generally pass on those types of autographs anyway. 

I appreciate the heads up. 

I agree. 99% of their dealers are A-OK IMO.

First a disclaimer: I did enjoy the RACC group for a while, but quietly left several months ago when I began to dislike the overall vibe and culture more and more.

That being said, as far as groups and organizations go, they're most likely the best my no small margin. UAAC RD program, which always seemed to have some problems here and there even during their prime, is a sad shell of it's former self. There are still top dealers in the mix, but far too much crap interwoven to really be taken seriously anymore. I think the primary problem is time passing them by and poor leadership.

AFTAL is probably the better of the two options but has the lingering stigma of some serious issues (i.e. the Michael Jackson/McCartney drama from a couple years back).

RACC is the best of the best when it comes to safe purchases, authenticity and eace of mind. I do still believe that.

No with that being said, I'm not going to offer the same glowing review that some of the others have been offering here. While I do think these collectors do generally stick to their guns as far as authenticity, getting their stuff in person and putting in the hours and research, etc, there's enough behavior I just can't stand. I understand this is part of the game (to an extent), but when I see some major ethical shortcomings, it's harder to buy into the angle of honesty and integrity that these sellers' business models rely on.

And while it's absolutely not a rampant issue (as far as I'm aware of), I've caught sellers - even the most highly regarded in RACC - bending the truth about the circumstances in which they obtained something. Isolated cases for sure, but equally baffling "I think I can sneak this by" episodes from people who really don't need to do that. I'm sure people will site these cases as unfair examples (and I'm understandably refraining from specifics), but again, if you're okay bending the truth and telling little white lies to make a few extra bucks, it kind of blows open the doors for a few more questions about the overall operation.

I still recommend RACC to people looking for authentic in-person material, but keeping certain things in perspective is also worthwhile. There's virtually no 100% safe haven in this hobby.

UACC, RACC, AFTAL, PSA, JSA, etc. The alphabet soup of the state of the hobby. Now, they all do their part to improve a novice collector's chances of not getting burned. The bottom line is it's still about gaining an advantage to make a buck.

Honestly, the best way to enjoy the hobby is to educate yourself. Ask questions, study, and you will be rewarded for your efforts. Sometimes handsomely.

Dont forget PayPal! 



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