Having sold autographs on eBay before, my rule, keep it simple, don't go on about forgeries, risks, & other signatures on the same subject, At the end of the day, your task, is to sell the item, explain when, how, & who managed to get the item signed, & lastly, put the item up for auction, at a realistic starting price, i.e Elvis Presley asp $250, Photo $500
When buying, firstly, look at the item, look at the starting selling price, this l feel, gives me the head's up, on what the seller really thinks about his/her item, Don't be scared to take the TIME to ask questions, common sense kicks in here, some questions may not be answered, through lack of knowledge, also, some sellers, will not respond, this, l feel, can also give you the answer, talking from experience here, I've bought items, only later, discovering, I to, have fallen for the greed of a unscrupulous seller, who then, also had great feedback. Most autographs sold on EBay, are sold through ignorance, however, do not be fooled, every seller knows/thinks what the item is really worth, because remember, at the end of the day, the seller has incurred selling fees, for for putting the item up, for auction, in the first place. LASTLY, don't be fooled, by sellers, quoting, on their auction page, "Starting at a low price so l can keep my EBay fees low," this too, gives me the heads up.
I like the fact that PSA/DNA will also give their opinion on the item in question before you purchase it:
On www.ebaysports.com and other conspicuous locations on eBay, and the PSA/DNA home page (www.psadna.com), you will find a QuickOpinion™ link which will take you to the Request Page.
Once there, simply enter the eBay item number for the autographed item in which you are interested, and make a fast and easy payment of $7.49. The item listing page will be forwarded [via e-mail] to our highly qualified experts for an online examination. Within 24-36 hours, you will receive an e-mail with their opinion on whether they feel the item is "likely genuine," or "likely not genuine."
My tips: Avoid "private bidders" listing, those with a "no return policy", low or negative feedback numbers and sellers that post poor quality, blurred, small, or hard-to-see images of the signature. That's a start. And if you have a bad gut feeling, bid on something else. There will ALWAYS be another item like it in the future.
About 10 years ago I started an eBay Forger List of all the blatant forgers on eBay. The first year it was about 10 sellers, than after about 4 years it grew to over 150 sellers. Also wrote an article that went fairly viral online about 5-6 years ago. Bacially what to look for with suspected eBay sellers, along with the myths many inexperienced buyers still attest to: http://www.cvtreasures.com/safe-buying-online-guide-page-2
I have to say, ANYONE that buys any kind of autograph off eBay, is insane.
I'm not just talking about the forgeries. I've seen so many, I stopped looking years ago. It got to a point where, 95% of what I saw, was bogus. The funniest example was my favorite band: The Doors. A signed American Prayer album. Only problem is...this came out 7 years after Jimbo was taking a dirt nap. I wonder how he signed it, in his famous (and easy to forge) JMorrison.
But, on top of that, soooo many of my friends have been burned buying other items on eBay. The buyer didn't send what they promised, or whatever.
You've got people j****** up bids, that have no intention of buying (remember the Marilyn Monroe plot, that sold for millions? The buyer didn't come thru).
Your comment "I have to say, ANYONE that buys any kind of autograph off eBay, is insane." Don't you think that's a little harsh? I sell stuff on ebay are you calling me a crook? I have a box full of stuff that came from Frances Bavier's estate sale; she played Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show and is highly collectable and rare for Mayberry collectors. The box contains mostly items that she kept for tax purposes. There's everything from cancelled checks, threat letters from the IRS state & Federal tax papers personal bills, SAG residuals, even old envelopes that contained fan mail & cards that people had sent her. I've even found some of those people and returned the envelopes that they had sent her some 20 + years ago. I agree that people need to be very careful about what's on Ebay but to paint all of us sellers as frauds isn't fair.
I agree with you. People can buy autographs with a reasonable degree of safety on eBay by being careful, knowing about what they're buying and and who they're buying from. Getting authenticity opinions on autographs before you buy--whether from a good authenticator or a friend or friendly dealer who knows the autograph--is critical unless you're good at it yourself.
I would suggest maybe looking to see if the seller has a photo of the person signing the item in question around. usually Nascar drivers don't mind me taking a photo of them signing the item. What bugs me though is the guys who take what looks like chest shot photo's of the person and that's it. I mean you could have that same photo person on 14 different pieces and who's to say that person signed all 14 pieces.
I would make some other comments but I think I will keep them to myself
"J.Morrison taking a dirt nap", OMG I just about laughed my **s off on that one. I thought I have heard them all but that description still has me in stitches. As far as being "insane" at buying autographs on Ebay, .....I don't agree that it is total insanity. The insanity is those that purchase and have no idea of the caution that they need/must take. I almost feel sorry for them.
P.S. " A dirt nap", .....LMAO
I have gotten Ray Manzarek's autograph and/or spoken to him at least 7-8 times over my 25 years of collecting. In several occasions (3 or 4), the topic of autographs have come up. Here are several of his responses (as I paraphraze):
"Why would I have a (Jim) Morrison autograph? He was my friend."
"Nobody back then really cared about getting our autographs, ........we all just hung out".
"Jim didn't sign many autographs for anyone, ....none of us really did. It just didn't come up."
He then went on to tell the crowd ( at the KLSX record and autograph swap at the Bonaventure Hotel, early 1990's ) to be very careful if anyone says they have a (Jim) Morrison autograph.
~~~~ In all my autographing and seeing the remaining 3 members at all kinds of various events here in L.A., book signings, Jim Ladd sponsored events, etc...., the entire immpression I get is there is VERY FEW real Jim Morrison signed items anywhere and even fewer fully signed Doors signatures. That for me personally, ends the discussion and speculation. Nobody knows it better than Ray, Robbie and John.