I posted a HELP message yesterday (which I quickly removed and I'll explain why) after working with eBay ID- helpinghumans EVERY DAY for ten days. They are (or were) a decent charity doing the right things for the right reasons donating 70-80% of everything they made (minus eBay/PayPal fees and other expenses) selling donated autographs on eBay. Donating 70-80% is VERY HIGH for a legal charity of any kind large or small (especially knowing that eBay/PayPal likely charges them 15% total of every sale).
They have their own website as well and are a 100% legal charity: www.helpinghumans.org
Unfortunately a family member of mine found a definite fake autograph they were selling and asked me to take a look. Starting on the page the bad autograph was on, I found over (15) more DEFINITE fake autographs. Now keep in mind that many of their donors have been donating to this charity for years and are vintage autograph collectors in some cases with many thousands of authentic autographs, and they've never once had a feedback say anything bad about their autographs- YET!!!
They have MANY BAD autographs listed which I spent over 4-hours examining making absolute sure that I told them as much detail as I could as to why the autographs were bad. The older woman that replied (who basically runs the day to day operations of the charity (which is NOT her job), answer all e-mails and phone calls too, etc.) was very polite and gracious and I had no reason to believe after several e-mails and a LONG phone call that this charity wasn't 100% on the level as was she. It turned out that the charity founder (and autograph expert) passed away not long ago so they lost their person who could remove bad autographs without anyone questioning him.
She told me that the donor of the bad autographs I thoroughly examined were pre-certified for the donor by PSA/DNA. No surprise there that PSA/DNA made awful mistakes on some of the best autographs in that lot of (300) or so of mostly signed index cards. But then I found out from her that PSA/DNA is only charging $10 to encase autographs that they say are authentic. The last time I went after PSA/DNA they were charging $20-$25 per average autograph. So I need to make an apology to everyone on this board based on a post I made regarding the true authenticity of PSA/DNA items!
I AM VERY SORRY I SAID THAT 90% OF PSA/DNA ENCASED AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPHS ARE ACTUALLY AUTHENTIC. I WAS VERY WRONG!!! Just now knowing that they've been charging only $10 to give their opinion on autographs and then encasing them proves to me that they only look at autographs for a second or two (if at all) and no expert is doing it. That changes EVERYTHING about PSA/DNA. Plus the pre-certified program seems useless as they must pick a few autographs at random and based on their opinion on those few: they authenticate the whole collection???
YOU CANNOT EVER SAY ANY AUTOGRAPH IS GOOD OR NOT SIMPLY BY THE MERIT OF OTHER AUTOGRAPHS! EACH AUTOGRAPH MUST BE JUDGED ON IT'S OEN MERIT, PERIOD!
I wouldn't even want to guess how many forgeries PSA/DNA authenticate, but it's certainly OVER 50%!!!
On Feb. 4th after explaining the autograph hobby in much detail several times (because no one at this charity had ANY idea), she sent this e-mail response:
"Hi James, I am overwhelmed (in a good way) with ALL the information you have sent us. I have been reading and reading… I did read the BULLPEN… James, you are an AMAZING man. Another head team member is saying WOW to all your help. He will be taking down the auctions from your list that you sent us that are not authentic. We have never had help like this. Thank you Thank you for all your help.
Plus the help you are doing with the woman… AMAZING…"
Remember the: "He will be taking down the auctions from your list that you sent us that are not authentic."
So this went on until yesterday with me trying to get help from experts on this site in reviewing all the autographs this charity had listed (well over a THOUSAND) because my sick body is not tolerating this severe northeast cold at all since there's NO HEAT in my apartment. This woman even asked for my help getting rid of a bully who was threatening this charity claiming he "studies autographs" as his expertise. I crushed him by e-mail as he was just a collector who thought he knew it all, so he decided to threaten a charity right from the start -which is something no normal human-being does. It turned out that this eBay member was selling a SCORE BOARD very famous baseball player autographed baseball from 1996 with nothing but the worthless Score Board COA which he thought was good as gold. How much could he possibly know about autographs if he's selling a VERY famous expensive autographed baseball with a Score Board COA as the ONLY authenticity? I asked him about that and had other pertinent questions which he never answered. So I got him to leave this charity alone based on the statement this woman made above that bad autographs would be removed.
Then all of a sudden, truly out of nowhere the woman e-mails me last night and says "Frank (the President of the charity) who trusts PSA/DNA like they are god says he won't remove any of the autographs I spent hours pointing out as fake or too bad to sell (look at their vintage Don Drysdale autograph baseball). Now it's possible Don signed that ball, but all kinds of bad situations must have been the cause for him to sign as awful as that which makes autographs like that one UNSELLABLE! All long time autograph collectors know that at least once they've encountered a player who signed TYERRIBLY and they either destroyed that autograph, or would never think of selling it. I don't sell in-person autographs, but if I received any autographs as bad as that Drysdale in-person I would destroy it and have done that in the past.
So this woman put my reputation on the line by telling me they'd remove the autographs that were deemed to be bad BOFORE she had permission to do so. As nice as she was, You don't do something like she did.
So I ask that vintage baseball autograph experts (which a large percentage of the autographs are), and other baseball autograph long time collectors look for OBVIOUS bad autograph under eBay ID- helping humans and contact the President of Helping Humans at: Frank Raffaele firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please do not contact them through their eBay ID because you will only get the older woman (Faith) who Frank Raffaele is honestly working into the ground. I feel sorry for this woman, but she never should have told me what she did about removing BAD autographs, unless she KNEW FOR A FACT her boss was behind her on this.
Thanks so much for any help you can provide. I'm trying to help this charity be the best they can be as they used to be, but that will never happen with a hard-headed President who trusts PSA/DNA like they are the end all of autograph expertise.