Had an interesting experience yesterday that I thought I would share. I met about 6 celebrities yesterday. Not a bad day considering it was bone cracking cold outside. I thought my feet would actually fall off, but I digress. After Mariska Hargitay and Will Forte,  I met Kellen Lutz, the star of the new Hercules. Really super nice guy. He signed and took pictures with everyone. He did however require that everything be signed in black. I prefer blue, because it is a much bolder signature and holds up better over time. Blue however has now been dubbed a "dealer's" pen. This is not the first time that I have been told that a celebrity would only sign in black. A smart in person collector will always carry multiple pens, just in case. Go blue, but always carry black. The next one was a first for me. I had the chance to meet the absolutely beautiful and talented Sophia Bush. Not only is she gorgeous, talented and very nice, but she is very street smart. I watched her turn down someone for a photo because she had seen him before. "I got you yesterday", as she stopped for everyone else. She clearly pays attention. I got my photo with her and then she did something that no one has done before. I am interested to see if this has happened with others? As she took my pen to sign, she asked me my name. I gladly told her my name was Jim so she could personalize the photo. She wrote Jim in a bold, clear print and then proceeded to add her signature directly on top of the printed Jim. Although it is not the best and clearest signature I ever reecived, my friends and I tried to figure out why she would write on top of the personalization. We could only speculate that she knows the hobby so well, as well as the tricks of the trade, that she did that to avoid the personalization from being erased! Honestly, I had no intention of erasing it. In fact my photo was on a type of printed paper that I could not erase without damaging the picture anyway. I just found this to be fascinating and was wondering if anyone else has had this experience. Not by accident but deliberately? 

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Comment by Steven Jackson on January 9, 2014 at 9:59am

I have had similar happen to me where they personalized it and made the signature go into the personilaztion it still looked good  but would totally prevent anyone from removing it without destroying the sig

Comment by James Lafaman on January 9, 2014 at 10:06am

That I have seen. She wrote her full signature over the "JIM". Directly on top of it. 

Comment by Rich on January 9, 2014 at 11:21am

I haven't heard of that one specifically before, but I guess it isn't too surprising given what some celebs do to make their signature basically unsellable.

I tend to ask for personalizations upfront, as I actually like them and have no intention of reselling items I get in person for free.  I figure it lets the person know I'm actually a fan and might even possibly get me a nicer signature.

Comment by dexter krieger on January 12, 2014 at 9:31am

I've come across John Mayer doing that occasionally, like this one listed on eBay. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370919001894

Comment by Tom Schwartz on January 12, 2014 at 12:25pm

I certainly understand a celebrity not wanting to stand there and sign a stack of photos that they know will be sold, but they could really relax with the micromanaging cat & mouse games sometimes.

In-person collectors aren't the enemy; forgers are.

Comment by James Lafaman on January 12, 2014 at 2:16pm

It's ironic that the one shown by dexter is also to "JIM", lol. It's not mine though..... I agree Tom. I only had one and had no problem having it signed to me. 

Comment by Tim Henderson on January 12, 2014 at 7:11pm
I had peyton manning of that to me and Carson Palmer!!!
Comment by Josh Board on January 14, 2014 at 2:19am

When I interview musicians, many tell me they do this (steve winwood and ian anderson both told me they do this). It's a good move. The collector is happy, the dealer is not. Again, they can just say "one item" but really...it's a great way to do it.

Comment by Steven Jackson on January 15, 2014 at 2:43pm

at the same time if the stars would sign more then the dealers wouldn't make as much also by not signing/making them tough to resell they are just further cutting the amount of authentic material that is avalible to fans. I agree dealers are not the enemy they are being the middle man in providing authentic items to fans.

Comment by Rich on January 15, 2014 at 3:04pm

Exactly, if fans are easily able to get what they want directly from the band, then it means that dealer prices will be kept low to moderate. 

Over the past few years, there has been a drastic decline in the autograph quality of some of my favorite music acts - the decline taking place over a matter of a few years or even a few months.  Unfortunately, I strongly believe this is a product of in-person collectors who sell on Ebay, as I believe the tactic is to give the fans what they want (an autograph, regardless of the quality) while IP sellers are stuck with a product that might be difficult to resell due to it's simplicity or sloppiness.  An understandable strategy I suppose.  But it's one of the main reasons I find myself torn on IP collectors:  While they represent an opportunity to get a product I may not otherwise be able to myself, their very existence is the reason I may not be able to get it.

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