HI THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ OUR GUIDE ON AFTAL !
WE HAVE TAKEN A LOT OF THIS INFO FROM THE AFTAL SITE SO THAT OUR CUSTOMERS CAN HOPEFULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT AFTAL IS SO THAT THEY CAN BECOME MORE CONFIDENT WHEN MAKING A PURCHASE FROM US.
What is AFTAL?
The "Autograph Fair Trade Association Limited" (AFTAL) is a non-profit making body run for the benefit of its members and the general public, with a view to ensuring that the members can be relied upon to be trustworthy and duly qualified to perform their respective duties.
AFTAL was created by a group of people who are directly involved in autographs, signed memorabilia and the organisation of related events. All decisions are made at board level, and all members are directly accountable to the board.
Membership of the Association is an endorsement of the members professional competence, and confirms to the public that the member is commited to providing authentic items, with all the required knowledge and diligence that that may demand.
What do we do?
AFTAL are working together with the Police, Trading Standards, and Customs and Revenue officers to monitor and help stamp out the ever-growing problem of non-authentic signed memorabilia being sold and distributed throughout the UK.
The signed memorabilia market is now a multi-million £ industry, and as a consequence, there are many people that have started to ‘create’ those items that are most in demand. Much of this non-authentic material is offered on websites, Internet auctions, and through retail outlets around the UK. Although most are easily spotted by an expert, hundreds of fake items are sold to unsuspecting collectors every day. The percentage of fake-signed items on the eBay Internet auction site for example is now estimated at over 85% with up to 500 such items being sold every day.
AFTAL and its members are 100% committed to reporting and working with the authorities to ensure that these sellers are removed from our business, and that the public are made aware of such items and sellers.
Please check out our help pages, where you will find some useful information to help you avoid being sold non-authentic signed items.
What are AFTAL’s aims?
To support and work with the Police, Trading Standards and others, and to find and ensure prosecution of those involved in the creation and sale of non-authentic material.
To provide for examinations and/or assessments for qualifications and awards at all levels.
To put in place and enforce a Code of Ethics for all members of the Association.
To provide professional services for those who join the Association, the publication of an annual National Register, the publication of a regular newsletter, and the promotion of the Association and its members to the general public
To encourage all members to work together to ensure that the public should never be offered anything less than authentic material, that is both accurately described and legally obtained.
To ensure that members work in a professional and businesses like manner with both the consumer and other Association members.
Who are our members?
AFTAL members come from all areas of the signed memorabilia market, autographs, framing and mounting, shows, and even celebrity management.
All AFTAL approved dealers have been through a very strict approval process, which includes a full discussion on each application for membership at board level. All members will have given AFTAL their full business details, which includes their website details, eBay ID’s etc, as the withholding of any relevant information may result in termination of their membership. The board meets for these approval meetings every three months, so from application to approval can take up to 6 months.
Every AFTAL member has signed our Code of Ethics, to confirm that they will always uphold the law, never knowingly sell a forged or stolen item, and will deal with each and every customer in a fair and professional manner. Failure to comply with these aims may result in the member being bought before the board and their membership terminated.
Importantly, upon approval, each dealer has to sign a declaration confirming that he/they will commit to working with AFTAL whenever asked. This may include giving written or verbal evidence against any other person that may be investigated by AFTAL the Police, Trading Standards or any other authority, and/or always giving AFTAL whatever assistance may be asked of them.
By buying only from AFTAL approved dealers, you are helping to rid the industry of the fakes and forgers.
If your dealer is not an AFTAL member, perhaps you should be asking them why?
WE HAVE A FEW TIPS TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF ON EBAY WHILST BUYING AN AUTOGRAPH.
1. AVOID PRIVATE LISTINGS, ASK YOURSELF WHY YOU THINK A BUYER WOULD NOT WANT ANYONE TO SEE WHO IS BIDDING?
2. IF SOMEONE HAS THE SAME AUTOGRAPH WEEK IN WEEK OUT THEN SOMETHING ISNT RIGHT, ESPECIALLY IF IT IS AN A LSIT CELEBRITY LIKE STALLONE OR PACINO
3. ONLY BUY FROM AFTAL DEALERS, THAT WAY YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING IS TOTALLY BACKED TO BE AUTHENTIC BY AFTAL.
4. IF SOMETHING SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE THEN QUITE FRANKLY IT IS, YOU CANNOT BUY A GENUINE ELVIS AUTOGRAPH FOR UNDER £500 NOR A JAMES DEAN OR MARILYN MONROE, AVOID THESE ITEMS UNLESS THEY ARE AFTAL BACKED DEALERS
5. ASK SELLERS QUESTIONS, IF THE AUTOS ARE GENUINE THEN THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.