1) Never buy from a seller with private bidding.
2)Feedback means nothing, if the buyer knew it was a fake autograph, they would not have bid on it.
3)Only buy from UACC/IACC-DA/P.A.D.A registered dealers.That way if something goes wrong you have someone to complaine to.
4)Join a club/group like AUTOGRAPH COLLECTORS. ( ebay community group)
5)If the seller is not a registered dealer but has many A list stars week in week out, AVOID them. Even the top dealers don't have MADONNA, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears etc all the time.
6)Educate yourself, you will not get an authentic BRANDO for less than £300.00. Or Paul Newman for a tenner.
7)Think, if a total stranger stopped you in the street and offered to sell you a signed 10x8 of ELVIS, would you trust it to be genuine? No ? So why do that on ebay?
8) A favourite trick is to show you pictures of stars signing autographs, it does not mean it was them they were signing for, or the item they are signing is the one for sale.
9) Many top stars employ a secretary to sign all their in the mail autographs as they are just to busy to sign 100's of autographed items themselves. Secretarials include, John Travolta, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Robert, Redford, ClintEastwood to name a few.
10) Only accept a lifetime guarantee, never 7,14 or 21 days.
11) Be carefull when bidding on multi-signed items such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings etc, if they were that easy to get then every dealer would have them.
12) A C.O.A means nothing, i could make and print one out , then sign it.
13) At the end of the day it is up to you to decide if the seller/dealer/autograph is genuine or not. Do not be afraid to ask questions but remember, a seller who is selling fake's will lie.
14) Thanks be to puc for letting me copy his guide and helping me buy only authentic autographs. My collection is growing, cheers mate.