Avoiding the fakes
Many guides have been written on avoiding fakes. Sadly, myself included, buyers sometimes choose to ignore the advice. The autograph looks so tempting, it also looks cheap. This guide has been written to try and reinforce the discipline of investigating the article that you, the buyer, are tempted by.
Unfortunately there are many people who have no problem selling you fakes. They are making a great living out of people's passion which is why I am so angry about this obnoxious practice. I have been caught out 14 times and I thought I was wise. Yes, I read guides like this one but I worked my head around it, of course the seller is honest, she/he has good feedback and I asked he/she and they assured me everything was verified as genuine. Read the feedback, many positives are sometimes negatives when you read them. Good feedback means nothing, at least not for a few years until buyers get wise. Con artists make sure they provide a very good service, i.e. they send your item out fast and package it appropriately although people do tend to wise up after a while and the negatives start coming in.
COA's mean nothing, they are written by the person selling the product or they pretend somebody else has written them (best friend BOB from the pub). If I sell an autograph (which is not very often) I would always offer a money back guarantee without any need for verification. If the customer is not happy then I am not.
If you find an autographed copy of your favourite person, check to see how many the seller has. If they sell the same autograph week after week, particularly from very popular famous people then this is likely to be fake. DR WHO for instance, David Tennant will NOT sign 30 autographs for the same person. One seller on Ebay has sold hundreds of autographs from him. If he/she really had this amount the famous person would have had very little time to make any TV programmes! Happily I can report that the trading standards have now got rid of this particular seller but they can start up again at anytime.
If you are not happy with your purchase and suspect that the autograph you have brought is not genuine then ask the seller. They will assure you it is. Send the item to the agent of the famous person who has supposedly signed the item you have bought. They hate forgery in their name. DO NOT FORGET. Forgery ruins history. Autographs are part of history, our culture and the way we perceive the entertainment industry today. Protect yourself and protect history. And protect the people you admire, they are part of your memories. Try and stick with buying from UACC dealers. They have a reputation to uphold and you can check with the UACC if they are really a member. Yes, the autographs are probably more expensive, a realistic price, but you will have the genuine article, not some sad autograph written in the sellers front room by him/herself. There are many genuine Ebay sellers. Give them the profits not these low life scammers.