Over the last few years there have been a large number of blatantly fake autographed albums for sale on ebay often these items have been discussed on the ELO showdown mailing list and the general opinion is a lot of these fakes are laughably bad!
Couple of things I'd personally recommend looking out for that should set alarm bells ringing or at least advise being cautious of purchasing said items.
1 Is the sellers feedback and list of bidders set to private?
What possible reason could a legitimate seller have for hiding bidders id's? If they are that confident the items are "genuine" they shouldn't be afraid of having their feedback or bidders id's known.
2 A lot of the more blatant fakes are often "signed" by Mike Edwards. Most often on records Mike had nothing whatsoever to do with having long left the band before those records. So if you see, for example albums such as Discovery or Out of the blue "signed" by Mike Edwards I'd be a wee bit doubtful to say the very least. There is one person i know that is an exception to this who was one of the last people to interview Mike Edwards before he died who got Mike to sign a number of items but they would of all been signed on albums etc appropriate to Mike's time with the band and not later albums Mike had nothing to do with.
3 Certificate of authenticity. What does it really mean? Probably not a lot really. I have seen loads of what appeared to me to be very obvious fakes which all said they came with a Certificate of authenticity. One of the most laughable was a traveling wilburys single "End of the line" fully signed including Roy Orbison. Even though the single in question didn’t come out until Feb 1989 after Roy died! (Roy died 6th of December 1988) That of course said it had a Certificate of authenticity so what exactly was that certificate worth?
Please see ebays other general guides on buying autographs for more information but i thought these points were worth raising in a separate topic specific to ELO. Please note I'm not saying that every one sold on ebay is a fake, just that there have been a lot of very dodgy items so please be very careful.
Btw while I am certainly not an expert I have met Jeff a few times and have had several items from my Elo and Jeff Lynne related collection signed by him in person. So I have a very good idea of what Jeff's autograph should look like. I also have a nice photo of Jeff, Rosie Vela and myself which was taken as Jeff signed my aftershow lamintate backstage after the first of two concerts filmed at cbs studios in L.A for the Zoom concert dvd and pbs special. I also met Jeff when he was promoting Long wave and Mr Blue Sky at the BBC's one show in London. I did appear briefly on the show.
RECENTLY A FEW PEOPLE HAVE CONTACTED ME ASKING IF I'D MIND LOOKING AT SCANS OF AUTOGRAPHED ITEMS THEY HAVE BOUGHT OR BEEN OFFERED. WHILE I CERTAINLY AM NOT A QUALIFIED HAND WRITING EXPERT I'D BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HAVE A LOOK AND LET YOU KNOW MY OPINION. REMEMBER THOUGH IT WILL JUST BE MY PERSONAL OPINION.