Don't Be Ripped Off By Fake Shirt Sellers !!
If you're reading this page, then you probably fall into one of two categories.
Category One : You were about to bid on a fake signed Liverpool shirt, or a fake "new" Liverpool shirt. In which case, read on and save yourself some money.
Category Two : You are trying to rip a Redman off by selling your fake forgeries.
How do I know these are fake ?
One of three ways.
1 - The seller has already sold a fake to one of my customers who has asked me to verify it and we've found it to be fake. The seller has subsequently refused to give his name and address for the item to be returned for a refund.
2 - At least ONE of the players who has allegedly signed it has verified that he has not signed the item. The seller would have been asked to state the date and time that the signature was obtained so the player can also confirm that he was not available at that time.
3 - The seller is operating multiple selling accounts and has been caught selling fake items in the past.
Save yourself time, effort and a lot of money by reading the notes below and stay clear of the seller who is offering the item you saw.
View the sellers other items. Chances are that he is also selling Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United shirts. Now have a look at what else he's sold this month by using the Advanced Search box. Simply click the Advanced Search link in the top right hand corner of any eBay page, choose 'Find Items By Seller' in the left hand box and enter the sellers name - this will show you what he has sold in the past 30 days. WOW - now how did he get all those shirts ? Well it certainly wasn't through his alleged 'contact at the club'. Because there is NOBODY at Liverpool Football Club who can get 10 squad signed shirts a week. End of story ! This was confirmed at a recent meeting with Steve Heighway who expressed his dismay that fans were forking out hugh sums for worthless TAT. The simple fact is the club are inundated with hundreds of requests every single day for signed shirts / balls etc. and they simply cannot do it. Several items a year are released for recognised charities to auction - and that's it.
Your eBay faker will have already sold a substantial amount of forged shirts - so ask him to give you photographic proof of just 2 different shirts being signed by all these players. And prepare yourself for the 4 standard excuses :
"I didn't have a camera" (bollx)
"It came from a source at the club who doesn't want to be named" (disproved above)
"I got it from a reputable dealer" (who shall remain nameless and is so reputable that he can't provide proof either")
"It's got a hologram on the COA" (which proves, erm, what ?)
The reason Liverpool, United, Chelsea and Arsenal are usually clumped together in a sellers list is because these are the 4 biggest exports from Thailand and China. General cost of these is £8-£10. A new genuine shirt costs £40. You do the maths...
I am an eBay powerseller (obviously on a different account as I'm not having them sabotaged by the scammers) and I specialise in signed Liverpool memorabilia. I am currently working with 7 former and 2 current Liverpool players and I pay good money for their services. And all these players have seen their "signatures" on items that they have never even touched.
Support the club and support the sellers who don't rip the players off - especially the older Reds like Roger Hunt, Tommy Smith, Alec Lindsay, Ian Callaghan, Peter Thompson, Case and Jones, Lawler and co. who didn't make enough to retire on but made the club what it is. Decent sellers respect these players and pay them for their services to bring top class memorabilia to fans at a reasonable price.
In many cases however, the story is the same - same shirt being sold countless times by the same seller.
Not only is this ripping off a fellow supporter, it is also driving business away from the legitimate sellers like myself who spend thousands of pounds hiring players for signing sessions.
Here are some simple facts for the buyer..
COA - a certificate of authenticity - in itself authenticates nothing. It is generally worthless, pointless and meaningless. Let's face it, if a seller can fake a Gerrard sig with his hand, how difficult is it to print a COA off on a printer ? Trust me, in almost all cases they're not worth the paper they're printed on and certainly shouldn't be used to convince you that it's a genuine product.
PRIVATE AUCTIONS - well, fortunately eBay have finally seen sense and are about to ban them, but the SOLE reason sellers use these is so that buyers cannot track what they have sold before - which will usually be more of the same.
To check what other items the seller has sold in recent weeks, use the Advanced Search box.
Click the link in the top right hand corner of any eBay page, choose 'Find Items By Seller' in the left hand box and enter the sellers name - this will show you what he has sold in the past 30 days.
DON'T BOTHER ASKING QUESTIONS such as 'is this genuine' ? Well, you're not going to be told 'no, mate, it's a fake' are you. If it's the real thing, the seller will know he has an item of great value and will ensure that you are left in no doubt.
The GENUINE seller will usually include at least one of the following :
- HIGH-QUALITY, DETAILED, AND CRYSTAL CLEAR photographs of the signatures - not some distant blurry shot. If the item's real, he'll want to show the sigs off in all their glory to get the best price. A faker will, without fail, show one or at best two pictures, neither of which will be close up and will offer a pathetic excuse like 'eBay's hosting doesn't show up well'. Sorry - there's plenty of ways to show a good picture - imageshack and photobucket both provide free hosting for unlimited pictures.
- Photographs of the actual item being signed by the player - not some mobile phone shot of a player in a car. The majority of these pictures do not show ANYTHING being signed and are used to confuse the inexperienced buyer. If a shirt has been signed by 20 players, it has taken time and effort and considerable work - don't think for a minute a genuine seller will miss the opportunity to take some pictures. We have NEVER been refused a photo op with any player we have hired.
- SPECIFIC DETAILS of the signing so you can check back. If a player has got 10 England shirts that were signed by the England Squad before the Macedonia game at Old Trafford, then ask yourself what was Steve McLaren doing giving his full squad that much time off just to spend with a bloke who's going to sell some shirts on eBay.
And if you've ever waited outside a ground or a training complex for an autograph then you'll know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to get even ONE signature from EVERY player due to the amount of other fans that are there and the time restraints on the players.
In addition, the sigs that you do get - especially on a shirt - tend to be hurried and very different from a sig that the player would give in normal circumstances.
Don't believe me ? Well, instead of spending £60-£100 on a signed fake Liverpool shirt, drive up to Melwood and wait outside the training ground and see what you end up with. I used to take my son, but I have seen fakes that look better than the real ones because the players just want to get home after a long slog and just don't have the time to sign everything as you'd like.
YES, you will get the odd item signed, there's no doubting that, we always did, but if you stand there with 30 shirts you'll be told where to go and you definitely WON'T get the full squad.
- SIGNING SESSIONS - well, I pay between £600-£1000 per session for the players I book, and that's for between 60-100 items. Now if I book 5 players for a session I can expect to spend at least £3500 on players fees, charity donations and refreshments and another £3,000 on shirts, photographs and other items for them to sign. Add to that the cost of selling these on ebay and that equates to around £7,000 that I have laid out. And THAT is for former players, lads from the 70's and 80's and doesn't include the likes of Dalglish, Keegan or Rush. Now if I'm selling these at £40-£50 a time, I'm going to bankrupt very quickly aren't I ?
Now bearing in mind we're talking former players who didn't earn £100,000 a week, how much do you think it costs to book Stevie G, Carra and Robbie ? Exactly. So how do these sellers manage to get the FULL SQUAD to sign a £40 shirt, all nice and neat and clear... and then get them to do it again two days later ? AND sell them for (usually) less than the cost of the shirt itself !!!
Well the answer is - they don't. They sell fake shirts and they sign them themselves.
They say a fool and his money are soon parted - well, if you're reading this and you fall into category one, I don't think you're a fool and I hope you think very carefully before spending a penny on the fakers.
If it's got a blurry picture, chances are it's fake. Ask the seller to send you some close up, clear pictures. Even better - ask him for his address so you can go round and view it. Or his phone number so you can ask him the questions verbally. Any genuine seller will be happy to talk up his item and give you as much information as you require.
Ask the seller where he got so many shirts from, where he got them signed, has he got any pictures of the player signing the shirt, how come all the sigs look so neat, how come he's selling a NEW shirt with all those sigs for less than the actual cost of a genuine shirt. Don't fall for the "we buy the shirts in bulk" line either. You're not going to get a genuine new Liverpool shirt for £25 no matter how many you buy.
If a seller has their own website - look on it for contact details. There is not ONE single reputable dealer in signed memorabilia who does not post contact details on his website. Not one. We spend a lot of money obtaining these items and we want the whole world to know who we are and where we're based so you can come and buy from us either on the phone, in person or over the internet.
NEVER EVER buy from a 'Liverpool Memorabilia' seller who does not post his contact details on his website.
I hope you find this of some use !
Now let's play : SPOT THE FAKES !! Let's make life really tiresome for those fakers. Click the link below to bring up all the current signed Liverpool shirts and let's see who the top scammers are. Don't forget to ask them the above questions and ask them if they're happy for trading standards to have a look at the shirt (never mind the signatures !) to see if it's a fake.
Search For Signed Liverpool Shirts And Spot The Fakes !!