1) Never buy from anyone with private bidding.
2) Feedback means nothing, if the buyer knew it was fake, they would not have bid.
3) Stick with UACC, IACC-DA, P.A.D.A , registered dealers, if something goes wrong at least you have someone to complaine to.
4) Join a club/group. AUTOGRAPH COLLECTORS, or F.A.C.E.
5) If the seller is not a registered dealer but has many A- list stars week in week out, avoid them. No one has Madonna, Michael Jackson, Al Pacino every week.
6) Educate yourself, you will not get an authentic BRANDO for less than £300.00. Or Paul Newman for a tenner.
experts did a check once and found that out of the 35 Britney Spears autographs that day, only one was authentic.
7) Think, if a man you had never met walked up to you and wanted to sell you an autographed 10x8 of Al pacino, would you trust it to be authentic? No ? So why do that on here ?
8) Just because they show a photo of many stars signing an autograph, does not mean it was them they were signing for.
9) Find out who is a good signer and who is not, Britney Spears is a bad signer,( god knows how some sellers have 4 or 5 at a time). Alyssa Milano is another bad signer, as is, Mel Gibson.
10) Many top stars use a secretary to sign all of the postal autographs. John Travolta, Rob de Niro, Al Pacino, Newman, Redford, Clint Eastwood, Schwarzenegger to name a few. Be aware of this when you bid on them.
11) Only accept a lifetime gaurantee of authenticity, never 14, 21 or 30 days.
12) Be careful when bidding on multi-signed items, multi-signed star wars, harry potter, lord of the rings are hard to come by. Otherwise every dealer would have them.
13) Don't be afraid to ask questions, a genuine dealer has nothing to hide. He/she will know better than you how many fake's are out there, so will understand you being hesitant.
14) A c.o.a. means nothing, a good dealer is the authentication of the autograph. A good dealer will have a good reputation amongst collectors and other dealers. He/she will want to protect that reputation by providing only authentic autographs.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide if the autograph/dealer is genuine. But remember this, there are a lot more fake autographs out there than there are genuine ones. There are also a lot more bad dealers/sellers than good ones, a good dealer will put the effort into his/her company. He/she will do the fares and autograph shows and the private signings.