4 min article

Autographed items

Authentic autographs and autographed items can be highly sought after items, and in some cases may be extremely rare and valuable.

Our policy on the sale of autographs and autographed items provides guidance to keep all of our members safe when buying or selling on eBay.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I tell if an autograph is genuine?

Autographs are commonly sold with Certificates of Authenticity (COA). COAs can offer assurance that an autograph is genuine, but you need to be sure the authenticator is reputable.

What information should I include when listing an autograph?

Include as much information as you can about the autograph and the item it's been written on. To help your buyer understand exactly what they're buying, we recommend including the following:

  • A clear photo of the autographed item
  • A clear photo of the COA, as well as the name of the person or company issuing the certificate
  • Your refund policy

Read our full policy

Autographed items policy overview

Famous autographs are fun to collect, but remember to exercise caution when trading in this area. An autograph can be created in seconds with only a pen and some paper, so you should always be very careful unless you personally witnessed the signing, or have some other reliable means of establishing the autograph's authenticity.

Fake autographs do exist, so educate yourself thoroughly about an autographed item before trading it on eBay.

If you sell autographs, eBay strongly recommends that you include:

  • all relevant information known about the autograph and the item it appears on;
  • a clear scanned image of the actual autographed item you're selling;
  • an explanation of any certificate of authenticity that may accompany the autograph (see more about this below); and
  • a refund policy should any reputable dealer find that the item is probably not authentic.

eBay may not accept listings from autograph dealers who do not follow the guidelines above.

A note about certificates of authenticity: Certificates of Authenticity ("COA") can help establish the authenticity of a particular autograph, or give a buyer certain rights if the autograph is a fake. Not all certificates provide meaningful protection, though. Review the information carefully for the following information:

  • Who issued the certificate?
  • Does the certificate state that it was issued at the same time the item was signed? If so, how can you confirm that the information in the certificate is accurate and matches the item you're purchasing?
  • If the certificate was issued after the item was signed, does the issuer have any particular expertise that qualifies him/her to give an opinion about the autograph? Does the expert have scientific forensic training, or is he/she experienced in dealing with this particular celebrity or autograph?
  • What is the relationship between the seller and the issuer of the certificate?
  • Does the certificate give the buyer any rights? If a qualified expert later declares that the item is a forgery, can the buyer get a refund? Is there any time limit?

With effect from 21/7/00, eBay requires that sellers who refer to a COA in their listings include who issued the certificate and any additional information relevant to that certificate. If you cannot find that information on the listing, email the seller or contact us - opens in new window or tab using our webform.

eBay reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to remove any autographed item listed on its site and refund the seller's listing fee, if eBay believes that the listing of the item is inconsistent with eBay's goal of providing a safe trading environment, or if in its sole discretion eBay believes that the sale of the item might create liability for the buyer, the seller, or any third party.

Tip
Visit Seller Help to find details of any policy issues with your account or listings, and get the information you need to quickly resolve them.

Additional information

Verified Rights Owners (VeRO) Programme - Intellectual property owners can report items that allegedly infringe on their rights.

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