Marc (Feld) Bolan

It is hard to find genuine autographs on EBay and on similar auctions websites.

 

 

Professionals agree that at least 80% are forgeries. That means that 8 out of 10 buyers are purchasing worthless items and therefore wasting their hard-earned cash. 

 

The auction companies are raking in millions of pounds annually from autograph sales. Whilst some are better than others, there is very little serious focus or interest in attempting to solve the problem. Forgeries have become such an epidemic, they sadly now threaten the integrity of the whole hobby for us and future generations. Ebay is a phenomenon showing around 250000 autographed items for sale every day. These are supposedly a mix of certified, uncertified and preprints. Experts agree at least 80% are fake. Every day you will find hundreds of examples of hard to find autographs by current stars including: Madonna / Harry Potter / Lord of The Rings / Take That / Coldplay etc etc. Every day you will find tens of examples of extremely rare iconic artists including: Bob Marley / Led Zeppelin / Nirvana / Jimi Hendrix / Pink Floyd / Abba / The Rolling Stones etc etc with starting prices of just 10UK pounds each. Many of the sellers will include COAs. Many of the sellers suggest their autograph will pass any expert test or DNA certification from one of the US authentication companies. Always the best indication of a suspect piece is the price being asked or low price realised from just a single bidder.

 

THINK ABOUT IT and all inexperienced buyers take note. There are very few bargains out there as the professional dealer network and thousands of expert collectors are watching.

 

“If you got an absolute steal, there really will be a reason why”

 

WE STRONGLY ADVISE sticking to the following basic rules and you should not go far wrong;  

 

* Do NOT buy on internet auction sites unless you research fully or are an experienced autograph collector. 

 

* Do NOT buy from anybody with a Private ID and who shows no other contact details. 

 

* Do NOT buy from anybody with a very low or negative feedback rating. 

 

* Do NOT be influenced by sellers with all types of supposed add-ons: Gold Star Sellers / Power Sellers / Fancy Enhanced Ebay Shops. All these bear no relation to the authenticity of a signature. 

 

* AVOID sellers that cannot provide evidence to support statements like: “15 years a roadie working for Queen / Led Zeppelin”.

 

* AVOID sellers that cannot provide evidence to support statements like: “Obtained in person by our professional hunters in the USA” or similar. Ask them when and where and if they have any supporting evidence.

 

* LOOK AT sellers other items: Always a very good indication. If the seller has hundreds of very desirable A-list autographs at low prices, walk away. “Too good to be true” usually means just that.

 

* AVOID buying multi signed film posters in sharpie pens like: The Godfather / Lord of the Rings / Harry Potter etc etc. These types of pieces are almost always fake.

 

* AVOID multi-signed football shirts and sports clothing without detailed provenance or photographic evidence:They are commonly forged and extremely hard to authenticate, due to the inconsistency of signing onto clothing and being able to recognise who the signers actually are. Also many players nowadays at Premiership Clubs recognise and no longer sign for known dealers anyway. Most authentic football shirts originate from the clubs themselves through charity organisations with signature maps included. 

 

* TOO GOOD to be true: If you win a signed Jimi Hendrix photo for 50 pounds on Ebay start worrying as it should have cost you 40x that.

 

* ASK THE SELLER questions and do your own research, especially if his answer is unconvincing. 

 

* Do NOT buy “prints”. In the majority of cases even the original is not genuine. 

 

* Do NOT buy from sellers who claim to have used American authentication companies and cannot provide the proper evidence of this: These are often some of the worst forgeries out there. Valid authentication is the preserve of only a handful of recognized worldwide experts and can cost a percentage of value or upwards of 50 pounds per item. What is the logic of a seller paying for specialist authentication on an autograph worth £20? 

 

* READ past feedback: It is no longer possible to give negative feedback on Ebay, so this can often be found written as a negative in a positive section.

 

* CERTIFICATES (COAs): Read our following section which explains all about certificates.