Sellers / Dealers
For peace of mind we would always advise purchasing autographs from full Dealer Members of the following known autograph clubs. They are recognised "in the majority of cases" to be experts in their field. Membership of these clubs is often hard earned or by invitation and therefore of considerable value to the dealers. So any customer of these dealers who feels they might not have been treated properly can have an extra avenue of complaint to the main boards of these associations in the event of any disagreement
* The UACC (Universal Autograph Collectors Club). The oldest, largest and probably best known worldwide club based in the USA. There are around 120 UACC Registered Dealers worldwide. Approximately 20 of these based in the UK. However their UACC membership scheme is a confusing term. It is important to remember that anybody can become a UACC "member" by paying a small registration fee to the club. Often these members are autograph collectors & enthusiasts (but not experts)
PLEASE NOTE a UACC "member" will have a FOUR digit registration number and a fully registered "expert" UACC dealer will have a THREE digit registration number
Be wary of the bogus use of the UACC logo. These can be seen on rogue dealer websites and on internet auction sites. For full information and a list of dealers and club rules visit their website at www.uacc.org
* AFTAL (Autograph Fair Trade Association). A UK based club now numbering around 150 dealers working in association with trading standards. Originally formed by a small select group of well established autograph dealers (No's 1-15) with the good intention to help potential autograph buyers find UK based sellers that can be trusted. For full information, a list of dealers and club rules visit their website at www.aftal.org.uk
ROGUE DEALERS WARNING
With the huge increase in values and levels of interest in autograph collecting (especially over the past 15 years) hundreds of supposedly "expert dealers" have surfaced almost overnight. The truth is most know nothing about autographs and have no genuine love for the hobby
"Register an Ebay shop / design a fancy logo / get a cheap website / print off some Certificates/ get a PO box number / buy some low cost autographs (from a dubious origin) / buy some frames / write up a worthless lifetime guarantee (most will not be in business months later) / assume every customer is "a complete mug and off you go"
We would advise you ask questions and think seriously about the following
* Who am I actually buying from and where are they based
* What is the expertise and reputation of the seller. Can I see / evaluate other items he is selling
* Does it look "too good to be true". What is my gut feeling
* Is he a member or a registered dealer with any recognised autograph club and am I able to check / verify this
* How long has this person been in business selling autographs
* Is the seller transparent and easily contactable ; IE telephone number, postal address, email address
* Is the seller offering a Certificate of Authenticity and how exactly is it worded?
All the above points will help flag up any concerns you might have about who you are buying from ....