AUTOGRAPH AUTHENTICATION 101 - THE INS & OUTS OF AUTHENTIC SIGNATURES
I take it that you have come here to find out more information about getting your autographs authenticated. This post will help you with learning all there is to know about the topic! The sports memorabilia industry is a very unique industry and certification is a make or break topic in the industry! Without authentication, your valuable autograph is not so valuable. But there are other factors that go into autograph authentication that also can make or break the value of your autograph! We will go into expert advice & detail about how the business of certifying signatures as authentic!
STEP 1: HOW DO AUTHENTICATIONS WORK?
We will start with the 3 types of authentications that exist in the memorabilia market today. The first one is the authenticity you receive from an autograph directly from the player themselves or his exclusive autograph company. This is typically regarded as the best non-opinionated autograph authentication you can get because this type of authentication is not disputed by collectors. Players nowadays are taking their autograph business into their own hands and want to make sure the collector who is receiving the item is getting the real thing with no dispute of its authenticity. So it has become common for the player to either make their own "player's hologram" which is a secure sticker placed somewhere on the item that has the player's name usually and a picture of them that will guarantee the player has signed the item. Also, they may contract with a memorabilia company to assist the player in getting their signature out and dealing with all the logistics of that side of the business. The player can sign whatever he wants but it becomes the memorabilia companies job to get the product sold off so everyone is happy. They are considered the best authentication you can get which is from the player themselves. Inscriptagraphs has an arrangement like this with many players and you can find athletes & celebrities we work with that we assist them with making sure collectors get the real thing! Check out our online store Inscriptagraphs.com to see our selection of authentic products directly from the players or celebrities themselves! T
The second type of authentication is where companies host autograph signings with celebrities and athletes. They do this for exposure for their business locally or nationally or just to try to turn a profit and sell autographs at the signings. A lot of these companies will issue you their own certificate of authenticity for the item. Sure you have a certificate of authenticity for your item now but if no one has ever heard of John's Baseball Card Shop in Dunesville, MN then the authenticity they provided will only get you so far. When you go to sell your item, collectors and buyers want to have a company that they recognize as a company that is legitimate for selling AUTHENTIC autographs. Most of the time you will need to have your item re-authenticated by an industry recognized authenticator in order to get top dollar for your signature(s). We are not saying the authenticity is completely worthless we are just saying that it may be harder to sell to someone and they may not pay as much money for it as opposed to if you have a bigger brand name in memorabilia like Inscriptagraphs behind it.
The last type of authentication is 3rd party authentication. This is the authentication we will mainly discuss the rest of this article as this is the most common kind. This type of authentication is where let's say you met Mickey Mantle on the street in New York and had him sign a baseball, well how can you prove it is actually authentic when no one else was there to see him sign it? Easy. 3rd party authentication. These companies are experts in identifying hand signatures as authentic based on a number of factors including the shape of the signature, the shape of the letters, speed of how fast it was signed, checking for stops in the signature and many more ways. The companies that are most prominent in this regard are James Spence Authentication (JSA) & PSA/DNA. These 2 companies are industry renown and considered the gold standard of authentication. Collectors value these 2 companies opinions most and just by having their authentication on your item will bring your item's value up significantly if you either do not have authenticity with your item or if you need to have your autograph authenticated after the fact with no proof of authenticity presently. We work exclusively with James Spence Authentication (JSA) and can assist you in having your item certified by them. Contact us today to inquire how we can help you have your items authenticated by the industry leader.
STEP 2: IS AUTHENTICATION WORTH GETTING?
The best advice we can give you is to GET YOUR MEMORABILIA AUTHENTICATED!!! Just a heads up we do not profit from you getting your item authenticated or not, we are simply giving you expert advice on how you should approach the authentication situation if/when you go to sell your item. The only way to compare apples to apples is also to check into authentication. You might find a Mickey Mantle baseball is $99 with authenticity from Johns Celebrity Signatures Unlimited or no authenticity at all, while a Mickey Mantle baseball from someone with a JSA certificate is worth $499, stick to the JSA certificate and compare that certificate to other ones with mention of the authentication companies we stated above. That is the only way to do it. If there are 25 Mickey Mantle signed baseballs on eBay and only 3 of them have either a PSA or James Spence Authentication certificate, that means you are going against 3 baseballs and not the 25.
Below is an example of the difference in pricing between non-authenticated and authenticated autographed Mickey Mantle baseballs. -- A Mickey Mantle signed Baseball with no authenticity sold for $99.00 on March 26, 2019. We are simply showing a signed baseball from Mickey Mantle that has no authentication on it whatsoever, real or not.
Mickey Mantle signed a baseball with authentication from James Spence Authentication (JSA) sold three days later for $527.99 and the condition of the baseball may not be as good as the one without authentication which would mean the one presently unauthenticated could have even fetched for higher than the $527.99.
Getting your memorabilia authenticated by an industry recognized authenticator like James Spence Authentication (JSA) or PSA/DNA can raise the price of the item significantly and is always worth getting as not only will it raise the price of the item, but it will make the item much easier to sell as many people and companies do not like to or will not purchase memorabilia without the proper authentications. In addition, insurance companies want to see proper authentication for autographed collectibles in order to pay out any money in the event your insurance is utilized from fire, theft, natural disaster or whatever. It is the difference between you getting money for your item and then the actual value of what your item is worth.
STEP 3: BE CAREFUL OF WHO AUTHENTICATES YOUR SIGNATURES
Do your homework! We highly advise you do some research on the entity you are having authenticate your item. There is also a dark side to authentication you should be aware of too. Many people in the memorabilia industry claim to be experts in autograph but really very few are and have a name in the industry to back up their expertise. We recommend you do your due diligence on who you have provided you with authentication because there are scammers out there people. Trust us, many companies will be happy to take your money to provide you with an authentication service and take your money but many do not have the expertise and specialized background to make legitimate opinions on the matter that would deem an autograph authentic. We suggest you do not just go into your local card shop in your area and ask to have an autograph authenticated because they most likely are not industry renown for authentication specifically. They may be an expert in selling an autograph but not necessarily qualified if you would, in providing an authentication service that would give the proper value to your item that it deserves. These places take advantage of people who do not know about autographs and happy to take your money once again.
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN SIGNIFICANTLY DIMINISH THE VALUE OF YOUR AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPH BY HAVING THE WRONG ENTITY AUTHENTICATE YOUR SIGNATURE? YESSSS!!! This happens all the time because if they put a security hologram on an item and the company is not the most reputable, people will not want to own or purchase the item from you because it is authenticated by "the wrong company"!! Also for how collectors look at it now is that the item is damaged more or less and no one wants damaged goods!! Just to show you, we have this happen every day to us where people come to us to sell their items to us as we, Inscriptagraphs, are one of the largest buyers of sports & entertainment memorabilia in the USA. They go to sell us their authentication from a company that we have never heard of and probably went out of business 3 months after issuing the "Certificate of Authenticity". The fact that they are no longer in business shows they are no longer around to back up and support their authenticity claim. This in itself makes collectors not interested in their authenticity and you will need to have your item re-certified by an industry recognized authenticators like James Spence Authentication (JSA) or PSA/DNA. Just stick with the best and you will have no issues when it is time to go sell your item as most memorabilia companies will want their authentication on your item anyway before buying it from you.
STEP 4: CLOSING
At the end of the day, all these items are as valuable to whoever the one behind the bank account is willing to pay, but with the correct authenticity many will be willing to pay more for the item compared to not having it. There are always positives and negatives when it comes to authenticity in this industry, but the positives outweigh the negatives. A negative of authenticating your memorabilia is that there is a fee to authenticate your items that must be paid up front when getting the item authenticated. The cost of authenticating memorabilia from reputable companies varies, but normally the cost is based off of what the item is valued at when the item is authenticated. The positives are that once authenticated the item will go up at least 3x the amount that it would sell for previously without the authentication and it should easily be able to cover the cost of getting the item authenticated; this price increase can be seen previously with the Mickey Mantle baseballs. Your item can even fetch 10x, 20x, 30x or more with authentication depending on the item you have so there is a huge positive in that as well. The other positive is that it will make it much easier to sell the item as people will be able to know from a reputable company that the item is in fact authentic. Hopefully, with this valuable expert advice you just received, you may be able to get a better understanding of why it is important to authenticate your memorabilia with the proper authentication. This informative post offers you insight into how the authentication works with autographed collectibles.
If you have an item you believe is valuable and you are looking to sell your item make sure you contact us today!! Click here on our SELL YOUR MEMORABILIA page right here on our website. If you have questions regarding authentication give Inscriptagraphs Memorabilia a call at 1-844-474-4633 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org so we can give you assistance on the best route for your item, we are than happy to help!