HOW DO I DETERMINE THE VALUE OF MY AUTOGRAPH?
Are you trying to figure out what your autographed memorabilia is worth? Well you have come to the right place. We are going to give you expert advice on determining the value of your signed collectible!
STEP 1: DETERMINE WHAT YOU HAVE
Figure out who all signed your item. How did you come into contact with your item and would the person you got it from be around to tell you who it is signed by if you are unsure? If not, do some research. If you know it's signed by a player from the Houston Astros but not sure who, see if they wrote maybe their jersey number next to the signature or maybe an inscription on the ball, when a player writes out a phrase or statistic about themselves (i.e. HOF 2000, Hall of Fame 2004, 5x Champs, 2x GG Winner, 2013 Champs). You can try typing in on google the team name and maybe their statistic they wrote on your item or do research on just their inscription: "I have a baseball signed 2000 HOF (Hall of Fame), now let me research who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000 and see if I can match up their first and last initial from my autograph to the list of names inducted. If you are unable to determine the person who signed your item, maybe go into your local sports card shop and see if they know. If your item has multiple signatures on it like a team signed baseball, try to make out the signatures of your baseball and maybe match them up against a roster from a certain year team. See if you are missing signatures and if so which ones. If you are missing key signatures that could drastically affect the value of your item as people want the superstars on the teams, usually the coach and other key players on the team.
STEP 2: RESEARCH
Once you have figured out who signed your item look on the internet by typing in maybe your exact item (i.e "Kobe Bryant Signed Basketball, Wayne Gretzky Signed Hockey Puck, Dale Earnhardt Signed 8x10 Photo) or something similar to what you have. If you have a poster from the BMW Classic Poster Signed by Tiger Woods or an Andre Agassi Signed Hat from the Louisville Match Day Classic, those are too specific of a type so go more general in your search: Tiger Woods Signed Poster & Andre Agassi Signed Hat. Unfortunately in the memorabilia industry, unless something happened in an athlete's career that was either a big record/statistic or a goal or an event like a career-ending injury, your item is worth the same money as any other signed poster or hat from any other event. Be as general as possible to browse the most results. A great place to do research is on eBay as it is the marketplace for sports memorabilia.
Once you believe you have found an item comparable to the one you found.....DO EVEN MORE RESEARCH!!! Try to find at least 4-6 items you believe would be comparable to your item to possibly achieve a good grasp on the market of what your item would go for. This will give you a better idea of what people may be asking for an item like yours and gets you one step closer to determining what your autograph is worth. Another great option we highly recommend is WorthPoint (click here) which is a collectibles search engine for previously sold items on the internet from many different reputable auction houses, eBay & other online resources. WorthPoint actually gives you sold prices for items from over the years and gives you a much better idea rather than just going for the asking prices of items. Just also keep in mind items values go up over time so give yourself 10-20% from items that were sold years ago. Click below to access their website, seriously this website is amazing with the data they provide.
STEP 3: "THE MARKET"
This is the part most people have a hard time coming to terms with. At the end of the day just like anything else when making a purchase, YOUR ITEM IS WORTH WHAT SOMEONE IS WILLING TO PAY!!! No one can tell you exactly what something is worth because the same items go for different prices every day depending on who is behind the bank account. Now there are parameters to this. If you see 9 jerseys for sale signed by Joe Montana that are signed and 7 of them are priced between $500 and $700 and the other 2 are priced at $1200, IT DOES NOT MEAN YOUR JERSEY IS WORTH $1,200. It means either the jersey they have maybe different in a slight way like their jersey may have an inscription, when a player writes out a phrase or statistic about themselves (i.e. HOF 2000, Hall of Fame 2004, 5x Champs, 2x GG Winner, 2013 Champs). This inscription is an "escalator" in the value of the item and usually makes it more valuable by 20-30% depending on what the athlete wrote. People pay more money for these items because it is not just a common Joe Montana Signed jersey, it has "extra ink" and in the industry, collectors like "extra ink" as it makes it more unique and different. The other reason the jersey might be at $1,200 is that the seller is just throwing a number up on the internet hoping someone will come by and buy their jersey overpriced. Remember: There are not many "one of a kind" items like people like to represent if you have a 1/1 item we can probably guarantee we can find something almost exact or similar to what it is the item you have. Really put the time in to do research so when it goes time for you to sell your item you don't come off as a "rookie"!
STEP 4: CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY
Nothing is more important when it comes to selling an autograph than who it is certified by. To get the true top dollar of what your signed item maybe worth, you need to get it certified by a nationally recognized authentication company like PSA/DNA or James Spence Authentication (JSA). These companies are known mainly as third-party authenticators. What that means is they will certify autographs after the fact and need not be in the present to see your item signed. For example You see Magic Johnson at a restaurant and you go over to him and ask him to sign your napkin. PSA/DNA or James Spence Authentication can tell from the way the autograph looks, the way it is signed, what it is signed on with and many other factors to determine if they believe “in their opinion” if the autograph is authentic. We recommend sticking with these companies to get top dollar for your collectibles if you are looking to sell your items. Spend the money and do it right, remember it takes money to make money. Note: You can send them your items to their offices (insure them through the postal company you would be using) and they can send them back to you directly or catch either company on-site at local baseball card or memorabilia shows nationwide.
Just having any authenticity from any company does not help the value of your autograph, in most cases, it hurts the value of your autograph. Anyone can print out a Certificate of Authenticity from their computer and say something is real and offer you a full 100% money back guarantee plus another 25% if it is not authentic. Good luck collecting your money back because when you go to call them or email them, the lines of communication most likely will not work and you are out. All that matters is who's name is on the Certificate of Authenticity and what their reputation is like. Do your research, check out this list available by ebay on some of the good and the bad COA companies: HERE
STEP 5: EVALUATE
Rule of Thumb: Your item is more valuable with a Certificate of Authenticity from an Industry recognized reputable authenticator so because of this, your item is more valuable than the guy who is trying to sell his Michael Jordan Autographed Basketball certified by Big Boys Sports Cards in Littletonfield, AZ. Do not sell yourself short or overprice yourself out of the market for a buyer. MAke your buyer a deal and you should leave happy knowing you sold your item for a fair price. If you have completed these steps as mentioned above and still have a question or are looking to find a buyer for your autographed collectible give industry recognized autograph experts, Inscriptagraphs Memorabilia (www.inscriptagraphs.com) a call at (844) 474-4633 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you out as one of the most trusted sports memorabilia companies in the industry!