STEP 1: 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 may be 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. 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. 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.
STEP 2: RESEARCH.
We recommend searching the Internet to see what other items similarly have sold for online. One of the best ways to conduct your research is through eBay! Chances are what you have might not be a one of a kind item and therefore there are many similar items to what other people either are selling currently or have sold in the past. We love eBay for this reason as there are so many listings on this site that you can make it a lot easier to compare your exact item to one that is currently for sale or one very similar to yours to give you an idea of what it is worth.
Non experienced eBay people are not very aware that eBay had a sold listings tool that can give you pricing on what similar items have sold on eBay for in the past 90 days. To reach this tool, type in on eBay what you are looking to compare. On the left-hand side of the tool after you pressed search are a whole bunch of other buttons to click to help you search for more precise information that you are looking for. Scroll down on this left side menu and you will find a button that says “completed listings” click this button and up will pop the sold items that you are comparing your autograph against. Look who certified these items and we suggest you look for the premium names like we recommended in step 1. See what those listings are going for already certified by these gold standard authentication companies and this may help you determine a fair market value price for your autographed collectible.
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: CONDITION.
Autograph collectors can be very picky when it comes to purchasing autographs to put on display in either their man cave, office, home or wherever. Point is, if your autograph might not be to their standards, it might be worth some money but harder to sell if there might be some out of the ordinary with your collectable. Some factors that go into whether your autograph is worth more or less money are:
- SIGNATURE QUALITY- Is your autograph fading? (see left photo) Is the ink from the pen that was used for your autograph bleeding into the ball? (see right photo) Is the autograph a full signature of that person or is it a quick scribble and hard to read? These factors do hurt the value sometimes significantly so be cognizant of that because when going to sell your piece of memorabilia, you most likely won’t get as much for it even with a gold standard authenticator backing the authenticity of your item.
- LOCATION OF THE SIGNATURE- Where is your autograph signed? For example: baseballs signed that are not on the sweet spot (the spot where both seams meet the closest to each other and are signed in between where they meet, see signed baseball above as an example) are worth significantly less money. Autographs that don’t make sense in the place they are signed or in maybe even on a dark spot of a photo do hurt the autographs value.
- INSCRIPTIONS- These are the extra parts to a signature. When you and me sign our signature we just write our signature out, nothing else. For the athlete especially people want them to write an accomplishment they made in addition to their signature like “85 MVP” or “Rookie of the Year” and even “92 Heavyweight Champ!” These little sayings are called inscriptions and increase the value of your item usually 20% or sometimes more depending if that person commonly writes that same expression on multiple items he or she writes. To find some great examples of some inscriptions, always unique ones no one else has, check out Inscriptagraphs Sports & Entertainment Memorabilia (Inscriptagraphs.com). There you will find some of the most unique stats or sayings written by athletes and celebrities that no other company has.
STEP 4: GET AN EXPERT OPINION.
The best place we recommend going to estimate the value of your collectible is to Inscriptagraphs! We now offer appraisals of your items and offer you great advice as to where to go to get an evaluation of your autographs and where to get top dollar for your items. We offer you 2 fantastic options based off your needs and the information you wish to inquire. The first appraisal we offer is called the Basic Appraisal / Evaluation Service which is meant for people looking to get a quick and detailed expert opinion who may have come into items via inheritance, divorce, gifts or any other means where they received an item. The other form of appraisal we offer is for those individuals who may or may not be collectors who are looking for a more in depth way of protecting their valuables. These appraisals called the Comprehensive Appraisal / Evaluation Service is mainly intended to be used for insurance purposes so you can protect the value of your items in case you ever needed to show what you had. Let our expertise go to work for you!