Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How to Authenticate Signed Sports Memorabilia Purchased Online

Meeting one of your favorite athletes is a fun and memorable experience. You'll always remember the moment that you stood in front of that giant. While you know that the memorabilia you had that star sign is real, the same isn't necessarily true of the merchandise and memorabilia that you purchase online. You never know if that jersey or ball is the real deal or one that the seller signed in his or her own home. Whether you shop for autographed NFL memorabilia, NBA products or MLB merchandise, you need to know how to authenticate those autographs.

Compare the Signature

Before you put your money down, look closely at the signature. This is especially important when buying signed photos. Many athletes use a stamp or an automatic machine that lets them sign multiple pictures in a short period of time without actually writing on the image. These photos have a flatter finish, and the autograph itself will look dull. You can also compare the signature that you see with other autographed merchandise you already own or those you see online from reputable sources. If the signature looks off or slightly different, it may not be authentic.

Ask for Proof

When you shop from individual sellers instead of from a website or company, don't hesitate to ask for some additional proof that the autograph is real. Sellers that specialize in selling sports memorabilia will often take photos with the athlete. They will then include that image in the listing. You can ask for a copy of that photo with your purchase. The seller should also provide you with details about the autograph, including the date the athlete autographed the item and where he or she met that player. Those who cannot recall details or keep changing the story are those you do not want to buy from.

Request a Certificate of Authenticity

Always ask for a certificate of authenticity too. Also called a COA, this serves as proof that the autograph is real and that the seller agrees that everything stated in the listing is true. If you later find that the merchandise is not real, you can use the COA as proof that the seller lied when asking for your money back. The best and most reputable sellers of autographed sports memorabilia will provide you with proof and give you a certificate of authenticity.

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