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Spotting Fake Memorabilia

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How to Prevent Buying a Fake Collectible Be wary when the seller requests privacy. While this would be acceptable during some higher-end sales, those who sell counterfeit merchandise request anonymity because they don't want to be called out by experts and have their reputation tarnished.

Always ask for authenticity documentation that you can have verified by a third party.

Buy from reputable sellers. Collectors take pride in their knowledge and have no problem in educating others on what to look for in buying memorabilia. Check ratings and reviews of seller online.

If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of items that should be priced much higher if they are indeed authentic.

Check to see if the dealer has a large amount of inventory of the same signed product.

Avoid private bidding. Why would a dealer not want to advertise high bids for an authentic product?

Spotting a Fake SignatureLook for signs of stamping by running your finger over the signature. If you can't feel the ink, it is likely to be a printed signature. If you feel the texture of the ink, you know that the signature was added later.

Look for signs of the "autopen." A human hand's signature flows and usually tapers off at the end. An autopen creates a signature too evenly and can be spotted by looking for noticeable start and end marks as the pen begins and ends the template signature. Autopens leave the same pressure of ink throughout the signature while human hands leave imperfect pressure.

Look for exact duplicates. No human ever can sign the exact same way twice. If the signature is exactly replicated on another piece of memorabilia, chances are it's a fake.

Under a magnifying glass, look for the telltale "dots" of a printed signature.

Questions to Ask when Buying Signed MemorabiliaWhere/When was this signed?

What were the circumstances around the signing?

Is there a photograph of the item being signed?

Is the seller part of an autographed society? (like the Universal Autograph Collectors Club)

Any lifetime money back guarantee?

Any documentation to prove authenticity?

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