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WHY Authenticity Means Everything!

WHY Authenticity is EVERYTHING!
“And the Cost of NOT Paying Attention to Detail”


Remember one day , maybe many years ago, you met someone who made a great first impression…  But later on that person turns out failed the “authenticity test”?   It was an unsettling feeling that really left a knot in your stomach…  Most of us have had such an experience.  It’s just part of life.   However, there are few human characteristics that can trigger such powerful negative memories like disingenuous or non-authentic….    It is also one criteria most people cannot overlook.    Likewise, in the world of collecting there is no more important criteria then authenticity.   Without it, everything else fails.    Unfortunately there are many sellers of suspicious historical memorabilia, particularly autograph forgeries, where greed trumps ethics.  Hence,  the only way to protect yourself is to become familiar with reputable dealers, reputable authentication companies and a basic understanding of what an autograph authentication entails.      And nothing would make me happier than by You reading the rest of this article results in you not having the same painful experience I had many years ago.

About 15 years ago I came across a valuable autographed “Wizard of OZ” book with a low price that was equally exciting!   The adrenaline kicked in and I was paralyzed with that “collector high!”.    And of course my brain was also paralyzed as I moved forward with the purchase without doing due diligence such as researching the signatures in the book.   I bought from an unknown eBay seller  , who had no credentials and did not offer any guarantee.   And to make matters worse I paid him with a certified check, Ugh!   Let’s just say several thousand dollars!    I drove over 200 miles to meet the seller because I was so excited to pick it up.     

I will say the signatures were quite consistent with authentic examples.   However, there were several “red flags” that typically I would have noticed, but that instead would come back to bite me!    When I returned home with the book I compared to a genuine OZ book that sold at auction a couple years earlier , and then my worst nightmare happened before my eyes…   I broke out in a cold sweat as I realized the signatures were copied, even traced from the genuine book.    If I had done my “homework” prior , my suspicions would have been immediately triggered and a serious financial loss would have been averted.  A book that would have been worth $40,000, was now worth about $50 (for just the book)...

Authenticity is one of the most powerful words in not only collecting valuable art and artifacts, but also human behavior.   How many of us select friends, spouses, partners, doctors, lawyers and yes even politicians that appear non-authentic?    Hence, taking a lackadaisical approach to authenticity has far reaching consequences affecting many facets of our lives. …   As a dealer of rare autographs my #1 priority is ensuring everything I sell is unquestionably genuine.    And, that I never (again) get lackadaisical when it comes to paying attention to detail.    It was an expensive lesson 15 years ago, but not one I ever plan to repeat for myself or for my customers.    As a matter of fact, because of my bad experience with an autograph forger  I became active in the collecting community confronting and even “outing” sellers of forgeries particularly on eBay.   One notorious eBay forgery seller  that was eventually banned from selling autographs on eBay retaliated against me by posting fake negative reviews al over the internet claiming I sold him a fake “John Hancock letter” even though I’ve never even owned a John Hancock letter.   I won’t bore you with the details but if you ever want to read about it, see it here:

Last year I wrote an extensive expose on what to look for when considering buying a high valuable autograph, titled “Ten Warning Signs a Dealer May Be Selling Autograph Forgeries”…Read it HERE!

Remember,  although  as with any investment there are risks, owning a Genuine piece of history can be one of the most exhilarating experiences you’ll ever have!  I hope as we enter the holiday season this helps keep you safe from unscrupulous sellers and helps in choosing that next great piece to your collection and/or acquire that ultimate gift for a loved one.. And if you follow my 10+ steps in the article I mentioned above , you will substantially reduce any risk buying your next vintage treasure!…

* We GUARANTEE AUTHENTICITY FOR LIFE everything we sell including Autographs. Movie Posters, Sports Memorabilia and fine art.

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