If you have any concerns about buying an autographed or signed item on eBay or elsewhere, then our 'Quick Opinion' service may help to put your mind at rest about buying, or perhaps you have already purchased an item, or require a valuation or authentication on an item that you have bought elsewhere, been left in a will or found in a drawer? This article might help you decide!
Please take time to read all of this page before contacting us, as we are unable to offer free valuations or any authentication service either by phone or email.
If you simply want a Quick Opinion on an any item, then scroll down to the bottom of this page, where for £7.95 per signature we will give you our opinion and any other advice we can on any signed item listed on ebay, elswehere, or perhaps its just an item you found in a skip!
Our 20 plus years of full time dealing and authentication work with other dealers, Trading Standards and the Police, give us an unrivaled edge when it comes to giving an opinion on any autograph. We don't just 'claim' to be experts in the field, we officially are 'experts' having had our expert witness testimony successfully used against rogue forgers and sellers of fakes, and have the experience to not just be able to determine the good from the bad, but also to be able to give you guidance to help you try and obtain a refund if needed. Here is one such example.
There are many similar sites on the web, all claiming to have expert knowledge and years of experience, but how do you know if what they say is true?
- Do they have FULL verifiable contact details on their sites?
- Do they tell you exactly who they are?
- Do they give you examples of their experience?
- Can you trust them?
We can offer you expert guidance, authentication and valuation on almost any signed item you may have purchased elsewhere or may be considering as a purchase. We can also offer appraisal of you own collection for disposal or probate etc.
If you want an item authenticated (not a Quick View service), this is how it works. You will need to first tell us what you want looked at, as we will not accept certain items for authentication (Signed football shirts, boots or balls or any modern football stars for instance). If we are able to help, then you will need to send the items to us by Special Delivery. Please also note that we do not accept items from outside of the UK due to import duty problems etc.
We will then check the items on arrival for obvious fakes and printed signatures etc. If they fail this first hurdle, or if we are unable to authentice the item, we will issue a PayPal invoice for the return postage, plus a basic fee of £5 per item to cover our time. On payment of the invoice, the items will be packed and returned to you by Special Delivery.
A note regarding packaging. It is your responsibilty to ensure that items are well packed when sent to us. It is no use writing 'Do Not Bend' on a jiffy bag with a 10" x 8" signed Laurel and Hardy photo in it, and expect it to arrive without any damage! Royal Mail machines cannot read the writing on your packaging, indeed, it seems that some the postmen can't read either, but that is another story! Every week we receive items which are packed in such a poor way, that they arrive with more damage than they started out with. Things do and will get bent in the post, pack them correctly and they won't, its as simple as that.
If we need to spend more time on them to make a determination as to authenticity, then we will continue researching, and then confirm to you the total cost and upon completion will then send a PayPal invoice for the agreed total fee. Upon payment the items will be returned by Special Delivery. Items will be returned with our full letter of authenticity and insurance valuation.
The cost per signature can vary dependant on many things, but expect a minimum of £24.99 per item although we are happy to give you a price on the phone before you commit to anything. A phone call first will give you a better idea of any costs involved.
Please note that we will not authenticate items by scan only. This is open to fraud and with the huge amount of printed items around, it is almost impossible to tell these from a scan. Only an idiot would authenticate an item from a scan, and only a fool would trust such an authentication!
And in case you are wondering, the Muhammad Ali signed item shown above is not authentic, and is actually an Autopen signature often offered by some as genuine. It may look real, and the photo has certainly been signed with real ink and a pen, but it signed by a machine and not Muhammad Ali.
And despite what some experts might tell you, or what you may have read elsewhere, every Autopen signature is not exactly the same. So beware! This is just one example of the many that fool collectors and even dealers on a daily basis. Others include the various Winston Churchill letters (we now have a comprehensive article on these on this site for free download), David Cameron and Tony Blair Autopen signed photos, and many others, all of which have been created to fool you and are seen being sold by some sellers on a daily basis.
If you want to know how to avoid these kinds of fakes, and learn more about autographs in general, why not sign up to one of our courses? You will get to see and handle all the above and many more examples of fakes and forgeries that can so easily catch you out. Its money well spent!