New dates for 2013
Well, we never did get to run any more courses in 2012 due to so many other things getting in the way, but i am determined to start the courses again just as soon as i can, so keep watching!
Previous courses had been run in larger hotels for groups of 18 people, and all had sold out, but trying to give my best to 18 people was hard work, so i have now decided to run these as much smaller groups in smaller hotels. This will mean that the day will be a little more relaxed for me, and i will have more time to speak to each person as needed. It also means the cost of the hotel is lower which means the cost of the course will be lower. Having smaller groups will also mean that it will be possible to run more courses in parts of the country that i may not have visited before, so please let me know if are interested so that i can put your town on my map!
The Part 1 course was put together with the backing of AFTAL for its members (although you did not have to be a member to take part) and in response to the vast number of fakes and printed signatures that have been seen in the market over the last 3 years or so. Many of these are better than good, and a number of dealers have been caught out with these, and not just via eBay either! and it has cost them dearly. The fraudsters who produce these fakes are getting better all the time, so we need to ensure that we all stay one step ahead, and this full day course will help show you how!
The Part one course has gone down very well, with all four previous days selling out and everyone going home very happy indeed. Here are a few comments from just a few of the 70 plus that have now taken part one......
Excellent, never knew there was so much to know about autographs, and I have been doing this for more than 15 years! Andy Hemmington. Autographs and Memorabilia.
As a memorabilia framing company we have been around autographs for a number of years, this course has proved extremely valuable with regards to our own autograph purchases and also advising our customers. Richard Thompson IFrames.
He's bald... he's ugly... but he knows his stuff! Steve Warner, The Autograph Collection.
Whether you sell or collect across the board, just a specific genre, full time or part time, or only sell what you get signed, this course will help show you how to spot the good from the bad, the real from the fake, and give you an edge on your competitors too! and of course, by attending the course you will get to meet other dealers with which you can do business with, and don't we all need new customers!
The course will not only give you the confidence to answer anyone's questions about fakes, facsimiles or autopens etc, which can only enhance your standing, but will, with your new found knowledge, also help to improve your own business and your ability to buy and sell at the best possible price.
Many dealers have realised that only offering what they get signed themselves is limiting their business, and does not allow them to expand in the way they need. By learning more about autopens, fakes etc, you will be able to take advantage of items that may come your way, with the confidence that you know what you are buying. It will also help to open up other buying channels such as eBay, where as any expert will tell you, there are bargains galore, but only if you have the knowledge and know what you are looking for!
The day also provides everyone with a valuable chance to meet other like minded people, and there will be ample time during the day for you to do some networking and perhaps some sales as well (some have said that this is worth the course fee alone!). I encourage everyone to bring along a folder or two of stock to show around, this could get you some new customers, and perhaps pay for the day as well. Also remember to bring some business cards, to hand out at the start of the day. At the last course, one dealer had already done enough business before we even started, to pay for their day!
All participants will receive a completion certificate.
Where possible a Talk on fraud by a Police or Trading Standards officer.
Completion provides guaranteed acceptance for part two of the course (advanced).
Tea/coffee breaks as needed, with free Tea/coffee.
9am start with expected finish at 4.30pm
Discounted rooms at the hotel normally available.
Names for the Part 2 course are now being taken, but only from those who have completed Part 1 and already have their certificate.
Here is a brief idea of what the day will consist of.
We start the day with signing in and a chance to look at some of the many examples of fakes and forgeries we have to show you. These will include examples from Sporting Icons, Gary Hayes, US Operation Bullpen and others, and if you have never heard these names before, then you really do need to do this course! Being able to see and handle such items allows you to see just how good some of these are, and take careful note of some of them, as you may be asked questions about them during the day!
The days course is based around a PowerPoint presentation with a number of practical tests to keep you awake and see what you have learned. There are no qualifying exams as such, as everything we do during the day is there to show you where your weak points may be, and where you may need to improve your own skills.
You will have the opportunity to see many of the different autopens and printed or facsimile signatures that so often fool collectors, and you will be shown how to tell the difference between each different type. You may also bring along any items you may have in your own files that you are not sure of, as we have a 'surgery' at the end of the day where you can test your new found skills.
There will be tea/coffee breaks as required, and we will break for lunch about 1pm for a probable sit down meal in the restaurant. If this cannot be arranged, then a discount on the full fee will be given and we will just have to pop around to McDonalds instead!
The day should end around 4.30 depending on how many questions you may have asked, at which time you may again try a little networking to pay for the day.
Please bring along any reference books you think you may need and any other items you might use during your normal day to day business with autographs. I will also have some useful reference books available on the day for purchase.