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We have all heard of it, and we all use it at sometime or the other, but should we consider buying autographs via those on facebook? Because of my previous post about obtaining a refund on ebay from a fake seller, I have had a several emails asking me about items that customers have purchased via people on facebook. These 'sellers' appear to be simply people who use the site for the usual social media reasons, and will offer items which they claim are obtained on their visits to premiers etc, often showing images of famous people signing items at these events. All very believable, but how genuine are they?
The truth it would seem is very different, as it turns out that the items that i have been shown are not authentic and in some cases the buyers have failed to get any refund either! There are of course some genuine AFTAL and UACC registered dealers who use this way to promote their business, and there is nothing wrong with that, although you should always double check the sellers membership with either of those associations, and not simply accept what they tell you. These 'private' sellers are a very different kettle of fish though, as based on what i have seen they are often offering fakes at a tempting price with a convincing story, but if you find out the truth later you will have zero chance of getting any kind of refund.
Recent emails to myself have shown that some of the sellers accept their payments by direct bank transfer, which is something you should avoid at all cost, as once paid this way the bank will never help you with any refund, you are simply on your own, and of course the seller knows this. Cash is also no no too for obvious reasons, paypal should be your first choice as at least that way you have some means of getting a refund if it all goes wrong.
So my advice has to be, be very wary of any seller of signed items on Facebook. There are of course genuine sellers, but in the main they will also have proper website with full contact details, and are likely to be a member of AFTAL or a UACC Registered Dealer (not just a member, and always double check this!) otherwise you stand a very good chance of finding yourself out of pocket.
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