Authenticity of an autograph is the most important part to consider when making a purchase. Too often I see people buying items because of the photo that they are on or the album that they are on. Condition is also important but if they are not authentic condition means nothing.
When choosing a dealer that you feel comfortable with please before you purchase any item check out their guarantee of authenticity. I have been surfing the web checking out dealers policies and there seems to be some serious loop holes in the wording of their guarantees. A reputable dealer will offer you “a lifetime guarantee of authenticity of the item with a 100% lifetime money back guarantee”. Note the part about the money back guarantee. I see a lot of dealers offering a lifetime guarantee of authenticity but then nothing else. My question “then what?” This leaves an out for the dealer when it comes to an authenticity issue. Here are some random autograph dealer sites that I have copied their authenticity guarantees. My comments are below each.
Tracks - About us at Tracks.co.uk
Tracks was established in 1989 and is now the world’s leading dealer in Beatles autographs and memorabilia. We stock a large range of rare pop memorabilia including some of the biggest artists in the world of collectibles – The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.
All Beatles autographs purchased from us come with a signed certificate on our company letterhead stating that the autographs are supported by a life-time unconditional guarantee of authenticity and a money back warranty.
All various artists autographs also come with a signed certificate of authenticity on company letterhead supported by a life-time unconditional guarantee and a money back warranty.
This guarantee is solid. You know what you’re getting with this dealer.
Whether its your favorite album, complete with the whole bands autographs, a Stevie Ray Vaughan autographed stratocaster, or a picture of Marilyn Monroe. From Aerosmith, to Nirvana, to ZZ Top. All memorabilia comes with a certificate of authenticity, and a 30 day trial period to assure your complete satisfaction! After 30 days a store credit may be issued, if authorized. Autograph Central has them all!
Hmmm, 30 day “trial period” this give me goose bumps!
Each signed item is unconditionally guaranteed genuine without time limit. If a lot is declared to be not authentic, we may ask the purchaser to supply the written opinion of one competent authority acceptable to us. We will refund the purchase price after documentation has been submitted. The buyer’s only remedy under this guarantee is the cancellation of the sale and the refund of the purchase price. This guarantee does not apply to non-autographed items.
It gets no better than this!
Any customer purchasing items from ARA agrees to accept the item “as is.” ARA offers a money back guarantee to the original purchaser of any item within 30 days of receipt of the item providing that the item is returned to ARA in the same condition it was received. After 30 days, ARA will not accept any returns or issue any credits or refunds.
This one screams out RUN AWAY!!!!!
All autograph material in this sale is guaranteed genuine for the life of the original purchaser (unless otherwise stated or if contrary to other provisions of these terms). Any autograph item sold which is determined to be not authentic by two independent authenticators acceptable to both parties to the sale may be returned by the original buyer at any time for an immediate refund of the purchase price (only).
Another home run! Clearly spelled out in writing!
This is an example of one from Autographs America. They are “happy to honor our 100% guarantee”…of what, that its USDA cut? This guarantee says nothing. It’s just a bunch of words on a page. Nowhere does it state the return policy. Don’t take this kind of letter as anything except what it is, NOTHING! You will be stuck with any non authentic items.
Remember, this is your hard earned money you are spending. In a lot of cases it’s an investment for your future. The guarantee offered by the dealer is your life line to upholding your investments value. Be careful, read the guarantee!
Until next time