I want to SELL autographs - Do I need to Authenticate them? May 27 2024

Walter Latnz Autograph

The short answer is that for the most part, no. The buyer will most likely be a dealer, and he should know what he buys. If you are selling to a collector, he should also know what he is buying.

[CLICKABLE IMAGE] A beautiful black-and-white photograph signed by Walter Lantz featuring him with many of his cartoon characters, authenticated by Beckett Authentication Services over the lower-right border.

 

Now, if your item is an expensive one, such as a signed photo of a celebrity that has reached prices in the high hundreds or thousands of dollars in past sales, then it may be convenient for you to spend in autograph authentication services. If they think your item is authentic, they will provide a letter of authenticity, it will cost you some good money, but it will help you sell your item. 

 

Keep in mind that most dealers that can buy your item and most auction houses that can offer your item on consignment, do not pay much attention to letters from autograph authentication services or any other kind of opinion company. They make their own curation and analysis, and use their own opinion. 

 

WHY?

Potential buyers do not know you and you don't have a well-established reputation as an autograph dealer or authenticator. This means, you sell your item to someone who has that reputation and can resell, or you acquire a letter that endorses the authenticity of your item.

 

For cheaper items, it is usually not necessary to get letters of authenticity, they cost good money, they take time and some work from you. It is rarely worth the investment.

[CLICKABLE IMAGE] Gorgeous large color photograph signed by Adam West and and Burt Ward in the TV Series "Batman" (1966-1968), with authentication sticker over the lower-right corner by JSA Authentication Services.

If you plan to sell your item/s to a dealer, do not pay for expensive or even cheap CoAs (Certificate of Authenticity) to autograph authentication services such as PSA, JSA, AutographCoA.com, Beckett, etc. Those are opinion companies, they do not buy nor sell, they inspect your item and provide a letter if they think it is authentic, all for a fee. 

 

Now, if your plan is to sell to just anyone in the open market, offer it on eBay or similar, the above applies: consider investing in a CoA, this should convince those buyers who do not know much about autographs, that your item is authentic. Usually those who spend thousands of dollars in one single item already know well what you are buying, so this letter will be useful for those collectors who are not knowledgeable or anyone who wants to give a gift, for example.

 

WHAT ABOUT APPRAISALS?

An appraisal is a valuation, that is, a range of market value for your item. You need to have an idea of what your item is worth, so you can properly sell it. So an appraisal is something very convenient, unless you are ok in relying on the honesty of the dealer or collector you are selling to (this many times works very well). 

 [CLICKABLE IMAGE] Rare signed photo postcard signed by the famous American caricaturist Al Hirschfeld; authentication sticker by JSA over the lower-left corner

Appraisals are also paid services, you can get quick appraisals for free by asking, and some people may tell you, but a good, reasonably done appraisal by a professional is usually a paid service. It does not cost much, but it does have a cost. Make sure you do some research online to see if your item is worth enough to spend on an appraisal letter and consider all that was said above before you spend it on a CoA or certificate of Authenticity.

 

We truly hope the above will help you make decisions about whether authenticate and/or appraise autographs before selling them, 

 

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