Whether you are buying a piece of sports memorabilia for your own collection or are buying a gift for a loved one, when you make the purchase you likely assume (or just truly hope) that it is authentic. People aren’t so cruel that they would scam someone who’s only trying to buy something sentimental, right? Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that are doing just that. In fact, it has been estimated that over 70 percent of autographed sports memorabilia is, in fact, fake. This is pretty upsetting news, and sad that people would take advantage of others like that, but you can avoid getting scammed by being perceptive and inquisitive.
In our last blog post, we provided you with a few tips to follow when searching for authentic memorabilia, and now we’d like to help you out even further. This time, we’ll bring up a few red flags that you should look out for that could mean that you’re buying something that is fraudulent.
The good news is that you have come to the right place! Here at Sports Fanz, we want to provide our customers with exactly what they are looking for, authentic memorabilia! So be sure to look through our products and order a relic of your favorite team or player. However, if you do find yourself shopping on another site or in a store, here are some ways to spot a fake! Contact us today if you would like any more information.
No Proof of Purchase or COA
Yes, there are times when an autograph is achieved through a chance encounter or other means that don’t produce an actual certificate of authenticity or proof of purchase, but if you really want to be sure that what you are getting is legitimate, it is best to avoid these items. A lot of fraudulent dealers will make claims like they got the product from someone who is now deceased or some other clever story of why they can’t prove the validity of the memorabilia. Maybe, on the rare occasion, they are telling the truth, but the best move for you is to just walk away.
The Collection Is Too Similar
Real dealers have a variety of memorabilia. Everything from signed pictures, balls, bats, what have you! If the site or store that you are shopping through seems to have a pattern of things that they are selling and they all seem eerily similar, it’s a pretty clear sign that you’re being duped and they are selling fakes.
We brought it up in the last post, but it is worth it to bring it up again. If the price of an item seems too good to be true, that’s almost definitely the case. No one is going to be selling a valued piece of sports memorabilia at bargain-bin prices. We know that your emotions might try and convince you that it is just your lucky day, but don’t let those thoughts fool you. Let common sense take the wheel.
Just like when hiring a plumber or contractor, if they have no reviews from previous customers that state their quality of work, then they are probably not to be trusted. Same goes for memorabilia dealers. Check to make sure that they have happy customers that are pleased with the purchases that they made in the past.
Beware of Stamping
The most common way that scammers forge autographs is through stamping. Without taking a close examination, it is easy to be fooled through this method. One way to spot that the memorabilia has been stamped is by checking its location. For example, no baseball player is going to sign over the stitches of the ball. Also, if you can, run your fingers along the signature. If you are unable to feel the ink then it is more likely to be a real signature, but if you can feel the texture, then that’s a sign that it has been stamped.
We hope that you keep all of these signs in mind next time you are shopping for sports memorabilia to avoid being fooled by a counterfeit. However, since you’re here, why not just get something from our store? Browse through our vast collection of products and pick out an item that means something special to you! Any questions? Contact us today!