Autographs Buying Guide
|Collecting autographs can keep you on top of who’s hot now, who was hot then, and who changed the course of history. From Hollywood legends, rock stars, and sports icons, to presidents, composers, artists, authors, scientists, politicians, and military figures, you'll find thousands of autographs to collect on eBay Canada.|
There’s nothing more satisfying than showing friends and relatives a rich and extensive collection of autographs of your favourite celebrity or historical figure, all with their own unique story to tell. In order to build your own collection, decide which autographs you want.
Fans of old Hollywood can look for autographs from Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, or Audrey Hepburn while those who prefer new Hollywood may browse for items signed by Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, or Brad Pitt. Sports enthusiasts may search out items signed by Babe Ruth, Joe Montana, or David Beckham while others may seek out autographs from music legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles. You'll find something for everyone on eBay.
Explore your autograph options
Autographs can be found on virtually every surface, from highly-valuable footballs, baseball bats, and baseballs to signed menus and sports cards. Even a dry business letter usually ends with a signature. If you can find a signed letter or a postcard that contains historically significant information, so much the better. The most common forms of autographed collectables include correspondence such as letters and postcards, documents such as cheques, business contracts, and official decrees as well as literary manuscripts, TV and film scripts, sheet music, artwork, photographs, books, and magazines.
Research your area of interest
Be sure to read up on your area of interest and talk to other autograph collectors to get the inside scoop and industry buzz on certain items. For example, in talking to those “in the know” you might learn that Tiger Woods doesn’t sign golf balls, so you shouldn’t even bother looking. And if you do happen to find one for sale, you’ll be in a better position to question its authenticity. Educate yourself so you know what’s hot on the market now, what will be hot on the market in the future, and what prices certain items are fetching today.
Take care of your autographs
Whether you’re framing your autographs or storing them, it’s important that you take the right steps to protect them. Store or display your autographs in a way that gives you control over light, temperature, and humidity. Be aware that certain pests, such as book lice and silverfish, feed on paper products, so it’s best not to store your autographs in open bookshelves. Any damage to the autograph, including, but not limited to, damage from glue, tape, and lamination, will decrease its value.
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Several key factors help determine the value of a particular autograph, including authenticity, age, condition, content, and rarity.
Determine autograph authenticity
Authenticity is one of the most important factors to consider when determining the value of an autograph. Research what the person’s signature is supposed to look like and ask about the provenance of an item. Provenance includes information such as how, when, and where the item was obtained. Having this backstory is critical to determining the autograph’s value. Do your homework and get as much insight into the circumstances surrounding the autograph’s acquisition as possible.
Know your seller and check their credentials, including whether they belong to reputable organizations, such as UACC, Manuscript Society, PADA, or IADA, and check their Certificates of Authentication (COA). Some COAs come from divisions of publicly traded companies while others come from individual dealers and collectors offering their own personal guarantees. The credibility of a COA depends on the issuing party's track record. You'll find a list of well-known authentication sites and resources on eBay's Opinions, Authentication, and Grading webpage. This page includes organizations by industry that you can use to grade and authenticate items for sale on eBay.
: Opinions expressed by evaluators are theirs alone. eBay does not examine items listed on its site and does not have the expertise to evaluate items. eBay cannot guarantee the findings of any evaluator — authentication and grading are difficult, often subjective matters where experts themselves occasionally disagree. Each of the companies listed on the Opinions, Authentication, and Grading
page that provides authentication and/or grading services is an independent company, and eBay is not responsible in any way for any action, inaction, opinion or service in connection with these companies. You should review the credentials of each company and use your own judgment before using any company's services.
Evaluate age and condition
Typically, the better the condition of the autographed piece, the more valuable. When you evaluate the photos in item listings, check whether the autograph looks pristine, clean, and intact. Ink signatures tend to fetch a higher price than pencil signatures because they often last longer and fade less quickly. Like antiques, older autographs cost more than current autographs, which may be easier to obtain.
Search for rare autographs and unique content
Rare autographs of famous, or infamous, people often have a high value as well. If the person is no longer living, and therefore no longer producing autographs, the value of their autograph increases significantly. For example, Marilyn Monroe was a popular entertainment icon who had a relatively short life. She had a limited time to sign autographs and can no longer produce them, so her autograph is a rare and valuable breed. But even if an autograph is rare, if it is of very poor quality, it may not be as desirable or as valuable as an excellent specimen from someone less well-known.
Additionally, having an item such as a signed document or handwritten letter that provides some insight into the author’s character and historical context goes a long way in creating value. In general, less personalized autographs are more valuable.
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Find Autographs on eBay
Find Autographs on eBay
You can find autographs in several categories on eBay including Entertainment Memorabilia, collectables, Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop, Art, and Books.
Categories: Categories lists, located on the left side of each listings page, can help you narrow listings further by genre, sport, or industry.
Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find a signed photo of Marilyn Monroe, type "marilyn monroe photo signed" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Remember to use a "+" between consecutive words in a keyword phrase. After conducting your initial search, try misspelling the name of the item you desire, trying several variations. You'll likely come across additional listings. Visit eBay's Search Commands page for more tips on searching with keywords.
Advanced search: eBay's Advanced Search feature allows you to conduct a more precise search and gives you the option to search by seller, buyer, or store. You can also narrow results to "All of these words," "Any of these words," or "Exact phrase." Search All Categories to find autographs in any category on eBay.
If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available.
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Buy Autographs With Confidence
Buy Autographs With Confidence
Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.
Know your purchase
Carefully read the details in item listings.
Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.
If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.
Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.
Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.
Know your seller
Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.
What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?
What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?
Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?
In the unlikely event that a problem arises during your transaction, eBay and PayPal are there for you.
Pay safely with PayPal: PayPal enables you to pay without the seller ever seeing your bank account or credit card numbers. In fact, PayPal protects buyers 100% against unauthorized payments from their accounts. Plus, with PayPal Buyer Protection, your purchase can be covered up to C$1,250.
eBay Security & Resolution Centre: Visit the Security & Resolution Centre to learn how to protect your account and use eBay's quick and efficient resolution tools.
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