Frequently Asked Questions about Autographs
How to avoid buying fake autographs
Unfortunately it is very easy for unscrupulous people to make money with autographs and signed memorabilia and there are many autographs offered for sale that aren’t genuine.
A very large percentage of all autographs for sale online are fake, and of course it’s very easy for online autograph and memorabilia sellers to hide behind their online offerings; take your hard-earned money and disappear, probably only to reappear again under a new identity.
You’re best advised to buy autographs and signed memorabilia from reputable dealers. Check if the autograph dealer is recognised by AFTAL or UACC and deal with established websites or shops as you have a far better chance of addressing anything you're unhappy about.
If your autograph source isn’t an ‘Approved’ dealer, look for information about the autograph dealer that reassures you about who you're dealing with. Browse in order to build up your confidence by looking for the company’s contact details and address (check it’s a real address, a normal phone number, not premium rate for example as part of a scam), read about the people and how they go about their business, check their policies, ethics, procedures, commitments to customers, delivery and returns policy etc.
Quite often when someone has something to hide they don’t tell you very much or there’s a lot of talk about very little. There are autograph and memorabilia websites with fake addresses and dubious phone numbers. If in doubt, don’t deal.
If you come across a lot of hard-to-find autographs, this can be a warning sign that something’s not quite right, however, some autograph and memorabilia dealer collectors are better connected to certain celebrities than others and perhaps gain access to many autographs that others may find difficult to obtain. Valuable autographs being sold for much less than they should be worth can also be an indication of something not right. As they say, if it seems too good it probably is.
The only autograph and memorabilia trade associations that are accepted as being of any worth are the UACC (as a Registered Dealer only, not just a member) AFTAL, or PADA. All these autograph dealer/collector websites have a full list of their ‘approved dealers’ on their website. You could also use this link to the ACAF (Autograph Collectors against Fakes) forum.
AFTAL autograph dealer
What is an AFTAL Approved Dealer
AFTAL stands for Autograph Fair Trade Association Ltd and is based in the UK. AFTAL was created by acknowledged autograph dealers with the intention of eradicating the market for fake autographs and memorabilia, and providing a platform for customers to find autograph dealers they can trust.
AFTAL Approved Dealer status is proof of each autograph dealer’s commitment and professional competence. The Code of Conduct commits each AFTAL Approved Dealer to provide authentic autographs and signed items, with all the required knowledge, qualification and diligence that may demand.
In AFTAL’s words, “it is the best possible proof any autograph collector could have when looking to buy authentic signed memorabilia”.
Genuine Memorabilia is AFTAL Approved Dealer 110.
Approved autograph dealers
The difference between a UACC Registered Dealer and a UACC Member
A UACC Registered Dealer is vetted and monitored by the UACC (in the USA) to ensure they’re carry out their autograph and memorabilia business ethically and in line with the UACC code of ethics and procedures.
A UACC Registered Dealer is required to submit references and details of their experience in dealing with autograph collecting as well as providing the UACC with other information about their autograph business and trading.
A UACC Member is very different to a UACC Approved/Registered Dealer and the two should not be confused. Anyone can become a UACC Member by simply applying for membership and paying an annual fee. Depending on the level of your interest in autograph collecting, UACC Membership may be beneficial to you.
Should I buy an autograph from someone who isn’t an AFTAL Dealer
If you want to buy an autograph from someone who isn’t AFTAL or UACC approved, satisfy yourself as to whom you think you are dealing with. Firstly, check to see if they have applied for AFTAL or UACC membership, this will go some way towards building up a picture, however, any memorabilia dealer can apply to join AFTAL or UACC, but not all applications will be successful.
Look for information about the autograph dealer that reassures you. Browse in order to build up your confidence by looking for the company’s contact details and address (check it’s a real address, a normal phone number, not premium rate for example as part of a scam), read about the people and how they go about their business, check their policies, ethics, procedures, commitments to customers, delivery and returns policy etc.
Also check if the autograph has any accompanying proof of signing in which case you would want to see your autograph being signed preferably with the collector in the picture.
Dealing with approved autograph and memorabilia dealers gives you the best possible chance of peace of mind but it doesn’t mean everyone else is operating in a less than honourable manner; don’t forget everyone has to start somewhere, but it can be very difficult for the average person to make an informed decision for those autograph dealers outside of a recognised scheme and without approved dealer status. It’s worth asking why they’re not a member and gauge their response.
Will my autograph be worth more if I buy from an AFTAL dealer
If you have a genuine autograph its value would normally be unaffected by whom you had bought it from. Having a Certificate of Authenticity from an AFTAL approved dealer, for example, could make it easier to sell, a bit like a new kitchen, it hasn’t necessarily increased the value of your home but it can sell quicker with a nice new kitchen!
What is a pre-printed autograph
Pre-printed autographs are signatures that are part of the photograph. The celebrity in question originally signed a print and then subsequently the original print with the autograph has been mass produced.
What is a secretarial autograph
Some celebrities use what are called ‘secretaries’ to sign autographs on their behalf which reduces the amount of time they spend signing autographs, but would of course lead to inevitable dismay and disappointment should the unwitting collector realise the nature of their purchase.
What is an autopen autograph
Again, another device employed by some celebrities to reduce the time they spend signing autographs is the autopen. Autopens are mechanical devices that can sign identical autographs quickly and reasonably accurately.
Autopens have been around for decades and are also used in office environments. The autopen signature will usually be the same signature template used over and over again.
Value of autographs
Do you value autographs
We don’t value or authenticate autographs or signed memorabilia but Garry King is a leading authority and his website is interesting reading.
Do you buy autographs?
We don’t buy autographs or signed memorabilia from the public and this is not negotiable under any circumstances, regardless of people’s connections. We only trade or purchase autographs from approved or reputable dealers, or people close to us whom we trust.
Autograph association membership
Are you a member of any autograph associations?
Genuine Memorabilia is proud to be a registered UK autograph dealer with AFTAL (Autograph Fair Trade Association) - AFTAL Approved Dealer 110
We are pleased to play our part in maintaining a code of ethics within our profession and strive to continually improve our customer experience.
We also hope that our customers will be reassured to know that our Director, Dave Sherwood, is an Award-Winning Police Community Support Officer for Surrey Police.
Are your signatures hand signed by the person?
All our autographs are genuine - each autograph is signed by the person, ie George Michael. They're not prints or copies. Every item is unique and original.
How to buy an autograph
Do I have to buy online or can I pay by cheque?
Cheque payments are accepted. Bear in mind it will take longer for you to receive the item as it won't be despatched until the cheque has been received and your funds have cleared.
Your autographs seem cheap
I’ve surfed through lots of memorabilia websites and have been to memorabilia shops. How come your prices are so good? I’m not complaining it’s just I’ve seen an identical Frank Lampard signed shirt in a shop for £750 and your price is only £175.
It’s a very good question and one we’re often asked. Firstly, we’re not greedy, we want our customers to feel they’re getting great value for money – that way they’ll come back for more and tell their friends about us in the meantime. We also have lower overheads than a shop and we go out of our way to do a lot of our own collecting.
Do you specialise in anyone in particular?
Which celebrities do you see most often? We don’t really specialise in anyone/ anything in particular with regard to autographs and our signed memorabilia but Dave (our main collector) is a huge Chelsea FC and Paul Weller fan, so you might see a bit more of both on our website than you may find on other autograph websites.
It really depends, for example some months we may meet someone several times and collect autographs and then it may be difficult to catch up with them for months or even years thereafter.
Autograph signatures are different
I’ve noticed some people’s signatures differ, why is this?
A good example of this is Chelsea’s John Terry and Michael Essien. If they have time they will sign their names in full (like signing a cheque) but if they’re rushed or being hounded by a crowd they may only initial or tail-off with a squiggle.
Autographs with certificate
Do you supply a Certificate of Authenticity with your autographs?
All our autographs and signed memorabilia come with our AFTAL approved dealer Certificate of Authenticity. Increasing we try to obtain photographic evidence of the signing but we can't get them for every autograph.
Always remember, a Certificate of Authenticity is only as good as the company that supplies it because anyone can create a certificate of this nature. It's reassuring to have one when you trust your source but it's not proof of authenticity when you’re not so sure of your source.
Autograph charity donations
Do you donate autographed items to charity events?
Sorry, no we don’t. We have numerous requests for donations throughout the year and it isn’t feasible to accommodate the value of requests we have. We either hold events for our own chosen charities throughout the year or donate to causes as we see fit on a personal level.
Do you discount on multiple purchases for autographs?
Discounts are available for our autographs on orders over £1,000. Our autographs are already very competitively priced and amongst the best value on the market; our signed memorabilia is more likely to go up, not down.
Our range of autographs
What kind of autographs do you sell?
Our entire autograph collection spans three websites covering a broad range of autographs across many genres:
www.genuinememorabilia.co.uk – bands, pop stars, film stars, film memorabilia, celebs, comedy, glamour etcwww.sportsmemorabilia.co.uk – football and many sportswww.signed.co.uk – affordable autographs covering all the above
Our autographs come in many forms: