Experienced Collectors buy for themselves; hence usually go through a lengthy analysis of a signature. When I buy an autograph it is for my own collection, even though I may post it for sale, it is an autograph I have studied for many years and highly desire to own for myself. You will see on my web site that I do not sell everything, only certain categories and historical figures within those categories. For example, under the main menu selection Celebrity Autographs, there are several subcategories such as Wizard of Oz. I have collected and studied Wizard of Oz related autographs for over 25 years, so I have a sixth sense what Oz autographs are genuine and which are forgeries. BUT, of course I am NOT an expert in everything. Hence, you will NOT see on my site autographs from modern day celebrities like Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Tiger Woods, the NY Yankees, or Barack Obama. Even if I did collect these autographs, there is not even historical data to do a competent analysis. With the exception of reliable and/or documented in person examples.
6). There are several signature studies out there for certain major celebrities. For example, if you are a reputable dealer and you have not educated yourself on signatures like Frank Sinatra, in which several in- depth studies exist, than that dealer should NOT be selling Frank Sinatra autographs. I see too many dealers selling the blatantly obvious Sinatra, Hepburn, Monroe, Elvis, (and the list goes on) secretarial signatures.
7). There are some autographs that are so rare, it is highly unlikely you have a genuine specimen. For example, I have NEVER seen an Authentic Rat Pack set of signatures (all 5 members of the Pack). Ebay consistently has forgeries and secretarial examples but NEVER has an authentic one appeared on eBay or anywhere else for that matter. And, when someone tells me they have one, in 100% of the cases they have been fakes.
8). Before you buy an autograph, ask if it is guaranteed for life. But, do not stop there. Ask the dealer WHO he/she considers the “final word” for authentication. The reason is many dealers offer a lifetime guarantee, HOWEVER , it is another story when/if you ever have to ask for your money back because it failed authentication by PSA. Some less reputable dealers will give you the “run-around” and will tell you they don’t accept PSA or JSA’s opinion. Hence, ask them up front to include on their COA WHOSE authentications they DO accept to back up their guarantee. If they will NOT include this on their COA then that may be a “red flag” to do business elsewhere. Not to toot my own horn, but I didn’t realize until recently that I was one of the few dealers who provide this on my COAs.
NOTE: There are some self proclaimed “forensic experts” that have unscrupulous reputations and known to pass any autograph for a price. If a dealer mentions such