New to collecting sports memorabilia autographs? Here are 5 quick tips to help make your collection a success.
#1 – Stick to buying autographs that are 1st person authenticated. What I mean by that is buy autographs direct from the companies who conducted the signing themselves. A few good ones to consider…
Major League Baseball authentication
Steiner Sports (numerical #s in database only)
Upper Deck Authentication (check to make sure # is in database before purchasing)
JSA, PSA, or Beckett witness
While JSA, PSA, and Beckett also do 3rd party authenticating (giving their opinion as to whether an autograph they did not witness is authentic or not), stick to the Witness certificate of authenticities (COA). This is where a representative from that company was present for the signing and witnessed your item being signed. You can tell which COA is a witness certificate by reading the COA card the item comes with.
#2 – Buy only small things, such as 8x10 photos, mini helmets and baseballs. These are much easier to display and are typically the cheaper items. That way in case you make a mistake on an item, it is smaller and cheaper and won’t hurt as bad in the long run. Jerseys tend to be more expensive as you will need to have them framed. Save those for the superstar athletes once you figure out which athletes and teams you are really interested in.
#3 – Don’t overpay for framing. Just get basic framing done. For example, Hobby Lobby has frames for $15-$20 for 8x10s. As you get more experienced buying and start acquiring more expensive pieces, then you can upgrade to some fancy framing such as suede matting and custom plaques.
#4 – Store your sports memorabilia collectibles in a room temperature room and avoid direct sunlight. The best area is a basement with no windows and consistent temperature. Sunlight is the enemy for sports autographs, especially direct sunlight. Always frame and put your autographs behind UV protective glass. This will help ensure your collectibles last.
#5 – Find a sports memorabilia dealer you trust to buy autographs from and develop a relationship with them. One that will teach you about the hobby, not just sell you things. Not only will you feel more comfortable about what you are buying, but you will also become more educated and make the best decisions for you. Plus, if you have any questions you know who to go to.
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