10 Commandments of Autograph Buying
 
1. If there is any doubt in your mind, don't buy... period

2. Always ask about the origin of an autograph. The key here is a reasonable explanation of how the autograph was obtained. Most are purchased from legitimate promoters who are more than willing to give there names.

 
Avoid the Following

- I have an "in" in the locker room or clubhouse

- I get 20 or 30 a week signed in the stadium
- I can get any player you want in 3 days
- I have a secret source and I can't reveal his/her name
 
3. Ask the dealer if he has more than one of the autographs that you are interested in and compare the two signatures. Try to compare against one that is guaranteed to be real, such as Upper Deck, Steiner, etc... Remember, "close but no cigar" does not work with Autographs.
 
4. Don't hang your hat on Certificates of Authenticity. They may be as worhless as a phony autograph. The authenticity is only as good as the reputation of the person you are buying from.
 
5. You normally get what you pay for. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is junk.
 
6. Bigger is not always better and money does not buy legitimacy. A large inventory or a full page ad or catalog does not prove that a dealer or person knows what he is buying and where from.
 
7. Do not fall for the following line: "No athlete signs the same way all the time". Although this statement might be true in some instances, the Key Characteristics of one's autograph in most cases remain. There is no thought process as to how we sign our name.
 
8. Do Not be fooled by FDS CERTIFIED (Forensic Document Services)
 
9. Buy from someone who Studies autographs, not from someone who just sells them, and buy from someone who will give you comfortable answers to all your questions.
 
10. Always remember the First Commandment.