Auctions Catalogs eBay COAs
Sign In
Sign In
Don't have an account?
LOGIN 0 6/17/2024 3:25:10 AM

Autograph World General FAQ

This frequently asked questions page answers some of the questions we have received over the years. If you have others that are not addressed, please don't hesitate to contact us.

How do you get the autographs you sell?

Our autographs come from a variety of sources.  The most common is through direct signings with the celebrity.  We accomplish this through convention appearances, published signings held with other companies, or, most commonly, through a direct arrangement with the celebrity.

We also employ several in person collectors that work in cities where celebrities can be seen, most notably, Hollywood and New York City.  They encounter celebrities by hanging out at restaurants, movie premieres, press junkets, private parties and similar events.  While this method of collecting has become more difficult since the pandemic, it remains an important source of autograph inventory.

Finally, we purchase autograph collections from private sellers.  In many cases, they come from former customers that are liquidating or down-sizing their collections and many, if not all of the items, originally came from Autograph World. In some cases, the collections are part of an estate sale or were found by someone looking to move them for cash. 

In cases where the autographs do not come from the celebrities, we authenticate them using our nearly four decades of experience in the autograph industry.  If we are not familiar with an autograph, and have no way know its provenance, we don't purchase it.

Do you sell sports autographs?

No!  As crazy as it seems, we have never dealt with sports autographs - even though we are both huge sports fans.  We do sell the occasional, well-known sports figure, but only if we get them from a trusted source.  Primarily, we sell celebrity autographs, in particular, actors and actresses from film and television.  Even more specifically, we deal mostly with science fiction, fantasy and horror autographs.  You will also find a healthy dose of pop culture items amongst our offerings.

How do you authenticate your autographs?

When an autograph signing is not personally witnessed, it must be authenticated.  At the end of the day, this involves the opinion of an expert who compares the autograph in question against known exemplars that exist either in their head or a computer.  Every person alive cannot sign the same autograph twice.  In a way, an autograph is like a snowflake - no two are alike.  Understanding the nuances of these differences is what makes some authenticators more skilled than others. This skill is usually developed over a long career of selling or collecting autographs.

With nearly four decades of experience, we know autographs. There are very few celebrities whose autograph we have not handled. We have authentic autograph exemplars on file for virtually every celebrity that has had a role in film or television. In short, we know our stuff.

What is third party authentication?

As an autograph dealer, your primary job is to ensure the authenticity of the material that you sell.  This means that when you sell an autograph, you have rendered the sole opinion on its authenticity.  This is where the market for the third party authentication was created.  Basically, it is a second opinion given by a company that specializes in such things.  They provide an additional set of eyes that agree with the opinion of the original seller.

Third party authentication is also useful if, as a collector, you have an autograph whose authenticity you want verified. Maybe the autograph came from a friend or was purchased online through a dubious source.  Or maybe you obtained the autograph yourself through an in person meeting or through an autograph convention.  In these cases, you might want documentation that says the autograph is authentic.  For this, you would need third party authentication.

With third party authentication, remember that the employees who work for these companies must have the same kind of experience that a reputable dealer might have.  And at the end of the day, you have no idea who actually looked at your autograph.  After many decades in the industry, we have numerous personal friends that have worked for some of the top third party authentication companies.  Some of them really know what they are doing, and some of them do not.  It is a fact that some authenticators use our website to find exemplars on autographs with which they are unfamiliar.  Third party authentication is generally a good concept, just be aware that these companies are not infallible.

Do you provide authentication services?

No!  This is a huge conflict of interest.  As a dealer, selling authentication services would allow you to create, and in some cases, control what is considered an authentic autograph.

Autograph dealers should sell autographs.  Third party authenticators should sell authentication services.

Do you buy autographs?

Yes we do! We are primarily looking for vintage Hollywood autographs, but we do purchase other items similar to what you see on our website. If you have something to sell, please see our contact page.  We will ask you to email us a list, the amount you would like to achieve and pictures of the items. If you collection is too large for this, we can make other arrangements.  WE DO NOT DEAL IN SPORTS MATERIAL and have no idea where you can sell it.  

Before you try to sell us something, please become familiar with our website and review the types of items that we sell.   Also, be aware that some people try to use this process as a free authentication service, since we would never buy something that we didn't think was real.  If you are offering single items, we will need to feel very confident that your intention to sell is genuine.