The issue of authenticity is one in which we believe in very strongly. In the past few years, there have been numerous stories in the media, dealing with the high risk of Counterfeit/forged signatures plaguing the memorabilia industry. While we agree that every industry has its problems, the solution to this dilemma is two-fold. Education and Disclosure.
Consumers often shop for simply the best buy. When they purchase a product from an unknown source, they run the high risk of receiving a product, without the knowledge of its pedigree or authenticity. The higher the degree of visibility of the seller, the greater the probability that the item is authentic. The better the buy or lower the relative cost, the more due diligence needed by the purchaser. By no means is a certificate of authenticity the final say in the manner. Anyone can print one on his or her computer, and there is no guarantee that the certificate can be matched to the product.
Most dealers with high degrees of visibility, and years invested in the buying and selling of collectibles, cannot continue to operate if the goods they were selling were deemed "no good". Reputable dealers buy from reputable sellers, and take every measure possible to insure the authenticity of each and every item they sell. Legitimate sources include players/celebrities, their agents, major distribution houses of sports/celebrity memorabilia, show promoters from around the country, and a select group of individuals who follow athletes/celebrities in the hope of getting hard to get signatures. With many non-athlete signatures, this is the only way to get an item signed. Finally, reputable dealers often rely on their basic knowledge of exemplar signatures. In the case of higher end items, or deceased stars, often the judgments of independent third party forensic examiners are relied on for opinions.
We use all of the above sources to acquire the fine collection of sports/celebrity signatures and memorabilia in our collection. We are proud to have four independent, high visibility business locations that have been selling collectable signatures for over ten years. Our relationship with both our vendors and customers has always been beyond question. If you do not feel comfortable with an item, you can always find the owner/principal, and discuss your concerns with them. Collecting any product is a serious business to us, and we firmly believe that the better educated our customer is, the less likely that they will become a victim of the problems facing our industry.