How To Safely Shop For Signed Memorabilia On eBay

How To Shop On eBay

Unfortunately there are many scammers on eBay that are not selling memorabilia as the item is described. How to shop on eBay safely is something I want to share with you and help you avoid the scammers and find reputable honest sellers. So Is Ebay a Safe Place To Buy Autographed Memorabilia?

Authentic Autographed Memorabilia can be an amazing investment for any collector, prices of some celebrity or sports star signed memorabilia has been known to skyrocket especially after a major event or disaster. Take for example Kobe Bryant who recently was involved in a horrific helicopter accident, his memorabilia is selling at exorbitant prices and some merchant’s on eBay are asking for millions of dollars for some of Kobe Bryant’s signed memorabilia.

Michael Jackson signed memorabilia was the same in 2009 after he died, there are reports his memorabilia increased by 30 percent and was in high demand. So I guess if you purchase a high end sports star or celebrities signed memorabilia at the right time and at the right price you could make a nice return on that investment. I also want to point out that signed memorabilia is often overlooked as a gift idea. Although it would make quite an expensive gift anywhere from $200+ for authentic memorabilia (depending on the item and who signed it), the meaning and personal thought that goes into the gift is priceless and will also see an increase in price which not many gifts these days do.

But let’s get to what this article is really about……..

Is Ebay a Safe Place To Buy Autographed Memorabilia?

Is Ebay a Safe Place To Buy Autographed Memorabilia?

Ebay can not do much in policing the sales of signed memorabilia that is sold on eBay, in fact they do very little and this in effect has allowed many fakes to be sold to poor innocent victims who thought they were buying the genuine article. Unfortunately there has been many cases where customers have been left with worthless signed memorabilia that they paid a lot of money for, some have been fortunate enough to receive a refund when they realized it was a fake, others weren’t as fortunate and some customers don’t even know. See some people think because the item came with a certificate of authenticity that it has to be the real thing.

Unfortunately sometimes the certificate of authenticity can be just as fake as the item. Usually you can report it to eBay where it’s eBay’s policy to remove the merchant from eBay’s listing and the merchant is band from selling anything on eBay, you may also be lucky enough to get your money back. I don’t believe that’s sufficient punishment for something that I would describe as borderline fraud and deception but apparently the law is quite lenient when it comes to selling authentic signed memorabilia that isn’t authentic. So is it safe?….. Although there has been many sad stories there has also been just as many happy, some cases where the shopper actually got the genuine product at a good price and ended up having something meaningful and valuable to show off in there home. You can eliminate the risk when it comes to shopping for signed memorabilia on eBay if you follow a set of simple guidelines.


Things To Do When Shopping For Signed Memorabilia on eBay

1. First thing you need to do is research the seller. You need to click the Feedback Link which should be higher then 90 percent and sift through the feedback to ensure customer satisfaction. A high selling merchant would rarely have 100 percent satisfaction as realistically they can please everyone but if they do hit 100 even better. Never buy from a seller that has Private Feedback. There is no reason for private feedback other then to hide feedback that exposes a seller as a forger or to hide the unlimited supply of forgeries they have listed. These sellers often state they are protecting their bidders privacy by doing this. That is rubbish. Ebay takes care of bidder privacy already.

Also watch out for sellers that immediately remove the photo from the listing after you pay (or sooner). I have found a few of these sellers that use 3rd party picture hosting services and as soon as you pay they pull down the photo of the item your won. This prevents you from checking if the item you are selling is what was advertised. Continuing on with research on the seller next you want to see what the seller’s refund policy is just in case you do receive a fake. I usually find if you contact them before eBay they will refund you without hesitation. Just remember researching the seller does not mean what they are selling is authentic but it does give you a good idea of the merchant’s customer service history.

2. Make sure you read the description of the item thoroughly and repeat a couple of times making sure it doesn’t state things like replica or a copy or reprint. When you do your search on eBay be sure to use modified searches and use the dash to remove unwanted results: -rp -pp -reprint -preprint -print -rpnt -copy, also as I have stated a certificate of authenticity can be fake as well so don’t let that be a guide to authenticity.

3. Make sure the photos of the item are clear especially the signature, then look online at authentic signatures and see if they match to what you see on eBay. This still doesn’t mean it’s not a fake as the forger might be good, but if it is bad forgery then you have saved yourself time and money. Also, checks other items photos from the seller to make sure the handwriting isn’t similar.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller plenty of questions. Things like what’s the sellers background, where he collects or purchases the autographs from. An honest seller will be happy to help you and answer your questions but you want to avoid coming across as inexperienced. There’s no point in asking if the items genuine because chances are they will just reply yes and avoid asking when and where that item was signed because the seller can make that information up by searching on google.

How To Shop On eBay For Signed Memorabilia

5. Watch out for cheap or unrealistic prices. You get what you pay for and although there are fair deals on eBay very rarely will you find a bargain. Realize what you are buying, if it’s a high profile celebrity or sports star and it’s going cheap then it’s a good chance it’s fake.

6. When you do finally buy and receive the item have a thorough look at your purchase, ensure everything is as described including the size of the item. Check the signature again to authentic memorabilia you found online. Also, check what type of ink was used. The felt tip pen wasn’t regularly used until the early 60s so if you bought memorabilia by someone famous that was signed before 1960 it would be in pencil or pen.

7 You can also send the details of the eBay auction to JSA (James Spence). GA (Global Authentics) and PSA/DNA (Professional Sports Authenticators) and they will you there opinion on authenticity before you purchase the item. This procedure is usually done within 24 hours giving you plenty of time before making a bid. Prices for this service are reasonable and provide extra piece of mind.

8. The UACC, PADA and AFTAL are doing their part and no blatant forger will be able to join their ranks. I recommend that you purchase from dealers that are fully registered with one or more of these organisations. The best is AFTAL as they have the strictest procedures. Any dealer who sells authentic material and is serious about this business will have put the effort and expense to become a registered dealer in one of these groups and you should be wary of anyone who is unwilling to do so.

9. Avoid private auctions, there is no reason for the seller to be selling items privately unless they are hiding something. Also avoid short duration auctions as this indicates the seller wants to sell their fake item as quick as possible. Be sure to note the auction duration when you consider your purchase.

My ConclusionMarc Constantine Affiliate Blogger

Although there are many fake merchant’s selling invaluable items on eBay at high prices there are still many reputable honest sellers as well that deserve your business. I recommend doing your research and go through the list of things I recommend doing before purchasing and I believe eBay can be just as safe as anywhere online. I still highly recommend and for all your Autographed Memorabilia.

How To Safely Shop For Signed Memorabilia On eBay

As usual please feel free to leave any comments or feedback below I am always happy to help!

18 thoughts on “Is eBay Safe”

  1. eBay is safe to place to buy the Autographed Memorabilia yes sometimes if you buy from the fraud seller definitely they will fool you. And not on eBay on every online site. First, you must ensure the seller and check the reviews carefully.
    Very well explained ” Is eBay a Safe Place To Buy Autographed Memorabilia” gonna share with my friends as well. Very helpful information.

  2. Many thanks for giving us such a beautiful article, and through your article I have the opportunity to discuss something very important. I have learned through your article that many things are sold on the eBay website and that some of them are being signed by the late superstar. I have never bought any of these things here and I know for the first time through you .I usually buy my usual essentials like dresses, cosmetics and shoes from here. Before I buy the product, I first verify the seller’s details that’s why I have never been a victim of scamming .I hope that many people will be aware of this after reading this article and will share their experiences with you very soon.

  3. I am a great tennis fan and Nadal is my favourite tenis player. Once saw a tennis ball with his autograph… apparently from one tournament he won. Of course, the price was very high and my wife would probably ask for a divorce if she would know the price 😉

    Anyway, at the end I have decided not to buy the ball espetially because I wasn’t able to see and check the item myself (the seller was from other continent actually).

    Is there any trusthworthy internet page for tennis fans where to buy memorabila? Do you have any experience?


  4. I don’t know why I feel sad that the memorabilia prices skyrocketed when Cobe Briant passed away in that horrible helicopter crash. I also don’t like the fact that Michael Jackson’s signed memorabilia went up in price by 30% after his death.

    I wish these products can just earn as much when the person is still alive.

    Now to the topic of your post, I would be devasted if I purchased signed memorabilia that I assumed was genuine just to find out that its fake, I do like the fact that when you report the seller to eBay they do take action and the seller is banned from selling o eBay. But they can still find other websites to sell their fake merchandise so I think more needs to be done.

    You are so right when you say that a seller that sells a lot will probably not have 100% customer satisfaction because you obviously can not please everybody, but I do agree with you the satisfaction rate has to be high if they are indeed selling genuine signed memorabilia.

    This article has really helped me find out what to look for when buying signed memorabilia, for example now I know that I should not buy from a seller who has hidden feedback because it means they are hiding secrets that will cost me lots of money and heartache.

    I think buying signed memorabilia is very risky and that is why we need to do thorough research including submitting the details to the authentication agencies like the one you mentioned so we can be absolutely sure that what we are purchasing is indeed what it claims to be. 

    Very interesting and helpful article indeed.

    Thank you so much.


    • Hi thanks for the comment I am glad you enjoyed the post. The reason why signed memorabilia skyrockets after a tragedy like what happened with Michael and Kobe is because of the demand, I believe it is actually the worst time to be buying signed memorabilia.

      • Hi, Marc, yes I did enjoy reading your article very much so thank you for sharing such helpful information with us. As your readers, we rely on and depend on you to give us such tips and guidelines.
        I understand that the demand for signed memorabilia goes up when the start passes away, but its still sad for me.

        Thanks again.

  5. Thank you so much To share an article on a trending topic like this. Personally I love to buy autographs of different stars. From this article we learn a lot about Autographed Memorabilia. With this article, we will avoid many major frauds in the future . Which helps us buy Authentic Autographed Memorabilia in the future as well. I will share the article with my acquaintances and friends so that they too can benefit from  buy autograph.

    • Hi thanks for the comment I am glad you enjoyed the post and I would appreciate if you could share the post with family and friends. 

  6. Hey, While reading your article on eBay I know eBay is the best place to buy autographed memorabilia if we follow all steps carefully. There are lots of fake seller also available on eBay. We much check seller feedback during research. It must be higher than 90% feedback to ensure customer satisfaction.
    Avoid private auctions, there is no reason for the seller to be selling items privately unless they are hiding something. Your step by step guide is very helpful to by Autographed memorabilia.

  7. Hey, In my view eBay is not the best place if we go blindly for buying signed memorabilia but it can become the first place if we while check each detail like seller rating, description , seller feedback etc. I like your guide very much. You provide each step need before making a buying decision. We must have to follow each steps while buying any product or signed memorabilia via eBay. I am very thankful for your awesome guide.

  8. I once bought a CD (when it was still a thing back then) signed by the Backstreet Boys and the price was quite exorbitant. I pressed the seller with a lot of questions to confirm its authenticity and he was pretty patient with the whole thing. Even showed me a picture he took with the group when the CD got signed. I trusted him and the CD arrived in good condition, just as he has described. My friends haven’t been that lucky with other memorabilia sellers though. I guess you really need to be diligent in your research.


Leave a Comment


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)