3rd Party Autograph Authenticators.
I wanted to write a quick note about the use of 3rd party authenticators. We try to make it very clear that we NEVER use 3rd party authenticators to determine authenticity. Almost everything we sell is obtained in-person by us (vintage collections excluded) and we know what authentic autographs look like. We do not need them to recognize an authentic autograph.
Years ago we started using the 3rd party authenticators at the suggestion of eBay's Trust and Safety department. They believed that by doing so we would increase the trust in our offerings on eBay. At first we didn't like the idea at all but we gave it a try. I was skeptical at first as I did not want some idiot telling me items that were obtained in-person were, in their opinion, not authentic. But over time, I have realized the value it brings to our customers and as long as it brings value to our customers we will continue to do it.
Many autograph sellers and collectors have opinions about the 3rd party authenticators. Many dislike one authenticator but like another or simply have no opinion. I have never found any two collectors/dealers with the same opinion on any 3rd party authenticator. As of late, there are a few blogs that are whining about the 3rd party authenticators and even showcasing some of their mistakes. It is a shame to see the mistakes but, nobody's perfect.
However, I have noticed that the sellers who complain the most abut the authenticators are most often the ones who sell bad autographs. Some of these sellers go into rants in their auctions (or even create blogs) trying to convince the buyers that any authenticated item is a forgery. If they would just sell authentic autographs they could simply enjoy the collecting world and have no reason to rant.
The 3rd party authenticators are not perfect but would you rather take your chances or buy from a dealer that is confident enough in their autographs to send them out to be looked at? I know my answer...
We have seen mistakes among all the main authenticators (GAI, GA, JSA, PSA/DNA, BAS,Online Authentics, Celebrity Authentics, ACE & PAAS) and several of these companies have been banned from eBay. There are always rumors about them and web sites dedicated to exposing what people think are mistakes made by each 3rd party authenticator. I think this will be the norm forever.
It is our opinion that by having many of our high-end items authenticated, we provide a simple service to those shoppers and collectors who are not willing or unable to learn what an authentic autograph looks like. It allows us to differentiate ourselves from all the bad autographs which are traded daily on many web sites including eBay.
Please remember that we already know everything we sell is authentic and the 3rd party authentication is done just for YOU; our customer.
We fully understand that many of our customers simply do not have the time or resources to learn about every autograph they want to collect.