Friday, January 08, 2010

Droidtrader's Sports Memorabilia

Check out Droidtrader's Sports Memorabilia for regular sports autograph updates. Droidtrader focuses on sports and getting cards signed through the mail... good to see some old school collecting.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009: Autographs in Review

I didn't devote a lot of resources to collecting autographs in 2009. I picked up several signed books and attended local shows where I had some items signed by former NY Yankees.

Frankly, autograph collecting is starting to scare the hell out of me. It's one of the few hobbies where if you get burned with a fake, it is worth ZERO. You take a total loss on the item. In many other hobbies, if the item is restored or not completely as advertised, you can take a hit, but the item may still be worth something. Not so with a forgery.

Secondly, even if you are secure with the authenticity of the items in your collection, the fact of the matter is that their value diminishes daily with the ongoing tsunami of fakes entering the marketplace. Got a real Mickey Mantle? Wonderful. Try selling it on eBay without having to first send it to some third party authentication service. You'll get pennies on the dollar because most people buying don't know the difference between the good stuff and the fakes. And quite frankly, neither do the authentication services in many cases. Their stamp of approval is far from ironclad assurance.

And don't even get me going on contemporary celebrities. I have binders full of authentic celebrity autographs for which I'd be lucky to get $10 each.

Sure, you should collect what you like, but only a fool or someone to whom money doesn't matter would not give some consideration to future value when building a collection. Who wants to pay $50 a pop for a signed photo that won't recoup eBay and Paypal fees upon resale?

That said, here are my two favorite autograph acquisitions of 2009. Both unquestionably authentic.