If the price is too good to be true, it is probably a
a company offers an autographed item well below competitors' prices and market
value, then consumers should be wary. An example would include Michael Jordan
basketballs, which some companies sell for as low as $150. Given Jordan's
current exclusive contract with Upper Deck and difficulties associated with
obtaining his autograph, the Tuff Stuff Magazine market value of an autographed
Jordan Basketball is $500, while Upper Deck Michael Jordan autographed
basketballs retail for up to $1,500. (Caution: a high price does not by any
means suggest authenticity either.)
Certificates of authenticity are not guarantees of
and companies involved with selling forged memorabilia often include a
Certificate of Authenticity, allegedly from a third party expert. Often, the
authenticator is either a knowing or unknowing, but incompetent, participant in
the fraud. Carefully read the Certificate of Authenticity, looking for the authentication
"language", an address, telephone number, and name of the
authenticators. Do not accept copies of Certificates of Authenticity.
A photograph of an athlete or celebrity signing an
autograph is no guarantee the item is authentic.
Operation Bullpen investigation into forged sports memorabilia revealed that it
is a common practice of forged memorabilia traffickers to include a photograph
of the athlete/celebrity signing the item along with a Certificate of
Authenticity. Traffickers also include photographs of themselves with the
athlete/celebrity to lend credibility to their forged memorabilia.
An individual or company having a paid signing session
with an athlete or celebrity is no guarantee of authenticity.
Bullpen has revealed that is a common practice for forged memorabilia
traffickers to "mix-in" forged memorabilia with items signed during
an autograph session. For example, a company may pay to have an athlete sign
500 items. After the signing, the company will "mix-in" forgeries
with the authentic autographs. The company also may continue to sell forged
items after the authentic items have been sold claiming that they were from the
The method of selling the memorabilia should not affect
skepticism about the item's authenticity.
Operation Bullpen investigation revealed that forged memorabilia traffickers
sell their forgeries through a variety of methods that may lend credibility to
the forgeries. One such sales method is through charity auctions in which the
trafficker splits the profits with the charity. At charity auctions, buyers
often overpay for items and do not question the authenticity of the
memorabilia. Traffickers also sell forged items through trade publications,
television shopping networks, trade shows, retail businesses, and the Internet.
Before purchasing autographed memorabilia, especially
"vintage" or deceased athlete/celebrity memorabilia, ask questions
about the history and circumstances relating to the autograph.
wary of far-fetched or elaborate stories that are difficult, if not impossible,
to verify. Common false stories suggest connections to an athlete or
"runners" employed to get autographs. Whenever possible, attempt to
verify the history and circumstances of the autographed items before making the
If an individual is seeking an autograph of a current
player, send a request for an autograph directly to the athlete's team.
a letter requesting that the enclosed item be autographed along with a
self-addressed, stamped envelope or container. Only send photographs, cards, or
baseballs. Large items such as bats and jerseys should not be sent directly to
the athlete. In the letter requesting an autograph, request information
relating to where you can purchase authentic autographed items if the athlete
does not sign autographs through mailed requests. The athlete or the team may
direct the buyer to a company that has an autograph contract with the athlete.
To counter the forged memorabilia problem, many athletes
and celebrities are either creating their own autograph company or are signing
exclusive contracts with specific sports memorabilia companies.
directly with the athlete's company or with an exclusive contract company will
greatly reduce the likelihood of purchasing forged memorabilia.
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:40 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:40:44 GMT
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Sunday, March 9 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-03-09 21:50:21 GMT
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Around 4:45 a.m., the accident was reported in Okolona at Preston Highway and Blue Lick Road.
Friday, March 7 2014 9:42 PM EST2014-03-08 02:42:29 GMT
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725 S. Floyd Street
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