Rock Legends guide to buying and selling pop culture and memorabilia
Do your homework! There's no substitute for research and knowledge. Find out all you can about the item or subject you are buying or collecting. There are many great reference books available on many subjects in this field including price guides, books that help you distinguish the various printings of posters, collectors guides and more. Often these books have chapters or pictures devoted to distinguishing the copies from the real McCoys.
Investigate the seller. What is their reputation? If they're an on-line auction seller, look at their feedback. Not just the number, but look at the actual comments. They may have a high number feedback rating but they may also have a lot of negative comments and you won't realize unless you look at the actual feedback comments. And ask about their return policy. How they respond and communicate is a good indication of what to expect if there's a problem after you get your item. Anyone can say that they met so and so on the street or at an event and 'they signed this I for me' and COA's or LOA's (certificates or letters of authenticity) may only be worth the paper they're written on.
Ask the experts! We seek out and will refer you to the leading experts in the areas that interest you. These people have dedicated themselves to finding out the truth and trying to protect the integrity of the market place. Theoretically, if everyone stopped buying fakes the crooks would go out of business. While that's not likely to happen the experts can help you avoid becoming a victim.
Ask questions of the seller before buying or bidding. It's important to ask questions because sometime the problem is what's not stated, as opposed to what IS stated. If an auction doesn't describe the items condition, there may be an intentional reason that info was omitted. This is especially important when items are listed as being sold 'As Is.' If it doesn't say that it's original or authentic you should ask. The seller may know that it s copy but not have said so. If you don't ask you may buy a cheap reproduction or a counterfeit and have no recourse. Of course, we offer a full money back guarantee on everything we sell. One of the most important and often overlooked questions is that of provenance. Where did they get the item they are selling? How can they support their claims? This is especially important with celebrity owned items, such as clothing or instruments. Does the seller legally own the item being offered? If you buy stolen property you stand to lose both your investment and the item when you try to resell it.
Ask yourself 'Is this too good to be true?' If an item is priced so much lower than the real current market value it's most likely not authentic. Realize that the knowledgeable dealers and experts are out there looking for items to buy for resale, more often more intently than you are. Reputable dealers will pay up to 75% of the price they know they can get when they sell items. In auctions, look at who else is bidding. If a great item, like a set of Beatles autographs that may be worth upwards of $20,000 is sitting at $1000 with no bids, there's a reason. Don't buy impulsively. That Buy It Now may be there to tempt you into leaping before you look!