Some third party authentication companies will glance at your autographed memorbillia and instantly tell you it's not genuine, but not before charging you a huge fee to do so. 

Make Sure You Do Not Fall Victim to Third Party Authentication Companies.  

Autographs are a tricky business. Many companies claim to authenticate autographs by giving their opinion. Who is giving the opinion? All these companies include PSA, JSA, BSA, PAC, AOC, and on hire what they call experts to go to shows, in-house, or through the mail. The conflicts of interest are eye-popping as these authenticators also sell autographs. The customer can pay hundreds of dollars for a sticker of opinion. One authenticator, Steve Grad told the truth when asked what it takes to become a PSA/DNA authenticator he responded online; “A Pulse.” Still, collectors flock in line to buy these little stickers for a blanket of sorts. They feel it’s a layer of protection to buy an opinion from an unknown child backed by absolutely nothing. No recalls, no refunds, and no care either way.

The turnover as a so-called expert at a third party authentication company is faster than McDonald’s in most cases as one authenticator stated he’s paid $200 to place stickers on autographs over the weekend from Friday-Sunday They are displaced from their families or in many cases high school classes equaling over 60 hours at a show, coming and going and nights in the hotel bar if those that aren’t old enough have fake I.D. This equals around $4 per hour, four times less than an opening position making French fries at McDonald’s.

Everyone knows third-party authentication is a mess. It’s real one day, fake the next, then real again, then fake again. So who are these experts? Whoever they can push as an expert? When Steve Grad worked as a shipping clerk at Mastro’s auctions and Bill Mastro decided to make him an expert he marketed him as “handling millions of dollars worth of autographs.” It was true, he took these autographs, packaged them, and mailed them from the company so he did handle them. But now we come upon what most could have predicted in the beginning. Many third-party companies, self-described but not educated autograph authenticators desperately want to hang their hat on a new expert. The standards are so low, you don’t even have to exist.

One New England auction house, RRAuctions is a big fan of creating their own experts. They have John Reznikoff as their historical expert who was known for selling $7-8 million dollars worth of forgeries in JFK alone. Then they have their music expert Roger Epperson who authenticated over $1,000,000.00 worth of fake Michael Jackson sketches forged out of Canada. It seems you have to break a world record for selling the most forgeries in your area of expertise to be considered an expert by some auction houses.  RR Auction uses Epperson for music but Epperson took a back seat to a David Bowie expert named Andy Peters out of England. Beginning December 4, 2019, to now, over 39 items of David Bowie have been sold by RR Auction as; “Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Bowie expert Andy Peters.” RR felt Andy Peters was a better expert than Roger Epperson thus replacing Epperson on Bowie items for the past three years. Roger ran things through Andy Peters as did other auction houses using third-party authenticators. The 39 items authenticated by Andy Peters in the RR Auction sold for a whopping $36,247.00.

Also of interest, one blog owner used Andy Peters to accuse John Brennan of being a forger. RR Auction lists 5 David Bowie autographs as being from the John Brennan in-person collection but their blog friend claims John Brennan is a forger. It’s so confusing as different so-called experts render their opinions on Bowie material and when nobody will sign off on it you’ll see a story like this; “which notes that the album derives from the collection of Tony McGrogan, a former RCA employee and friend of David Bowie.” Nice story except it’s not true. Tony McGrogan, who passed away in 2015, never got an autograph nor collected autographs of David Bowie. Yes, he kept some notes and trash but he never asked Bowie to sign anything for him according to his family. Another description when a so-called friend/expert won’t sign off on it can read; “…..Obtained in person by a New York autograph collector who collected from the 1950’s through 2000’s.”  Wow what strong provenance!  Was this verified or what they told you? 

Finally, to the rescue comes Andy Peters. He took the offense and declared himself a David Bowie expert. He even created a scare tactic at the following link.

Andy Peter’s has now made himself extremely valuable to third-party authentication companies and auction houses. The only problem? He doesn’t exist! A collector impressed by Epperson and RRAuction’s promotion of Andy Peter’s decided to do a large six-figure deal with Andy Peter’s based on their recommendations and promotions of Andy. He asked while doing the deal via the phone; “You know Andy, nobody has met you. Can you send me a selfie so I can see what you look like?” Andy Peters complied and sent a selfie. No auction house, not Epperson, nobody verified Andy Peters, just this collector.

Upon getting the photograph he did a Google back search on it. Pretty easy to do, it takes seconds yet these so-called experts have been promoting Andy Peters since 2019. The Google back search of Andy Peter’s by a novice showed he wasn’t Andy Peter’s but a well-known forger known as Tony Ford. Here is Tony Ford now.


He had been authenticating his own and his friend's forgeries of Bowie and failing genuine material. Third party authenticators & auction houses ran with this information without a second to verify what Andy Peters claimed, or worse, if he even exist. 

It is now coming to light that we have a real problem. We can hire kids and make them experts, but now we are creating experts who are really forgers and don’t exist. Yet people will buy based on these fake people who don’t exist. Collectors do know more than any self-proclaimed expert out there, including the forger Andy Peters aka Tony Ford. This will be brushed under the rug like all the other scandals.  How embarrassing!

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