The ABC type companies who claim they can authenticate autographs are loosing popularity as autograph collectors begin to be educated. Most professional autograph dealers feel these type companies are the worst thing that has ever happened to the industry.
A major downfall is collectors, especially of middle and high end items have stoped collecting when they discovered their autograph complete with a Certificate of Authenticy (which they paid $150 and up) was found to be not authentic. Part of the blame has to go to non professional sellers and auction houses of autographs who depend on the ABC type companies certificates to sell an item. One very active seller of autographs admitted that he does't care if the autograph is real or not as long as he gets a COA from one of those companies. He said (with a smile) he has a 50-50% chance of getting a passing COA and they said it was real not him.
We must always remember "Company's Don't Authenticate Autographs, People Do!" I have challenged many collectors to tell me WHO at ANY ONE of those authenticating companies is a professional autograph authenticator. Many collectors have come up with a persons name and they were proven very wrong, with documented proof. In every case the collector was shocked!
I personally have invited, multiple times (at my expense) to have three of the high profile names of authenticators at the ABC companies to meet at a local hotel suite, in their area, in front of a camera and audio to discuss authenticating autographs. Forget about a refusal not one even responded. This would have been their free advertisement of how accurate they think they are. Every one of them stays in hiding.
These companies use Mafia type tactics, and one recent auction house was basically told that if they didn't the autograph authenticating compaany so and so, everything they sell if that item came in to be authenticated, it will fail. Ther are a few professional autograph sellers who refuse to pay for incompetent services from the autograph authenticating companies. If a collector pays for a quick opinion, the item is sure to fail whether the autograph is genuine or not. Management of the autheticating comanies have told their staff to shoot down everything that comes from certain sellers. It's no different then "we'll break your windows if you don't use us."
Should you use one of the so-called companies who claim to authenticate autographs and when you go to sell the item and find out it is not genuine, you have litttle recourse but to go to court. Judges will tell you " there's no law against being stupid, everyone has a right to an opinion including your cat!"
PADAH (Preferred Autograph Dealers and Auction Houses) has over 75 professional autograph sellers, worldiwde, who do not recognize the so-called autograph companies who issue COA's. Therfore if you pay for one of those COA's, you'll find it useless.
At Stephen Koschal Autographs we rarely issue a COA for items we sell except under unusual circumstances. Exceptions for a COA would be for law enforcement and officers of the court. What we do issue with each dale is a properly filled out Bill of Sale. That Bill of Sale is the only LEGAL document you would ever need whether you purchase from us or any other autograph dealer
Back to the law....your only legal document is a properly filled out bill of sale. These you will get from the professional members of PADAH.
Look for the PADAH logo!
Be educated, support members of the PADAH family and begin to enjoy the wonderful hobby of collecting autographs.