Many people will state the autograph industry has been harmed more by incompetent third-party authentication companies than any other factor. Who hasn’t seen the completely bogus items all over eBay and Amazon being sold with stickers from JSA, PSA, and Beckett? The two sites are literally littered with forgeries by these three outfits. Thousands and thousands of fake items are selling with these stickers by these firms. And most have seen the wrong person authenticated as well by the same outfits and those that claim to work for them. Some of the members of their staff have reputations as forgers, uber drivers, girlfriends, etc. Nobody knows who these people are but we know they have NO training in authenticating autographs.
They will base their decision on the seller, not the signature. This creates an illegal monopoly and is terrible for collectors and dealers alike. I am not aware of a single person has not been affected by this corruption. It’s completely illegal and an opinion backed by nothing at all can taint an expert seller who knows more than those profiting off failing the item. It hurts the collector and the seller and the only one making money is the third-party non-court qualified guy or girl or other giving an opinion. No GUARANTEE should be trumped by an OPINION from a competitor of the sellers.
The law is very clear and they are all breaking it. This is the law in simple terms.
If you and a competitor sell say a cup of lemonade across the street from each other for $1 per cup. That is legal.
If your competitor wants more market share so he drops the price of his lemonade to $75 cents per cup he will get more of the business. This is legal.
But if your competitor puts out a sign claiming his competition put cyanide in his lemonade and now gets 100% of the business. This is completely illegal.
JSA, PSA, and Beckett are doing the illegal and tainting dealers who are great, and material that is completely genuine by stating it’s whatever they make up with their phony standard rejection letters.
Here is how collectors and dealers can take the hobby back from these bad actors. Each time an item fails PSA, JSA or Beckett one can simply file a small claims lawsuit for $5,000-$7500 per incident against JSA, PSA, or Beckett. Since none of these authenticators are trained, have college educations nor are consider by any court in the United States as experts you, the victim of this nonsense will win. Either they will lose each case and have to pay out each claim or they will shape up and start following the law and rendering an honest opinion if they are even capable of this. If they don’t shape up, they will quickly go out of business just trying to defend their illegal actions, which they won’t be able to do.
In order to file a small claims lawsuit, many states now offer it for under $100 per claim and it can be done online. Simply google your state's judicial branch website and/or your state's rules of civil procedure which are easily found online. Or even easier google in your state filing a small claims lawsuit. This will stop the corruption by incompetent guessers once and for all or you will be rich soon while watching them go out of business.
A true story
An elderly man wanted to surprise his grandson on his birthday. His grandson adored Derek Jeter. So the grandfather bought tickets to three home games in New York. On his second day to the ballpark, he got lucky and was able to have Derek Jeter sign a baseball right in front of him. He goes back to his seat happy. The guy sitting next to him states; “You should have that authenticated.” The grandfather responds; “What? I just got it myself, you saw me! Why would I do that?” The guy in the next seat states; “So your grandson knows it’s real.” The grandfather is confused by this comment but when he goes home he googles authenticators and reads about the so-called big three. He sends in his Jeter ball he obtained in person. Fills out the paperwork correctly. Sends in the ball and his credit card information to pay for their opinion. Two months go by and nothing. So he calls the authentication company and leaves a phone message. Nobody returns his call. So he emails the company to which nobody responds. On month three he sees he was charged $100 for their opinion and a few days later the ball comes back as “NON-GENUINE” with the same form letter they send out each time. He is so pissed he calls the company to which he gets no response, he emails the company and again he receives no response. So finally he calls his credit card company and does a chargeback. This is a true story and it happens more often than not.
The collecting community has every right to make these folks accountable. Simply file a small claims lawsuit each time they fail an item you sell. Not only will they shape up eventually (or you’ll put them out of business) but you will be rewarded with a victory against them every single time because a competitor (that’s what they are as they buy and sell too) cannot by law fail another competitors product without paying the consequences. The real problem is most collectors and dealers do not know this. It’s very simple and you’ll make a fortune teaching these so-called self-promoted third-party opinionators with little cost and effort on items you can prove are genuine. It’s illegal for them to give negative opinions on competitor's products, especially when they do this on purpose to harm those collectors and dealers they dislike. It’s time to make them accountable because nobody is watching them! Take back the hobby, make it fun again, and let’s get rid of this illegal corruption once and for all. Happy collecting.