Tips for Buying Early American Autographs

The Internet age has made it easier than ever for collectors to find Revolutionary War signatures. Unfortunately, it has also enabled scam artists in defrauding collectors. Before shelling out top dollar for that George Washington or Benjamin Franklin autograph.

While we cannot guarantee the authenticity of every signature on our site, there are several steps that collectors can take to help protect themselves from becoming victims of forged signatures.

Understand what you are buying - read the description carefully. Look for keywords such as reprint, reproduction, copy, repro, even the acronym 'rp'. Unethical sellers sometimes try to sneak those caveats past you. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Research the seller - what is this seller's reputation? Do they have a strong history of high-value, positive reviews? Don't look only at the number of transactions. Look for negative transaction feedback and review the price of listings sold. Don't buy a $40,000 George Washington autograph from a seller who has sold only a few dozen $8 slippers.

Know your post-sale options - make sure the seller has a money-back guarantee. However, in the internet age a money-back guarantee isn't good enough. Make sure you have more than an email address. Find out where the seller is located and what steps you will need to take in order to return the signed item.

Certificates of Authenticity - COA's are worth only as much as the company who prints them. As Tommy Callahan once said, "If you'd like me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I've got free time." Don't put too much (or any) stock in COAs. A signed receipt carries more weight.

In closing, know your dealer, know your dealer, know your dealer.

George Washington signature

For more information on buying authentic signatures, take a look at the Universal Autograph Collectors Club.