Garry's buying tips!

Posted by 01/03/2017 0 Comment(s) Autograph Blog!,

Garry King as part owner of has been directly involved with dealing in and authenticating autographs since the early 90's (thats the 1990's not the 1890's!) and his expert testimony has been used in various court cases during that time. Garry has been voted UACC Dealer of the Year, AFTAL Dealer of the Year, and was awarded the UACC Presidents Quality award in 2006, and is the only multi award winning dealer in the UK.


Garry has also appeared or advised on many TV shows including 'Pawnstars UK' 'Posh Pawnbrokers' 'Inside Out' 'Fake Britain' 'The One Show' 'The Real Hustle' 'Rip off Britain' and many regional TV and radio programs. Garry has also provided expert witness testimony for both trading standards and the Police, which is used in court against the many dealers who ‘pretend’ to be experts but are really just confidence tricksters out to take your money. And all of this can be checked with a few searches, the latest such case being this one!


All this has allowed Garry to build up a vast knowledge regarding fake autographs and the people who create them or sell them, and here are some words of advice that you may find helpful if you are considering buying an item via any internet auction site or web based seller.

  • Never consider buying a signed item based only on a COA or a story that suggests the seller obtained the item in person. A COA is only as good as the seller is honest, so if the seller is dishonest, then your COA is worthless, so never assume that a COA "guarantees" an items authenticity.
  • If a seller states they are members of any association (UACC or AFTAL are the most common), you should always check those facts first. For instance, If they say they are a member of the UACC or AFTAL this should always be checked on the list of dealers at the relevant websites. You may be surprised to find that some dealers actually lie about this!
  • Always check the website you might be buying from and COA for contact details. If the website has no contact details, then they are breaking the law so stay away. And if your COA does not have a full geographical contact address, then who would you retun it to when you later find out its not authentic? 
  • Dont buy just becasue you think its a bargain, get it checked first, be sure of what you are buying. It may be cheap, but is it genuine?
  • And remember that buying an item from somebody on Facebook or an internet auction style site will often mean that you have no recourse if the item is not authentic, as those sellers are almost impossible to locate later. Ensure that any payment is via PayPal and never cash or direct bank transfer. 

So the next time you want to buy something signed, check out the dealer first, and not the fancy talk or COA’s they offer, it could save you a small fortune! In particular, when anyone states that they are a UACC Dealer, always check that they are, as most are only members and not 'Registered Dealers', and you can find more about this on the UACC website. Registered Dealers are all listed on the website, but members are just that, they are not named on the website and are not allowed to use the name or logo to promote sales etc, but some do to simply create the impression they are reputable dealers, so beware!

As a customer you should ask yourself this "if i was a dealer in autographs, would i not want to show the public that i am both honest and trustworthy by joining one of the two best known trade associations?" I think your answer would be yes, so why are some dealers not members? Keep in mind that both associations only have a list of dealers that have joined, and not one containing the names of those that have been refused!

Garry King.