Pick A COA, Any COA

This has to be one of the most disturbing trends I’ve found.  Individuals are now selling COA’s that are from or look like they are from reputable companies.  All a forger would have to do is purchase a few of these COA’s that look like they are from Steiner and then forge the autograph.  Each of these COA’s comes with a hologram containing the Steiner logo.  I’m wondering what happened to the actual items these COA’s belong to – if they existed at all.  Forgers could do this for all reputable authenticators within The Hobby.  A good portion of the time COA’s from companies like Steiner will contain serial numbers that match a hologram placed on the item.  All it would take is for some uneducated collector not to realize the serial numbers don’t match.  For many, they just see the Steiner name and that would be enough.  COA’s for autographed items is just one area forgers will use these things.  They could also be used for rare cards that could be purchased directly from the manufacturer such as blank backs, proofs, etc.

I don’t think eBay should allow sellers just to sell COA’s in an auction.  Why in the hell would someone want to purchase one if there isn’t an item to go with it.  The whole situation is setup to cater towards a counterfeiter.   Of coarse eBay won’t stop them because they want their fees.  Collectors have to be so careful when purchasing an autographed piece of memorabilia.  My personal favorite authenticator in The Hobby is Mounted Memories.  I have a Dan Marino autographed photo that contains a COA from them.  If you visit Marino’s official website, everything he has autographed comes with a COA from Mounted Memories.  At one time, Marino was on the Board of Mounted Memories too.

Nothing can ever be as good as meeting the athlete in person.  Sure it may cost a bit more, but you can be 100% sure the autograph you received is real.  Remember, if its too good to be true, it probably is.

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