Sports Memorabilia Buying Guide

helmets are all available and in high demand for big stars. There's still room for the little guy, however, and there's also a huge fun factor in collecting. Keep in mind that there are some pitfalls you need to watch out for, so safeguard your purchases and make sure you're getting the real deal.

Educate Yourself

This is the most important step for collectors. Know what you're buying and don't be afraid to ask the dealer questions. A Beckett's or Sports Market Report magazine. ** Remember, the player's current popularity will influence price. * '''Item History''': Don't be afraid to ask where the seller got the item. Was it in person? Where and when? Is it a licensed item? Is there a serial number or a tamper-proof hologram with the item? * '''Licensing''': Learn which companies offer licensed items with an athlete's autograph. There's usually a sticker or tag indicating officially licensed items. ** Most companies will provide a notarized affidavit showing that a representative of the company has witnessed the signing. **here.

Authentication and Reputation

This is also very important, both before you make your purchase and afterward too. A dealer is likely to grade his memorabilia higher as a seller than as a buyer, so be aware of dealer bias. It might not be malicious or sneaky, but it's very common. * '''Third Party Authentication''': Make sure the dealer is willing to guarantee the item will pass inspection by a reputable third party authenticator. Third party authenticators are independent and have nothing to gain financially from memorabilia sales, so they're an unbiased and very valuable source. Be cautious if a dealer tries to push you to use a particular authenticator. There's several reputable companies to look for: ** PSA/DNA Authenticators ** Steiner Sports * '''Grading''': Third party authenticators also grade sports cards, sealing them in special plastic holders and assigning a condition grade and serial number. ** Look for graded cards, especially for Internet sales, since otherwise you can't be sure the card you receive is the same as the one in the picture. ** The plastic holder can't be opened without destroying the packaging. * '''Reputation''': There's only a few recognized authenticators in the sports memorabilia industry, so make sure your items are inspected by the best. Remember, the certificate of authenticity is only as good as the source.

Popular Memorabilia

From hats to posters, a couple of ideas to get you started on your collecting.

Related Guides

* Baseball CardsĀ  * Baseball Caps * Sports and Recreation * Boxing Gloves * Footballs

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! ES: Coleccionismo de objetos deportivos