Saturday, October 20, 2018

COUNTERFEIT ALERT: Charity Autograph Counterfeiter revealed and reported by “Inside Edition.”


What does “Autograph Authenticity” mean to you?  A lesson for Charity Fundraisers.  Why am I writing this?  Because we want to protect you - teach you and your charity.  Do we want to drive more business to us - of course BUT...the truth of the matter is, revealing that there are counterfeiters out there may drive people away.  But at least I'll be able to sleep at night.  

Unfortunately, like everywhere, there are a few companies who are documented Autograph Counterfeiters and one of which, was actually the subject of an “Inside Edition” story.  This company, located on the east coast, has been providing autographed items but in this case, an autographed Country Music Legends Guitar, for many years and also has a company providing very similar items.  The company which was the target of the investigation, had provided what was said to be a “Country Music Legends autographed Guitar.” 

Inside Edition investigators posed as a charity and ordered many guitars such as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd and of course, the Country Music Legends guitar.  However, the investigation revealed that one of the autographs was Tammy Wynette.  Unfortunately, Tammy Wynette died in 1998 but the guitar was made in 2013.  Ms. Wynette (as said by the reporter) would have had to come back from the dead to sign the guitar.  The investigation revealed that all the guitars they received were counterfeit autographs. 

If you would like to watch the story – here is the link:


However, these counterfeiters aren’t stupid – the items come with a Certificate of Authenticity verifying that they are real.  

Do you think they care that they are scamming and stealing from a charity?
The company in question then said there is no real way to prove that an autograph is real - BullShi@t !!!   All the guitars were returned by the company, however, charities are still utilizing the items.

I hear you “Why aren’t they going to jail?”  “Why isn’t anyone doing anything about it?”  I hear you and believe me, I’ve been screaming the same thing for years.  But I am going to hopefully educate you and hopefully you pass the word around throughout the charity world.

Why do these companies routinely change their names and web addresses?  Seriously, because they are hiding.  They have had many different names…all it takes is a little searching on the Google and you’ll see. 

Ask those companies if they have photo's of the items being signed and who the authenticators are?  Are they the standards in the Memorabilia World such as JSA, PSA/DNA, Becket or Steiner?  No?   Ruuuuuuuuuuuunnnnn !!!!

-----------------------------

REALITY:

How to protect yourself and your charity by spotting a Fake.  Yes – authentic autographed guitars do exist but if they are truly authentic, not only are they incredibly expensive but they are authenticated by “Authentic Authenticators” and come with either a photograph or video of the person actually autographing the item.

I’ve heard the argument “Well it comes with a Certificate of Authenticity” – the reality is, anyone can also produce a certificate of authenticity but the reality and the real question is – “Who is the authenticator?”  Real or “Authentic Authenticators” have a track record and are widely known in the autograph industry such as JSA, PSA/DNA, Beckett and Steiner.  However, you should understand that all counterfeiters will provide a “Fake” Certificate of Authenticity just to cover their tracks.

Here is reality – these companies carry autographed items which no one has other than themselves or they have items which you may feel are acceptably expensive such as a Muhammed Ali autographed Boxing Glove for $1,000.00.  The reality is – he died many years ago and several years prior to his death, he could not write.  His authentic autographed boxing gloves are wholesaling for $3,000.00 or more.  Plus they are extremely hard to find.   Anyone who has passed away, their autographs are extremely rare and if you do find them – well, be prepared to pay a hefty price. 

Lebron James, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and iconic athlete’s such as they are – their autographs are EXTREMELY expensive and that is why – many of us don’t carry them.  They are mainly sold through a retail setting. 

ANOTHER POINT:  Don’t believe the story “They are signing them at a lower price because they are meant for charities” – Bull.  They could care less.  They want to be paid and that’s it.  Our company does 100’s of signings with athletes and they know who we are – “Pay me please.”

Ask yourself this?  Why doesn’t this company sell these items in a retail setting?  If you have checked the internet to see if you can find their items with other dealers other than the two (2) companies who are documented forgers, why are they the only ones who carry them? 

Another tip that will help you – Look at the autographs, do they appear all the same, signed with the same pen and appear very similar?  Let’s take for instance this authentic Rolling Stones autographed Guitar.  Understand – IT’S REAL – but the consignment price is nearly $15,000.00.  Notice how messy the autographs are?  Notice they don’t look similar or signed with the same pen?

The reality is ladies and gentlemen – many of you want to believe the fakes are real and honestly, don’t care if you are passing these frauds along.  Do you know that you are then a part of a criminal conspiracy?  

“All that Glitters is not Gold” – let your gut and your conscience be your guide.  Do you want your charity featured on Inside Edition or some other investigative TV Show like 60 Minutes?  I doubt it.

--------------------------------------
Our Guarantee:

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising’s guarantee is simply this – EVERYTHING autographed we carry is 100% authentic – PERIOD.  If you want to show our items to other authenticators, please be our guests.  We don’t have life time guarantee’s – why?  Because our items are REAL – why guarantee them if they are real?

How does BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising have 100's and 1,000's of photo's with celebrities and athletes, standing with them, video's and photo's of them signing the items but the other companies don't?  Well that's a CLUE or a major HINT.  RUN!!!

When you go on our website, why don’t we have pictures of all of our items shown for you to reserve?  Because it’s impossible.  Authentic autographed items sell quick – We, because our items are real, don’t have an unending supply of items.  Why?  Because we can’t pay someone to fake the autograph. 

Every single autograph we carry is authenticated by Authentic Authenticators who are the standards in the memorabilia world – JSA, PSA/DNA, Beckett etc.  Our items come with a photograph of the item being autographed.

If you are want REAL or AUTHENTIC, there is only ONE (1) PROVIDER to come to – BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising.  That is why we are TRUSTED by the White House, the Armed Forces, Law Enforcement Charities, the NFL, the NHL, the MLB etc.

If we can help you or you would like to learn more about how to spot a counterfeit autograph, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com, we would love to help.  Also, please test us - ask for photo's and who our Authenticators are - WE WOULD LOVE TO SHOW YOU!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Is it time to see your Doctor? Are you suffering from “Acute Fundraising Delirium” and stuck in a Fundraising Rut?


Recently, my team and I met with a charity who is asking for our help.  We are always humbled when we are asked so meeting with them was our pleasure.  However, after speaking with them at length, I soon realized that trying to get them to change their unsuccessful methods was going to be difficult.  In fact, one of the member who we met with pulled me aside and said “Don’t even try getting them to change, you’re fighting a losing battle.”  So the question remained, so how are we supposed to help them if they refuse to change?

So in order to help you, the reader of this Blog, here are some signs and symptoms that will help you to determine if its time to see a Fundraising Doctor:

“Stuck in Rut” Symptoms:

#1 – Are you willing to change the place or venue where you are holding your event?   The
reason the venue is so important determines the level of spending your guests will be comfortable with.  Unfortunately, many unsuccessful charities will choose a low cost venue because of their belief that it will put more money or profit in their pocket.  Sadly, this is not the case – What charities like these do not know is that by choosing a venue which is cheaper – the venue is cheaper for a reason.  Potential guests who enjoy a fantastic night out will never attend an event which is “Less than.”  Affluent people or “Wealthy” potential guests will never attend because if they are going to spend a night out, they want to go somewhere nice.

#2 – Do you keep your ticket price low thinking that it will attract more guests?  Many believe this but in reality what happens is, by lowering your ticket costs, your guests will be more than likely to attend…eat, drink and leave without ever bidding on anything or donating in anyway.

#3 – Are you still utilizing old fundraising methods to raise money?  Are you still doing 50/50 raffles, Wheels of any type or still filling your Silent and Live Auction with donated items?  If you are, you are using very old ways to raise money which have been beat to death.  Of course people love these raffles and the reason is, everyone loves to win money.  Do you know how profitable these raffles are?  How much work does it take to get the prizes and what is pay off?  Understand these raffles have been used for years. 

#4 – Do you believe that your charity should use only donated items in your fundraising event?  Are you and your charity convinced the “Way to go” is to only utilize donated items in your live and silent auction?  Unfortunately, its fact that donated items are only bringing 1/8 to 1/4 of their retail price in Silent & Live Auctions across North America.  The reason is honest and simple but are you willing to listen and be open minded?  The reason that donated items do so poorly is for three (3) reasons:  1 – Your guests are local people, attending a local event with items donated by local businesses.  If they wanted those items, they would have gone and bought them themselves.  2 – Today, businesses are bombarded by charities asking for donations.  Each charity believes that they are the only one asking, however, every single local charity has asked the same business owner.  The business owner has to be concerned about keeping their lights on.  If they do donate, they donate something they can afford to get rid of and that isn’t selling in their stores.  3 – Many charities believe Gift Cards and Gift Certificates are incredible auction items but ask yourself this…how many times have you purchased a gift card for yourself at face value – OR – How many Gift Baskets did you give away to your family or friends for the holidays?  The answer to both is none.  Understand this – EVERYONE is looking for a deal.  Yes they will purchase your donations but at an extremely low cost.  Rarely will any pass 50% of their retail cost.  Have you thought about how that would negatively affect the donor if he or she found out their donation did so poorly?  Do you think they would donate again?

#5 – What was the “Net” or Profit from your last event?  Do you know what your event “Netted”?  Now be honest with yourself like so many who are suffering are – what was your “Net Profit” which means how much after paying the bills did you walk away with, not your “Gross”….your “Net”?  How many guests did you have at your event?  Here is how you can tell if your suffering – The “National Norm”, which is just the beginning of successful fundraising, for successful fundraising is $100.00 a head, net.  So what that means is for every guest who paid for a ticket, that person equals $100.00.  So if you had 500 people, you should at the very least had a “Net” of $50,000.00.  Did you?  If you didn’t, oh boy, you’re really sick.

#6 – Do you have an unqualified or inexperienced person in charge of planning and hosting your fundraiser?  Do you have a volunteer or someone on your staff who only plans one event for you a year?  Are they proficient and know the current fundraising trends?  If your answer is yes…well, your suffering.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, seek the advice of your fundraising Doctor soon, call today and schedule an appointment.  If you answered yes to two (2) or more, you are suffering from “Acute Fundraising Delirium.”  Good news though, there is a cure…it may be painful, but you will definitely be cured.

How to Fight and Cure “Acute Fundraising Delirium.” 

First, you should understand you are not alone so don’t be ashamed.  Many charities are suffering and need help but to prideful to ask.  So here is the way to cure what ails you.  But before I give you the cure, here are some points to understand so that you won’t come down with it again.

The Venue you host your event in is vitally, VITALLY important to your ultimate success.  People love to go to a very nice place with great food.  Affluent or Wealthy people like to be around others who have the same financial status…it’s a known fact.  About your ticket, your ticket price should be high enough to “Ward Off” the grazers, meaning people who are coming just to eat and drink and leave.  The reality is “a cheap ticket gets you cheap people.”   Your ticket price should be high enough in order to be a “Financial Hurdle.”  If they can pay the ticket price which you are profiting from, then they can also afford to donate or bid on items.  In your fundraising event, you should be using four (4) fundraising platforms – Live Auction, Silent Auction, Raffles and a direct ask for financial donations.  With raffles, donated items are perfect for this platform and will bring 10 times their retail because everyone likes to win.  Do not do raffles where you are EVER giving money away as a prize or raffles that take too long to play.  Your donations are perfect for raffles but you should acquire consignment items for your Live & Silent Auction because people like exciting things such as Travel Packages, Experiences, Hard to Find Memorabilia etc.  These are incredibly profitable if used correctly and the reserve or cost is increase at least 20% to ensure you profit 100% of the time.  Your charities “Net” should equal the national successful fundraising norm of $100.00 a head “Net” proceeds.  There are methods to ensure you match this on your next event.  If you have a volunteer or inexperienced person in charge of your fundraiser, don’t fall for the “Oh I’ve held several events and I’ve helped with many” plea – because you don’t know if the events they were a part of were successful.  You need to find someone who is an expert fundraiser.  There is an old saying that goes like this “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait till you hire an amateur.”  Oh so very true…

The CURE


BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is North America’s #1 charity fundraising firm in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  BW can help you with everything.  BW is the fundraisers for New York Cities and Washington D.C.’s elite as well as professional athletes and celebrities while also helping the White House, the Armed Forces charities, the NFL / MLB & NHL with their fundraising along with 1,000’s of charities each year.  We pride ourselves at normally raising 1.5 to 3.5 times the national norm while also helping our clients host impressive, professional events.  BW also proudly has the largest inventory of consignment items such as Charity Travel Packages, 100% authentic autographed items, D├ęcor and beautiful jewelry which is all provided at absolutely “NO RISK” to charities across North America.  BW works with charities large and small while specializing in helping small groups grow their fundraising to incredibly successful levels.  If you are suffering and need a doctor, there is only one Doctor to call to cure your problems, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising at 443.206.6121 or go to our website at www.BWUnlimited.com.