Wednesday, December 16, 2020

“Certificates of Authenticity” ARE MEANINGLESS for Charity Fundraisers!


Too many charities across the country believe this myth “Well, it has a Certificate of Authenticity so we know it’s real.” 

Now that I have your attention, let me both educate you and hopefully save you time, energy, money and your charities reputation.

First – can you imagine finding out that you sold counterfeit autographed items at your charities fundraiser?  The damage would be horrendous. 

A Certificate of Authenticity is absolutely, unequivocally meaningless!!!  Anybody could create a certificate of Authenticity that looks really impressive, using big words that are meant to impress you such as “Forensic Authenticator” – what does that mean?

If you look up what the term “Forensic” means, it says:  “Relating to or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime.”  So basically, a “Forensic Authenticator is a fancy way of saying they use scientific methods to authenticate autographed items.”  So why not just say “Autograph Authenticator”? 

Don’t be fooled – a fancy card with a bunch of technical sounding terms means absolutely NOTHING!!!  Plus when someone really checks the autograph for authenticity and they take it too someone who is a reputable authenticator, the card is meaningless. 

Don’t you think if the autograph is fake or counterfeit, the awesome “Certificate of Authenticity” that came with it is counterfeit too? 

They commonly use fancy seals and graphically designed cards along with big terms.  They will also put a sticker on the item with a number.  All of this is an attempt to make you feel comfortable. 

But again, the Certificate of Authenticity is absolutely 100% MEANINGLESS.  Why do I say that?

Think about this – anyone can say they are a Doctor correct?  But when you look, they have a diploma from “Johnny’s Doctor School” in Cuba.  Would you let them treat you?  Oh no way. 

What matter is – WHO THE AUTHENTICATOR IS !!!  Are they reputable?  Are they accepted by Ebay or other outlets.  Do they have a long outstanding reputation. 

Here is another issue – Does that company authenticate more than just one autograph companies items?

Do your homework.  Check out the company you are getting autographed items from and then, ask “Who authenticated the autograph?”  If they “Self Authenticate” – RUN.  If they use a company who is relatively unknown – RUN.  If no other company in the world carries the same autographed items, RUN. 

Here is the most important – If the autographs are not authenticated by JSA, PSA/DNA, Beckett or Radtke – RUN. 

DON’T BE FOOLED – A Certificate of Authenticity is MEANINGLESS – Who authenticated the autograph is worth it’s weight in gold or just simply toilet paper.


If you would like to learn more about how to tell if an autograph is real or counterfeit, or you would like to ensure that you have 100% authentic autographed auction items, contact us at, we would love to help you and your charity.