Tips for Buying Celebrity Memorabilia
With the recent auction of item’s like Judy Garland’s blue gingham dress worn in “The Wizard of Oz” or an Oscar awarded to Joan Crawford making headlines, there seems to be no sating the public’s appetite for celebrity memorabilia and collectibles. The internet has revolutionized the market for celebrity memorabilia, heralding an explosion of auction sites offering items once belonging to Hollywood’s greatest icons.
Conversely, there has been an eruption of fraudulent sales selling bogus celebrity memorabilia with forged autographs and dubious provenance. Fraudulent sales of celebrity items have become so commonplace that the FBI has stepped in to curb illegal sales.
According to CNN Money: “An undercover investigation from 1997 to 2000 found over $10 million worth of counterfeit memorabilia on the market. The FBI found forged signatures by everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Mother Teresa.”
While sites like eBay allow buyers to rate and give feedback on sellers, they do not guarantee an item’s authenticity or verify supporting documentation, leaving buyers to fend for themselves. Understanding memorabilia value can be difficult due to the ephemeral nature of these types of items. However, value, history and provenance can be established by researching the item thoroughly. Additionally, verification of authenticity from 3rd party authentication companies is appropriate.
Beverly Loan Company deals in rare Hollywood collectibles, pop icon articles and sports memorabilia. “At Beverly Loan Company, we encourage clients to inquire as much as possible when purchasing celebrity memorabilia,” said Jordan Tabach-Bank, CEO of Beverly Loan Company. “Our reputation as a dealer of authentic celebrity memorabilia is of paramount importance, and we spend countless hours verifying the provenance and authenticity of each item before it becomes part of our collection.”
Owing to its exclusive 90210 location, Beverly Loan Company even has expertise in rare Hollywood collectibles such as Emmys and Golden Globes and sports memorabilia. The collection includes championship rings and belts, along with pop icon articles worn by figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson.
Tabach-Bank offered tips for buying celebrity memorabilia:
1. Educate yourself about the celebrity’s career. Knowing the dates and locations of a celebrity’s landmark career moments come in handy when examining autographs, photos and provenance.
2. Ask as many questions as possible about the item. Find out how, where and when the item was acquired. If the stories don’t check out, it’s probably best to leave the item on the table. Remember that while documentation is always crucial, certificates of authenticity are not guarantees of authenticity.
3. If the item is signed, find out why it was signed. Was it signed for a charity event or a red carpet gala? Compare the dates of the autograph with date the signed item was manufactured.
4. Be skeptical of a “great deal”. Memorabilia experts and enthusiasts are well aware that the market for these collectibles is strong. If the price is too good to be true, the item may be fake.
5. When seeking outside help, find an unbiased and impartial authenticator. Many authenticators used by dealers can be in on the scam.
If you’re interested in purchasing celebrity memorabilia or needing to verify the authenticity of your items, the experts at Beverly Loan are happy to assist you.