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View Full Version : Autograph Auction LOA's Do they mean anything?


Wymers Auction
05-31-2012, 10:50 AM
I just saw an auction LOA that was obviously fake. I understand that they are using this form for the large grouping, but if these items are not gone through individually whats the point. I could walk past a pile of autos and issue a COA stating that yes I walked passed a pile of autos. Next, what is to keep an auction house from using this blanket certificate for items that it was not intended for? Does anyone see anything useful in these auction loa's other than generating money for the TPA and giving a false sense of security to the bidder? Am I being over critical here?

HOFAUTOS
05-31-2012, 11:54 AM
I hate auction LOA's for te exact reasons you stated. That's why I just do my research and only purchase if I'm comfortable with the autograph. LOA's don't really mean anything to me.

mr2686
05-31-2012, 12:01 PM
I agree.

travrosty
05-31-2012, 12:08 PM
Only psa and jsa issue the auction loa's as far as I know so i assume we are talking about them.

but the full "LOL"'s from these companies aren't any better on the other hand. Some full LOL's will describe a baseball with a babe ruth/lou gehrig signature on a baseball, but will only show the ruth signature on the photo. what good is that? if they don't show the gehrig autograph, and it is light, what could prevent anyone from darkening the gehrig autograph and "increasing" the value of the piece? since a photo of the gehrig signature is not shown, anything could happen. Other pieces will say that a piece is signed by numerous individuals, but they don't list all the signatures, just a few key autographs, leaving it up to anybody to add any autographs they want to on the piece to increase its value too.

a proper loa would list every autograph and show complete pictures of the piece showing the autographs so no additions/revisions could be made.

Auction LOA is a way for them to make more money off of the customer, they don't want you to feel comfortable with it, thats why they do it that way, so you feel uncomfortable and send it in for the full LOL from these companies. Until they do it right, the hobby suffers.

keithsky
05-31-2012, 12:21 PM
Auction LOA's are a joke. I won an auction item for 2000.00 with a PSA Pre Cert. What the heck, I spent 2000.00 and don't even get a good cert and now to get one they want me to spend money to send in my 2000.00 item so they can look at it again to tell me it's real. So basicly it will cost me another 100.00 or so to get a good PSA cert. Yea when hell freezes over. The auction companies make BP and Seller Preminims and shipping costs more than they should be and can't even pay to have the TPA come in an issue a legit cert. Should just be a common practice for all auction houses to do that or at least a good selling point to bid in there auctions. I try to bid on items I know are real to avoid the TPA and having to pay for a cert which I would never do. Just have to do my homework which I do and I always feel ok with my winnings.

mighty bombjack
05-31-2012, 03:29 PM
I think auction LOAs are a bad joke as well, but they don't really bother me because I only buy autos for my personal collection. If I were trying to flip them (or if I have to in the future), it would irk me more. It is certainly a good idea to keep valid records of anything you buy from an auction house for various reasons, one of them being the ability to show some provenance when selling. If you trust a TPA's opinion, and bought an item on that opinion, any proof that the item has been purchased in an auction might ease a buyer's mind in terms of TPA.

I have not consigned with an auction house, but I can imagine buying an item with an auction LOA and then trying to resell through the same auction house only to be faced with higher consignment fees due to the need for an auction LOA. Anything for an extra buck in this business (I mean hobby).

Exhibitman
05-31-2012, 07:50 PM
The auction LOA is a popcorn fart--meaningless because you have to pay the TPA for an LOA anyway. Thanks for nothing, auction houses.

Even the full LOA won't help you not being ripped off by the TPAs. I won a Satchel Paige signed PC from Lew Lipset which came with a full JSA LOA. I wanted it put into an SGC holder for display and safekeeping. I took it to JSA at the Glendale show last month. JSA demanded $25 to have SGC put the PC in a slab. Now here's the kicker: At the same time I showed them an Ezzard Charles signed Exhibit card that came from Clean Sweep with a JSA auction LOA. The JSA rep told me that the auction LOA expired so I'd have to pay the full recert fee plus $10 to encapsulate with SGC.

WTF?

Why is it $10 to encapsulate a postcard-sized Exhibit card but $25 to encapsulate a postcard of Paige? Same size, same slab, same company, same order. Only answer I can find is that since they couldn't stick me with a recert fee on the full LOA Paige card, they tried to hose me on the slabbing.

Wymers Auction
06-01-2012, 01:52 AM
Only psa and jsa issue the auction loa's as far as I know so i assume we are talking about them.

but the full "LOL"'s from these companies aren't any better on the other hand. Some full LOL's will describe a baseball with a babe ruth/lou gehrig signature on a baseball, but will only show the ruth signature on the photo. what good is that? if they don't show the gehrig autograph, and it is light, what could prevent anyone from darkening the gehrig autograph and "increasing" the value of the piece? since a photo of the gehrig signature is not shown, anything could happen. Other pieces will say that a piece is signed by numerous individuals, but they don't list all the signatures, just a few key autographs, leaving it up to anybody to add any autographs they want to on the piece to increase its value too.

a proper loa would list every autograph and show complete pictures of the piece showing the autographs so no additions/revisions could be made.

Auction LOA is a way for them to make more money off of the customer, they don't want you to feel comfortable with it, thats why they do it that way, so you feel uncomfortable and send it in for the full LOL from these companies. Until they do it right, the hobby suffers.
Really good points Travis!!!

drc
06-01-2012, 02:45 AM
Yes, they have some worth. Things are rarely all or nothing.

travrosty
06-01-2012, 09:22 AM
Because these auction loa's "expire", and after a short time, they aen't "valid" anymore, collectors wonder if psa or jsa are switching their minds and opinions and all of the sudden the piece is no good anymore?

If you haven't paid them extra for the full LOA to keep the opinion going, I guess the opinion expires and we should have no way of knowing if the autograph is good?

Is the signature good today, and then bad tomorrow? If they inspected it and said it's good, it should be good tomorrow too.

Does the prescription in your eyeglasses expire and turn off all of the sudden so you can't see clearly anymore unless you pay the optometrist and the lens manufacturer if you fail to pay an upgrade or maintenance fee? NO!

They want it both ways, they want the auction LOA to dazzle you and knock your socks off and be seen as a LOA to ensure the autograph you buy at auction is good, but only until you buy it, then it turns from an LOA to a POS. Then it's not worth the paper it is printed on and you better hurry up and pay more money to get a real LOA. But if you haven't bought the item yet, disregard that and please regard the auction LOA as a great LOA that ensures your items authenticity.

The verbiage they use is laughable. They say that an auction loa is just a "preliminary review" and the item hasn't gone through the rigors of a full inspection like a REAL LOA'd item does. Well, if that is the case, why are people bidding on items that just get a glance? They say their opinion can change once you send it in and they get a real good look at the item. It's unbelievable.

Now PSA dumped auction LOA's and is using their PRECERTIFIED program, which GUARANTEES that any autograph that passes precertification WILL get a full LOA. So I guess it isnt a preliminary review anymore but no one can figure just what they did to their procedures to change their review from a preliminary glance to a full inspection.

PSA changed from auction loa to precertified to avoid confusion they say because some collectors were using auction loa's as real loa's.

This concerns them because the items only had a preliminary review and people were using the auction loa as a full loa, convinced it had a full review and inspection?

Nah, this concerns them because the auction loa was free and they weren't paying extra to get the "really real" LOA, and they can't have that.

Now that they have precertification, they don't issue a piece of paper so there is nothing for the collector to use unless they UPGRADE to a full loa.

Unless the collectors prints out the auction listing screen that mentions precertified by psa, then they can just skip paying the fee again and all is well in the world.

What I can't figure out is why JSA or PSA calls it an UPGRADE in LOA's or certification when the autograph is still the same. The AUTOGRAPH hasn't been upgraded. It's still the same. It is either real or not. So only NOW they are going to try to figure it out???

I can only interpret the word LOA upgrade as to mean that they thank you for your extra money and they will now get serious about your piece and go from "we glanced at it", to "We decided to do our jobs" Money has a funny way of doing that.

I blogged on another forum and myself and a couple of other collectors were going back and forth from the main representative from a major auction house about auction loa's and precertification versus REAL LOA's, and the guy just kept talking in circles, wouldn't give us straightforward answers to any of our questions on just how PSA goes about inspecting the autograph for the auction loa effect and the precert effect versus real LOA. He didn't know or else what is more likely is that he knew but didn't want us to know how the hot dogs were made for fear we would never buy one again.

Sorry, auction LOA's and Precertification is a joke in my opinion, and if they can't guarantee you are getting a real autograph when you bid and buy from the auction house, then that's what it is and to say they looked at the item and made some type of conditional determination is not worth anything to me. You either did your job and made a proper authentication or you didn't.

Think about it, did mears give an auction loa for the 4.4 million dollar ruth jersey, a preliminary inspection with a full inspection coming to the winner of the item? sounds silly if they would have tried that. but your 500 dollar autograph gets that treatment.

Exhibitman
06-01-2012, 02:57 PM
I agree with everything you say, Travis. I am absolutely disgusted by the whole situation. I have gotten to the point now where I will not buy a signature unless it is on a mfg-certified card that doesn't 'need' any more 'authentication' or is one that I know and feel good about regardless of whatever spurious piece of paper they are handing me. It is also beyond silly that an Ebay seller has to warrant their product and accept returns but a big AH can tell you to piss off with one of these fake certificates.

What we need to do is to start letting AHs know that we will no longer bid on autographs that require us to turn around and spend more money to get a valid certification. If enough consumers say no to the practice and the AHs start to feel concern over the situation, the nonsense will stop, I guarantee it.

I also commend Hake's, which supplies its own LOAs for items it sells, and Lew Lipset, who gets the full certs from the TPAs he uses. Having the nards to stand behind one's products or make sure that one's customers are taken care of is a quality few AHs have.