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View Full Version : ok, I have a legit question about help here....


Leon
06-21-2012, 02:31 PM
Ok, by the activity level in this forum it seems the autograph hobby is alive and well. As I always say "all collecting is good collecting" even though it's not my area of focus.

I see we have a lot of really good autograph experts and seasoned collectors here. I also see quite a few folks asking for help in ID'ing sigs as real or not. So, on the card side we always help and it's no big deal. But many of you make a living at it and charge for services otherwise. Every time I see a "help" request with "is this good?" I wonder if there is a line about giving help. Is it always ok and no one really minds, as on the card side, or is there a point where you say....ya know, this is my job and it's a service I charge for....so, sorry I can't help? I hope this question is taken the right way. I am truly just curious,. Thanks to all of our autograph guys too. And for the record there are more autograph folks signing up almost daily. And I won't say exactly who but it's some folks that have been in the hobby a long time and are well respected. I am sure they will chime in, in due time. thanks much...

Exhibitman
06-21-2012, 02:52 PM
As a collector or dealer I think the real value isn't in the opinion on a chat board but in a COA issued after a proper review--that's what I need to have to sell my item--so I don't think asking for off the cuff info here is a problem. I kind of view the assessments here similarly to a lawyer's consultation--unless the lawyer is retained to do the actual work and does it, the client doesn't have much more than an idea.

chaddurbin
06-21-2012, 03:09 PM
if the "experts" are willing to help, i see no problem with it. although the "is this good" threads are popping up with alot more frequency. i also notice some people just start those type of threads, and disappear until they need help again..."bad form" as the soccer commentator says.

i would pay for a quick opinion from some of these guys. richard has always said no but maybe jim now?

edited to add: i don't mind the few drama threads, but it's hard to miss 15 "thoughts on..." "is this good" threads out of the top 20.

old13man
06-21-2012, 03:14 PM
I second that...I would be more than willing to pay Richard or Jim for quick opinions because I have faith in them. Speaking of I currently have a question at there regarding an auto of Ted Williams if anyone wants to help. :)

Leon
06-21-2012, 03:18 PM
Trust me guys, I am not against anyone helping fellow collectors. I think it is great AND it helps the AUTOGRAPH hobby in the long run. The more folks enjoy it and don't get ripped off the more they will stay in it and maybe even get others involved. I try to do my part on helping the card hobbyists as much as I can. This was just a simple question as I do see a lot of the "help" threads. I am in no way saying not to have them or anything else....I just wanted to get some thoughts on the question I had. I hope folks help each other as much as they can.

HexsHeroes
06-21-2012, 03:24 PM
.

... and I will "third" that sentiment. It's commendable to use your own resources and objectivity when analyzing a signature for possible authenticity, but you cannot put a value on the many years of hands-on experience that Richard or Jim have when viewing the same signature, and sharing their opinion (whether paid for, or not).

drc
06-21-2012, 03:36 PM
I understood Leon's post, and wondered the same thing a few times-- with folks posting their autographs online.

I'm not an autograph expert, but people ask me for opinions on other items. I don't and can't say something is authentic from a digital photo, so the owner can't use my email or board opinion as an LOA. Posting an answer on this board isn't the same as giving away a free LOA, because no one's going to write an LOA for an item he hasn't seen in person.

MooseDog
06-21-2012, 03:43 PM
Leon -

I'm one of those who recently posted for help.

From my point of view, I will gladly offer my help on autographs I know I have an expertise at - namely 1960s and 1970s baseball and hockey and Hall of Fame autographs. I also enjoy deciphering group autographs.

I'm very thankful that there are guys like Richard and Jim who are willing to share their expertise here.

The other point that needs to be made in regards to autographs is that one seemingly has to pay a "tax" to PSA or JSA in order to realize decent money for vintage autographs. However in order to get their "approval" you have to pay "authentication fees" that are not refundable. PSA will often give credit if you pay to have a card graded and it comes back trimmed or not authentic. Not so with autographs. You are paying for an opinion, and if that opinion is not good, you lose the (not insignificant) "fee".

Gettting/sharing opinions in a forum such as this can end up saving collectors a lot of money.

PS. And Leon, thanks to you for setting up this Autograph Forum.

jgmp123
06-21-2012, 03:56 PM
Leon,

I have asked for assistance in the past and Richard and Jim, as well as many others have been very helpful. I would gladly pay for this service if it was required, but I do agree that collectors are able to help each other out and we look at this as a special community that benefits from helping each other.

7nohitter
06-21-2012, 04:05 PM
Let's also remember that they certainly do NOT have to give their opinion if they don't want to. I think they choose to because they are good guys and are more than willing to help out. In fact, I made a purchase from Richard Simon a month or two ago because of his presence on these boards.

jgmp123
06-21-2012, 04:10 PM
Let's also remember that they certainly do NOT have to give their opinion if they don't want to. I think they choose to because they are good guys and are more than willing to help out. In fact, I made a purchase from Richard Simon a month or two ago because of his presence on these boards.

Agree! I recently purchased a few things from Richard...I have also been added to Jim's email mailing list. These guys have great items to offer along with amazing advice.

I would also say that a big use of this site for me is to help educate myself on signatures to recognize myself. If you are one of the individuals posting asking "is this real", follow up with a DM asking why...educate yourself, so that the next time you are at a swap meat, trade show, Ebay, etc. You can have the knowledge to tell for yourself if it is real or not.

drc
06-21-2012, 04:12 PM
Another point is they get good will and promotion out of it. This is a widely read board, with even folks from the PSA board regularly reading it. I'm sure they get new customers and positive word of mouth out of it.

Though the autograph section is new, overall this is an old time and well respected board with many well known hobby participants-- Bob Lemke, Bill Mastro and Josh Evans have posted here. So there is benefit to joining the board and demonstrating your knowledge.

But, as has already been said, a member can participate as much, as little and how he wishes. If Richard decides today to quit offering opinions on autographs, it's not as if we can have him arrested.

packs
06-21-2012, 04:21 PM
If we're supposed to be a community I don't think it's stepping over the line to ask your fellow collector friends what they think about a signature. People can always choose not to respond.

JimStinson
06-21-2012, 06:48 PM
Pardon me for saying this but since my name has been mentioned I'd like to add my 2 cents. If a complete stranger is walking down the street next to me and I have a watch and he dosen;t , and he asks me what time it is, I'm not going to say "I know what time it is and for $20.00 I'll tell you" (smile) That would be silly, I'd tell him what time it is or at least WHAT TIME MY WATCH SAYS IT IS......Does my charging him $20.00 make what time it is more valuable ? or more correct ? If I charged him $100.00 he would REALLY believe what time it was for SURE because I'd be wearing a rolex. Speaking of watches mine is a Bulova and it needs a battery because I've been too lazy to get one.

keithsky
06-21-2012, 07:31 PM
I think it's great some experienced collectors can help out the ones that aren't .That is how we all learn. Does there always have to be money exchanged for everything. Maybe some collectors will find out there stuff is fake and the experienced guys will point that out and hopefully the novice guy will dispose of the fake item so it doesn't stay in the marketplace. We are all for cleaning up the hobby and lets help each one out. If I was experienced enough and was on NET54 reading posts I wouldn't mind giving my opinion on things. Only takes a second. And that is all it is is an opinion.

Maddog
06-21-2012, 10:36 PM
All the points above are very valid.
What makes for a successful board is the cooperation of all its members. Some may be skilled in other areas not even related to the sports field and end up using those skills to help other members- I know I have done so numerous times.

Off topic but-
I remember I first became aquainted with Rich Simon way back when he was on another board. That site was an extremely fun and friendly site until certain new members came around and did nothing but critize other board members and stir up trouble. Then a complete "war" broke out with a large number of the more frequent posters and more helpful members deciding it wasn't worth their time and effort anymore and left (yes me included). The site is still around but no where near as much fun.

Charlie.

thecatspajamas
06-21-2012, 11:50 PM
I would compare the situation to how one would react if someone walked into their physical store with a question about an item they carried in with them. Is the storeowner required to give them a full 30-minute lesson on all the ins and outs of their item (in this case, an evaluation of their autograph)? Do they give them a quick yes or no answer with zero background? Or do they tell them they will give them their opinion for a fee (maybe more appropriate for those who make their living giving their opinion for a fee)? Or simply tell them to scram if they're not going to buy something?

Some see giving free advice as a good business practice, whereas others see it as an annoyance at best. Depending on the situation and the customer, I would anticipate most of the usual board "advisors" would tend toward the former reactions over the latter, though they would be within their rights having any of the above reactions. I would also anticipate close friends and repeat customers getting the most attention, with the "scram" being reserved for the neighborhood kid who always has a million questions, never buys anything, and leaves a sticky film on everything he touches (though we were all that kid at one time or another, weren't we?)

We see the same kinds of patrons here on the board as we would in a physical store too: The new guy who we've never seen before who has a single question that, once answered, will disappear never to be heard from again. The old friend looking for a bit more information on something they've found. Folks looking for second opinions on something before they make a purchase. Repeat customers who happened to *gasp* buy something from someone else. And yes, the kids with a million questions who never shut up and don't add anything productive to the conversation.

All of that is to say that, just as different professionals will react differently to the various questions and individuals posing them in person, I would expect the same varied reactions here on the boards. As long as all parties remain calm and remember that nobody is obligated to offer any information on any subject, everything should run smoothly. It's when I see demands being made and personalities clashing that the ride starts getting bumpy. Even a bumpy ride can be enjoyable though, particularly for those standing on the sidelines ;) so I would never suggest shutting it down altogether.

Just my 2 cents as someone who typically does more questioning than advising, and has never actually been paid for any of my 2-cent observations :D

jgmp123
06-22-2012, 07:10 AM
I would compare the situation to how one would react if someone walked into their physical store with a question about an item they carried in with them. Is the storeowner required to give them a full 30-minute lesson on all the ins and outs of their item (in this case, an evaluation of their autograph)? Do they give them a quick yes or no answer with zero background? Or do they tell them they will give them their opinion for a fee (maybe more appropriate for those who make their living giving their opinion for a fee)? Or simply tell them to scram if they're not going to buy something?

Some see giving free advice as a good business practice, whereas others see it as an annoyance at best. Depending on the situation and the customer, I would anticipate most of the usual board "advisors" would tend toward the former reactions over the latter, though they would be within their rights having any of the above reactions. I would also anticipate close friends and repeat customers getting the most attention, with the "scram" being reserved for the neighborhood kid who always has a million questions, never buys anything, and leaves a sticky film on everything he touches (though we were all that kid at one time or another, weren't we?)

We see the same kinds of patrons here on the board as we would in a physical store too: The new guy who we've never seen before who has a single question that, once answered, will disappear never to be heard from again. The old friend looking for a bit more information on something they've found. Folks looking for second opinions on something before they make a purchase. Repeat customers who happened to *gasp* buy something from someone else. And yes, the kids with a million questions who never shut up and don't add anything productive to the conversation.

All of that is to say that, just as different professionals will react differently to the various questions and individuals posing them in person, I would expect the same varied reactions here on the boards. As long as all parties remain calm and remember that nobody is obligated to offer any information on any subject, everything should run smoothly. It's when I see demands being made and personalities clashing that the ride starts getting bumpy. Even a bumpy ride can be enjoyable though, particularly for those standing on the sidelines ;) so I would never suggest shutting it down altogether.

Just my 2 cents as someone who typically does more questioning than advising, and has never actually been paid for any of my 2-cent observations :D


+1...Well said Lance.

jester
06-22-2012, 11:23 AM
I do not post much but certainly read most. As I have only started collecting a couple of years ago, I have found this site a very valuable tool. There are some very knowledgable people that contribute on a regular basis who have gained my respect. There are also others who I have identified as trouble makers and even if they are knowledgable, I tend not to pay attention to. I would like to thank people like Leon, Richard, Chris etc for the efforts they make to share their knowledge and hope in the future I will be able to share what I have learned. What goes around comes around!
Regards
Jeff Paladeau

clutch
06-22-2012, 03:34 PM
What the heck, I'll throw my thoughts in too. I'm fairly new here, but I've been on other similar sites. These forums have been an unbelievable education for me that I can't get anywhere else. If you want to learn you have to ask questions.

I try to be selective in my help requests. I don't want to plaster the boards with help requests because I am just too lazy to do any research myself. I actually research everything as much as I can, form an opinion and if I'm still not confident enough or need reassurance, I go ahead and ask.

Help requests don't just benefit the author of the request. I look at other people's past help requests all the time and use them as a reference tool to make decisions on the things I'm looking at.

I have to admit that I'm always nervous about posting help requests in fear that I am annoying people. That's why I try to be selective. I also always give thanks to those who help and show my appreciation because I know they don't have to help me and they are doing it out of their own kindness.

Leon
06-22-2012, 03:39 PM
What the heck, I'll throw my thoughts in too. I'm fairly new here, but I've been on other similar sites. These forums have been an unbelievable education for me that I can't get anywhere else. If you want to learn you have to ask questions.

I try to be selective in my help requests. I don't want to plaster the boards with help requests because I am just too lazy to do any research myself. I actually research everything as much as I can, form an opinion and if I'm still not confident enough or need reassurance, I go ahead and ask.

Help requests don't just benefit the author of the request. I look at other people's past help requests all the time and use them as a reference tool to make decisions on the things I'm looking at.

I have to admit that I'm always nervous about posting help requests in fear that I am annoying people. That's why I try to be selective. I also always give thanks to those who help and show my appreciation because I know they don't have to help me and they are doing it out of their own kindness.

+5 Clutch. If everyone acted as you do there would be no need for a moderator. Well said sir.

Exhibitman
06-22-2012, 05:28 PM
If a complete stranger is walking down the street next to me and I have a watch and he dosen;t , and he asks me what time it is, I'm not going to say "I know what time it is and for $20.00 I'll tell you"

You wouldn't make it to 1st base as a lawyer...

JimStinson
06-22-2012, 05:52 PM
If I wanted to be a lawyer I would have spent less time staring out the window at school when I was a kid or listening to the World Series on my transistor radio

Tedw9
06-23-2012, 10:31 AM
I thought that's why boards like this exist, to talk about, share and HELP each other.

I don't post "Help" threads, but I see nothing wrong with doing so as long as you don't take advantage of the situation. I'm pretty limited in my knowledge compared to others on here, but if I can offer help, here or any other board, I do so freely. Most of the time I don't bother to post because I would just be repeating what another member or two has already said. But if I feel I can offer a bit more information, I am always happy to do so.

And besides, you never know when that bit of good karma will come around back to you. Many years ago I ran a tire shop with my Dad. I later moved to another job and on the way home one day I found an older gentleman with a flat tire beside the road. I stopped to help him, changed his tire and he offered to pay me. Even though in the past I was paid to change tires, I refused any compensation.

This gentleman was a former major league player and he invited me to his house to talk baseball. The experiences I got from becoming his friend was worth a million times more than any amount of money he could have given me.




This post is in no way directed at ANY autograph expert on the board. I'm just a believer in helping each other out no matter who you are. At least that's how I try to live my life.

Fuddjcal
06-23-2012, 12:26 PM
I thought that's why boards like this exist, to talk about, share and HELP each other.

I don't post "Help" threads, but I see nothing wrong with doing so as long as you don't take advantage of the situation. I'm pretty limited in my knowledge compared to others on here, but if I can offer help, here or any other board, I do so freely. Most of the time I don't bother to post because I would just be repeating what another member or two has already said. But if I feel I can offer a bit more information, I am always happy to do so.

And besides, you never know when that bit of good karma will come around back to you. Many years ago I ran a tire shop with my Dad. I later moved to another job and on the way home one day I found an older gentleman with a flat tire beside the road. I stopped to help him, changed his tire and he offered to pay me. Even though in the past I was paid to change tires, I refused any compensation.

This gentleman was a former major league player and he invited me to his house to talk baseball. The experiences I got from becoming his friend was worth a million times more than any amount of money he could have given me.




This post is in no way directed at ANY autograph expert on the board. I'm just a believer in helping each other out no matter who you are. At least that's how I try to live my life.

funny, that's how I've run my consulting business for the past 13 years. It's amazing how "lucky" I get every year with current clients passing my name to competitors and their friends alike.

Karma is real, and I'm a big believer in doing the right thing for people. If they need free advice for something, I give it to them. It's those people who come back looking for me when they have a big project. I'm accessible and give free information whenever I can....it must be working. Sales have already exceeded last years numbers and last year was doubled from the prior year. What recession!!!!!!

Do the right thing for people and it's funny how "lucky" you'll get too! It's called paying it forward!!!

ss
06-24-2012, 09:39 AM
+ 10 for Fudd

jmhockey23
06-24-2012, 09:50 AM
I think helping with autograph authenticity is a plus for the hobby as a whole. I collect autographs and I will do everything I can to help a fellow collector because it helps me too. The more we can weed out forgeries the healthier the hobby is for all of us...

Scott Garner
06-30-2012, 08:58 AM
[QUOTE=MooseDog;1006004]Leon -

I'm one of those who recently posted for help.

From my point of view, I will gladly offer my help on autographs I know I have an expertise at - namely 1960s and 1970s baseball and hockey and Hall of Fame autographs. I also enjoy deciphering group autographs.

I'm very thankful that there are guys like Richard and Jim who are willing to share their expertise here.

The other point that needs to be made in regards to autographs is that one seemingly has to pay a "tax" to PSA or JSA in order to realize decent money for vintage autographs. However in order to get their "approval" you have to pay "authentication fees" that are not refundable. PSA will often give credit if you pay to have a card graded and it comes back trimmed or not authentic. Not so with autographs. You are paying for an opinion, and if that opinion is not good, you lose the (not insignificant) "fee".

Gettting/sharing opinions in a forum such as this can end up saving collectors a lot of money.

+1

travrosty
06-30-2012, 10:16 AM
It is a tax, most people pay the tax to get the cert, but you dont have to pay the tax. I don't pay that tax. I got two certs from a exSPENSive service before, and the items sold for the same if I didn't have the cert and didn't pay the tax.

I choose not to pay the tribute, because either I know the autograph is good before I send it in, and I don't need them to tell me it's good. Or if I didn't know, I sure wouldn't trust them to know seeing all the FUBAR's I have seen over the last few years with a cert from them, and I don't care if it's babe ruth, ty cobb, or Willie Mays Hayes.