Buying an autographed baseball is definitely a way to bring out your inner child and feel once more the joy of seeing your favorite player step on the mound or hit the ball right out of the park. However, it can also be a smart way to invest and reap a lucrative return in the future.
Know What You Are Buying
When you plan to buy autographed baseballs, especially when you are buying as an investment, it is important to know what you are buying.
- Make sure that the ball you buy is authentic.
- Look at the signatures of the player and double check that they match up correctly.
- Make sure you are familiar with baseball history, especially regarding the era you plan to buy from.
- Check out price points on similar items so that you know that you are getting a fair price.
Several factors can change the price of a ball from the average prices you see on similar items. Those factors are the ball’s condition, a certificate of authenticity (COA), the success of the season, and – the biggest factor of all – the popularity of the player who signed the ball.
Having an extensive knowledge of baseball history can be tantamount to determining if the ball you want is worth the asking price. Certain games are more important than others, and some players have received awards, such as the World Series MVP award, and that will affect the price.
Match the Signature
If you are looking for Pete Rose autographed balls, for example, take the time to study what his verified signature looks like. Love Sammy Sosa? Be sure to know how he signs his name.
And keep an eye out for where they sign their name. If they always sign in one spot, then you definitely want a ball that matches.
You can even research balls and make sure that the signed ball is the same one that your preferred player would have used. Knowing the ins and outs of the player’s autograph is more important than a COA.
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The Importance of a Reputable Dealer
The sad truth is that many dealers are not reputable. It is estimated that 90% of sites online may be fraudulent. Those are not very good odds.
Buying online is very difficult when you want to inspect the memorabilia before you buy it. So, finding someone you can visit in person is a smart idea.
Most reputable dealers will always have a COA to hand you. COAs issued by PSA/DNA, James Spence Authentication (JSA), or Beckett Authentication Services (BAS) are always good COA sources as they witness the signing themselves.
Ask the story behind the ball. How did the dealer get it? Where did that person get it from? Also, see how long a dealer has been in the business and find out exactly what their return policy is.
Once you get your prized ball, be sure to store it somewhere safe so that you may enjoy it for years to come.