Sports Gallery's reputation for quality,
service, as well as our expertise in the sports collectibles market,
customers, clients and web visitors frequently approach us with questions about
their personal items. Most are special sports collectibles that they have collected
over the years, often handed down from past generations.
Three Most Frequent Questions:
much is my signed [fill in the blank]
you want to buy my signed [fill in
was it like to meet Willie Mays at your in-store signing?
we cannot purchase collectibles from personal collections. We would not be able
to maintain our authenticity guarantee if we accepted items from private collections
and we simply will not compromise our commitment
to the authenticity of our collectibles.
the value of a collectible from a personal collection can be extremely difficult.
Ballpark figures are sometimes possible but there are so many variables involved
that a knowledgeable and accurate evaluation is nearly impossible. Factors include:
Is your collectible signed by a Hall of Famer or a journeyman? Are autographs
by this athlete readily available or hard to come by? Is the athlete deceased
or still alive? Most importantly, is there a strong public sentiment for this
athlete and demand for his/her signature or are people mostly indifferent to this
Like most markets, the basic economic principle of supply and demand
applies to valuation in the sports collectibles industry. The greater the supply
relative to the demand, the lower the value and visa versa. That being said, All
Things Being Equal...
the greater the athlete's accomplishments (Hall of Fame, MVP, Championships, special
sports moment, etc..) and records/milestones (HR record, 300 wins, etc.), the
greater the value of the collectible (greater demand);
deceased athlete's collectibles will be greater in value (finite supply) - the
longer the athlete has been deceased the greater the value.
public interest in the athlete will increase the value of his/her collectibles
inscriptions (i.e., "HOF 78") will increase the value of the collectible
(limited supply): personalized inscriptions (i.e, "To Mark") will decrease
its value (less demand...unless you're named Mark).
fewer signings the athlete does, the greater the value (limited supply) - to the
contrary, the more accessible the athlete, the less the value (greater supply);
most important, the more an athlete charges for appearance fees and signatures,
the greater the value (i.e., Joe
Montana's high appearance/signature fee results in a higher value for
of course, the tricky part is All Things
Are Never Equal. All of these factors, and many more (see below) will be
involved. And all are dynamic and in a state of constant change. Thus even an
accurate valuation at a particular moment in time may become grossly inaccurate
a few years, months, or even weeks later.
Probably the most important
thing to keep in mind in pricing an athlete's signature is that the one factor
that typically IS NOT
relevant is your personal feelings towards, and connections to, the collectible
and/or athlete. These elements determine the collectibles sentimental value and
are often priceless. But they typically have little or no bearing on the item's
worth in the eyes of the public.
the item signed by more than one person? Often
collectibles are signed by more than one person. People that are connected by
some record/milestone (i.e., a 300 Win Club
baseball) or a championship. In general, a significant milestone or Championship
raises the value of the collectible significantly. Championship team signed collectibles
can be worth thousands. However, if the team or other signatures hold little significance
(i.e., team was not that memorable or players have no real connection), the presence
of multiple signatures can decrease the value of the collectible, sometimes significantly.
Having a collectible signed by Ted Williams and "Joe Blow" definitely
decreases the value greatly.
item is signed?
Typically, the more relevant the item is to the athlete the more it will be worth.
Sports items such as jerseys, helmets, bats, balls, and photographs are always
best. Game used items are even more valuable. And since authentic sports equipment
can often be expensive by itself (i.e., a football helmet), the value of the signatured
item will be impacted accordingly.
In general, signatures on items with
broad appeal (i.e., photograph, ball, etc.) are worth more than signatures on
specialty items (visor, magazine cover, etc.). This is just basic supply and demand
economics - more people want a ball than a visor so the signature is generally
is the condition of the piece?
The better the condition the item is in, the greater the value. Any damage to
the autograph, photograph, or signed item will lower its value unless the item
is game-used. Also, smear, smudges, stains and fading of the signature will impact
the autograph been authenticated?
Sports Gallery we've implemented the best safeguards in our industry to ensure
the authenticity of our collectibles. Every item in our collection has been properly
authenticated and comes with a Sports Gallery Certificate
Does your collectible have a Certificate
of Authenticity? In order to sell your collectible, you may first need to authenticate
it using an authentication service. But even if you don't plan to sell it, the
lack of proper authentication will definitely have a negative impact on the value
of your collectible.
web is full of resources and companies that will authenticate and value your collectible,
typically for a fee. Some of the better known services include:
Authentication Inc. Consumer
protection technology and grading/authentication expertise for sports, historical
and Hollywood memorabilia.
worlds largest third-party authentication services specializing in baseball, hockey,
football, and basketball cards.
Services include SMR Online,
a subscription online price guide for sports memorabilia.
If your item is similar to those found on this
website, we may be able
to give you a ballpark "guesstimate"
of its value (subject to the many variables discussed above). Please provide as
much information as possible. We also can give you tips on how best to care for
your cherished collectible including our quality custom
framing and display