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CHARITY ALERT: Guarding against being scammed by Charity Auction Item Counterfeiters

22 Feb

10502195_839096412817895_3987345997269383406_nNOTE: Please help other charities and pass this along to them.

Is it too much to ask? If you are a fan of our Facebook Fan Page, you often see us posting photos from the autograph signings we do with athletes all across North America. The photos are of the athletes actually signing the actual items we provide. We also show photos of the item we are providing with a photo of the athlete signing it, plus the autographs are then authenticated by a 3rd Party Authenticator – JSA or PSA/DNA.

What charities should know is the simple fact that in the autograph industry, these authenticators are the Standard. The only accepted means of authentication. All of the major memorabilia providers and even any legitimate companies will ensure that they have one of the two companies present during an autograph signing. When these authenticators are present, they apply a self-destructing (if anyone tried to remove it, it breaks apart) sticker or hologram on the autographed item with a number sequence. The number sequence will start with a “W” which means “Witnessed.” The sticker is actually the Certificate of Authenticity, the card is the supporting material which also has the same number sequence. You can then go on the authenticators website, enter the number sequence and it will show where it was signed and when.

However, if this is the autograph standard across North America for authentic autographs, why don’t all charity auction item providers conduct the same level of authentication?

No company, especially charity auction item providers, should “Self-Authenticate.” “Self-Authentication” means the same company werwerwselling or providing the item says it’s real. And another issue is a charity auction item provider suddenly, out of nowhere, using an unknown authenticator. Why would they do that? If that company was providing authentic autographed items, why wouldn’t they provide charity auction items that have been authenticated by the two companies described above? Hmmm suspicious huh?

I’m not trying to drop names but last year I was having lunch with none other then Gene Simmons. We met at a unnamed hotel in Philadelphia after a Kiss concert in New Jersey (check the dates of their previous tour and you will see when this happened). During lunch, I told Gene about the problems with charity auction item providers and pulled up a photo of a “Body signed Guitar” that was being provided. I showed it to him and asked if he signed it. He laughed and said “Nope.”

Charities, don’t be fooled by “Flashy” autographed items. Protect yourself only by asking the provider who the authenticator is. If they do not say JSA or PSA/DNA, ask them if they have items provided by them.

On another note, here are some facts about authentic autographed items:

#1 – We cannot show you our inventory on line and ask that everyone contact us and we will email them our current catalogs.

#2 – The reason we cannot show the autographed items we have is because the items we have are 100% authentic and we only have so many in our inventory. When they are gone, they are gone until we can conduct or be a part of another autograph signing (which most likely will be in 6 months). We cannot, CAN NOT, show inventory due to this issue.

NOTE: When a Charity Provider shows their inventory on line, especially on their website, isn’t that suspicious? Celebrity and Musician autographed items are extremely rare, rarer then rare. So, showing these types of items on their websites is not something we can do.

65428_4744769143018_478387138_n#3 – Celebrities and Musicians do not do “Sit Down” autograph signings like Athletes do. Rarely will you be able to convince a celebrity to do this. Recently, we did an autograph signing with Chevy Chase – but PSA/DNA was on site and witnessed it (with all the items coming complete with the Certificates of Authenticity).

#4 – Deceased Celebrities and Musicians – When an athlete passes away, the cost of the authentic autographed items goes up dramatically due to the rarity of the item. When a celebrity or musician passes away, the cost of their autographed items goes into space. Again, these items are already rare so when they pass away…their autographs are priced so high, that they are almost unaffordable. They become extremely rare. So how can anyone show items autographed by celebrities or musicians who have passed away years ago? Seem suspicious?

#5 – Cast or Band Signed anything – Very Rare due to the fact that these people are not always in the same place and also that they do not conduct “Sit Down” autograph signings. We have been involved in the autograph industry for years and are partnered with the largest autograph providers in North America and we have never heard about these opportunities. When companies conduct autograph signings, they put the word out to companies like ours, yet we have never heard of these signings. That is the reason why we don’t have them. Make sense? We only carry 100% authentic autographed items.

#6 – Body signed Guitars – When you see a Guitar that is signed on the body, it’s really cool. But, ask yourself this – just how many guitars did the person conducting the signing bring with him/her when the signing was conducted? I could only carry four (4) guitars, 2 in each hand. Then add in, that all the musicians are never together at once…and if they rarely tour, who would have access to them when they are all together? Then why wouldn’t the provider take photos of the musician signing them? Seem suspicious? It does to me. If we have autographed guitars, they are signed on the Pick Guard and then the pick guard (which was the only thing the musician saw) is authenticated by JSA or PSA/DNA.

#7 – Photo’s with Celebrities – If a Charity Auction Item provider has an incredible array of Celebrity Autographed items, why don’t they have photos of themselves with the celebrities or musicians? Come on, everybody likes to get their pictures taken with well-known people and celebrities. Or why do they show celebrities signing items outside of a show or restaurant signing different items then the ones they provide? Suspicious, I say so.

#8 – Other companies – Unfortunately, because we are here to help charities, I have to admit something. The items we have are also provided by many, many autograph providing companies. However, they are provided at far less cost and also provided at “No Risk” to our clients. Charity Auction item providers that are providing a wide array of Celebrity & Musician autographed items seem to be the only company in the world that has them. Why is that? Are they so fortunate that they have special access to the celebrities and musicians…or do you find that suspicious as well? I do.

Add all of the above up and ask yourself…is it suspicious? I give you a resounding “YES ABSOLUTELY.”

In summary, protect yourself. You can stick your head in the sand all you want but if you are not protected while also protecting your charities guests and supporters, aren’t you then a part of the crime? Don’t be fooled, be sure that the company you are using is providing you with 100% authentic items. Whether you are working with BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising or another company, absolutely positively ensure that the autographed items you are getting are 100% Authentic and are authenticated by a reputable 3rd Party.

One last thing – all you should do is run a simple “Google” search on either the name of the company or the name of the owner of the company – you will be surprised what you find.

If you would like to learn more about how to absolutely ensure that your charity is receiving authentic autographed memorabilia, contact the expert fundraisers at BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising today at www.BWUnlimited.com.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting. BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising provides 100% authentic, 3rd party authenticated items from Athletes, Celebrities and Musicians which have been authenticated only by JSA or PSA/DNA – the two (2) most respected autograph authenticators in North America. BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is the charity auction item “One Stop Shop” providing Autographed Items, Charity Travel Packages, Jewelry and incredible Décor at absolutely “No Risk” to our charity clients across North America. If you would like to receive all of our current Charity Auction Item No Risk Charity Auction Item catalogs, contact us today at www.BWUnlimited.com

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Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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