If selling - "Do you offer a COA ?"

       Like many, I do some autograph selling on eBay. Today I had an inquiry about a signed document I have listed.  It's not a major piece....an agreement between Paramount Pictures and Joel McCrea to reference his name in a scene of an upcoming picture of theirs...a perfectly verifiable example of his signature.

     The person interested wrote me asking a few questions about condition, if all of the pages of the legalize were included, where I had acquired it, etc..  Also: "Do you offer a COA"?.  I've had questions in the past about if a particular item had been authenticated by JSA, PSA, etc.  I state that in the description if so (although I don't procure them personally but include it if it came with one). 

     I've never had this question before. What is your feeling about offering COAs?  In my own case, I figure one from me would be meaningless since I'm not a dealer...just a collector selling to other collectors. I do state I stand behind what I offer and, if it's proven to not be good by a tpa, send it back for a full refund. 

     I've purchased from dealers who send along a COA...others who just allow the invoice to basically serve that function.  I'm just curious as to what your practice is on COAs and your reasoning.... those in my lower volume circumstances or regular dealers.   

Views: 231

Comment by Etienne on July 23, 2021 at 7:09am

"A letter of provenance is to keep the history of the item intact...."

Yes, that is a very different thing.  I've noticed that some of the big auction houses go this route even with vintage material, when available.  If someone had obtained this autograph even decades ago, a letter from the prior owner stating when, where and how does lend further credibility to the piece.  It seems a reputable auction house would vet the story as a real one.

Comment by Steve Zarelli on July 23, 2021 at 11:36am

A COA from an otherwise unknown eBay seller is absolutely worthless. COAs only add value and assurance when it comes from a RECOGNIZED expert, whether third party or a dealer/auction house.

The irony is, the worst fake sellers on ebay always offer their off brand COAs, which seems to satisfy naïve buyers.

Comment by Etienne on July 23, 2021 at 1:55pm

Some of those fake seller COAs look more legit than the autograph they are "certifying".

Comment by crazyrabbits23 on July 24, 2021 at 3:58am

@Martin: A term I picked up from a content creator that describes someone so focused on chasing the current hype/trend that they don't bother to do the research, and are more concerned with short-term gain than actually doing their due diligence.

Comment by Mikex on July 24, 2021 at 6:24am

It's got to the point that forgers don't bother to simulate an autograph. Many forgeries on eBay bear no resemblance to the Autograph they are selling. They know there are people who do no research.

Comment by Rick Meyer on July 24, 2021 at 3:24pm

If somebody would forge or sell a forged signature then what would keep them from forging a COA. If they lie to sell something thats bad do you really think they would have a hard time lying on a COA?

They are a waste of time.

Comment by Etienne on July 24, 2021 at 4:05pm


Looking right now on eBay you can find tons of autographs with older COAs or LOAs from dealers that, if you try to search for them, show no sign of having existed.


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