PLEASE READ IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BIDDING ON, OR PURCHASING A DALE EARNHARDT OR DALE JR. AUTOGRAPH ON EBAY.....YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID! I AM WRITING THIS GUIDE TO SHARE WITH YOU MY 20+ YEARS EXPERIENCE COLLECTING NASCAR AUTOGRAPHS AND SO YOU DONT GET BURNED BY PURCHASING WHAT YOU THINK IS "REAL" PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS HELPFUL GUIDE.
PLEASE VOTE "YES" BELOW IF YOU FIND THIS INFORMATION AT ALL HELPFUL.
I've been collecting NASCAR autographs for many years now. I sell original autographed cards, and postcards here on ebay. All of my autographs come with a Certificate of Authenticity and a Lifetime Gurantee. Quite frankly it sickens me to see all the bogus Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Jr. autographed items listed on eBay.
BELOW ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF AUTHENTIC DALE SR. & JR. AUTOGRAPH VARIATIONS.
Here are a few pointers I would like to pass on to anyone in the market for Earnhardt autographed memorabilia. I've learned alot through the years of collecting autographs & some things to consider before bidding on any DALE EARNHARDT SR. autographed items, rather than bidding on a scammers weak attempt to make money off the greatest stock car racer of all time.
Consider asking the seller the following questions if the information is not in the description.
1) How was it obtained? pulled from a pack, in person, through the mail, through another dealer, etc.
-NASCAR drivers un-like other sports personalities are very accessable at the track during scheduled signings, and most drivers devote several hours a week to sign mailed in items from their fans at there race shops. Through my past mail in experience, Dale Sr. would sign up to 3 items by mail up until around 1997, (using either black or blue Sharpie marker) then he started including a small slip of paper with the autographed item, stating that Earnhardt was only able to sign 1 item per request due to an overwhelming racing schedule and so many fan requests. The wait times where aprox. 3-12 months. In my experience Dale Sr. signed a majority of items in blue Sharpie during the 1998-1999 seasons. Dale Sr. was always willing to sign at the track too, I had witnessed Dale Sr. several times signing on pit road prior to officials clearing the area so the drivers can get into their cars. Earnhardt truly respected his fans devotion.
2) When was it obtained? Obviously, Dale Sr. autographs had to be signed prior to Feb. 2001, believe it or not I have actually seen Earnhardt items claimed to have been signed (after his death) right here on eBay, or on items that were published after 2001 like cards. HOW STUPID CAN SOMEONE REALLY BE? THE WORST WAS THAT THERE WAS ACTUALLY BIDS ON THESE ITEMS!
3) Is there a money back guarantee if it comes back not authentic or "questionable" from an official authenticator? A lifetime guarantee is always best, but hard to come by on a fake or questionable autograph. This gives you enough time to send to an official authenticator and know your investment is the real deal. NEVER bid on an auction that says ALL SALES FINAL.
4)Where was the autograph obtained? if a specific event or signing, your seller should be able to provide you with this information, then you can take it a step further and do a google search of the date, and event location to see if it is accurate. Believe it or not I have stumped many of sellers with this question!
5) Is the certificate from an official authenticator or a claim of authenticity? Ask your seller the origin of the COA or better yet, ask them for a scan of the COA. If the COA is a claim type always make sure that the sellers address and/or phone number is on the certificate.
6) Compare autographs with certified autographs, are they similar or in no way a close match? (You can easily do a search on eBay for certified Earnhardt Autographs, in addition to other personalities)
7) Always keep in mind drivers sign in a several different situations, either walking, rushing through a crowd of hungry autograph hunters, sitting down, or through a fence, etc...so keep in mind some variations may be apparent. PLUS keep in mind when drivers sit and sign for hours at a time, the first hundred or so may differ from the last hundred, due to writers fatigue.
WHY PRIVATE FEEDBACK? AS FOR A GENERAL NO-NO FOR ANY BUYING OR BIDDING & MOST IMPORTANTLY, NEVER, EVER BID ON A SELLERS ITEM IF THEY HAVE FEEDBACK THAT IS KEPT PRIVATE. WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE? I PERSONALLY FIND THIS INSULTING AND A VERY A POOR FIRST IMPRESSION OF ANY SELLER, ESPECIALLY THOSE SELLING AUTOGRAPHS. ANY REPUTABLE EBAY SELLER WOULD NOT WANT TO HIDE THERE FEEDBACK UNLESS OFCOURSE.....THEY HAD SOMETHING TO HIDE.
WHY A PRIVATE ID? NEVER BID ON AN ITEM WHEN THE BIDDERS ID IS KEPT PRIVATE, CHANCES ARE IT IS THE SELLER HIMSELF OR SOMEONE THEY KNOW BIDDING UP THERE PRODUCT. THE SELLER SHOULD BE CONFIDENT IN THERE PRODUCT AND HAVE DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS, AND SEVERAL PHOTOS & A EVEN CLOSEUP SHOT OF THE AUTOGRAPH ITSELF IS GOOD TOO.
If you have any doubts, simply DO NOT bid on the item. Or better yet report it to ebay.
Closing Price: Another good factor is the price near auction closing time. Is the price still really low near auction closing time? this is a good hint that other avid collectors have not bid on it because the autograph may be questionable.
Just be very cautious when it comes to bidding or buying Earnhardt Sr, and Dale Jr. autographs especially. In random searches I do weekly, I would say more than 75% are either blatant fakes, or questionable Earnhardt Sr. & Jr autographs.
Dale Jr.: As for Dale Jr. I see just about as many fakes on here too. Dale Jr. used to sign his full name early in his career (pre-1998), he later changed the style of writing (the "D" mainly) and now only signs "Dale Jr". Again, compare them with certified autographs to see if they are similar, and follow the same formula as I mentioned above.
Dont get me wrong, there are great authentic Earnhardt autographs on here, and some top notch dealers.....with a little practice you'll be able to spot a fake with the first glance. If you have any questions, drop me an email I would be glad to help or point you in the right direction!
SEE AUTHENTIC DALE EARNHARDT SR. & JR. AUTOGRAPHS AND OTHER NASCAR DRIVERS SIGNATURES IN MY EBAY STORE.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF AUTHENTIC DALE SR. & JR. AUTOGRAPH VARIATIONS.