I’ve never discussed ‘show signed’ autographs on webjon. Writing about counterfeit versions of official cards is enough of a minefield for me as it seems that about half the collectors out there are hesitant to believe that counterfeits are a problem. I can show compelling evidence that a card is fake, yet there are still collectors who say “Yeah, but. . . “, and unfortunately since no one is admitting to producing fakes the only time I ever get ‘proof’ that a card is fake is when a manufacturer comes out and says it.
So that brings us for Photogal100. . . an eBay seller pulling up to a decade of ‘service’ on the selling site. A completed auction search shows that she (I’m assuming Photogal is a she) has sold nearly 700 signed cards in the past 90 days. Need an Alyssa Milano or Jennifer Garner? How about all three Charmed sisters on a card? For $3?!? No? How about noted agreeable card signers Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tom Welling? All for a buck or two each! Hell she probably even combines shipping so you may be able to get Gellar and Welling at 2 for $5!
Now some folks have taken the time to do an in depth look into these signatures, and in their opinions the signatures are most likely not authentic. I appreciate their efforts, and while I agree the signatures are questionable at best I only need to look at the economics of this situation to see a problem. Let’s look at the card shown above — eBay item 370557806090. This great card, apparently signed by Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Masters and David Boreanaz sold for $.99 + $2.80 shipping, in total that’s a $3.79 sale. eBay fees will run about $.75 of that, and shipping/packing fees are $.50 minimum, so Photogal, at best, received $2.54 for this card. I am not aware of Boreanaz or Gellar’s autograph rates, but thankfully Marsters rocks, and will be signing at the Wizard Tour again in 2012. His rates for the show this month: $40.
That’s not fair to Photogal, right? Because clearly if she can sell over 200 signed cards a month most for under $1.50 a signature she has to be getting these from a difference source, right? So let’s say she’s buddies with those guys and can get the signatures for free. Who, in their right mind, would sell authentic autographs from Gellar, Boreanaz or Marsters for $2.50, let alone all three for that? It just doesn’t make sense, and it also doesn’t explain how Photogal is getting signatures at virtually no cost from all the other cards she is selling — you know Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Rose McGowan, Seth Green, Allison Hannigan, Jenifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Garner and the list goes on and on and on.
Not that I need any additional swaying on this personally, but Photogal also hides her feedback, which is questionable at best, and she doesn’t seem to be providing a COA any more. One of her COAs from a couple of years ago is posted above, yeah I forgot to mention, she’s been selling these cards for years. If you are still not convinced this is problematic, that’s cool. . . just know things that seem too good to be true, probably are.
Good Luck and Buyer Beware!