Autograph collecting is a fun and rewarding hobby, but it’s also a lucrative business for many entrepreneurs. As a hobby, autographs are a terrific way to own a piece of memorabilia that has been personally signed by your favorite actor, musician, athlete, etc. Collectors across the globe are always looking to add the unattainable signature to their collection.
Autographs can be obtained either in person or through the mail. If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where sports competitions or movie filming are plentiful, then you may have a lot of in-person autograph opportunities. For everyone else, collecting through the mail may be the most economical approach. Athletes can be written in care of their sports team, celebrities in care of their television show, or on location at a film set while musicians can be reached through their agent or a venue at which they are performing.
The value of an autograph depends on whom the signature is from. If you don’t want to pay for an appraisal, surf the internet for autograph dealers and see if you can find an average cost for the signature. If you are looking to sell autographs, the number of potential customers can be impressive if you know how to market your business. A well-publicized website or a presence with online auctions is often the best success for any business, including autographs. If you plan to sell autographs, you will need to be upfront with customers about how the signature was obtained. If it was through the mail, let them know. If the autograph was obtained in person, perhaps you would include a Certificate of Authenticity noting the date and location that the signature was obtained.
There are a few things to remember when seeking autographs. Whether in-person or through the mail, always be polite in your request. Say “please” and “thank you.” If you are attending an autograph show, take your own item to be signed along with a sharpie permanent marker. If you are sending mailed autograph requests, always include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Never request more than 2 items to be signed at any given time – many celebrities consider this to be rude. Some of the best items to be signed include photos, blank 3×5 index cards, t-shirts, baseballs, golf balls, footballs, books, etc. Courtesy is the key to obtaining an autograph – whether as a hobby or for resale.
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