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Should You Get Your Cards Signed? - The Pros and Cons of In Person Autographs



One of the questions I see posed very often in the hobby is 'Should I get this card signed?'. In Person (IP) autographs have been a chase for many collectors for a long time now. Who remembers back to the days when the only way you could prove you met someone was to have them sign an autograph for you?


Authenticated Dustin Martin Signature

Fast forward to the 2020's, the age of the selfie, and we still see fans lining up to get an autograph of their favourite player on a trading card or a guernsey. But does it enhance the value of a trading card? Should you get it done?


Any trading card is only worth what another collector is willing to pay, that is the same as anything which is sold on the open market. A card signed by your favourite player as an official signature card comes with an authentication of the autograph from the manafacturer (Select, TLA, Panini, Upper Deck etc.) guaranteeing the autograph as genuine (although we have had a few instances of late in the US where this has been questioned, another blog in the waiting I feel) whereas, a card signed after a game comes with no authentication.



In Person Dustin Martin Autograph

The other issue which can arise with an IP signature is that the autograph itself may not have had the same time and care taken as when an athlete is being paid by a trading card company to sign a specific card. They may have just signed 200 autographs.


So, to answer the question of whether or not to get a card signed is simple... it is up to you. If you are doing it for your own collection, as you are a big fan of the player or the team, then do it. Enjoy it for what it is. If you are doing it as you feel you can make money off the autograph, I would probably not worry.


We at Platinum Standard Grading do see IP signed cards from time to time, and we will certainly grade the card, but at this stage we do not authenticate the autograph. Maybe having the cards slabbed in one of our Personal Collection (PC) slabs is the way to go, protect your card and maybe even have the date you had the card signed on the label too.


Whatever you decide to do, do it because you enjoy it.

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