Bedeviling the Reds – How to Spot Fake Man U Signed Shirts and Man U Signed Memorabilia
Faking football memorabilia, thanks to the otherwise empowering Internet, is big, big business. Fans and investors are always looking for signed merchandise linked to English football’s Big Four – and, like anything else, they’re always happy to get it for less than proper price. With the 2009-2010 Premiership season closing on a classic four way race (Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are all still in with a mathematical chance of winning British football’s top silver), Man U signed shirts and Man United signed memorabilia generally are peaking in interest value: which makes now a bumper time of year for the charlatans.
So how does a prospective buyer, be they fan or speculator, spot fake signed Man United shirts? The first clue is in the price. The Internet has made open trade available to everyone – which is great – by letting anyone with something to sell have an effectively free market in which to do it. As a result, the prices of a lot of things (including Man U memorabilia) can appear to be extremely competitive, with vendors vying for buyers’ attentions by slashing their retail on products everybody wants. So far, so good, until one stops to consider that signed Man United shirts, and indeed all Man U signed memorabilia, are rare items.
Rare items command their own prices because people who want them, want them, almost irrespective of the price tag placed on them by sellers. This is particularly true of Man U signed shirts and signed Manchester United memorabilia (and, by extension, of all signed sports memorabilia). It’s not easy to get one professional sports person to sign a shirt or photograph – sports people are busy, willfully secluded from the “real” world (i.e. the general public); and are often being asked to sign gear in the aftermath of an extremely gruelling event. As a result, the signatures of sports persons are rare and concomitantly expensive. Signed Man United shirts, which contain the autographs of not one, but (at a minimum) eleven sports men, will, obviously and logically, be significantly harder to create in quantity than, say, a signed photo of Ryan Giggs. Which means that Manchester United signed shirts carry their own value – a price that reflects the difficulty of getting them signed, and hence the rarity of the item.
The second thing to consider, when trying to spot faked signed Manchester United memorabilia, is the verifiability of its Certificate of Authenticity. There’s a particular type of authentication that buyers should look for. It’s called “in person” authentication, and it means, basically, that the company selling the signed Manchester United shirts, or Man United signed memorabilia in general, has some kind of record of when and where the item was signed, and who was present. A site selling Manchester United signed shirts that claims “in person” authentication on its certificates is much more likely to be genuine.
Manchester United signed shirts, and Manchester United memorabilia of all stripes, are growing in popularity with every passing season. Faking them is naturally keeping pace. Buyers looking to get their hands on Manchester United shirts should exercise basic caution when parting with their cash: who, after all, wants to end up with a worthless fake when they could have the real McCoy?