The scamonebay website made a guide about buying signed shirts on Ebay which can help you buy the real deal.
Heres a few facts to follow when buying a signed shirt.They are easy to spot and there are some easy rules to follow when buying a signed shirt.
1. Don't buy of eBay con men (obviously but what are the tell tale signs?)
2. Make sure they can show you photo's of the players signing the shirt
3. Don’t buy off anyone using "private auctions" were you can't see the other bidders identities - this helps them fraud you in two ways, first they can push the price up artificially and secondly its stops quality operators from contacting you and letting you know that its a fake.
4. Don’t buy from anyone that hides their feedback - WHY would a reputable dealer do that - a real dealer’s feedback is his pride and joy and they would NEVER hide it. IGNORE Certificates of Authenticity - they mean nothing and we only make them up ourselves on the computer - the only CoA that is worth anything is if it is on official club paper.
5. Watch out for guys that have only been around for a year but have amassed a very large feedback - it’s a sign that they may have been barred before and come back under a different name! Also watch out for guys that have only been around for about two or three months but are selling shirts very regularly - it's a sign that they have been barred before and have had to start up again from scratch.
4. Don’t buy off guys that JUST have Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Pele, Maradona and Beckham signed stuff - these items are the hardest stuff to get hold of in reality and you wouldn't be selling these on 1 day auctions as you would want as many people to see it as possible and therefore leave the auction running as long as possible and would only get a couple of these a month or in the case of Pele and Maradona twice in a lifetime!
5. Real dealers have more Leyton Orient, Burnley, Charlton, Fulham and Stockport County than the quality stuff as those clubs are easier to obtain and therefore REAL DEALERS will have a big mix of stuff from these clubs and not just the high profile clubs.
6. Many of these guys also use fake shirt bought in bulk from Thai for £5 a go instead of the real shirts the cost £40. That is how they can sell them so cheap and let you think you are getting a bargain. If a real shirt costs £40, the eBay listing and fees cost £15 and timing getting the signatures and writing up the ad's cost £20 that’s a total of £75 before they even make a penny so how can they sell signed shirts for £60 every day? Why would they do it’s unless it was fake? Ask them is the shirt itself official merchandise or is it what they call a "replica" aka FAKE!!! - Alarm bells should start ringing!
7. Ask them where are they based - if they are based in Newcastle and sell an Arsenal and Chelsea shirt every couple of days ask yourself how does he get it, the same goes for a guy in Devon with Manchester United or Liverpool shirts? If a guy is based in London he is more likely to have Millwall, Chelsea, Spurs, Leyton Orient stuff - in Manchester the guys will have Stockport, Blackburn, Preston, Manchester United and City - you get the idea!
8. Don’t just buy a shirt the first day you look at eBay wait at least 4 days and watch what’s going on - its not hard to sniff out the repeat fakers - however most Auntie's and girlfriend stupidly buy the first shirt to end and give a dud away as a present and then leave the guy good feedback without knowing.
9. Nobody likes to think they have bought a fake and these guys faked signatures a pretty good and only a dealer would really be able to tell you if they are fake so be careful.
9. Ask them where and when the shirt was signed, ask them if they got it signed themselves or did someone else do it for get it for them. If they cant tell you where and when - then its a fake, if they say they got it from a "very reputable source within the club" or "a dealer who I have been working with for years and trust" or anyone else bar them THEN ITS A FAKE!!!!
10. MOST IMPORTANTLY don’t buy of guys who sell on one day auctions - they do this so they can sell a fake a day and not look suspicious, if they had ten day auctions and had ten shirts the same on at the same time then that would look too suspect. I can't believe how gullible some bidders are. Don't buy a dud buy an investment. Why not pay a little bit extra on this one instead of buying another shirt that isn’t even worth the cost of the shirt!!!!