Autographed Basketballs – How to Spot a Bargain

With so many different ways to purchase autographed basketballs, how can you be sure you’re getting a good deal?

Autograph Price Guides

The most obvious thing to do is to use a price guide.  Some publications provide general pricing on a variety of autographed items, including basketballs. There are even price guides dedicated solely to offering prices on autographed memorabilia.

Price guides such as these should never be viewed as an ‘end all be all’ solution as buyers can command much more or much less than prices listed. But they can offer a rough estimate and give an idea of how much a collectible is worth.

Compare Pricing

If you don’t have access to a price guide, it’s also easy to compare similar items that are being sold. eBay can be a good source for doing this and a quick search for completed items can allow you to see what other buyers have paid for similar items. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that items generally sell for much less on eBay than they would in a local store.  Use the "search by completed items" feature on the left side of the page.

You can also check around the internet to see what other stores are asking for a similar item. There are thousands of sports memorabilia companies online, but a good place to start to find some reputable companies is from advertisements in memorabilia publications. Many of these companies have websites and you can quickly get a good idea of their pricing on similar items.

If you have other local stores in your area selling autographed memorabilia, a good idea would be to check there as well.

Ask Around

You can do this in person or in online communities such as message boards. When at card shows, you can literally be around hundreds of other collectors – all interested in the same thing … sports cards and memorabilia. There’s a good chance that someone there has purchased or sold the same type of item that you might be interested in purchasing.

Use Common Sense

When keeping an eye on an item, use common sense before buying it. If a dealer seems anxious to unload a Michael Jordan signed basketball, constantly lowering the price, be wary. Jordan and other big name players such as Wilt Chamberlain are some of the most forged athletes. Take your time and don’t let a seller pressure you into buying an item. If the price constantly goes down and it isn’t bought by anyone else, there could be a good reason for it.

Bargains should be easy to spot and by doing a bit of research on your own, you can find a good deal when looking for autographed basketballs.

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