Its Only Rock N Roll.com | Avoid Scams
The goal of this section of our web site is to educate, protect, assist and guide you in your purchases of investment quality memorabilia. Since the invention of money con artists, forgers and counterfeiters have been preying on unsuspecting consumers in a wide variety of forms and ruses. A whole new crop of techniques have been invented and old ones redone for the age of the computer. In many ways the internet is still like the wild west and sometimes you can’t even find the sheriff. New laws have been created to help protect buyers but the advent of the internet made international crime accessible to a whole new generation of crooks. Instantly their pool of potential victims increased to astounding proportions.
Why are we doing this, you might ask? It’s obvious’ we want your business and we want you to be confident in what you purchase from us. What better way to help improve the business environment than to help educate our customers and steer them away from the fakes, forgers and con artist, as best we can.
How can we do that, you might ask? Well, collectively the experts that we rely on and those of us here at It’s Only Rock n Roll have been in this business for a very long time, with many, many years of experience getting screwed in a wide variety of ways and learning from our mistakes, the hard way, at our expense. We know, first hand, that nothing is more upsetting and frustrating than getting ripped off or burned. It stands to reason that if we can help you avoid these same things you’ll learn to trust and buy from us.
While these sorts of things happen in lots of fields we’re going to confine our info to the fields of music and popular culture memorabilia. We’ll break it down into sections and update it as often as is necessary.
THE RULES TO BUY BY
Here are some basic rules to go by to protect your self when buying expensive or investment grade collectibles and memorabilia.
Do your homework! There’s no substitute for research and knowledge. Find out all you can about the item or subject you are buying or collecting. There are many great reference books available on many subjects in this field including price guides, books that help you distinguish the various printings of posters, collectors guides and more. Often these books have chapters or pictures devoted to distinguishing the copies from the real McCOYS. You can also look at auction sites, like eBay, to see if the item is listed from other sellers to learn whatever you can. Also take the time to look at completed auctions to see what the item sold for previously.
Investigate the seller. What is their reputation? If they’re an on-line auction seller, look at their feedback. Not just the number, but look at the actual comments. They may have a high number feedback rating but they may also have a lot of negative comments and you won’t realize unless you look at the actual feedback comments. And ask about their return policy. How they respond and communicate is a good indication of what to expect if there’s a problem after you get your item. Anyone can say that they met so and so on the street or at an event and ‘they signed this I for me’ and COA’s or LOA’s (certificates or letters of authenticity) may only be worth the paper they’re written on.
Ask the experts! We seek out and will refer you to the leading experts in the areas that interest you. These people have dedicated themselves to finding out the truth and trying to protect the integrity of the market place. Theoretically, if everyone stopped buying fakes the crooks would go out of business. While that’s not likely to happen the experts can help you avoid becoming a victim.
Ask questions of the seller before buying or bidding. It’s important to ask questions because sometime the problem is what’s NOT stated, as opposed to what IS stated. If an auction doesn’t describe the items condition, there may be an intentional reason that info was omitted. This is especially important when items are listed as being sold ‘As Is.’ If it doesn’t say that it’s original or authentic you should ask. The seller may know that it s copy but not have said so. If you don’t ask you may buy a cheap reproduction or a counterfeit and have no recourse. Of course, we offer a full money back guarantee on everything we sell. One of the most important and often overlooked questions is that of provenance. Where did they get the item they are selling? How can they support their claims? This is especially important with celebrity owned items, such as clothing or instruments. Does the seller legally own the item being offered? If you buy stolen property you stand to lose both your investment and the item when you try to resell it.
Ask yourself ‘Is this too good to be true?’ If an item is priced so much lower than the real current market value it’s most likely not authentic. Realize that the knowledgeable dealers and experts are out there looking for items to buy for resale, more often more intently than you are. Reputable dealers will pay up to 75% of the price they know they can get when they sell items. In auctions, look at who else is bidding. If a great item, like a set of Beatles autographs that may be worth upwards of $20,000 is sitting at $1000 with no bids, there’s a reason. Don’t buy impulsively. That Buy It Now may be there to tempt you into leaping before you look!