HOUSTON - This upcoming holiday season signed Astros gear is a hot item.
However, buyer beware there’s a lot of fake signatures floating around for sale, but there are ways to make sure an autograph is authentic.
On Wednesday, Astros fans stood in line for hours hoping to get pitcher Lance McCullers’ autograph.
“I think it's really cool that people show up and they want to meet me,” said McCullers, “and I'm excited to meet them.”
Between a World Series win and the holidays, autographed Astros gear is already proving popular is the hot ticket item. However, James Spence, owner of James Spence Authentication, says it’s also a time where buyers get bamboozled.
“As soon as the last out is made forgers get to work,” explained Spence.
JSA is a third party authentication service which makes sure autographs are real.
“We authenticate some 500,000 autographs a year,” said Spence. “We have letters of authenticity that are used in virtually every major auction house in the country.”
For someone whose unable to attend an event where you actually see an item being signed, buying an autographed item online can be a great option. But Spence says you should always ask for a letter of authenticity from JSA or other reputable companies.
The letter includes the item’s picture and description and comes with a type of serial number that’s logged in a national database.
Spence adds that paying via credit card it the only way to go because if an item is fake then that’s the only way a refund is likely possible.
For more information about the authentication process, visit here.
There are two more opportunities to get an Astros autograph before Thanksgiving. Alex Bregman will be at the Academy in Webster on Nov. 16, then Jose Altuve will be at the Katy location on Nov. 20.
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