Collecting authentic signed Australian Rules trading cards is an easy way for fans to make their love of football tangible. Getting a signature from a favourite player in person isn’t always practical, so many collectors search for signed cards from other collectors or professional resellers. While many of these AFL trading cards cards are authentic, buyers should evaluate each trading card carefully to avoid purchasing a forged card.
Seven Tips for Choosing Authentic Cards
While dedicated forgers can fool professional authenticators, amateur collectors can still eliminate many counterfeit cards by following a few basic rules.
Verify Authentic Australian Trading Card Signatures
Collectors searching for signed cards should compare the signature on the card for sale with other images of the player’s signature. Prospective buyers can look online for images of a player’s signature that have been authenticated. By comparing several images with the signature on the card for sale, collectors can decide if the signatures came from the same person.
Check the Card’s Dimensions
Counterfeit cards often have slightly inaccurate dimensions. A card that is even a few millimetres too wide or too narrow could be inauthentic. Collectors who buy cards online should ask for the card’s exact measurements.
Examine Flaws Carefully
Many inauthentic cards are scans of authentic player’s trading cards. To make sure that they are purchasing the original card and not a copy, buyers should make sure that the surface of the card matches any imperfections in the image. A crease, for example, should be able to be felt on the surface of the card, as well as seen.
Talk to Other Fans
More experienced fans will be able to help new collectors distinguish between authentic and forged cards. Many AFL trading cards have distinguishing marks and other characteristics to differentiate between forged and authentic cards. Buyers should ask other fans and Internet forums for tips they use to find real cards.
Avoid Suspiciously Inexpensive Cards
Cards that are priced significantly below their market value are often fakes. Before purchasing a trading card, collectors should know the approximate market price for that item.
Consider the Reputation of the Seller
Reputable brick and mortar memorabilia shops will try to avoid selling forged cards. Likewise, reputable online sellers with good reviews will also be less likely to knowingly sell a forged card.
Ask About the Card’s Provenance
Sometimes the easiest way to identify an authentic card is to talk to the seller. Collectors should ask the seller when they got the card signed or where they purchased the card. Implausible stories about the card’s origins are an indication that the seller may be dishonest.
Purchasing Official Select Australia Trading Cards
Select Australia began offering officially licensed signed AFL trading cards in 1993. In 1994, Grant Copley, the managing director of Select, also added his signature to the back of each card to guarantee the authenticity. Below the signature of the player, text reads “This is an authentic Select Signature Card signed by [the name of the player].”
Each official Select trading card has a unique number. Official cards are also sold in a limited run. Select does not sell single cards directly to individuals. Instead, interested buyers should look for Select Australia cards from online sellers, dealers, and at card fairs.
Buying an Authentic Australian Rules Trading Card on eBay
Collectors should should look in the AFL, Australian Rules category for AFL trading card albums, individual cards, and other memorabilia. To find the right category, buyers should click on the “Shop by categories” link and select the “See All Categories” option. The buyer can then select the AFL category, which is located in the Sporting Goods section. He or she can click on the Trading Card category, or browse the clothing, merchandise, and other items for sale in the larger AFL category.
Before purchasing any cards, buyers should contact the seller to clarify any potential questions. Collectors should also look at the feedback rating of the seller. A reputable seller with excellent feedback and a long history on eBay is less likely to have forged AFL memorabilia for sale. Buyers should also consider using PayPal to purchase the card, so they can benefit from additional buyer protections.
When the card arrives, the buyers should carefully examine it. If the card does not match the description, the buyer can contact the seller directly to arrange a return or other agreement. Of course, if an agreement cannot be reached, the buyer can open a case against the seller in the Resolution Centre.
Buying AFL trading cards can be an enjoyable way to celebrate a beloved sport, but buyers should use caution when purchasing new cards to avoid forged signatures and inauthentic cards. By carefully evaluating the card and the card’s seller, collectors should be able to identify obvious fakes.