Autographed collectibles, such as a baseball card signed by a player, a film poster signed by an actor, or a figure signed by its designer, are becoming more and more popular. We're on a mission to document every collectible in the world, so we add autographed items to the database as Variants of the standard item.
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Standards and Guidelines for Autographed Items
Volunteer Squad members are to follow these guidelines when adding autographed items to the database:
- Autographed items should be added as a Variant of the original, unsigned item. As of December 2022, autographs are no longer added as Subvariants. Instead, they are added as Variants and displayed in their own section of the item's Variant Group:
- That being said, autographs may have Subvariants of their own. For example, if a Funko Pop figure has official production Subvariants with two different stickers and each of those Subvariants has been autographed, or if there was a limited run of signed items with secondary branding (like the 7BAP Signature Series example below), those autographed items would be grouped as Subvariants. Autographed Subvariant Groups are separate from production Subvariant Groups.
- There should be only one autographed Database Item for each signer of an item. We do not differentiate between the position of the signature, the color of the pen, what is written (inscriptions, personalizations, etc.), grading/encapsulation, or the presence or absence of a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). Those specific attributes can all be recorded when adding an item to a collection.
- Use the word "autographed" instead of "signed" everywhere on the item for consistency.
- Set the Production Status to Autographed only (don't add any additional statuses like Exclusive, Chase, etc.) and enter the name of the person who signed it in the Autographed by field. If the name of the person doesn't show up in the list, create a new Subject for them. The signer should not be listed under Related Subjects.
Follow the guidelines described in the Photos article, but keep in mind these additional specifics for autographs:
- If the packaging is autographed, the Main Photo should be the item in the autographed packaging.
- If the item itself has the autograph, the Main Photo will ideally show the item in front of or next to its packaging, if applicable.
- The Show on Search photo should be a closeup of the signature itself. A cropped copy of the Main Photo is acceptable if a separate closeup isn't available. We plan to add a new Photo Type called Autograph that we can later use for AI to recognize signatures and fakes, but for now the autograph should always be tagged as the Show on Search Photo.
Determining the value of autographed items can be a bit tricky. Follow these guidelines to help us display the most accurate Estimated Value possible:
- Search eBay and other auction houses for completed sales of the same item autographed by the same person. Remember that the position of the signature, the color of the pen, what is written, or the presence or absence of a COA do not affect the eligibility of the sale to be used as a Price Point and all of the standard qualifiers for eBay Price Points do still apply.
- If you purchased the autographed item at a convention or retail store (online or brick and mortar) you can submit proof of purchase to be reviewed by our verification team, and if the team is able to verify the purchase it will be added to the Price Guide.
- If none of the above are available you can enter a Member Estimate as a placeholder. When confirmed sales are added as Price Points in the future they will replace the Member Estimate.
Important note: Prior to October 2022 we allowed convention or retail purchases of autographed items to be added as a Retail Price. Because we now have the Team Verified Sales process in place, no new Retail Prices may be added to autographed items.