Where to Find Authentication Services for eBay Collectibles
If you are selling (or buying) on eBay, you need a way to authenticate your collectibles. Some companies provide the service of authenticating or authenticating and grading (determining an item’s value based on condition and legitimacy). To have these services performed on items you’d like to sell on eBay, you’ll have to send the actual items to the service and pay a fee.
Following are a few excellent sites for grading coins:
Stamp collectors (or those who have just inherited a collection from Uncle Steve) can get their stamps “expertized” (authenticated) by the American Philatelic Society.
For comic books, Comics Guaranty, LLC (CGC) will seal (enclose in plastic to preserve the quality) and grade your treasured comics.
Sports cards and sports memorabilia have a bunch of authentication services. If you received your autograph or memorabilia directly from the player or team, you can provide personal assurance of its authenticity. Having the item authenticated may or may not get you a higher price at eBay. Try these sites:
Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA): Offers eBay users a discount.
Beckett Grading Services: A respected source of lots of great information.
Sportscards Guaranty: Reviews and grades cards and encapsulates them in tamper-resistant plastic holders.
The best way to find a good authenticator in your field is to search the items at eBay and find the most prominent authenticator listed in the descriptions. For example, note that in the coins area, certain grading services’ coins get higher bids than those from other services. You can also go to an Internet search engine (Google or Yahoo!) and type the keywords coin grading (for coins). You’ll come up with a host of choices; use your good sense to see which one suits your needs.
Remember that not all items need to be officially authenticated. Official authentication does add value to the item, but if you’re an expert on your items, you can comfortably rate them on your own in your auctions. People will know from your description whether you’re a specialist (or at least whether you really know your stuff). Your feedback will also work for you by letting prospective bidders or buyers know that your merchandise from past sales has been top-drawer.