Buyer Beware: Contenders Inscriptions Raising Eyebrows
By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor
Since going live, 2010 Contenders Football has hit the secondary market with anticipated excitement and commotion. The on-card autographs from this set are among the most hotly pursued rookie signatures of the season, but some — featuring inscriptions — seem to be raising a few eyebrows as of late.
Eager to get their hands on specially-signed cards, some collectors have recently paid premium prices for a few extra words from their favorite players. While this isn’t an uncommon phenomenon, buyers should proceed with caution before breaking the bank on anything exceeding the cursive.
For instance, a Tim Tebow with ‘Go Broncos’ below his signature recently sold for $600 on eBay.
“I don’t question whether or not Tebow wrote the inscription but keep in mind that anyone with a blue sharpie and a little creativity can write nearly anything they want above or below a player’s signature and try to pass that off as an inscription,” said Beckett Sports Data Publishing Manager Dan Hitt
“It is very unlikely that we would catalog these inscriptions as variations since they are not authenticated in any sort of way,” he said. “Panini is sure to release a list of the inscriptions at some point, but this doesn’t necessarily prevent future forgery.”
While the manufacturer’s word could discredit fraudulent inscriptions currently floating throughout the market, forgers would then have the exact phrases for potential scamming.
Unfortunately for the hobby, where there is altruism, there is the opposite.
Noting a sense of cautious collector awareness, Hitt added, “It’s fun to see some of the inscriptions and phrases that the player’s find important to them but, historically speaking, very few of these have held up long term at premium price levels due to the opportunity for fraud.”