Wallingford, CT – July 1, 2009 – Connecticut Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that if they are buying Michael Jackson memorabilia with hopes of it increasing in value over time, they may be disappointed.
Immediately following news of Jackson’s death, entrepreneurs took advantage of demand for various commemorative items honoring the pop star, producing and selling them at inflated prices. Many of these may only be worth their sentimental value, and their prices are expected to drop over time.
Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, says the future resale value of an item depends largely on how rare it is.
“BBB has heard some people are selling Jackson’s autograph and trademark gloves. It may be difficult or impossible to verify the authenticity of such items.”
Other Michael Jackson items being sold include t-shirts, special edition newspapers, posters, and collectibles labeled as “authentic” have been spotted at online auction sites.
Adds Scarpetti, “We have seen similar trends involving commemorative items following the deaths of other high-profile people. If we look back in time, the market once was inundated with mass-produced Beanie Babies priced at $100, but are now being sold at garage sales for a dollar or two.”
Better Business Bureau has some advice for Jackson fans seeking items to honor the King of Pop:
Collectors interested in purchasing pieces that have the potential for substantial appreciation in value should research the value of Michael Jackson-related items before they begin purchasing memorabilia.
Don’t be fooled by empty advertising claims:
Just because the seller claims that the item is of limited edition, it doesn’t mean that there weren’t millions made. If the item is being widely advertised, chances are, it’s too common to actually gain much value over the years.
Confirming the authenticity of memorabilia is rarely easy. Autographs can be verified by a third party, but for other items, the collector should feel free to ask the seller questions about the item, including how the seller came to own it. If the seller can’t answer simple questions, then the collector should walk away.
Make purchases with a credit card:
Consumers should always purchase items with a credit card if they are shopping online. If the seller turns out to be fraudulent, then the consumer can dispute the charge with the credit card company and may be eligible for reimbursement.
Buy items from a reputable seller:
When shopping online stores, collectors should look for the BBB seal on Web sites and click on the seal to confirm its legitimacy. If there isn’t a BBB seal on the site, shoppers should always check with their BBB before they buy at www.bbb.org.