Questions & Answers with RACC Trusted Sellers
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Who are the weirdest celebrities you've met?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
Ezra Miller was odd. Not rude, really nice in fact, but just so eccentric that I really felt I didnt know what he might do or say next. Yasmine Bleeth & Craig Nicholls from "The Vines" because they were both wasted on drugs were varying levels of weird that left sour tastes in the mouths of everyone who met them the times I met them.
Do you think eBay does a good job of policing fake autographs for sale on their marketplace?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
No. Not even remotely. To be honest, I am sure the only time they really get involved & try is if it is enforced by some legal involvement.
What's the rudest thing a celebrity has ever said to you when you asked them to sign?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
Lots of snarky comments, comparing us to leeches, maggots, scum etc. But no specific comment I can think of that stands out so much that I can say "yeah, that comment was the worst".
Who has turned you down for an autograph more times than anyone?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
Probably some hockey player. Honestly, theres been a few over the years who have denied me more often than they have signed for me. But which one might have denied me the most?? Really hard to guess. As for actors, I think Neil Patrick Harris, Melissa Benoist, K.J. Apa or Allison Mack would have to be near the top of the list.
What is your opinion of Third-Party Authentication (such as PSA, JSA, BAS) overall?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
Overall, not favourable. Do I think they are better than random COAs from random people? Yes, without question. But I still think they get anywhere from 20 to 50% of their guesses wrong, depending on the genre of stuff they are looking at. It frustrates me that so many who just dont know put so much faith into their opinions being fact based when all they are in the end are just "better than average guesses".
If someone wanted to pay you Cash for every single autograph you own and you only had 60 seconds to give a price, what would it be?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
I would freeze up and just shrug as I watch time slip away. I over think questions like that too much, so that time constraint wouldnt work for me, and I would surely not have an answer before the clock ran out.
How do you know the time/location of where to catch the celebrities? If there are reliable websites that share such info can you please point to a few, thanks!Submitted by: Mohamad
Just years of learning the habits and places to be.
You can glean some info off of twitter sometimes if you know what to search & who to follow. But for the most part, it really just comes down to experience, and a little common sense.
Who is the one famous person you wish you could have met but never did?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
Man, like 15-20 names went through my head in a short time trying to think this over. I am going to go with Humphrey Bogart. Having died 16 years before I was even born really limits my chances for an encounter. Casablanca is 1 of my top 5 favorite films, so he would have been high on my list for that. Many of the others I thought of there was AT LEAST a chance I could have met I guess. But he is one that there was simply no chance of it happening.
Which celebs would you say are most UNLIKE their famous persona?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
Reece Witherspoon is far & away the most unlike what she tries to sell in interviews & photos. Miserable to the core, but put a red carpet in front of her and some cameras, and all of a sudden shes smiles and bubbly.
How long have you been an in person autograph seeker?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
Close to 40 years I have been getting autographs. With the intention of selling, close to 30 years.
Which actresses are the nicest?Submitted by: Michael Betlinski
I have a large list of nicest & least nice on my site here https://canadagraphs.weebly.com/my-best-and-worst-lists.html
As for actresses specifically, I think Olivia Munn, Ginnifer Goodwin, Riley Keough really stand out of the ones I have encountered.
I heard some celebs ask trivia questions before they will sign. Have you experienced this and, if so, what happened?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
I have been asked. But I dont recall the outcome because it was so long ago. Havent had that happen since I cut down on the amount of music acts I go for.
Why do some celebs refuse to sign autographs with blue markers?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
Because thats what they have been told by handlers is what "sellers" use. Even though the reality is, sellers will take almost any pen colour long as it works, and collectors are usually more picky about what colour something is in. Its a myth thats been around for a couple decades, and really started because a lot of blue pens were being used when Sharpies were the monopoly on graphing pens, and blue was popular because black would fade over time. As time went on, everyone realized blue looks sharper against most colours, and continued to use them as the preferred colour, but handlers of celebs got it in their mind that "dealers" only used blue since most of the items they saw for sale were in blue... despite the fact most items in private collections were also in blue. Now that black doesnt fade the same any more, most of the time, sellers will take an item in black without even caring... yet the handlers still think blue matters in some way... when really the only way it matters is in looking nicer against more colour backgrounds, which collectors prefer just as much, if not more than sellers.
Do you ever butter up celebs with gifts and compliments?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
Compliments like "I really liked movie/show/character"? Sure. But like "oh boy, you look good today." no.
As for gifts, not too much. Outside of giving the occasional player a card they havent seen, rarely has that been a thing that seems logical to me.
Have you ever asked a celebrity to sign their full name? What happened?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
Yes. Many times, although not as often any more. More often than not, they obliged. I have found as the times have changed, most celebs just dont care about their signature, and if you ask them now to do it, they look at you like you insulted them, so I have stopped trying it, but in the early days of graphing I did it a lot, and most of the time, had success.
What is the biggest misconceptions when it comes to people that sell autographs?Submitted by: David Durocher
Oh boy, where to start. Big one is that we are all like what people see on youtube or TMZ as the worst examples of us. They never notice the casual calm encounters, just when there is someone going over an acceptable line. Thats the only image they remember. We have this reputation of being disrespectful and ruthless, and while I have met some like that, the majority are just normal, and courteous. But, that is rarely the image portrayed by people that talk about autograph dealers, even though they are the majority.
What tips would you offer for someone who wants to get started collecting in person autographs?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
It is hard to say. It really depends the type of situations you will be graphing in. If you are more likely to be alone, or more likely to be part of a large crowd, advice might vary. Might even vary from city to city, depending what graphers on that town are like.
Do you keep any of the autographs you obtain for yourself?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
As the years go on, I am constantly adding & taking items out over time if I get bored of them. The majority of my autograph collection is signed cards, but I do have a small selection of signed photos I keep, and some larger items.
How do you avoid having a celebrity personalize the autographs?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
I start off if I know they are a personalizer, by trying to keep them talking about something else first.... but if they insist, I just suck it up, and accept they will personalize. It used to be a huge problem back in the day, but with so many ways people have come up with to take personalizations off, its a mild inconvenience most of the time, so I just dont panic too much about it now like I would have in the 90s.
How do you respond when a celebrity assumes you're an eBay dealer?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
More often than not now, I just tell them, I dont sell on ebay, but I do sell some stuff. I dont admit to running a complete business based off of it, but I admit that some items I get I sell to pay for the time & travel I put into getting them. It rubs some the wrong way, but most of the time, the entertainers seem satisfied with this answer.
How do you keep organized with 100s of photos when you're out graphing?Submitted by: Chris Michaels
But in all seriousness, it depends on the event. Usually there is some sort of order they should be in, whether by cast, or by name. Even with the best planned system in place, I still find myself constantly at some moment going "where is person X?" in my folder of items. I've never quite come up with a foolproof system.
What is the biggest changes in the autograph scene since you first started?Submitted by: David Durocher
People take the equipment they use more seriously. When I started there was like 2 types of pens used, now, theres like 10, and everyone has different situations they feel each one works best in etc. How items are displayed has changed a lot too, in the early days it was just "hand the item to the person to sign on something rigid". Now theres specific boards, with little ways to hold the item on it etc custom made to the sizes of the items. Obviously the competitiveness as dealers now outnumber casual collectors, and worst change, how little this generations athletes seem to care about fans.
What is the most autographs you've ever obtained from one person during a single occasion?Submitted by: Justin Steffman
There were a couple times with some hockey players I got like 30-40 from them on cards. For larger items, Sam Worthington I think, 14.
Who was your first autograph?Submitted by: Nick Maas
Hard to say, because my mom used to bring me out to meet hockey players when I was a young kid.
The first ones I remember getting once I started doing this as a hobby/business in my teens was Guy Lafleur at a signing he was doing at a mall.... then days later I started going down to the rink to get players to sign stuff to trade at school.
What was your greatest autograph success?Submitted by: Adam Halloran
Paul McCartney, just because of the circumstances that surrounded it.
I woke up that day having no plans of going for him, but another grapher asked me if I wanted to go try for him in another City while we were out for a hockey team, and we werent having much luck with the team we were graphing at the time, so I said sure, and we left.
We got to Seattle 3 hours later to find out the event he was at had literally thousands of people already lined up for it. After checking around the mall it was at, we stumbled into Eddie Vedder there, and my friend, a huge fan of Pearl Jam had several CDs in the car, so we got those signed by him, and got a photo with him, before deciding our best chance at Sir Paul might be elsewhere, so we headed to the private terminal, and found his plane just moments before he arrived. He rolled down his window, signed for us and 3 other people that found it too. Crazy to think that day started by getting turned down y a hockey player whos autograph is literally worth a $1, then get Paul McCartney a few hours later.
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA