BBB issues warning to unwary about Michael Jackson memorabilia

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Warning: Prices for pieces of Michael Jackson memorabilia listed on eBay are likely inflated.

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado sent out warning to consumers this morning, advising them that the value of the enormous number of online auction items is largely sentimental and that prices will probably drop.

The warning said that many of the items are mass produced and because the value of collectibles is largely dependent on their rarity, the items are unlikely to appreciate in value.

To help assure authentic purchases, the BBB suggests buyers:

  • Confirm authenticity. Confirming the authenticity of memorabilia is not easy. Autographs can be verified by a third party, but for other items, the collector should ask the seller questions such as how the seller came to own it. If the seller can’t answer simple questions, the collector should walk away.
  • Make purchases with a credit card. Purchase items with a credit card. If the seller’s merchandise turns out to be fraudulent, the consumer can dispute the charge with the credit card company and may be eligible for reimbursement.
  • Purchase 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 the company’s legitimacy. If there isn’t a BBB seal on the site, shoppers can check out the potential seller at www.bbb.org.
  • Don’t be fooled by empty advertising claims. Just because the seller claims that an item is of limited edition, it doesn’t mean 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.