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How Much Are My Autographs Worth?

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How much is my autograph worth, and do you buy autographs?

How much are my autographs worth? This is a question we get asked on a daily basis, and it’s not an easy one to answer as it can depend so much on so many different things.

• Whose signature is it?

• How rare is that signature?

• How good is the signature?

• What is the demand for that signature?

• What is it signed on?

• Is it dedicated?

• What condition is it in?

Let’s take a look at each of these separately by starting with whose signature it is.

Some people are very well known and may have been great signers in their day, they may well have been household names, but what did they achieve and were they known the world over? Many of the names we see in old autograph books were certainly well known in their day, and may well have been household names, but were they known the world over? Max Bygraves and Tommy Trinder were certainly household names here in the UK, but virtually unknown anywhere else, appearing mainly on TV and Radio, which greatly diminishes their value, with today’s value being only a few £’s

Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne on the other hand were also household names, but were known the world over and made films that are still shown today, and as a consequence are worth a great deal more.

Then again, names such as Jonas Salk and Nikola Tesla are not well known at all, but because they contributed to the world in a different way, can be worth hundreds of £’s. If you don’t know either of these two names, then perhaps you should consult Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as they will certainly know!

Which brings us on to rarity value. Max and Tommy were both great signers as they often appeared in theatre around the country, so their signatures are common. Marilyn and John Wayne were the opposite, mainly appearing in films with much fewer in the way of public appearances. This then makes their signatures much rarer, and because of their world wide success and their films still being shown today, their values are much higher.

How good is the signature? Some people have more than one signature, others have a signature that never varies at all. Many modern day stars often scribble anything at all just to satisfy the demand, whilst others will take a little time to create something memorable when adding their autograph to your book or photo. The better the signature, the more it will be worth, and its worth remembering this when collecting in person and can sometimes be worth asking the signer to add something to it, his world record time, or his favourite film title etc.

What is the autograph signed on? For obvious reasons a large format quality photograph taken by a famous photographer and signed by the star, will command a much higher price than a quick signature scribbled on the back of a cigarette packet! But at the same time, just because a signature is on something unusual may make it rarer, but not always more valuable, which reminds me of a Tommy Cooper* sketch which goes something like this… “I went up into the attic the other day and found a Stradivarius and a Rembrandt. Unfortunately Stradivarius was a terrible painter and Rembrandt made lousy violins” So do you really want a Violin signed by Rembrandt or a painting signed by Stradivarius? Just because it’s on something unusual, may well make it rare, but that does not always make it more valuable, but swap those signatures around and suddenly you’re a very rich man!

What is the demand? The signature could be rare undedicated and on a perfect condition photo of the person who has signed it, but unless you can find someone who collects autographs of Monumental Masons of the 19th century, you are not going to get much profit on it!

Dedication? A dedication is when the item is signed to someone ‘To John, all my love Marilyn’ and in almost every case, this will be worth less than one which is undedicated. Unless of course it’s on a photo of Marilyn Monroe!

Condition? Well obviously the better the condition of the item, the more value it has. It’s not uncommon to see signatures that have faded away due to the effects of the sun (UV light, and you can find out more about this in my ‘storage guides’) or photographs which have been trimmed down to fit a frame (never trim any item!).

In addition, one mans definition of perfect, is another man’s not worth adding to the collection! Whist many sellers will also use the word ‘rare’ to describe the most common of autographs, and ‘valuable’ to create the illusion that the item is worth much more than it really is.

*For those of you who are outside of the UK, Tommy Cooper was a very well known TV and stage comedy magician. He was the kind of performer who only had to walk on stage to get a laugh, and you really have to see his comedy to understand it, as simply reading that line about the Stradivarius and the Rembrandt is not that funny on its own, but put it in the hands of a natural funny talent such as Tommy and its comedy gold. You can find plenty about Tommy on the web, or simply ask any Englishman over the age of about 45 to do an impression of Tommy and you will instantly bring a smile to their face, as Tommy was a one off and could make just about anyone laugh without even telling a joke.

Sadly, Tommy died on stage live on peak time TV in 1984.

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How Do You Produce Original Articles?

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By now, you understand the importance of originality in article writing. As a student, you’ve probably been informed of the consequences of plagiarism and how it is wrong to copy off of others without giving credit to the original author. But original article writing is different where you should refrain from using material already present in another article. This is so that your viewpoints can come across as authentic and so that you can establish credibility as an author. But how can you develop original viewpoints and information?

#1: Look For Inspirations, Both From Your Personal Life And Professional Life

Often the best viewpoints are those that are inspired by your own life experiences, whether they be personal or professional. To give a good example, I wrote an article about how heart and soul are important in a business’s success. My inspiration for that article came from helping my sister put together candy lei’s for my nephew’s birthday party. As I was putting the lei’s together, I felt a fullness inside my soul. That became my inspiration for writing about why success is more than just about sales and production.

Inspirations come from many places. You might look at a current article and want to expand on a certain point that someone touched on earlier. Something may happen to you that gives you something to write about. Sometimes, it may just come to you in the middle of the night. What is important is that you find that inspiration because it will help you produce original articles.

#2: Even If You Use An Already Taken Viewpoint, Your Explanation Of It Can Be Original

Often times, it’s not the viewpoints, but the explanation itself that may be of intrigue to the reader. For example, if you are writing about different aspects of search engine optimization, and you are writing about not buying backlinks, you could do more than offer a simple explanation of why this practice doesn’t work. You could tell a story about someone you know who was caught doing this or take some time and talk about what has happened to those who were caught. Even if it well accepted among the SEO community that purchasing backlinks is bad practice, readers would be intrigued to hear your story since it is your personal story about someone who did this practice and/or was caught for it.

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How Do You Leverage Customer Service?

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Excellent customer service is a fundamental aspect of the daily operations of any company that wants to grow. Today, dissatisfied customers can use social media to vent their frustrations about a poor customer service experience.

A satisfied client will return and they’ll refer your business to family, friends and strangers alike. So it’s the duty of customer support agents to offer a positive customer experience.

An effective customer service system provides multiple channels for consumers to contact your business and get their needs met. Understanding your client base will help you know which of the following customer service channels you can leverage to create customer loyalty and grow your business.

1. Self-Service Knowledge Base

Some clients are comfortable getting their queries answered by searching through a self-service knowledge base. These clients want to have easy access to information and a quick answer to their questions. Having a well-organized knowledge base with rich descriptions, images, videos, and instructions makes sure they get their answers immediately. This channel is good for your company because it doesn’t need a lot of investment.

A knowledge base helps customers to access general information, but it may lack information that addresses unique situations. Keep information up to date as the business policies and procedures evolve. Regardless of these concerns, a well-conceived knowledge base makes sure your customer support staff have time to address customer concerns which the knowledge base can’t handle.

2. Social Media Support

Today, most businesses have a social media presence. And customers nowadays use a business’s social media account to get the product- and service-related information, to ask questions, and to complain. These accounts need a committed social media manager to address your customer’s concerns.

Customers use social media to complain about poor experiences they’ve had with a product or service. But you can turn this into a positive for both your business and your customers by addressing their issues with diplomacy and honesty. This will help them see you care about them and you’re willing to resolve their issues.

3. Live Chat Support

Live chat is the best choice for customers who want to speak to a person to resolve their issues; this is good for those clients who don’t want to use email. Based on your live chat hours of operation, a client can get immediate support even while they’re in the middle of making a purchase.

Research shows that 73% of clients who use live chat are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the experience. So this is an effective way to increase your sales.

For this system to work well, your live chat agents must have excellent communication skills and they should be able to handle multiple inquiries during peak periods. Also, you must provide your customers with an alternative channel when live chat isn’t available.

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How Do You Know If You’re Doing The RIGHT Thing?

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Each of us, at some – point, wonders, if/ what, we are doing, and seek, is, actually, the RIGHT thing! This, usually, requires, a willingness, to give oneself, a check – up, from the neck – up, and examine, our motives/ motivations, and reasoning/ rationale, in an objective, introspective manner, and a truly, open – mind! Most people want to believe, they are doing so, but, it is normal, to, at – times, question our motives, and actions/ behavior! If/ when, we feel, confident, in our perspectives, etc. we become, more comfortable, and ready, willing, and able, to expand those, self – imposed, limitations, of our personal comfort zone! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters!

1. Truthful; timely; time – tested: It never pays, or benefits you, to lie, to yourself! We benefit, when/ if, we proceed, in a truthful, realistic way, and are willing to recognize, both, our personal strengths, and weaknesses! One must learn to use areas of strength, while being ready, and willing, to address, every area of weakness, and/ or, potential weaknesses! Procrastination, is, almost, always, our enemy, so it is important to proceed, using, well – considered, timely actions, etc! The best scenario is, when, this approach, aligns, with taking advantage of time – tested, knowledge, experience, and expertise, to be, both, ready, and able, to gain the necessary degree of wisdom and judgment!

2. Humane; head/ heart; healing; honest: We benefit, when we are honest, with ourselves! We must, consistently, pursue, humane treatment, of ourselves, as we would consider, the way, we should treat others! It takes using the finest aspects of, both, our emotional, and logical components, to proceed, in a head/ heart balance! When, our priority, is, to maximize, our personal healing, and health, we benefit, significantly!

3. Integrity; insights; implications; ideas; imagination; innovate: Try, not to, lie – to – yourself, and maintain absolute integrity, even, when, another path, may be simpler! The insights, you gain, have significant implications, in, how, you proceed! It takes quality, relevant ideas, combined with a meaningful, well – considered, imagination, to make us feel, confident, when we innovate, as needed!

4. Needs; nerve: Know your needs, goals, perceptions, priorities, and personal reasons/ rationale, and, then, have the nerve, to take the actions, which provide you, with the finest options, and opportunities!

5. Good/ great; generate goodwill; growth: The better, you develop, your personal growth, and seek better – than good (but, demand, great/ excellence), the more, you will feel, good, about your decision – making abilities, and talents, and proceed, with finer, personal, goodwill!

If, you know, and feel comfortable, you will do the RIGHT thing, your life, will, generally, be less stressful, etc! Are you up to the tasks?

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