A baseball may be in immaculate condition, but the autograph could only be rated a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. The same is true for artifacts that are correctly autographed, although the goods themselves may be in terrible condition. A collector should not expect any item to be in perfect shape.
An autograph is considered "authentic" if it was done so with the intention of selling it. For example, if a player signs an item such as a ball glove or a picture frame and then throws the item into the stands at a game, this would be considered an authentic autograph but not a valuable one because it was not done for the purpose of making money. In other words, it was not a "signing."
The term "ballpark effect" is used to describe the deterioration of items due to wear-and-tear from use by fans. The effects can be seen in many old photographs of sports venues that are now historical landmarks. Some items have been signed by famous players and then put up for auction. If the price these items fetch at auction is based solely on their estimated worth, then collectors would be paying far more than what the items are actually worth. The reason for this is that over time, the signs of age become more apparent, especially if they have been exposed to sunlight or other forms of heat or air conditioning.
According to Altman, "the average price of signed sports memorabilia varies substantially." "Low-end signed goods can sell for as little as $5, while high-end ones can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars." Dealers charge between $25 and $2,500 for signatures over the last 40 years. A few items are worth much more; a signature on a baseball used by all 30 teams is especially valuable.
Goods from famous or popular players are most likely to rise in value. Items with personal notes or messages from players increase in value over time too. For example, an item with Bob Gibson's signature that says "The Good Lord Only Deals With Those Who Want To Be Healed" is now worth around $100,000.
Autographs are a lot like fingerprints: every item is unique. That means even if two items seem identical, they're still going to have different values. The only way to know how much something is worth is to ask someone who knows about such things. If you want to sell your item, it helps if it's listed for sale on eBay or another online marketplace.
The article goes on to say that there are three main types of signatures: early, mid-, and late. Early signatures are before 1970; mid-range ones are from 1970 to 1990; and late ones are after 1990. Obviously, the later the better when it comes to value.
The photo may have corner wear or mild edge wear without severely lowering the value, but any wear or damage that detracts from the image itself will significantly affect the value. Personalized autographs, like baseballs, will reduce the total value.
In typically, autographed 8 x 10 photographs sell for 40-60% of the price of a signed baseball. The proportion will vary depending on the popularity of the player and the rarity of the signature. Larger and more desirable photographs will sell for a higher price. $100-$175.