There's no greater thrill than collecting celebrity autographs, whether it's a a sports, movie, or music star, because it's like bringing a little piece of them into your house that you can frame and put on the wall or the mantle.
Celebrity autographs are the most popular of all among those who collect famous signatures, and there are plenty of people who actually follow stars around for years collecting their autographs on different things. Some people focus on one particular celebrity, or one type such as Broadway actors and actresses, tv stars, or famous athletes and ball players. Others simply collect any and every celebrity autograph they can get their hands on.
Sports autographs are the next most popular after celebrity autographs, but they are also getting harder and harder to get a hold of due to the proliferation of dealers getting multiple autographs to sell rather than actual collectors. However, there are still plenty of athletes who are more than happy to sign a ball or jersey for you if you run into them outside the stadium, and even more people out there who are willing to sell you signed memorabilia for a fee.
A very important thing to remember if you are collecting celebrity autographs is that you should refrain from having them personalize your poster, photo, t-shirt or CD if you are planning on reselling it later. For many fans, the excitement of just getting a piece of memorabilia personalized especially for them is worth more than any resale value, but very few collectors on the secondary market are going to want a piece of memorabilia with someone else's name on it.
Buying and selling autographs can be a very tricky business, but it can also be a profitable one for those who buy and sell them. If you are planning to purchase an autographed piece of sports memorabilia, you should be aware that there are a lot of merchants who are more interested in taking your money than selling you an authentic piece.
It's a good idea when buying any kind of collectible whether it is signed posters or sports autographs to only buy from established dealers who offer certificates of authenticity along with a return policy in case you change your mind or aren't pleased with your purchase.
You might choose to buy your autographs from other collectors, since it seems like it can often be somewhat safer than online auctions, but you always want to be careful since it is extremely easy to forge a signature. Longtime autograph hounds and other fans can often be knowledgeable about how to spot fakes, so it can be a real advantage to take someone who has experience with you when shopping. The Internet can also help with advice via message boards and chat groups, so be sure to do your research before you commit to a purchase.
Celebrity, sports and historical autographs are a great way to collect history, as well as show your devotion to a particular star or player. They are also a lot of fun, and there are whole offline and online clubs devoted to collectors who enjoy getting together and showing off their autographs. In fact there's probably one in your area, so get out there and get to know people. You might even get the chance to add more signatures to your gallery.