It was a tragic day on June 25th when Michael Jackson, popularly known as the King of Pop died. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a surge in demand from fans and speculators alike, keen to purchase Michael Jackson memorabilia and effectively own a piece of music history.
Without wanting to sound too morbid, the value of signed pictures and other items often goes up at this time. A day after the death of Evil Knievel, a signed framed photograph almost doubled in price. Sadly, this also means opportunists can cash in, claiming authenticity.
The first thing is to check who is selling the piece. Many internet auction sites have reputation ratings, giving you a good guide as to who can be trusted to deliver the goods. Another key thing is to check for authenticity watermarks from a trusted source, for example ABTAL.
The surprising thing is that although Michael Jackson was quite reclusive in his later years, whenever he did make an appearance he would usually sign for his fans. In recent times, many celebrities have strictly stuck to dedicated autographs or only signing for trusted dealers, as people will often resell these online for profit. This is why for example a signature by Lewis Hamilton will be considerably more expensive than Tom Cruise.
Another thing to look out for what are known as cut signatures. This is when somebody takes a signature from another source, like a dedicated message or letter and sells it as a separate piece. A reputable dealer should tell you whether or not an item is a cut signature.
This is of course not the only form of memorabilia available. There are everything from tour programs to rare 7 and 12 inch vinyl's. It is worth noting different items can be described as limited edition or rare. Limited edition products are often mass manufactured, albeit with a different label. Genuinely rare pieces tend to be made for specific purposes.
Oddly enough, there is a growing trend for misspelled or test pieces. Because these are usually recalled early this means there are less of them out there, thus increasing the value.
For example, there is a difference between the original Thriller and the twenty fifth anniversary reissue. You may also get exclusive picture discs, such as the Pepsi sleeve for Bad.
In any case, before purchasing pay good attention to how someone describes the condition of their goods. If you are looking to buy memorabilia as an investment, the better the condition will mean better investment value in the future.
This does assume that you are looking to invest in something as a physical item. In some cases, the value may be more sentimental, such as the tickets people received when Michael Jackson was due to play the This Is It gig at the O2 arena in London. Tour programs and limited edition album covers are a great way of showing off your favorite music. In short, you should look for the items that you have a personal connection to and would be proud to display.