I've sometimes wondered if, by getting a book personalized to me by an author, I was decreasing its value. Older first editions, even those considered "modern," have a tendency to go up in value over the years and I suspect that buyers don't want books with my name written in them - even by the book's author. But I don't intend to ever sell my books, especially the signed ones, so the point is moot.
But there are lowlifes out there willing to sell anything someone else is willing to buy, faked autographs included. Take a look at this KYW Newsradio blurb about one such creep:
According to Dubnoff, Smith bought first-edition books by such authors at Truman Capote, James Michener, Norman Mailer, Tom Clancy, Tom Wolfe and others, forged their signatures, and then sold them at inflated prices on Ebay.I ran into this kind of thing years ago with baseball cards, programs, and the like. In the 1980s, I was an officer in the official Houston Astros fan group and had easy access to both the visiting and home players. Over the period of about six years, I snagged a few hundred autographs from players, managers and coaches, and I still have every single one of them. When I compare some of the ones I gathered in person to those I see on the internet market, I have to laugh. So many of those shown for sale on the net are such obvious fakes that I can't imagine ever wanting to acquire an autograph through that channel.
For example, Dubnoff says, Smith bought Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire for $46:
"He sold that same book, this time with a forged signature by Anne Rice in the book, for $566. So his profit was more than 500 dollars on this one book."
Dubnoff says Smith used two different Ebay accounts...
It's a "Buyer, Beware" world. Be careful out there.