Denver, CO – June 29th, 2009 – Your Better Business Bureau is warning people to watch out for scammers trying to cash in on Michael Jackson's death."The cause of Michael Jackson's untimely death still needs to be determined, and already people are seeing suspicious and awkwardly written e-mails appear in their inboxes offering supposedly authentic items from the pop singer's life," says Dale Mingilton, President & CEO of your BBB serving Denver/Boulder. "Great care should be taken by anyone who wants to buy Michael Jackson memorabilia at this time."
Your BBB offers the following tips if you are planning to buy memorabilia.
ADVERTISING CLAIMS?Be careful of the contentions by a seller that a collectable item is a “limited edition” collectable. There still could have been thousands or millions made. If there is a large advertising campaign it may be too common an item to increase in value in the future.
IS THE SELLER TRUSTWORTHY?If the seller is a retail operation, look for the BBB seal or check the retailer's rating at www.denver.bbb.org. If it is an individual selling through an online commerce Web site, look at the seller's rating on that site and other people's experience with materials purchased from that person.
HOW RARE IS THE ITEM?Yes, there's a lot of interest in Michael Jackson memorabilia right now. However, is the item truly unique and worthy of its price, or has the price simply been jacked up because of current interest? Look at prices of comparable items associated with other performers.
IS THE ITEM AUTHENTIC?If it appears to be a mass-produced item that you believe has some value, ask if it is licensed. Look for the license tag or other proof of licensing. If it is an autograph or other personal item, the seller should be willing to explain how he or she came in possession of it. Autographs can be verified by a professional third party organization.
PAY WITH A CREDIT CARD?If the item isn't authentic or what you expected, you can always dispute the charge with the credit card company and possibly obtain a refund.
The BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Reliability ReportsTM on businesses and BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM on charities, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 125 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada. Please visit www.denver.bbb.org for more information.