Global Authentication went suddenly silent earlier this month after an unsuccessful court battle but a company official believes better days are ahead.
Global Authentication is still in business, despite a disagreement that caused the company to be evicted from its offices in southern California and collectors to speculate on its future.
GAI was out of communication with the collecting community for several days with no public explanation. Executive Vice-President of Authentication Steve Rocchi told Sports Collectors Daily on Tuesday that the eviction came after GAI lost a court battle over its lease.
"Even after we lost the case, we continued to negotiate with the landlord but weren’t able to come to an agreement." Rocchi explained. The resulting eviction forced the firm to scramble for new quarters in two days, while securing thousands of dollars worth of sports cards and memorabilia collectors had submitted for grading and authentication.
"It was very difficult. We hired some people to help us move and our staff also worked to get everything into secured storage that needed to be there. We tried to call everyone and let them know when we expected to get their items back to them."
A little over a week ago, GAI obtained a lease in the same business office complex in San Clemente, California, working with a new landlord.
Rocchi insisted GAI is financially sound and had money to pay the rent on its original office but did not do so because of the dispute. GAI had also been operating without a city business license but Rocchi says that permit has now been obtained. "It was just an oversight. There was no intent to do anything wrong."
Rocchi added the company signed a three-year lease in its current office and currently has ten full-time employees and a number of part-timers working to fulfill submissions of sports cards and autographs. The company is accepting new submissions and is continuing to complete the grading and authentication orders which were sent in prior to the move. "We’ve been processing orders for about a week and a half now," he said.
The company’s website was offline for several days and with phones disconnected, it led to rampant internet speculation that GAI was closing its doors. GAI now has an online presence but Rocchi says the provider has yet to finish implementing what needs to be done to make the site fully functional. "That part is out of our control," he said. "It should be up soon, hopefully within ten days or so."
Rocchi said he attended the Chicago Sun-Times sports card and memorabilia show last weekend, walking the halls of the Stephens Convention Center on his own to meet with dealers, hoping to restore any lost confidence.
"I’ve been in the hobby since 1986 and I hope the reputation we have in the industry will speak for itself. The quality experts we have and the service we offer are second to none. I think the people who have used us before and know that are not going to be reluctant to do so again. That’s my belief. I’ll find out in the next month or so if that’s true."
Rocchi said a news release has been prepared by an outside firm and will be distributed shortly, outlining the company’s future plans and shedding light on its financing.
"We’ve been in business for six years and we plan to be here for a long time to come."
Global Authentication phone # (949) 366-9500