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Old 12-21-2017, 11:21 AM
eldon80 eldon80 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Nevada
Posts: 6

Thanks to all who chimed in. Just a quick update for you all. After being rejected as altered stock twice by PSA, I sent the card to SGC. SGC graded 60 first try. I spoke to a representative who told me they noticed a very slight wrinkle in the upper left corner under heavy magnification. I guess I'll never know if this was the reason PSA called-out altered stock.

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Old 12-28-2017, 02:51 PM
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jchcollins jchcollins is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: NC
Posts: 683

The subject of "altered stock" whether it relates to corner rebuilding, erasures, screw-down damage, or any other number of perceptions is one of my largest problems with professional grading. PSA, SGC (to a lesser degree) and Beckett across the board are wildly inconsistent on this issue, and it's not at all uncommon to hear stories of rejected cards being graded by another provider, or by the same TPG the next time around, and that kind of thing.

One of the troubling issues with deeming something "altered" is that in the card collecting hobby - unlike other professional collecting disciplines - intent matters when it comes to assessing damage or wear on a card. If a corner is dinged on this card or a crease exists on that one because well, that's just what happened in that particular card's life - that is fine and the card will be slabbed mid- or lower grade. But if a TPG can prove that the card was intentionally "altered" - whether that is making the corners sharp again, or erasing an errant mark on a border - or something so sinister as Bill Mastro circumcising the fabled T-206 Wagner to make it a mint condition card again - well that is frowned upon and not treated the same in the world of professional grading. (Unless of course you were Bill Mastro and the founders of PSA were totally in bed with you. Something they are rarely called out about today. But I digress...)

My concern for some of these cards that are not famous, overly valuable, or otherwise under a high amount of scrutiny - is how the hell does PSA or any of the others KNOW how some of that damage occurred to cast a judgement on it? Certainly in the case of overly tightened 1980's screw cases - pressed out corners were not something that was done intentionally to damage the card. If you screwed a card down so tight that it cut a corner off that would be one thing, but just because the surface area of the card is a fraction of a millimeter thinner at the corners than it is say in the center of the card (how is that even measured, anyway?) to me is not enough reason to say no, sorry. That's "altered" and therefore not worthy of a numerical grade.

I value the services that TPG's provide and even for myself as a collector of mostly affordable, mid-grade vintage - they help me make decisions when buying cards online that I cannot hold in my hands first. But I also believe there is an aspect of professional grading that is absolutely insane. The difference between a PSA 8 and a 9 is what exactly - to the untrained eye? I can quote you what PSA says the difference is in theory off of their website but that is beside the practical point. What is the difference between a BVG 9.5 Gem Mint and 10 Pristine if you don't look at everything in your life with a 10x jeweler's loop? I can understand that the super high-end of the market for cards and especially vintage cards in these type of grades is more for investors than for true hobbyists. I get that and am fine with it. But I am also troubled by the inconsistency of a company like PSA. Look at a PSA 5 card from the 1950's that was graded this past year and then compare it to a PSA 5 that was slabbed in 2002. Do you think their standards have changed? I do. Also troubling is the fact that you can find examples of truly altered / doctored cards graded and IN normal slabs today if you look hard enough. Just because they are the "pros" does not mean that TPG's are always immune from human error themselves.

I compensate for some of what I mention here by trying to not be too hard myself when pulling mid-grade but still eye-appealing and affordable cards for my collection. I try to be forgiving if I don't know for certain "how" a defect or spot of damage / patina on a card got there - and just chalk it up to history. Grading serves a purpose, but it's also nice that not every piece of vintage cardboard out there has to be hermetically sealed in a plastic tomb. At some point worrying about things like this is what takes the hobby from fun and relaxing to overly scrutinized and stressful.
1950's-70's HOF singles. Pre-war Cubs. Random eBay impulse purchases...

Last edited by jchcollins; 12-28-2017 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:07 PM
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pokerplyr80 pokerplyr80 is offline
je.sse @rnot
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: California
Posts: 2,908

Stories like this are why I'm too scared to play the crack and resubmit game. I'm sure the times it pays off make up for situations like this, but I somehow doubt I'd come out ahead in the long run.
Successful transactions with peter spaeth, don's cards, vwtdi, wolf441, 111gecko, Clydewally, Jim, SPMIDD, MattyC, jmb, botn, E107collector, begsu1013, and a few others.
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:03 PM
MCoxon MCoxon is offline
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 223

Originally Posted by dplath View Post
Send it to SGC. Their customer service is great. If they don't give it a numerical grade they'd be willing to talk to you on the phone as to why.
I think this is good advice.

I just bought a 54 Wilson Franks Feller in BVG 5.5, mainly because I couldn’t find a PSA priced right. When I bought it a few days ago, my plan was to submit to PSA, stillin the BVG holder, requesting a minimum 5 grade; but it may be a good candidate for SGC. I’ve also recently grown to really like their customer service and their slabs.

But to be honest, I fear that one of the earliest posts on this thread is spot on: if you want it in a PSA holder, buy it in a PSA holder

Last edited by MCoxon; 12-28-2017 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:56 AM
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toledo_mudhen toledo_mudhen is offline
Lonnie Nagel
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: South Texas (on the beach)
Posts: 519

Exactly why I have stopped buying vintage in BGS Slabs - Way too many issues when trying to cross to either SGC or PSA. They should really stick to what they know - grading the chrome plated shiny shit.....
Lonnie Nagel

Creator of SetBilder
Vintage Sports Card Software
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:18 AM
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Stampsfan Stampsfan is offline
Bob Davies
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 674

Originally Posted by toledo_mudhen View Post plated shiny shit.....

I think I just picked up a new term in my vocabulary, for new cards. Or CPSS for short.
Successful transactions on Net54 with greenmonster66; Peter_Spaeth; robw1959; Stetson_1883; boxcar18
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1955 topps clemente, altered stock

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