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  #1  
Old 01-30-2019, 01:25 AM
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Default Grading Has Clouded Our Minds...

Here are six different PSA graded 1961 high numbered #554 Pirates Team cards from ebay...

1961pirates554.jpg

All other things being equal, they are pretty similar to each other in the fact that they are all pretty far off-centered, nearly hitting the bottom border (except for card #1 which instead nearly hits the top), and having a large amount of white space on the right side. Rule of thumb says a PSA 8 OC (with some exceptions, of course) would be/could be called a straight PSA 6 if the submitter asked for no qualifiers. I have no idea if the sixes here were regularly PSA graded cards that received 6's or if they were, in fact, 8 OC's that got 'demoted.'

If centering isn't a big factor with you, I'm pretty sure each of these cards would be close enough that any one of them would fit into your collection or 1961 set. But...and it's a BIG BUT...only one of these six cards has a qualifier on the label, the last one. In all fairness, it is a hair closer to the edge than the others. On the positive side, its number grade is the highest of the lot. So let's look at the ask prices. Would you take...
the first card (PSA 6) for $125
the second card (PSA 7) for $185
the third card (PSA 6) for $145
the fourth card (PSA 7) for $79.99
the fifth card (PSA 6) for $110
...or the sixth card (PSA 8 OC), the only one with a qualifier, for a measly $30?????????

Some people need everything perfectly centered, and that's fine, but for the rest of us, does the very minor difference in centering on the card with the qualifier make you consider paying a ton more (up to six times as much) for a card with a lower number grade, simply because it doesn't have The Scarlet Letters OC on the slab?????

I happily jumped on card #6.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:36 AM
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Without question I would take the PSA 8. I do not consider "OC" as a major factor on vintage (especially from 60s and back). Main detractors for me are corners, creases and spots. I want the card to look as close as possible to how it was coming out of the pack. **I do draw the line at "MC".

Card would happily come out of the slab and go into it's spot in my binder.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2019, 07:30 AM
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Are these BIN asks? Or Dean's prices?

The last straight 6 went for $32

https://www.psacard.com/auctionprice...uction/2291503

To me I look at a 8OC as a 6, so it's not out of line.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvor View Post
Are these BIN asks? Or Dean's prices?

The last straight 6 went for $32

https://www.psacard.com/auctionprice...uction/2291503

To me I look at a 8OC as a 6, so it's not out of line.
I have found that an accurate method for determining "real market" value is to take a "Dean's" price and divide by 4.
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:15 PM
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I used the cards I did in the example because they all looked very similar to each other (with one side coming close to touching the border). On a side note, if I was buying a PSA 6, I would have grabbed one that had decent centering. My point was that all of the cards shown were nearly identical, but none had qualifiers (although they all 'deserved' them) except for the one that was listed for only a fraction of the price of the others...and it had a higher overall number, too, a frickin' 8!!! I don't think there's any doubt that the OC qualifier alone sent that card's price to the basement.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyElm View Post
I used the cards I did in the example because they all looked very similar to each other (with one side coming close to touching the border). On a side note, if I was buying a PSA 6, I would have grabbed one that had decent centering. My point was that all of the cards shown were nearly identical, but none had qualifiers (although they all 'deserved' them) except for the one that was listed for only a fraction of the price of the others...and it had a higher overall number, too, a frickin' 8!!! I don't think there's any doubt that the OC qualifier alone sent that card's price to the basement.

I assume you know (and maybe this is the point you're making), but an 8(OC) is the exact same grade as a 6 that is off center. When you submit to PSA you just check the "No Qualifier" box and your card is two numerical grades lower.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:09 PM
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Um...that is why I specifically said, "Rule of thumb says a PSA 8 OC (with some exceptions, of course) would be/could be called a straight PSA 6 if the submitter asked for no qualifiers."
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:14 PM
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Darren, with the thread title I though it would be about how you recently got into graded cards.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2019, 08:39 PM
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I do agree with the thread title.
It seems that everyone is so focused on getting their beautiful vintage cards in plastic and for someone, somewhere, to put a number on the card to say how nice it is. I always have and always will appreciate that feel of cardboard in my hand while enjoying my hobby and the memories from my childhood.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:51 PM
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How about which one does your eye like the best? I think, based only on what I can see from the small photos, that card 1 would be my pick.
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2019, 09:21 PM
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I am definitely a relatively new convert to the graded world. When I saw what ebay prices were for ungraded cards as compared to their graded counterparts, the switch was made. Why pay $25 for an ungraded card that looks pretty decent, when I can find a PSA 8 for only a little more?? This gives me peace of mind and allows me to have a good idea of what I can sell the card for if the need arose.

It's unfortunate that the TPG's handle 'problems' so weirdly, though. If a card is an 8 and is OC, just call it what it is, PSA 8 OC. Why give the option of making it a straight 6???? It's the same off-centered card. It would've been marvelous if all graded cards were given the suitable qualifiers they deserved (everyone who grew up collecting cards before the 1990's/2000's knew that centering and quality control was not Topps' strong point) from the very beginning. No tweaking things. That would have made cards without qualifiers even more desirable, because no funny business would be involved. A PSA 7 would truly be a PSA 7, and not a PSA 9 OC that was sent in to be graded 'without qualifiers,' for example (I know, I know, you can see the centering with your own eyes, but that's besides the point). Unfortunately, it's too late to unring the grading bell.
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2019, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmopar View Post
How about which one does your eye like the best? I think, based only on what I can see from the small photos, that card 1 would be my pick.
For my eye, card #4 would probably be the best of the OC's. And it has/had the added benefit of being the lowest priced of all except for the vaunted #6.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyElm View Post
I am definitely a relatively new convert to the graded world. When I saw what ebay prices were for ungraded cards as compared to their graded counterparts, the switch was made. Why pay $25 for an ungraded card that looks pretty decent, when I can find a PSA 8 for only a little more?? This gives me peace of mind and allows me to have a good idea of what I can sell the card for if the need arose.

It's unfortunate that the TPG's handle 'problems' so weirdly, though. If a card is an 8 and is OC, just call it what it is, PSA 8 OC. Why give the option of making it a straight 6???? It's the same off-centered card. It would've been marvelous if all graded cards were given the suitable qualifiers they deserved (everyone who grew up collecting cards before the 1990's/2000's knew that centering and quality control was not Topps' strong point) from the very beginning. No tweaking things. That would have made cards without qualifiers even more desirable, because no funny business would be involved. A PSA 7 would truly be a PSA 7, and not a PSA 9 OC that was sent in to be graded 'without qualifiers,' for example (I know, I know, you can see the centering with your own eyes, but that's besides the point). Unfortunately, it's too late to unring the grading bell.
I agree with you. If I ruled the world, the centering qualifer would not be optional. Like for MC, if the card is OC you get it no matter what. This would be helpful in determining more with situations like today sometimes and you can't tell which cards are a PSA 5 because they have 5 corners and surface attributes, and which ones are really 7's but got a 5 because the centering was too poor and they requested no qualifier. There almost should be the inverse of the "OC" qualifier and call it the "ONLY" centering qualifier. This card is a PSA 6, ONLY because of the centering. Otherwise it's an 8 all day long...that would be fun to look at on a slab. PSA 6 EX-MT (ONLY) :-)
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2019, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyElm View Post
It's unfortunate that the TPG's handle 'problems' so weirdly, though. If a card is an 8 and is OC, just call it what it is, PSA 8 OC.
I understand your point of view and where you're coming from, but I have to take the opportunity to make the case for the other side of the debate and say that I just fundamentally disagree with how you're thinking about the qualifiers and rather think it's the other way around.

To me, calling it "what it is" as you phrased it, would in fact be calling it a 6 in your example---since the grading standards were written before the concept of permitting voluntary qualifiers, if something has centering worse than is permitted for 8s, then it's not an 8. End of story. There can be no such thing as "this is an 8 except for this one thing that makes it not an 8", to me, that's what adds all the frustrating confusions.

For instance, almost nothing is more annoying in my mind than someone advertising a 9oc card with the description something like "It's like a 9! Only one graded higher", meanwhile in my head I'm saying, 'No, you have what would be a straight 7, which is bested by a hundred or so straight 8s, a dozen straight 9s, and one GEM, and it is very, very much not "like" as good as any of those'...

Whatever its original intent, the whole voluntary qualifier thing seems now in practice like a gimmick to draw different people in and perpetuate the nuisance of resubmitting and re-slabbing. If my power to dictate, I would end the practice entirely (well, with ultimate power I would go back in time and undo all that had been done and never let that door open in the first place)--and be left saying to someone, 'look, you've got a card that has a variety of characteristics that make it a 6, and that's that.'
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:30 AM
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--since the grading standards were written before the concept of permitting voluntary qualifiers...
I can see this side of it as well. In 1990 there was no PSA. I probably would have thought the concept of qualifiers was absurd. No, that card is not NM because it's too far O/C. Instead it's Excellent...
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Old 02-01-2019, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyElm View Post
For my eye, card #4 would probably be the best of the OC's. And it has/had the added benefit of being the lowest priced of all except for the vaunted #6.
I agree, if these were Mantle's and you added a couple zero's to your example, I would buy #4 with the grade. Nobody want's those OC's. They are graded kryptonite. worthless. Nobody like em. AND HOW DO WE CRACK THE SGC & PSA cases. I only ruin cards when I try.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:11 PM
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I agree, if these were Mantle's and you added a couple zero's to your example, I would buy #4 with the grade. Nobody want's those OC's. They are graded kryptonite. worthless. Nobody like em. AND HOW DO WE CRACK THE SGC & PSA cases. I only ruin cards when I try.
With both you just have to be careful. PSA is easier; use some pliers or a cutting tool to snip off a corner of the case. Then you will see the exposed thicker two layers of hermetically sealed plastic that you can slowly (and this is the careful part) work a flathead screwdriver around to separate. At some point you will have enough of it done to just pull the two halves apart. If you've done it right, you will have a naked raw card just sitting there waiting to be carefully picked up and put into a penny sleeve.

IMO, SGC cases are tougher than PSA to bust because the plastic I think is weaker. I damaged a card last month for the first time in busting probably at least 100 TPG slabs. The rub was that the face of the case itself started to shatter (this does not normally happen...) and the resulting little pieces which broke off were razor sharp and unfortunately pressed directly into the cardboard beneath. About a $250 mistake in 30 seconds. Oh well at least no women, children or animals were harmed...
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:16 PM
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Thanks so much for the tutorial! Much appreciated!

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Old 02-01-2019, 01:10 PM
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Thanks so much for the tutorial! Much appreciated!
No problem. There are also more than a few Youtube videos out there which can show you how to do it.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:40 PM
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This may be a bit long-winded, but I fear some people simply don't seem to understand the very basic point here.

- A card graded a PSA 8 OC has all the attributes of an 8 (yes, according to fallible human beings), BUT the centering if far enough off to warrant an explanation, the OC qualifier. In other words, the card is an 8 in all ways (corners, focus, gloss, etc.) save for the centering. Very straightforward and there is nothing to question about the specific grade (opinions of people who disagree with the grade assessment aside). In a word, definitive.

- A straight PSA 6 that is obviously way off-center (as the examples shown in the OP are) doesn't give you straightforward information at all. Is the card truly a 6, with what the grader thinks are the proper attributes of a PSA 6, or is it actually a PSA 8 OC that became a PSA 6 because someone checked a box on the submission form?? You can see the card is terribly OC, so why isn't that accounted for (yes, everyone understands that centering requirements differ the higher the grade goes)?? Shouldn't it be a PSA 6 OC? There is no definitive answer. In a word, baffling.

If you're holding the PSA 8 OC in your hand, you know EXACTLY what you have. If you're holding the PSA 6, you have questions, because it is anything but definitive.

Let's quickly take it in another direction to further illustrate the point. Say you have a card that is a PSA 8, but has a bit of gum residue on the front to merit an ST qualifier. So (I'm not sure if you can specifically do this, but let's say for our purposes here you can) since the 'stain' is very minor, you check "no qualifiers" on the submission form and the card comes back a straight 6. Is that a definitive answer to, "What does this card grade?" Of course not. It's fairy dust. If you crack open the card in the PSA 8 ST slab, gently (and easily) wipe away the gum/wax, and resubmit it, you get the exact same grade MINUS the erstwhile qualifier, a PSA 8. If you wipe away the wax from the same card, but it's in the straight PSA 6 slab, some kind of magical transformation happens and it somehow skyrockets up to a PSA 8!!! Simply put, the original grade wasn't 'truthful.'
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:04 PM
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No problem. There are also more than a few Youtube videos out there which can show you how to do it.
those "how to" you tube video's have already cost me 1000's, but I'm willing to try.
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:07 AM
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All right, (if you're on your phone these might be too small to see) anyone want to have a little fun and play a guessing game?? These screenshots show 4 different East Hills Clemente cards (blank backed), all of which are a bit off-centered top to bottom. I chose them because they are very similar to each other in that regard. You obviously can't examine them too closely, so it's a bit of a crapshoot, but here are the facts. Two of these cards are straight PSA 7's, one is a PSA 9 and one is a PSA 9 OC. There's no way to tell, but I'm sort of assuming that at least one of the two 7's would have been a PSA 9 OC, but the submitter checked the 'no qualifiers' box and it became a straight 7...but that's just a guess.

So which is which?
(Again, your choices are PSA 7, PSA 7, PSA 9, PSA 9 OC.)

Card 1 - ??
Card 2 - ??
Card 3 - ??
Card 4 - ??

1966easthillsclemente2.jpg
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Old 02-02-2019, 04:13 AM
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1. 9oc
2. 7
3. 7
4. 9
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:50 AM
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I'm sort of assuming that at least one of the two 7's would have been a PSA 9 OC, but the submitter checked the 'no qualifiers' box and it became a straight 7...but that's just a guess.

The explanation for the two 7's could also be that there is a surface issue that can't be detected in these scans. In my view, the best comparison here is between the 9 and 9oc under the assumption that a 9 has no surface issue regardless of the presence of a qualifier. Here are my guesses:


1. 9oc

2. 9

3 and 4. 7's
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:24 AM
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1) 9 oc

2) 7

3) 7

4) 9
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:21 AM
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I won't make any guesses here but you've hit on one of the many reasons that I dislike PSA in particular and TPG generally.

A card's attributes are observed by the grader. If the card has centering issues, then it is what it is. That should not be changeable per the PSA slab.

If a card is indeed a 9OC then why should it be able to get a straight 7 instead?

A card should grade what it is and allowing a customer to reomove the centering flaw based on preference makes PSA lose credibility in my eyes.

It obviously makes them more money if people will submit an off-center card and will not have to get the dreaded OC qualifier. But it would be better if they dropped the OC qualifier completely than to let a customer "choose" and I wish they'd completely eliminate OC qualifiers.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:51 AM
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I won't make any guesses here but you've hit on one of the many reasons that I dislike PSA in particular and TPG generally.

A card's attributes are observed by the grader. If the card has centering issues, then it is what it is. That should not be changeable per the PSA slab.

If a card is indeed a 9OC then why should it be able to get a straight 7 instead?

A card should grade what it is and allowing a customer to reomove the centering flaw based on preference makes PSA lose credibility in my eyes.

It obviously makes them more money if people will submit an off-center card and will not have to get the dreaded OC qualifier. But it would be better if they dropped the OC qualifier completely than to let a customer "choose" and I wish they'd completely eliminate OC qualifiers.


..way back in the early days of TPG I always sent my OC/MC stuff to SGC ; it seemed they didn't punish centering but would let the eye of the beholder observe or ignore that aspect. Plus the '53 Bowman Color looked quite nice in their old original holders..

..
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:53 AM
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But if a card would otherwise be mint, but its less than perfect centering makes it something less...whether it is nm, exmt, or whatever, it is what it is. Whether it is 9oc or a 6 or a 7 according to a TPG doesn't change the fact that it is still the same card. It is just semantics and part of why I care less and less about TPGing. I do own graded cards, but my collection is increasingly ungraded.

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Old 02-03-2019, 01:14 PM
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But if a card would otherwise be mint, but its less than perfect centering makes it something less...whether it is nm, exmt, or whatever, it is what it is. Whether it is 9oc or a 6 or a 7 according to a TPG doesn't change the fact that it is still the same card. It is just semantics and part of why I care less and less about TPGing. I do own graded cards, but my collection is increasingly ungraded.

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Is it a 9OC or a 7? A 9OC is not a 7 and this is not just semantics.

I wish they would pick one or the other and stick with it.

My point which will most likely be missed by some readers unless I bring out the sledgehammer is that letting a customer choose seems to me a sham. You should not be able to pick anything when a card is graded and slabbed, except perhaps a min grade to have it slabbed.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:22 PM
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Is it a 9OC or a 7? A 9OC is not a 7 and this is not just semantics.



I wish they would pick one or the other and srick with it.



My point which will most likely be missed by some readers unless I bring out the sledgehammer is that letting a customer choose seems to me a sham. You should not be able to pick anything when a card is graded and slabbed, except perhaps a min grade to have it slabbed.
You are missing my original point, which I could have made more clear. I don't submit cards for professional grading and haven't for several years. I agree people shouldn't be able to pick. However, at the end of the day, it is the same card whether the plastic slab says 9oc or 7. For people who care about TPGing, there does need to be consistency If it is going to be a 9oc, it should always be a 9oc and not have the option of having it slabbed a 7. All the TPGers offer is an OPINION. If a card meets my specifications, I will purchase it for a set and probably crack it anyway, if I couldn't have found it ungraded to begin with.

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Old 02-03-2019, 02:41 PM
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This may be a bit long-winded, but I fear some people simply don't seem to understand the very basic point here.

- A card graded a PSA 8 OC has all the attributes of an 8 (yes, according to fallible human beings), BUT the centering if far enough off to warrant an explanation, the OC qualifier.
I for one think I understand your basic point, it’s just that your interpretation of their grading process is wrong, which I’ll explain my sense of below, but first want to also point out that I agree with your feeling that more information is better, and having the brief/coded notes of why the experienced person who actually handled a card face to face scored it the way they did is good. (if those aren’t going to be listed on the flip, since as you mentioned it’s sort of a curse, then it would be excellent if they bothered to have a mechanism to key in such qualifier codes to the cert verification system so at least looking the item up online would provide that clarification, but I sense that ship has sailed).

It is not that an 8OC gets the OC added as “an explanation” b/c it’s “far enough off to warrant” some helpful extra information, which is the impression that your wording seems to give.

It gets the OC b/c, as PSA itself states, “the centering of the card falls below the minimum standard for that grade”, ergo, it can’t be that grade since it doesn’t meet even the “minimum standard” to be considered so. It’s not that it would be suitable to say: it’s an 8 but pretty badly off-centered, so let’s mention that for clarity; it’s that it is manifestly not an 8 at all and is something else entirely…

What exactly it is depends on the numbers, and here’s where I can also correct your thoughts from an earlier post about the “2-grade rule of thumb” thing (and others who referred to it in follow-up). The reason that always comes to everyone’s mind is b/c that’s how the registry handles qualified cards for the purpose of the registry calculations---since it can’t know exactly what a qualified card should be graded, it uses the 2 grade demotion as a sort of standard average, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to accept cards like that at all b/c it would be too messy to judge what is what.

But that has absolutely nothing (well, very little, it is an average of course) to do with what a qualified card would grade if it were straight; that would be based solely on the numbers in the case of OC, which at least is somewhat objective, compared to say, corners.

So, for instance, an 8 has to be 70/30 (or better) on front and a 7 has to be 75/25 on front, and a 6, 80/20. So if an 8OC is 75/25, then converted to straight, it would come out a 7, not a 6. It’s only the need of the registry to assign an average that the 2-grade concept has seemed to become a rule-of-thumb.

(I think that knowledge would be particularly valuable to anyone comparing items for the purpose like in your original post, both as a pro and a con, whereby a really good 8OC might actually be a 7, but alternatively, it may also be only a 5 [85/15, or I suppose even lower, depending on how it measured out]---and that, as much as anything, might explain why it went for the lowest price of the bunch…)
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:45 PM
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I think it was in this thread somewhere (though now I can't find it) where someone said they had relaxed on centering and concentrated more on corners, registration, and the like...the qualities the card came out of the pack with. I have recently come around to this. Basically, I am not willing to pay super high grade prices for 8s and 9s on a regular basis. Therefore, I am going to have to give in on condition issues somewhere, sometimes. There are times when I luck out and find an ex+ or exmt card that has the centering and eye appeal and sharp enough corners to satisfy me. The rest of the time, I have to choose.

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Old 02-03-2019, 05:34 PM
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And by popular demand...well, if popular demand means just a couple of PM's...here are the EARTH SHATTERING, STUNNING results...

1966easthillsclemente1.jpg

Yes, the card with perfect side-to-side centering and 'Bob Clemente' the farthest from the bottom border of the quartet is the only one to receive a dreaded OC qualifier. Yowza!! Well, smack me in the butt and call me Lucy!!! I bought it anyway and am awaiting its arrival.

People will say the straight 9 is in an old holder, so it enjoyed the benefits of lower standards. That's probably true. (Yes, it's a small, cherry-picked sample size, etc., etc. I get it.) But wow!! Both 7's are closer to the bottom than the 9 OC, and one is even in a new holder. I assume that one got the ole 'no qualifiers for me!' treatment and was lowered to a straight 7...but, if neither of them were the result of checking the 'no qualifiers' box, why aren't they both PSA 7 OC???????

And once again we're right back to my point. (I'll ignore the straight 9, because with Roberto's name nearly grazing the bottom border, the assumption is the grader just messed up. Nothing else, unless the standards were lax at the time or changed in the interim, explains it.) The PSA 9 OC is the only 'honest' card of the bunch. It is seemingly perfect in every way, shape or form, except the centering is off (although it may be tough to accept that 'fact') and that's 'explained' on the slab.

Now...
- Are the 7's truly 7's that the grader mistakenly didn't deem OC?
- Are they actually 7's that somehow fit into the parameters of centering for a 7?
- Or are they 9 OC's that were turned into straight 7's by the flick of a pen?

There are no definitive answers to these simple questions and that specific aspect of grading is ridiculously frustrating when you're buying cards online and don't have them in hand. Buying a 9, with or without qualifiers, tells you exactly what you have. Buying a 7 with no qualifiers tells you close to nothing, because it may have the attributes of a 7 or the attributes of a card two grades higher!

***On a side note, something else comes to light. If you look at the PSA 7 on the far right, his name is obviously very close to the bottom border...but if you look at the words "East Hills," they are much closer to the top border than at least two of the other cards. Since the white space between the words/names and photographs is pretty uniform across all four cards, something doesn't make sense. Logically speaking, they can't all be the same size top to bottom. Were these cards NOT a fixed size?? Does anyone know if that is the case??***
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:00 PM
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That's crazy for sure! Congrats on picking up a nice looking version of that card regardless of the label.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:20 PM
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Great thread, JollyElm. Just reaffirms my dislike for PSA. Consistency is definitely not one of their strong points.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JollyElm View Post
***On a side note, something else comes to light. If you look at the PSA 7 on the far right, his name is obviously very close to the bottom border...but if you look at the words "East Hills," they are much closer to the top border than at least two of the other cards. Since the white space between the words/names and photographs is pretty uniform across all four cards, something doesn't make sense. Logically speaking, they can't all be the same size top to bottom. Were these cards NOT a fixed size?? Does anyone know if that is the case??***
I noticed that when you posted the side-by-sides, and I think that is a big piece of the puzzle here and the difficulty of trying to make an example of them. The little regional issues like this would not have had processes or controls better than the big boys with all the experience, and presumably less good. Since the bottom border on that issue is slim even in the best of circumstances, it isn't too surprising if graders struggle with expectations. I suspect they give more leeway with total size wherever they have knowledge that the issued range was wider than might otherwise be seen with regular brands.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by vintagebaseballcardguy View Post
I think it was in this thread somewhere (though now I can't find it) where someone said they had relaxed on centering and concentrated more on corners, registration, and the like...the qualities the card came out of the pack with.
I think that was Adam's (Exhibitman) sentiment, which makes good sense as that is how more 70's cards than not came out of the pack. Things had not improved so much when I started collecting in 1986.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:04 PM
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Default understanding the "2-grade" rule-of-thumb "rule"

Since everyone seems to like pics, I'll try to make the point that way, and by re-comparing the original card of interest: the following three '61 Topps team cards are all fresh certs, each sold for $30, via eBay, within the past two weeks, so they are as perfect a comparison as conceivable. It suggests that the marketplace is pricing the 8OC not as a straight 6 necessarily, but even as a straight 4.

-the easiest thing to recognize first is that the 6 sold for the same as the 4 b/c the 6's centering is not great whereas the 4 looks pretty good; any better attributes the 6 has in other categories were offset by market interests.

-now, if the 8OC was equally off-center as the 6, then it should have sold for more on account of its better attributes in other categories, but that's not what happened; it sold for the exact same.

-this suggests that it is being valued as a straight 4, plausibly b/c others (i.e., the market overall) is recognizing that if it were graded without qualifiers, it would grade out a straight 4 on account of the centering being so poor.

The card market seems to work not dissimilarly to an equity market, where items are rewarded for good qualities and penalized equally in price for poor qualities. That is not a bad thing for the wallet for the buyer if what traditionally counts as "poor" doesn't bother you, then its a buying opportunity, just like beat-up stocks sometimes.

But it does mean that the "2 grade" demotion "rule-of-thumb" is not a real thing, as I explained in another post above.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:57 AM
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Round 2.

Although they all look amazingly similar to each other, three of these cards are straight PSA 9's, but one of them is a PSA 9 OC...

1973maravichmockup2.jpg
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:13 PM
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That's easy, the 9OC is the off-centered one.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:39 PM
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And the winner (I mean loser) is card #1...

1973maravichmockup1.jpg

...but I got it very cheaply.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:04 PM
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I think you also need to take into consideration when the cards were graded by the cert #'s. In the op, as if the 8oc and 6 are newer grades while the others are older. It's not an exact science, of course, but imo PSA is more strict on cards these days compared to several years ago.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
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AND HOW DO WE CRACK THE SGC & PSA cases. I only ruin cards when I try.
I haven't cracked open any but have always wondered if an inexpensive band saw from Harbor Freight would be the safest/easiest way to open a case.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:13 PM
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I haven't cracked open any but have always wondered if an inexpensive band saw from Harbor Freight would be the safest/easiest way to open a case.
I have opened many cards from psa, bvg, and sgc.
All you need is a sharp knife and a hammer or something similar.
I use a pair of pliers to hit the knife. You just need to locate where the 2 slabs come together. Put the sharp blade there, hit it and it will crack a small piece out.
Then put the point of the blade in position to separate the 2 halves. Hit it again to separate.
Get the point in there and twist the blade. Work until you get the case evenly opens enough to let gravity lower the card.

Beckett cases are the hardest to open. SGC the easiest. The cases come right open. I have opened about 100 cards for my sets and have no damaged cards.

Last edited by avalanche2006; 02-08-2019 at 08:39 PM. Reason: missing important step.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:31 PM
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I understand your point of view and where you're coming from, but I have to take the opportunity to make the case for the other side of the debate and say that I just fundamentally disagree with how you're thinking about the qualifiers and rather think it's the other way around.

To me, calling it "what it is" as you phrased it, would in fact be calling it a 6 in your example---since the grading standards were written before the concept of permitting voluntary qualifiers, if something has centering worse than is permitted for 8s, then it's not an 8. End of story. There can be no such thing as "this is an 8 except for this one thing that makes it not an 8", to me, that's what adds all the frustrating confusions.

For instance, almost nothing is more annoying in my mind than someone advertising a 9oc card with the description something like "It's like a 9! Only one graded higher", meanwhile in my head I'm saying, 'No, you have what would be a straight 7, which is bested by a hundred or so straight 8s, a dozen straight 9s, and one GEM, and it is very, very much not "like" as good as any of those'...

Whatever its original intent, the whole voluntary qualifier thing seems now in practice like a gimmick to draw different people in and perpetuate the nuisance of resubmitting and re-slabbing. If my power to dictate, I would end the practice entirely (well, with ultimate power I would go back in time and undo all that had been done and never let that door open in the first place)--and be left saying to someone, 'look, you've got a card that has a variety of characteristics that make it a 6, and that's that.'
For the record, while the two grade drop is a decent rule of thumb I have occasionally only dropped one grade on a regrade with no qualifier request. Remember there's a centering standard for each grade. If one just barely misses for the "8" for instance, it my be within tolerance for a "7"
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:45 AM
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@ Darren, As the owner of that 61 pirates team PSA 4, I would be happy to trade you for your 8OC and pay you $1 more. Good deal on your side.

Now, look at the 55's (sorry about the bad/ small pix). But Mays (4MC) and Roberto (6OC) are IMHO closer that the technical grades suggest. But I was happy to purchase them for significant discounts to the straight grades. Same goes for Teddy Ball Game (2), which b/c of a tiny red dot gets knocked down to what in the PAST (2 holders ago) could have been a 3 or maybe 4.
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:37 PM
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Although the team picture doesn't have a dead horse in the shot, I thought I'd resuscitate this thread...

I wonder if either of these would've been a PSA 9 OC, but a box was checked:
s-l1600.jpg
1961pirates554psa7.jpg
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:42 PM
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Looking technically, there could be a soft corner or two in those specific examples that would withhold 9 grades, but be that as it may, I concur with the point you're getting at, which is that those are the sorts of cards that may not be straight 9s only due to centering, and therefore are candidates for being slabbed however the submitter prefers, either straight or with the "OC"...

But my personal opinion is still that the "OC" label is more gimmicky and problem causing than it is useful. Maybe this is best illustrated by musing: why just OC, why stop there? They could have a "9DC", which would mean, 'this would be a 9 except for the several dinged corners', or worse is getting hit with the dreaded "9RC", which would be the same but accounts for having rounded corners!

To me if something doesn't meet the grade definition, then it doesn't meet it. There's no sense in having an endless serious of "this is the number we would give it, except for this [fill in the blank flaw] that makes it absolutely and definitely not that number". That's what those sorts of qualifiers are, and my opinion is that that's a goofy way to approach the issue of formal grading.
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:22 AM
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It's been awhile, so maybe it's time to play another little game, this time involving the dreaded 'PD' qualifier. Whereas centering is/should be based on math, 'print defects' seem to be utterly subjective.

These eight 1961 Topps Aaron MVPs are all graded PSA 8, and each one of them has a decent amount of snowy dots affecting and pockmarking the beautiful, blue front...but here's the twist...just one of them was given a PD qualifier, just one. So which one of these cards is the only PSA 8 (PD) of the group???

For those of you guessing, let's say the top row contains cards #1, 2, 3, 4, and the bottom row has cards #5, 6, 7, 8. So which one is it?? Which one of these semi-identical cards is worth significantly less than the other seven, simply due to two letters, PD, appearing on the label??



FYI: Some of these are in older slabs and some are in newer slabs.

No cheating!!!
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:49 AM
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I'm going to guess #5 based on the black printing on the right border. #6 seems to have the most fisheyes/hickeys.
These different Aarons also illustrate how nice a properly registered card can be. #3 looks so clear it's photograph quality, Hank pops off the card. All the odds ones seem nicer than their even numbered counterparts in terms of registration/clarity.
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