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  #1  
Old 01-10-2014, 05:45 PM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Default Interesting email I have not seen

Saw this post on the PSA boards:

Anyone else get the email from Small Traditions with the very disturbing content about the PSA Invitational in Las Vegas

If anyone has this email, I would love to see a copy.

Thanks!
Rich

Last edited by Rich Klein; 01-10-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2014, 06:01 PM
trobba trobba is offline
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Small Traditions

Greetings from Small Traditions,



We are pleased to report that our recently concluded Inaugural Premium Holiday Auction succeeded beyond our best expectations. Please read about the record-breaking auction results in our blog entry here. As a thank you to our many consignors and customers, we are excited to extend the following free grading and review offers, the latter of which is extremely time sensitive, so please call 303.832.1975 or write info@smalltraditions ASAP, and we'll be in touch as soon as we can.



High-End Consignments Wanted for Free In-Person Reviews at PSA Invitational Event in Las Vegas



A benefit of its high volume of monthly card submissions to PSA, Small Traditions is a regular attendee at PSAs Invitational events in Las Vegas. At these events, high volume submitters like Small Traditions are able to meet with PSAs graders in order to discuss discrepancies with cards that appear to be under-graded. What most collectors dont realize about the grading process is that PSAs graders will often judge cards over-conservatively, erring on the side of caution rather than grading too liberally and thereby flooding the hobby with higher-graded cards that barely meet PSAs stringent grading standards. The truth is, however, that grading is a very subjective process, and cards that appear to be 8s and 8.5s to one grader one day may appear to be 9s and even 10s to another grader another day. This is the reality of third-party grading, and its no secret, at least not anymore. Most dealers would rather buy a high-end PSA 8 NM-MT Mickey Mantle card and review or re-grade it themselves in order to make a profit, rather than telling the cards owner that it might be under-graded, but not at Small Traditions, where the company works to maximize consignor sales in order to maximize its 15% (buyers premium) stake in the consignment partnership, and that means maximizing card grades.



The PSA Invitational event is one of the best opportunities of the year to realize successful reviews, when an under-graded card can be discussed in person and bumped to the next grading level, and Small Traditions founder Dave Thorn is currently seeking high-end cards graded PSA 9 Mint and below, which their owners feel have been under-graded, for presentation to the PSA grading staff at the next PSA Invitational, from January 15th to 17th in Las Vegas. This offer is extremely limited and time sensitive, and the deal is of course contingent on granting Small Traditions the privilege of auctioning any cards that are successfully reviewed to a higher grade. Please call 303.832.1975 or write info@smalltraditions.com as soon as possible for more information.



Consignments Wanted & Free Grading with PSA and BGS on Items Valued Over $100



Unique within the industry, Small Traditions also offers free grading with PSA and BGS on cards valued above $100 and free authentication with PSA/DNA and JSA on autographs valued above $200. Most of the items in the Inaugural Premium Holiday Auction, in fact, were graded by Small Traditions at no cost to its consignors. The company is currently seeking consignments for its January, February and March Monthly Masterpieces Plus Auctions, and it will be returning to its exclusive 100-Lot Premium Auction format in April to mark the beginning of the 2014 MLB season. Please call 303.832.1975 or write info@smalltraditions.com for more information.



Thanks, as always, for supporting Small Traditions, and happy New Year!



Best Regards,



Dave Thorn


This message was sent to rgutheil@gmail.com from:

Small Traditions LLC | 950 Lafayette St. | Denver, CO 80218


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  #3  
Old 01-10-2014, 06:27 PM
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I'd say this is shocking, but it's not.
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2014, 11:26 AM
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WhenItWasAHobby WhenItWasAHobby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trobba View Post
Small Traditions

Greetings from Small Traditions,



We are pleased to report that our recently concluded Inaugural Premium Holiday Auction succeeded beyond our best expectations. Please read about the record-breaking auction results in our blog entry here. As a thank you to our many consignors and customers, we are excited to extend the following free grading and review offers, the latter of which is extremely time sensitive, so please call 303.832.1975 or write info@smalltraditions ASAP, and we'll be in touch as soon as we can.



High-End Consignments Wanted for Free In-Person Reviews at PSA Invitational Event in Las Vegas



A benefit of its high volume of monthly card submissions to PSA, Small Traditions is a regular attendee at PSA’s Invitational events in Las Vegas. At these events, high volume submitters like Small Traditions are able to meet with PSA’s graders in order to discuss discrepancies with cards that appear to be under-graded. What most collectors don’t realize about the grading process is that PSA’s graders will often judge cards over-conservatively, erring on the side of caution rather than grading too liberally and thereby flooding the hobby with higher-graded cards that barely meet PSA’s stringent grading standards. The truth is, however, that grading is a very subjective process, and cards that appear to be 8s and 8.5s to one grader one day may appear to be 9s and even 10s to another grader another day. This is the reality of third-party grading, and it’s no secret, at least not anymore. Most dealers would rather buy a high-end PSA 8 NM-MT Mickey Mantle card and review or re-grade it themselves in order to make a profit, rather than telling the card’s owner that it might be under-graded, but not at Small Traditions, where the company works to maximize consignor sales in order to maximize its 15% (buyers premium) stake in the consignment partnership, and that means maximizing card grades.



The PSA Invitational event is one of the best opportunities of the year to realize successful reviews, when an under-graded card can be discussed in person and “bumped” to the next grading level, and Small Traditions founder Dave Thorn is currently seeking high-end cards graded PSA 9 Mint and below, which their owners feel have been under-graded, for presentation to the PSA grading staff at the next PSA Invitational, from January 15th to 17th in Las Vegas. This offer is extremely limited and time sensitive, and the deal is of course contingent on granting Small Traditions the privilege of auctioning any cards that are successfully reviewed to a higher grade. Please call 303.832.1975 or write info@smalltraditions.com as soon as possible for more information.



Consignments Wanted & Free Grading with PSA and BGS on Items Valued Over $100



Unique within the industry, Small Traditions also offers free grading with PSA and BGS on cards valued above $100 and free authentication with PSA/DNA and JSA on autographs valued above $200. Most of the items in the Inaugural Premium Holiday Auction, in fact, were graded by Small Traditions at no cost to its consignors. The company is currently seeking consignments for its January, February and March Monthly Masterpieces Plus Auctions, and it will be returning to its exclusive 100-Lot Premium Auction format in April to mark the beginning of the 2014 MLB season. Please call 303.832.1975 or write info@smalltraditions.com for more information.



Thanks, as always, for supporting Small Traditions, and happy New Year!



Best Regards,



Dave Thorn


This message was sent to rgutheil@gmail.com from:

Small Traditions LLC | 950 Lafayette St. | Denver, CO 80218


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Very disturbing indeed. The bump-up game has become a lucrative business in itself (this is not news) but this organized event, in my opinion, truly undermines the integrity of third party grading.
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Last edited by WhenItWasAHobby; 01-11-2014 at 11:33 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2014, 04:36 PM
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Default Psa = joke

Quote:
Very disturbing indeed. The bump-up game has become a lucrative business in itself (this is not news) but this organized event, in my opinion, truly undermines the integrity of third party grading.
This email really confirms what we all know if going on anyway. It's a shame that we as collectors continue to be slaves to a plastic holder with a name on top and take it up the ass by these guys with a smile on our face. There service SUCKS! Truly it sucks! There owner is an ego maniac that has zero problem standing in front of a room full of PSA faithful and without a hint of doubt proclaims "he was one of the three present when the now famous trimmed Wagner was graded and beyond a shadow of a doubt, that card was not trimmed", yet there seems to be zero backlash when it goes public that the card is indeed trimmed! This is the only business in the world that I can think of where you get in the ass and get kicked in the balls time and time again as collectors, and we gladly come back with a smile on our face. Unreal!


And before anyone goes off on me, I am speaking squarely to myself with the statement above.
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2014, 05:07 PM
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I think that Dave Thorn has very eloquently documented some of PSA's unethical habits. At least now the collectors who wear blinders can take them off and put on sunglasses instead.

I do not think most of us in Dave's position would have elected to document, in email, said PSA behavior, but it might have made financial sense for him, letting his customers officially know what they should already have known.

I wonder how PSA feels about the email?

Last edited by Runscott; 01-11-2014 at 05:09 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2014, 06:30 PM
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This email only states what has been on the Small Traditions website under the "Cosign" tab.

http://www.smalltraditions.com/consignwithus.aspx

Quote:
Explain It To Me: How Is This Possible?

You send us your treasured $2,000 Mickey Mantle rookie card, which you think looks just about perfect. We consult over the phone and discuss the various stages and challenges to the grading process, but we agree that your Mantle RC could possibly grade as high as NM 7, and so we pay $25 to FedEx to securely ship it to PSA to undergo an initial $35 round of grading. PSA returns the card, but its only been graded PSA 6 EX-MT. We think the card has been under-graded, so we pay FedEx another $25 to send it back to PSA to undergo a $35 review. PSA returns the card, and its now graded PSA 6.5 EX-MT+, which is more than a $1000 difference over a regular PSA 6 EX-MT, but we still think the card should be a PSA 7 NM, and so we take the card with us to the PSA Dealer Invitational event in Las Vegas and debate its NM 7 merits with a PSA grader in person. The PSA grader agrees, PSA reslabs the card as a PSA 7 NMa $5,000 difference over a PSA 6 EX-MTand we then sell it in our next auction. The final bid is $12,000. Two weeks later, we send you a check for $12,000, and we keep the 15% buyers premium, which we added to the final bid, and which covers our grading and other expenses (like this website) and provides for a modest profit.
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2014, 09:48 PM
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WhenItWasAHobby WhenItWasAHobby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBMiller25 View Post
This email really confirms what we all know if going on anyway. It's a shame that we as collectors continue to be slaves to a plastic holder with a name on top and take it up the ass by these guys with a smile on our face. There service SUCKS! Truly it sucks! There owner is an ego maniac that has zero problem standing in front of a room full of PSA faithful and without a hint of doubt proclaims "he was one of the three present when the now famous trimmed Wagner was graded and beyond a shadow of a doubt, that card was not trimmed", yet there seems to be zero backlash when it goes public that the card is indeed trimmed! This is the only business in the world that I can think of where you get in the ass and get kicked in the balls time and time again as collectors, and we gladly come back with a smile on our face. Unreal!


And before anyone goes off on me, I am speaking squarely to myself with the statement above.
Matt,

I think part of the problem is that many collectors play the "crack-out and bump-up game" themselves. I know one collector who has several highly ranked mid-60's PSA registry sets and about 1/3 of the PSA 9s were once 8's.

But you bring up a great point - which is really even more alarming. The bigger problem proven by myself and others is that PSA either can't detect doctored cards or intentionally allows doctored cards to be slabbed. It would be grossly naive to think the T206 Wagner was the only doctored card that originated from Bill Mastro that was slabbed by PSA.

And I agree with you again - why people tolerate these questionable business practices defies all common sense and reasoning.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2014, 07:10 PM
sportsnbikes sportsnbikes is offline
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To me it likes like another way to make money on something that has already made them money.

Last edited by sportsnbikes; 01-10-2014 at 07:10 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2014, 08:57 PM
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Well, I wonder if they will be taking cards that are obviously overgraded and discussing a downgrade?
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2014, 09:05 PM
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The email is so disturbing on so many levels. To think that anyone can "coerce" a grader completely flies in the face of the integrity of PSA, Small Traditions, and this hobby. This is akin to insider trading or early release of information to "preferred" clients in the investments world. Both are completely unethical and/ or illegal.

PSA:
"Hey graders, come to this event where you will speak w/ our most important dealers and clients. Remember they help pay our bills, so if they have an 8.5 give that card a little nudge to a 9 or 10. For your efforts, we'll fly you out to fabulous Las Vegas and get you drunk (and/or laid)."

So disgusting on so many levels. Don't give me any crap about "subjective" and "grader was having a bad day". This is flat out unethical in my opinion.

And to think that Small Traditions has the balls to email people without feeling slightly ashamed of what they are doing makes my blood boil. I'll certainly think twice about buying again from ST if every card will now be overgraded. I did wonder how their consigners were systematically getting low population 10s on some difficult (condition sensitive cards) like the '88 ProCards Biggio.

Yuck. And sadly, it is probably rampant w/ many dealers and AHs. But I now know of one to stay away from for sure.
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Last edited by h2oya311; 01-10-2014 at 09:09 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2014, 09:30 PM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Default This does not bother me as muich

If you are a big customer in today's world. you expect better treatment. Perhaps you don't publicize this but do you really expect anything different.


It's part of the world in 2014 as we know it.

Rich
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2014, 09:30 PM
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This is very disturbing. I was bidding on a PSA 10 POP 1 1968 Topps NL HR Leaders that I thought no way would ever an example be found in a 10. They even eluded in the item description about getting this card in the proper holder in a 10.
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2014, 09:35 PM
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I'm thinking if this kind of thing really bothers you, you're in the wrong hobby.
I'm being facetious, mostly.
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Last edited by HRBAKER; 01-11-2014 at 01:13 AM.
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2014, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h2oya311 View Post
This is akin to insider trading or early release of information to "preferred" clients in the investments world. Both are completely unethical and/ or illegal.
+1

I don't do the graded thing, but this is a great analogy.....they're all in bed with each other.

Solution? Stop sending cards in and stop paying a premium for slabs. It's not that hard. If you lie down with dogs.....
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2014, 12:36 AM
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Tasteless and disturbing.
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2014, 01:01 AM
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  #18  
Old 09-09-2019, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h2oya311 View Post
The email is so disturbing on so many levels. To think that anyone can "coerce" a grader completely flies in the face of the integrity of PSA, Small Traditions, and this hobby. This is akin to insider trading or early release of information to "preferred" clients in the investments world. Both are completely unethical and/ or illegal.

PSA:
"Hey graders, come to this event where you will speak w/ our most important dealers and clients. Remember they help pay our bills, so if they have an 8.5 give that card a little nudge to a 9 or 10. For your efforts, we'll fly you out to fabulous Las Vegas and get you drunk (and/or laid)."

So disgusting on so many levels. Don't give me any crap about "subjective" and "grader was having a bad day". This is flat out unethical in my opinion.

And to think that Small Traditions has the balls to email people without feeling slightly ashamed of what they are doing makes my blood boil. I'll certainly think twice about buying again from ST if every card will now be overgraded. I did wonder how their consigners were systematically getting low population 10s on some difficult (condition sensitive cards) like the '88 ProCards Biggio.

Yuck. And sadly, it is probably rampant w/ many dealers and AHs. But I now know of one to stay away from for sure.
Completely agree with the above sentiment, and felt it might be an opportune time for a bump.

Perhaps events such as the activities outlined in Post #2 will catch the eye of the FBI, as they decide where to focus their investigation. Many here have wondered whether simple ineptitude or favorable treatment are to blame for the plethora of altered cards making it into numbered slabs. In the unlikely event that Law Enforcement actually reads these threads, perhaps the aforementioned information will serve a greater purpose.

Last edited by perezfan; 09-09-2019 at 01:29 AM.
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  #19  
Old 09-09-2019, 07:09 AM
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All submitters are equal. Some are more equal than others.

Little wonder that so few have spoken up. Don't bite the hand that feeds you, I guess.
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  #20  
Old 09-09-2019, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
All submitters are equal. Some are more equal than others.

Little wonder that so few have spoken up. Don't bite the hand that feeds you, I guess.
EXACTLY!!!! Well there is also the friend factor. Meaning if you friend is the seller of altered cards then it magically becomes PSAs fault.
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  #21  
Old 01-11-2014, 11:17 AM
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Yes, they're giving that third/fourth/fifth review to top submitters, but are they also popping out cards, letting you erase that unsightly (and costly) pencil mark, and regrading it for you while you wait? I don't think so.

Last edited by 4815162342; 01-11-2014 at 11:18 AM.
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