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  #1  
Old 06-18-2016, 02:26 PM
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Harliduck Harliduck is offline
John O
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Default Thoughts on Grading Cards...

I am like MANY collectors on these boards...die hard child collectors (bought first pack in 1978 at 8 years old)...collected hard until the junk wax era...quit collecting when you could buy cases at Costco (1990ish, last pack I bought was a 1990 Donruss, lol)...moved the 100,000 or so cards I had to the attic and years later grew nostalgic (regretted selling 69 topps set I built as a youth) and got back in 4 or 5 years ago and never looked back. Everyday I see more and more 30 and 40ish year old guys EXACTLY like me coming back...haha...love it. Hopefully when we all die off our beloved cardboard still has value as I am raising kids who could care less...but I digress...

The biggest difference to the community when I came back aside from Ebay and forums like this that made the cards of my youth that were once untouchable, touchable...was the grading business. My first thoughts were "this is absolutely ridiculous". Paying someone to give their opinion of the condition of my card? What a scam. I bought a couple to see what they were all about, and promptly freed them from their bondage, opinion still intact. Move forward a few years, I have definitely changed my mind and now own a couple hundred SGC slabbed cards that will remain. Here are some of my random opinions on grading, completely from someone who has zero history, a rudimentary understanding of the process, and zero stake (I collect 100% for hobby, zero interest in investments...I have a lawyer and an accountant for that, haha). I have read countless posts/threads on grading here and come up with these conclusions that for whatever reason, I am sharing...haha -


* Grading high grade cards is necessary for the hobby. Anything a 7 and above deserves to be separated from the pack for those who invest or care about quality (hey, even I have OCD and appreciated a high quality card). Whatever anyone is into (I also collect muscle cars), there will always be those who want the best of the best and I applaud and respect that, and to some degree fall into that category.

*The difference between an 8, 9 or 10 is kind of a subjective joke, and I am continually baffled how such a high difference in cost between the grades when there are countless examples of the difference between an 8 or a 9 or a 9 or a 10 is the opinion of some dude who might feel difference on a Tuesday vs a Wednesday, and just how many dollars can ride on that decision. I read where people will submit and resubmit until they get the grade they want...what? Cards can do a lot of things...but improve is not one. To me that business model with so many dollars on the line with eventually fail.

*Collectors who have thousands tied up in PSA cards defend PSA to the death, to protect their investment. I don't blame them, if I had thousands tied up and countless stories of fraud were out there with relatively little being done by the company to preserve their integrity would be scary as hell. If there is things being done, this collector has certainly not seen anything and perception is reality. Admitting there is a massive problem, and don't kid yourself, there IS...has financial fallout.

*How does graded cards in general effect a collector like me? When it comes to buying high dollar Post War cards for my set collecting I now buy graded to guarantee I am getting the real deal with no surprises. I simply can't trust, won't trust, a PSA graded card solely based on my education from these boards. I can't stand the look of BVG and others, and my OCD on conformity kicks in and SGC is the only slab I trust as I have yet to hear of one example of an issue.

*Granted, I only buy graded cards second hand, I have yet to submit any cards nor will I ever do that. No interest, they are only a means to an end to avoid fraud for me. That said, I am making them no money and have zero vested interest in their companys as a whole. Like I said earlier, I am glad they exist for my own selfish protection.

*I have seen first hand and noticed lots of folks making good money exploiting the grading company's. In the mid range, the 3, 4, and 5s...there is huge margins selling these cards after popping. If you buy a 4 for example that looks solid but has only a few small issues, pop the card, and that VG-EX now looks EX+ raw where buyers feel they may have a 6 or 7 and pay more. I discovered this by accident really....as I popped a PSA 4 1967 topps Dan Schnieder hi number card last year. I upgraded that card a month or so later. I payed 16.50 for the graded version. I put up the raw card on ebay, and it nabbed 27. The card looked much better in the scan, and I almost doubled my money? I started digging in, and noticed many, many ebayers do this routinely. I am surprised to never see this topic discussed here. I hate selling cards and rarely do, but there is money to be made there whether that is ethical or not...not sure on that and don't care as I will never pursue...just an observation. Since then if I popped a card I will now disclose the company and grade to cover myself and give more info on the card, and I do believe that costs me money. Funny how that works.



Anyhow...not sure if anyone cares about a mid range set collector's opinion on graded cards, but I thought I would share from my perspective. Very interesting phenomenon really. I have liberated more 5, 6s, and 7s than I can count, and will continue doing so. I will admit my Killebrew collection is 8s and 9s, but that is not financial...just fun!
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1968 - 1990 Complete
1969 Topps 649/664 (Set #3)
1967 Topps 481/609
1966 Topps 579/598
1965 Topps 519/598
1964 Topps 370/587
1962 Topps 400/598
1961 Topps 483/589
1960 Topps 452/572
1955 Topps 205/210
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2016, 03:06 PM
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John-- appreciate you sharing your evolving view on card grading. I would share mine except it has not evolved. It is stuck somewhere in the 60s, like the records on my Wurlitzer


Last edited by ALR-bishop; 06-18-2016 at 03:11 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2016, 03:29 PM
KCRfan1 KCRfan1 is offline
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That's nice Al!
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2016, 05:30 PM
mikemb mikemb is offline
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John -

Great observations.

My collection and thoughts are similar to yours. Basically, my cards are the ones I got as a kid and are mid grade. I am about 13 years older than you so I got back into collecting before ebay and grading cards started.

Don't like graded cards but as you said, they serve a purpose. If I spent any large amount (for me over $100) on a card, I would want that card graded. Not as concerned about the grade as want to make sure has not been altered.

Spot on about PSA collectors having the most to loose. Only have 2 PSA cards in my collection and the sum of their 2 grades is less than 7 so I should be fine. Never liked PSA grading on mid grade cards, I always thought BVG and SGC were more accurate and consistent, but I'm sure there is debate on that.

I love my mid grade sets. Finished my 1963 Topps set and now on to 1962 Topps. Maybe I'll be able to help you with some of my duplicates.

Last edited by mikemb; 06-18-2016 at 05:42 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2016, 07:03 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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An interesting take on things.

I'm fairly close to your thinking, with a few exceptions.

I started collecting in 74, and more seriously late 77 when we moved to a town with a card shop. And one right on my way home from school too! Best part was they didn't mind if I hung out there.
Collected pretty much 74-84, was a lot less active till 88, and have been active/less active off and on since about 96/97

I felt the same way about grading at first. Pretty silly. I mean, really dropping a few grades because of centering? It should be about how well preserved the card is not how well made it was.

So I didn't buy any graded cards till 2000. My first one came in a pack......Guess the product?


I came around a few years ago, some stuff I still don't like, but I started seeing some really big price differences for graded compared to ungraded especially if the card was really nice.

I've sent in a few prewar cards, the better ones in the collection. Mostly because of helping a friend sell of a relatives collection. Sorting mostly, but they didn't really know much other than he'd spent a bundle so the pile of stuff must be worth something. I figured that even though my wife knows a decent amount about cards, selling the better stuff would be easier in a slab if something bad happened.

So I sent a few in to SGC. Mixed results, but they showed me what I'd missed a couple years later and while the cards that I was disappointed by look great, they do have some small issues that make them mid grade instead of lower high grade. Like 4s instead of 6 or 7s.
Other than some cards that are "better" even in low grade I haven't bothered with the bulk of the collection which is often p-f through vg. Pretty much anyone can grade those

Having handled loads of old cards back when dealers usually kept them in loose stacks, I'm less worried about altered cards. Especially if I'm at a show and can get a good look at it.
I've picked up a few that have done pretty well online, usually for about the VG price or less. People just won't usually go big on prewar mid grade that's not graded. (Think like $40 for a T206 that graded as an 80)

I eventually sent in a handful of modern cards. Didn't do as well as I'd done with the prewar stuff. But I'd paid nothing for it and sent it on a special so it was a cheap experiment.

I know it's done a lot, but cracking a nice 4 to sell it for more doesn't sound all that swell to me. Frankly, I've had better luck being very open about an items flaws and using really good scans.


Overall, I'd say send in a few. It's kinda fun. For me it was neat to see the cards I thought were really nice get a semi official stamp of approval. And while I can't ever hope to compete in the registry, I entered them and found I was pretty happy with where I was. And a bit let down later when I added the rare cards that were only As and 10s and brought the average under 50. Not really sure just why I cared, but I did.
Sending in a few also made me better at seeing the grades. So hopefully I can eventually send in some more modern stuff and do well. Of course, I'm usually spending the money on more cards or stamps or a new tool or.......

Steve B
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2016, 07:22 PM
mattjc1983 mattjc1983 is offline
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Default Thoughts on Grading Cards...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the subject.

I am in my mid 30's so my generation has, I think, a totally unique perspective on the hobby because while many generations of collectors EXPERIENCED the junk wax era, we're the only generation to have been INTRODUCED to the hobby by and RAISED ON the junk wax era. Because we never knew a more rational market before, I assume (but could be wrong) that we're far more skeptical of the hobby than the older generations or the newest generation of collectors.

My skepticism directly translates to my view on graded cards, and it's pretty much in line with yours. I got back into the hobby a few years ago and buy graded examples ONLY as proof that the card is real/unaltered. I could care less what the actual grade is, and actually would buy an altered/AUTHENTIC "grade" in the right circumstances and for the right price. I pretty much only care about centering, and I use my eyes, not the grade, to judge that.

With that said, I'm sure some collectors feel that even the authenticity of the card shouldn't be put up to the grading companies, and that we should trust our own expertise. Frankly though, as a casual collector, I don't have interest in becoming an expert on how to prove a card is authentic. It's worth it to me to pay a few bucks to have that evaluation done by someone who, while not perfect, certainly will know more than me. And like you, I've never submitted, only bought second hand, so not even sure I end up paying much more than raw usually.

When I do buy graded, I prefer BGS as many on here have stated they have the thickest and likely least tamperable cases. I've never even held another company's work in my hands, but if I were to buy from other than BGS it would be SGC just because there's so much not to trust with PSA (both the company itself and those who fake their products, IMHO).

With all that said, I certainly do wish the hobby didn't have a fraud issue and grading for authentication purposes wasn't even necessary. Or wish that I knew and trusted a fellow collector well enough to just take their world on their cards. But that's not the world I feel we live in.
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2016, 08:04 PM
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As set collectors, most of us just wouldn't have the room to store slabbed cards.

I collect low grade cards, and I've cracked numerous cards out of PSA SGC BVG holders (mostly T206). I always save the "flip" as I think it might be of benefit to me (or my kids) when/if they are sold.

A few years ago, a friend showed me his T205 cards slabbed in SGC holders, and I just fell in love with that look! I am now very close to completing a low grade T205 set (down to needing just three) all slabbed in SGC holders. You've never seen so many "A"s and "10"s LOL! Most of these I have submitted to SGC myself, and would recommend all collectors become familiar with the process. My T205 cards are listed in the SGC Registry (look towards the bottom LOL). I have enjoyed that too.

In todays collecting world, when you see an expensive card on eBay that is "raw", collectors must ask "why is it not slabbed"? Just last week I purchased a post war "raw", high dollar card off eBay. The scans looked good, and the sellers feedback was perfect (even though it was a new seller to me). When the card arrived, it looked great, but I still shipped it right off to SGC and did not leave seller feedback. In a few days I will be able to see the results, well within the offered return policy time frame. And if all goes well, I'll leave the seller his deserved positive feedback, and I'll get a card that is even more "valuable" because it is slabbed.

When you sold that '67 Schneider, did you mention in the description that the card was "cracked" out of a PSA 4 slab? I don't think many sellers would, unless it would benefit the seller. PSA said that card was in VG-EX condition, but the best thing for you to do would be just post an actual scan of the card.
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Originally Posted by Harliduck View Post
I popped a PSA 4 1967 topps Dan Schnieder hi number card last year. I upgraded that card a month or so later. I payed 16.50 for the graded version. I put up the raw card on ebay, and it nabbed 27. The card looked much better in the scan, and I almost doubled my money?
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2016, 08:48 PM
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I'm surprised you've never read anything negative about SGC grading. You must have missed a lot of threads on this board, including the one from the JustCollectVP last week.

PSA is like Microsoft Windows. Serves 90% of the population, so it gets 99% of the fraudsters. BGS is more like Apple OS (hipper modern crowd), and SGC more like UNIX (outdated). The PSA Set Registry is the best thing about them. It got me to invest $2K in grading fees on a couple really nice vintage sets (T51 Master and T56). When I liquidated my lower grade duplicates last month on eBay, I probably got $1500 on $200 in raw cards and $600 in grading fees.
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Last edited by swarmee; 06-18-2016 at 08:56 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2016, 08:53 PM
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When you sold that '67 Schneider, did you mention in the description that the card was "cracked" out of a PSA 4 slab? I don't think many sellers would, unless it would benefit the seller. PSA said that card was in VG-EX condition, but the best thing for you to do would be just post an actual scan of the card.
Larry[/quote]

I didn't on that one...and was honestly surprised after the fact. I actually found the scans back from back in 2014 from my recycle bin, haha. I was kinda shocked it was still in there - again, this was a busted out PSA 4.







I really enjoyed everyone's comments and experiences, thanks...

Al...I know how you feel and no surprises there...haha. I do have a question. I know you've probably had most of your cards for a long time now, but if you were still searching for say a 55 Clemente or a 63 Rose, do you really trust buying raw of Ebay? Wait to buy in person? There are so many good reprints out there buying cards like that scare me. I am sure I have trimmed cards, altered cards, ect in my sets, I hope not, but with 20,000 plus the odds are there. But in the big boy cards I just need them clean.
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1968 - 1990 Complete
1969 Topps 649/664 (Set #3)
1967 Topps 481/609
1966 Topps 579/598
1965 Topps 519/598
1964 Topps 370/587
1962 Topps 400/598
1961 Topps 483/589
1960 Topps 452/572
1955 Topps 205/210
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  #10  
Old 06-18-2016, 09:19 PM
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Harliduck Harliduck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
I'm surprised you've never read anything negative about SGC grading. You must have missed a lot of threads on this board, including the one from the JustCollectVP last week.

PSA is like Microsoft Windows. Serves 90% of the population, so it gets 99% of the fraudsters. BGS is more like Apple OS (hipper modern crowd), and SGC more like UNIX (outdated). The PSA Set Registry is the best thing about them. It got me to invest $2K in grading fees on a couple really nice vintage sets (T51 Master and T56). When I liquidated my lower grade duplicates last month on eBay, I probably got $1500 on $200 in raw cards and $600 in grading fees.
John...I easily read 2/3rds of the threads here on this page and the main page (that's about it except the B/S/T boards) and no, I have never seen any legit issue's on SGC, especially the only reason I deem any value on graded cards - Authentic. I just searched the JustCollectVP thread you mentioned, went through almost 3 pages, and um...well...that is exactly the kind of threads that I have zero interest in, ie, the business aspect and all that creepiness (no offense), so if there was some SGC mentioned I didn't get that far. Set Registry's quite honestly are of zero interest as well, competing with folks with my collection isn't my cup of tea (I don't compete my cars either, so that is not a card thing) but I do respect those who want to. Who am I to say how to collect or what to collect. That is the beauty of any hobby, the more diverse and different angles a hobby has the healthier it is. Also, considering I am not a seller, I don't care about slab resale. I would love a link to any thread where there were fake SGC slabs. The logic that since PSA is the most popular (no denying that), means they get the most fraud, is only more argument not to use them for my purposes. Different strokes, different folks.
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1968 - 1990 Complete
1969 Topps 649/664 (Set #3)
1967 Topps 481/609
1966 Topps 579/598
1965 Topps 519/598
1964 Topps 370/587
1962 Topps 400/598
1961 Topps 483/589
1960 Topps 452/572
1955 Topps 205/210
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  #11  
Old 06-18-2016, 11:55 PM
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So I got to add this for irony...I routinely go through my sets and make upgrade lists and replace cards with defects, sets are never done. I found about 20 cards I wanted to replace in my 69 set, and got the final one I bought in today's mail. # 225 Don Kessinger...and it came trimmed!! Who trims a 69 Topps common? Seriously? It was trimmed to the point it was obvious in hand by sight. Unreal...the fun of buying raw! Happy Fathers day to me! Haha....
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1968 - 1990 Complete
1969 Topps 649/664 (Set #3)
1967 Topps 481/609
1966 Topps 579/598
1965 Topps 519/598
1964 Topps 370/587
1962 Topps 400/598
1961 Topps 483/589
1960 Topps 452/572
1955 Topps 205/210
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  #12  
Old 06-19-2016, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harliduck View Post
John...I easily read 2/3rds of the threads here on this page and the main page (that's about it except the B/S/T boards) and no, I have never seen any legit issue's on SGC, especially the only reason I deem any value on graded cards - Authentic.
The synopsis of the threads I have read are: sometimes the black gaskets wrap around and damage the cards in SGC holders, making "protected" cards worth less than they should be, since they're now damaged or ripped and no longer worthy of their grades.
They have also been known to grade trimmed or altered cards and grade them with a number. That's what was confirmed in the JustCollect thread I referred to.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:41 AM
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BGS, BVG and SGC are far, far more consistent in their grading than PSA. For cards I have seen there is no comparison. It seems PSA WANTS resubmissions and grades low to get them. There are thousands of lemmings lining up too. To that I say, BS. If someone wants to buy my erroneously graded cards they will have to pay for the card and not the idiot's opinion on the flip. And with that statement I will buy this kind of '51 Mantle, in a PSA 2 holder, for SMR 2 prices all day long. Please someone PM me with some for sale.....I will buy all of them.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
BGS, BVG and SGC are far, far more consistent in their grading than PSA. For cards I have seen there is no comparison. It seems PSA WANTS resubmissions and grades low to get them. There are thousands of lemmings lining up too. To that I say, BS. If someone wants to buy my erroneously graded cards they will have to pay for the card and not the idiot's opinion on the flip. And with that statement I will buy this kind of '51 Mantle, in a PSA 2 holder, for SMR 2 prices all day long. Please someone PM me with some for sale.....I will buy all of them.
It's a nice card ( again) Leon, but not sure where it fits into your consistency statement. The card is graded correctly . Good, 2
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:33 PM
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It's a nice card ( again) Leon, but not sure where it fits into your consistency statement. The card is graded correctly . Good, 2
I guess opinions can differ. If you think that is a 2 so be it. I don't. I have heard too many resubmission stories but maybe they are all wrong. Happy collecting...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Bowman-...oAAOSwgApW~WWs

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Bowman-...p2047675.l2557
.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
I guess opinions can differ. If you think that is a 2 so be it. I don't. I have heard too many resubmission stories but maybe they are all wrong. Happy collecting...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Bowman-...oAAOSwgApW~WWs

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Bowman-...p2047675.l2557
.
Well PSA 3 and 4 does allow for light crease. Your runs nearly to to bottom and is clearly visible. Don't get me wrong, I love the card! I can't see it ever being awarded more than 2.5. I think they got it right. Just an opinion of which there are many
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonepony View Post
Well PSA 3 and 4 does allow for light crease. Your runs nearly to to bottom and is clearly visible. Don't get me wrong, I love the card! I can't see it ever being awarded more than 2.5. I think they got it right. Just an opinion of which there are many
I have 52 yr old eyes mind you but I do not see a crease in, Leon's card anywhere?

The worst I see is a small stain on the back of his card but there is no way in hell that card is a 2.

Like what Leon has shown, his card is "clearly" nice/better than those 2.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:43 PM
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Ok Dale, there's no crease. Agree it's a really nice card.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:48 PM
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Ok Dale, there's no crease. Agree it's a really nice card.
Didn't think so.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:23 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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My eyes must be as bad as Daves...

Looks like a crease running almost straight down from the E in Mickey.

One of those cases where the technical grade can't tell the whole story.
And yes, way nicer looking than the other two. If I had the dough I'd offer to pick up whatever was around that was even close to that nice after Leon was done buying.

Steve B
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:11 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
The synopsis of the threads I have read are: sometimes the black gaskets wrap around and damage the cards in SGC holders, making "protected" cards worth less than they should be, since they're now damaged or ripped and no longer worthy of their grades.
They have also been known to grade trimmed or altered cards and grade them with a number. That's what was confirmed in the JustCollect thread I referred to.
Well, ok here's a bit from a pro SGC guy that's not all rah rah.

As far as the gaskets go - Wrap around isn't really correct, They're sometimes a bit too thin, and thinner cards can slide under them. Hasn't happened to me, but I've seen the pics and yeah, those really should be done better. Thicker for sure, and I'd love to see them in colors besides black. T51s are really thin, so I think you were better off with PSA. On the other hand, they make the slab very adjustable. So odd sets don't have to get a weird looking plastic bag, and oversize cards can be holdered easily. that's more of an issue for prewar than postwar.

Resale - PSA does have an advantage in a number of areas, not all, but a lot especially postwar. And that's entirely because of the registry. Love it or hate it it's probably there to stay.

Registry - SGC was a bit too late to the game, to get much traction there, and I will say their new setup for pop reports and registry needs work. The old one wasn't great, but worked. The new one is really hard to navigate at times. When I started grading a few cards PSA didn't make the pop reports public? They do now and that's a huge improvement.

The holder overall - SGCs could use some major updating physically. But as we saw when they tried going to a really different flip, there was a LOAD of resistance. PSA did some upgrades, but apparently still sneaks a few of the old slabs in here and there. I haven't really looked at the new one, but everyone says it's harder to compromise and that's a good thing.
Retooling the slabs might be considered as too expensive, but really needs to be done by SGC. (Why neither company laser etches the SN onto the slab itself is a puzzle.)

Grading fakes /altered cards - If it's fair to take SGC to task over stuff supposedly done 15+ years ago, then it should be fair to say the same about PSA.

Consistency - I will say that the last year or so I've seen some pretty weak mid grade T206s from SGC. 50's that look to me more like 40's, that sort of thing. Overall I think they're more consistent, maybe having fewer cards to do helps. PSA certainly has a much larger volume, so even if they have the same rate of mistakes we'll see more from them. Probably also because the customer base is more into grading for immediate sale rather than grading and holding the card for a few years. (Just my impression, could be wrong)

Overall business approach - I don't like the "Pay us for the privilege of paying us " approach of PSA. Just as I'd be pretty put off by a bar charging $100 as a cover but saying it included my first 8 beers. I dropped off my first few cards with SGC at a show, and they were pretty nice about answering some questions I had about the slab itself - was it totally sealed? No (That's good, at least if there's acidic outgassing from the cardstock it won't be totally sealed inside to make things worse) How do I figure the value of the cards I'm sending in? Based on what I think the grade might be, or on what it's worth ungraded? - Quick look, "Mid grade T206s put 100 each" They were also very nice and quick about showing me the stuff I'd missed on a couple where I really questioned the grade. Also at a show, and for free. I haven't talked to anyone from PSA since they were new, so nothing really to compare. When they were new my questions were about grading cards that might be factory miscut oversized, and the answer was sort of a dismissive "meh, if it won't fit the holder there's not much we can do" But that was during their first year, so not a good comparison.

Overall, I think either one is fine *, and I'll include Beckett in that as well although I only have maybe one or two cards they've done and don't look at many.


*I do however think that the tiering and turnaround for both (Maybe Bekett too? ) Is totally backwards. My other current active hobby has certification, and the leaders take their time doing it, and more time on the expensive stuff. They're also more willing to not offer an opinion if something is really unusual to the point where it cant reliably be deemed authentic.


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Old 06-19-2016, 10:12 PM
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I guess opinions can differ. If you think that is a 2 so be it. I don't. I have heard too many resubmission stories but maybe they are all wrong. Happy collecting...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Bowman-...oAAOSwgApW~WWs

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Leon, you're a hobby veteran, so I'm surprised, but you're mixing up "eye appeal" and "technical grade." It's a beautiful card, but PSA's grading standards state that if a card exhibits a clearly visible crease, it will get a PSA 2 or lower. That is black & white and not open to opinion. But again, the card is gorgeous, and exhibits eye appeal that FAR exceeds the technical grade. I believe that in an auction the card would sell for much more than other PSA 2 copies of the same card. But that does not mean it is not technically graded correctly as a 2. A card can be both a beautiful specimen and a PSA 2. These 2 attributes are not mutually exclusive.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:16 AM
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Leon, you're a hobby veteran, so I'm surprised, but you're mixing up "eye appeal" and "technical grade." It's a beautiful card, but PSA's grading standards state that if a card exhibits a clearly visible crease, it will get a PSA 2 or lower. That is black & white and not open to opinion. But again, the card is gorgeous, and exhibits eye appeal that FAR exceeds the technical grade. I believe that in an auction the card would sell for much more than other PSA 2 copies of the same card. But that does not mean it is not technically graded correctly as a 2. A card can be both a beautiful specimen and a PSA 2. These 2 attributes are not mutually exclusive.
Actually, not to be too much of a hardhead but You are wrong about a crease, to start with, according to the written standards. Not that it matters but this "crease" is a wrinkle as there is NO creasing on the back, it's a wrinkle. Even if it were a crease it wouldn't matter it should still be a higher grade ACCORDING TO PSA'S WRITTEN RULES. It should have easily been a 3 imo.....

I am surprised of the pushback and apparent ignorance of PSA's written standards on the PSA grading of the Mantle. It is clearly misgraded to me but of course I am bias. I am surprised though, the PSA advocates don't know these guidelines by heart. From their website-

"A PSA VG 3 card reveals some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. Focus may be somewhat off-register and edges may exhibit noticeable wear. Much, but not all, of the card's original gloss will be lost. Borders may be somewhat yellowed and/or discolored. A crease may be visible. Printing defects are possible. Slight stain may show on obverse and wax staining on reverse may be more prominent. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back."

Even when going to a PSA 4 their site says "A light crease may be visible."

With those standards this card easily qualifies for a 3 possibly a 3.5, imo......


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Old 06-20-2016, 07:57 AM
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Actually, not to be too much of a hardhead but You are wrong about a crease, to start with, according to the written standards. Not that it matters but this "crease" is a wrinkle as there is NO creasing on the back, it's a wrinkle. Even if it were a crease it wouldn't matter it should still be a higher grade ACCORDING TO PSA'S WRITTEN RULES. It should have easily been a 3 imo.....

I am surprised of the pushback and apparent ignorance of PSA's written standards on the PSA grading of the Mantle. It is clearly misgraded to me but of course I am bias. I am surprised though, the PSA advocates don't know these guidelines by heart. From their website-

"A PSA VG 3 card reveals some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. Focus may be somewhat off-register and edges may exhibit noticeable wear. Much, but not all, of the card's original gloss will be lost. Borders may be somewhat yellowed and/or discolored. A crease may be visible. Printing defects are possible. Slight stain may show on obverse and wax staining on reverse may be more prominent. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back."

Even when going to a PSA 4 their site says "A light crease may be visible."

With those standards this card easily qualifies for a 3 possibly a 3.5, imo......


.
If you feel that strongly- and I understand- what could you possibly have to lose by a resubmission. The card has a wrinkle/ crease. Resubmit to the TPG of your choice and if the card comes back any higher than 2.5- I will personally reimburse your submission fees. Go for it. And once more...Nice card
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:15 AM
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They (SGC) have also been known to grade trimmed or altered cards and grade them with a number.
To me, this is hilarious. The very foundation of PSA is built on a trimmed card...

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Old 06-20-2016, 08:42 AM
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David, you should make that image your avatar.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:39 AM
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I didn't know that saying they correctly graded one card made me a "PSA advocate." Now I know. Regardless, your card is a 2, and if you subbed it 10x it would never get higher than a 2.5 . Nevertheless, I love the card and would be proud to own it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:51 AM
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I didn't know that saying they correctly graded one card made me a "PSA advocate." Now I know. Regardless, your card is a 2, and if you subbed it 10x it would never get higher than a 2.5 . Nevertheless, I love the card and would be proud to own it.
Ok then Dan, no worries. You aren't a PSA advocate. Thanks for the kind words about the card too. Let's just forget the part about creases and it will be all better. No way could a 3-4 have any. Just like it doesn't rate a 3.... No way. (unless we go by PSA's written quidelines)

I am sure Please Submit Again would love for it to be sent in 10 more times. That would be $800 in fees and about $250 in gouged shipping costs.
I have heard of people doing that. It's a great racket. My question is if PSA got it wrong then why are they charging to change a mistake? LMAO

I fix my mistakes for free.


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Old 06-20-2016, 09:57 AM
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There is probably a disparity between their written grading standards and how they really grade. Especially on a major card. According to the written word yes it could be a 3 but I would be surprised if they bumped it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:05 AM
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Ok then Dan, no worries. You aren't a PSA advocate. Thanks for the kind words about the card too. Let's just forget the part about creases and it will be all better. No way could a 3-4 have any. Just like it doesn't rate a 3.... No way. (unless we go by PSA's written quidelines)

I am sure Please Submit Again would love for it to be sent in 10 more times. That would be $800 in fees and about $250 in gouged shipping costs.
I have heard of people doing that. It's a great racket. My question is if PSA got it wrong then why are they charging to change a mistake? LMAO

I fix my mistakes for free.
.
I admit I misstated their stance on creases. Nevertheless, that doesn't change my opinion that the card is correctly graded. Just my opinion and I'll agree to disagree.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:25 AM
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I admit I misstated their stance on creases. Nevertheless, that doesn't change my opinion that the card is correctly graded. Just my opinion and I'll agree to disagree.
It's only cards and a conversation, no more and no less. I don't think PSA is a bad company. I would guess 80%-90% of the value of my card holdings are now in PSA holders (with rookies included). I just think they are way, way, way overrated. But too, I have to go with the perceived notion they are better, for buying and selling, as that is the game in the hobby so it seems. I will have to pay (and sell for) less, the other TPG companies holders in certain parts of the hobby. And I agree, we can politely agree to disagree. It's all good....take care
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:48 PM
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Default You knew either James or Ullman

would bring up the Wagner. Like I said before completely different regime at PSA now than back then. I do not hold the current SGC regime responsible for the fiascos graded during the Merkle period including that absolute joke of a Doyle and I do not blame Joe Orlando run PSA for the Rocchi regime and their misses.

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Old 06-20-2016, 12:53 PM
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would bring up the Wagner. Like I said before completely different regime at PSA now than back then. I do not hold the current SGC regime responsible for the fiascos graded during the Merkle period including that absolute joke of a Doyle and I do not blame Joe Orlando run PSA for the Rocchi regime and their misses.
David Hall is and was on the scene though, no? And Wagner was pre-Rocchi.

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Old 06-20-2016, 12:59 PM
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Doesn't pay attention to the grading unless hes submitting his own t206s. He is less envolved in the day to day at PSA than Dave at SGC (who generally stayed out of everything while I was there). Rocchi was there he may not have been President yet but he himself has told me he was there. He used to brag that he was their first employee hired

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Old 06-20-2016, 01:03 PM
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You talk about the Wagner as if it just accidentally slipped by. "Whoops, we missed one." No, it was graded KNOWING it was trimmed at the time.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:04 PM
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Doesn't pay attention to the grading unless hes submitting his own t206s. He is less envolved in the day to day at PSA than Dave at SGC (who generally stayed out of everything while I was there). Rocchi was there he may not have been President yet but he himself has told me he was there. He used to brag that he was their first employee hired
I have never heard that Rocchi had anything to do with the grading of the Wagner. Hall of course had everything to do with it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:05 PM
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You talk about the Wagner as if it just accidentally slipped by. "Whoops, we missed one." No, it was graded KNOWING it was trimmed at the time.
And is it your contention SGC never did that?
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:08 PM
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that gave me a good chuckle, pete!

thank you.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:10 PM
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Default I agree they had to know

I never said otherwise. If Merkle didn't know that Doyle was bad he was the most incompetent person to ever grade a card. in my honest opinion he was not that incompetent. I will never believe it was incompetence that got that doyle graded based on my opinion of the entire situation.

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Old 06-20-2016, 01:43 PM
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It would be nice if the grading companies provided or offered at an additional fee an explanation with the grade. I am interested in knowing what the blemishes are. It should be standard when paying a premium grading fee. The grader's name/initials should be attached the grade as well.

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Old 06-20-2016, 03:09 PM
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The very foundation of PSA is built on a trimmed card...
Exactly, glad to see someone finally make this distiction. I've cited this very thing when people in other threads or in online sales want to get all high and mighty about PSA. Have you watched the ESPN 30-for-30 short "Holy Grail" with Keith Olbermann, where he just (very convincingly) rips the entire history of that card and exposes it and Bill Mastro as total frauds? The worst part is where PSA founder David Hall's reasoning for the slab on the Gretzky Wagner is "well, it didn't look trimmed to me." Come. On. The company whose very reason for being is that they are ostensibly the experts and know more about cards than anyone to the point where they can be the unquestioned authority - and that right there proves it's built on a foundation of total rubbish. Other graders in the room said they knew it was trimmed but to give it an Altered designation would be too detrimental to the hobby. They may have been right, but it does not change the fact that yes, the whole foundation of PSA essentially is built on a gigantic lie. If they ever just hand out Wagner cards one day, I'd much rather have Mr. Burdick's from the Met - even though it's in worse shape and has a few visible wrinkles.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:30 PM
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I am in my mid 30's so my generation has, I think, a totally unique perspective on the hobby because while many generations of collectors EXPERIENCED the junk wax era, we're the only generation to have been INTRODUCED to the hobby by and RAISED ON the junk wax era. Because we never knew a more rational market before, I assume (but could be wrong) that we're far more skeptical of the hobby than the older generations or the newest generation of collectors.
I'm right there with you, I will be 40 next year. Started on Topps wax in '86 and got out of collecting anything new probably around '91 or '92 when the various new sets after Upper Deck came on the scene just got more and more and more to the point where I was no longer interested in keeping up. I put the cards away from then until after college, when I got interested again because of ebay, but since then have focused only on vintage.

I was skeptical of graded cards at first too, and still am to a point - though I do see the value, even for what I collect (midgrade or worse) just for the authentication and to know what I am getting when 99% of what I buy these days is online. I do think it's a joke that PSA was basically built on a lie, but anymore I don't think they are dishonest as a company intentionally - there are just the "errors" that come naturally when you operate at that scale and have super high-volume customers who expect special treatment.

Like some others, anymore I collect purely for my own enjoyment and not for investment. PSA on the whole as well as SGC (I don't have much experience with Beckett) seems to be generally on the level. I have some PSA 4's that look better than other 5's in my collection without any apparent technical rules that led to the grades, but to me that is not a huge deal. If I really disagree with the grade on a particular slab, usually I'm glad to get it at a reduced price and then I will just bust them out of the slabs upon arrival.

I will say that there are some other groups online where some very gorgeous cards are routinely displayed, but where the purpose generally seems for folks to jerk each other off about how great PSA is. I got some nasty comments for just questioning that PSA might have some flaws once upon a time. Not that I blame folks for trying to protect their investments, it's just silly to me these days that there is an entire sub-hobby about a service and not the cards themselves. I cannot get into that part of it, but I do enjoy looking at PSA 9's and 10's of cards that I would never be able to afford in a million years.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:59 PM
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It would be nice if the grading companies provided or offered at an additional fee an explanation with the grade. I am interested in knowing what the blemishes are. It should be standard when paying a premium grading fee. The grader's name/initials should be attached the grade as well.
I can't say about PSA, but in person SGC might do this for free depending on schedule and what's going on.
They gave me a quick accurate explanation without charge on a couple cards that I'd had done a year + before the show. It may have helped that I'd just dropped off about 10 easy ones for grading at the show and they were a bit slow right then. (And by easy I mean T206 blank backs, a CB red Cobb that was going to be either a 10 or A and at least one other)

Here's one of the ones I had them check.


There's a tiny flake off the surface of one corner. A bit less than the head of a pin size, centering isn't perfect but not all that bad. Registration is a bit off, corners nicer than the scan, but not perfect. I couldn't quite figure out the 50.

The guy pointed out a tiny wrinkle on the front about halfway up the left side which I'd missed. Front only, and only goes as far as the frameline. When I asked about the written standard showing spider wrinkles as Ok up to 70 he said the grades are cumulative. Perfect card with the same little wrinkle =70 Nice looking card with 5 very minor flaws =50.

The other one looked nearly as nice, but only got a 40. That one had an erasure of a very light pencil mark right in the middle of the back. That I'd missed since maybe 1980

With the explanation I'm a lot more comfortable with the grades. And pretty impressed that they spotted all that. The guy at the table took all of maybe one minute to look over both cards.


If a card won't grade, and you elect to not slab as "A" you usually get at least a brief explanation.


Top and bottom edges are factory, but cut with a dull blade. The front rounding and back ridge of a factory cut are VERY pronounced. And the edge of the ridge is quite rough.
Thinking about how even slightly undersize cards are viewed by some, I can understand why the declined to give it a number.

Speaking of creases....... From the submission at the show. A grade I feel is a bit generous. I'd hoped for a 30, expected a 20, would have been very pleased with a 35



And an earlier one, with a crease down the center either from removal from a page, or that I did getting it out of the mylar slip inside a toploader. Just a tip, the mylar will eventually press out the air between itself and the toploader making it truly stuck. I can only wonder what it would be without that.




Making things easy may have also helped get the free review. When I handed him the stack I was dropping off, he got to the Cobb, kinda paused and said "umm .....I can't do this one at the onsite grading price tier, it's worth a bit more. So I asked how much, and after a pause he gave me a price for the stack that worked out to maybe another ten bucks to do the Cobb. Done deal, see you in an hour or two. I'd hate to think that influenced the Young grading, but I'll probably always wonder.

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Old 06-20-2016, 06:00 PM
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In addition to cracking out quite a few T206 cards to display "raw" in my binder, I am also putting together a T205 Gold Border set all in SGC holders. Almost all of the T205s I purchased were either raw, or already slabbed by SGC. I cracked three cards out of PSA slabs, and one out of a Beckett holder. Two of the PSA cards crossed over to SGC with the same grade. And then there are these two. Tris Speaker was cracked out of a Beckett "Authentic" "Altered" slab, and SGC graded the card VG 40. The Robert Harmon card was cracked out of a PSA 3 VG slab, and SGC returned the card "A" Authentic (and the card appears quite short).
I really don't know what this adds to the conversation, but thought it would be fun to share these. I actually have a single card at SGC right now (not a T205) and it's always exciting when you are notified that they have received your card and waiting to see what they think.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:34 PM
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Simple things PSA could do to immediately gain more trust and improve their product, yet they flat out refuse to even acknowledge their customers have asked for these things:

1) Bulk up the cases for better security
2) Provide card-specific rationale for grades (or save everyone time and go to sub grades like BGS)
3) Acknowledge security issues and tell your customers how you plan to fix them

The WORST thing you can do is pretend your customers don't exist unless they're holding dollars out to you.

Of course who has time to talk to your customers; you only have something like 8 seconds to review each submission...
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:22 PM
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PSA has improved their holders. Yes, they're pretty silent on their mistakes, but they also don't publicize when people put fake cards into cloned or compromised holders. They have also improved the flips to validate questionable cards. They're not perfect, but when I go to them to fix something they've done wrong, I've been pretty satisfied.

Beckett used to put subgrades on vintage cards in BVG holders, but stopped doing that. PSA's not perfect, and I never contended they were. They're still the best out there, and their Registry is second to none. Having the registry has also scuttled many fraudsters/thieves from moving cards as easily.
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:52 PM
PowderedH2O PowderedH2O is offline
Sam Lemoine
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Location: Greensboro/High Point, NC
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All of these are the reasons I have become less and less concerned with grading. I've been putting together raw sets, and I've been selling off my graded cards. The only exceptions are the big dollar cards, and only because I want my wife to be able to sell them as authentic easier when I die.

Leon's Mantle is a perfect example. PSA has their little rules. But who says their grading system is correct? I've seen 4's and 5's that don't look as good as Leon's 2. I've got a 53 Topps Mantle PSA 1.5 that has three little creases in it that you have to look very close to see. But, it is centered, has gloss, and is beautiful. I have no plans to upgrade it. A few years ago I graded a 1972 Hi Number Joe Namath that came back a PSA 5 because it had a microcrease that could be seen only with a microscope. Really? I'm in my 50's. If I can't see the microcrease, then I don't worry about it. We get so hung up on these numbers. I actually look for these types of cards. I love to find low graded cards that look great. Isn't it funny how the difference between a PSA 8 and PSA 10 can often be nothing (or practically nothing), yet a PSA 1 and PSA 1.5 or 2 can have enormous differences?
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