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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used > Autograph Forum- Primarily Sports

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  #1  
Old 05-04-2023, 03:49 PM
homerunhitter homerunhitter is offline
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Default What is your opinion on TPA's?

What is your opinion on TPA's? (PSA, JSA, Beckett, SGC, Etc)

Not looking for forty people to post, "you should learn autographs" or "do your homework on autographs" I have seen that a hundred times on this site, I get it. I understand that, but im not asking THAT question....im instead asking....

What is your opinion on TPA's in general? Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2023, 04:17 PM
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They are the absolute greatest thing in the hobby. That is if you have raw items you can get "certified" by them to sell. They are absolutely amazing for making money that way. Other than that they are completely worthless.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2023, 04:27 PM
homerunhitter homerunhitter is offline
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I appreciate your honest opinion. Thank you

any other thoughts?
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  #4  
Old 05-04-2023, 05:22 PM
rand1com rand1com is online now
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They are way better than just buying autographs blind especially if you like to collect autographs but know little about their authenticity.

Obviously, they make some mistakes that get highlighted but if they get 90% right that gives a collector a way better chance to get something authentic than just rolling the dice.
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2023, 08:49 PM
theshleps theshleps is offline
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I have had the opportunity to know some of the top authenticators and spend time with them and learn from them. At last a few of them know alot more than me. many questions still remain
1- when we send something in we do not know which authenticators look at your item, how many look, how much time they spend looking.
if I knew only the top guys would look and take all the necessary time they need, I'd be great
.
Unfortunately that cannot be guaranteed as the demand for authentication outweighs the number of experts that do it for a living.
Again if you need to sell and use an auction house TPAs are required and PSA slabbed typically will go for more than the others. In some ways I wished we turned back the clock but that is in many things in todays world
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2023, 08:37 AM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is online now
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To paraphrase what Winston Churchill said of Democracy, that it is the worst form of government except for all the others, substitute TPAs. I'd like to hear from somebody that would like to go back to when they weren't part of the hobby.
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2023, 08:48 AM
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guy3050 guy3050 is offline
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in many cases they are a necessary evil.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2023, 12:18 PM
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They are pretty much necessary if you plan on reselling. If you got autographs done personally and only planning of keeping them in your personal collection, they are not needed.

If you plan on reselling and at a reasonable price, they are needed.

Also, they are not always 100% accurate, especially for extremely rare autographs. Vintage baseball as an example. The best course of action is to first see if there is a TPA and then personally review other autograph examples to conclude if the autograph is authentic.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2023, 12:28 PM
rand1com rand1com is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshleps View Post
I have had the opportunity to know some of the top authenticators and spend time with them and learn from them. At last a few of them know alot more than me. many questions still remain
1- when we send something in we do not know which authenticators look at your item, how many look, how much time they spend looking.
if I knew only the top guys would look and take all the necessary time they need, I'd be great
.
Unfortunately that cannot be guaranteed as the demand for authentication outweighs the number of experts that do it for a living.
Again if you need to sell and use an auction house TPAs are required and PSA slabbed typically will go for more than the others. In some ways I wished we turned back the clock but that is in many things in todays world
I agree we do not know who looks at our items. And like you, I have a lot of confidence in the senior authenticators at all 3 major 3rd parties, but they have to hire trainees just like the card grading companies do and they are no better than anyone else who starts with no real knowledge. I know that the 3rd parties for the most part when they authenticate at shows send pics of most of the autographs(especially the high dollar ones) to the senior guys. Sometimes, they take the item back with them if there is any question. They really try to do their best and we all know they sometimes miss the mark. Overall, they have greatly improved the autograph market in my opinion.

Last edited by rand1com; 05-05-2023 at 01:04 PM. Reason: content
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2023, 04:55 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is online now
Hank Thomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rand1com View Post
I agree we do not know who looks at our items. And like you, I have a lot of confidence in the senior authenticators at all 3 major 3rd parties, but they have to hire trainees just like the card grading companies do and they are no better than anyone else who starts with no real knowledge. I know that the 3rd parties for the most part when they authenticate at shows send pics of most of the autographs(especially the high dollar ones) to the senior guys. Sometimes, they take the item back with them if there is any question. They really try to do their best and we all know they sometimes miss the mark. Overall, they have greatly improved the autograph market in my opinion.
+1.
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2023, 06:27 PM
ThomasL ThomasL is offline
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I dont put much weight in them at all. I know collectors that have far better knowledge and comp libraries. Kevin Keating at PSA is a good judge IMO but I have no idea how you could know he looked at a submission or someone else. JSA is usually good IMO. Beckett is the worst (least reliable).

Again there are collectors that are far better judges so save your money
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2023, 06:56 PM
theshleps theshleps is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasL View Post
I dont put much weight in them at all. I know collectors that have far better knowledge and comp libraries. Kevin Keating at PSA is a good judge IMO but I have no idea how you could know he looked at a submission or someone else. JSA is usually good IMO. Beckett is the worst (least reliable).

Again there are collectors that are far better judges so save your money
Thomas I agree with your assessment and I put Bill Corcoran up there with keating and they at least when they evaluated my collection needed confirmation from both of them on the high dollar items
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2023, 08:14 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasL View Post
I know collectors that have far better knowledge and comp libraries.
Those guys must have some collections!
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2023, 06:08 AM
BillyCoxDodgers3B BillyCoxDodgers3B is offline
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My time in this hobby predates the TPAs. I've also worked as a TPA and ultimately left that to deal in autographs. I miss the pre-TPA era, where much more emphasis was placed on personal responsibility and knowledge. Forcing us to fend for ourselves, it made us stronger and more independent. The reputable dealers were honorable if something they sold later turned out to be amiss. You quickly learned who to deal with and who to avoid, and it was your own damned fault if you continued to roll the dice with dealers of questionable repute.

Since leaving the TPA end of the industry many years ago, I've had practically no need of their services. I can sell my material without slabs, stickers and LOAs. Granted, the majority of what I deal in is not your usual Mantle/Williams/DiMaggio/Jeter, etc. I'm not suffering as a result of not spending undue funds for outside opinions; I'm perfectly comfortable with my own thoughts and feelings on the subject, thanks very much.

Granted, when it comes to big ticket, HOF items, you're going to maximize your potential profit by utilizing the services of a TPA. In those cases, the no-brainer solution is to simply talk to a sampling of your favorite auction houses to see who can make you the best offer for the sale of your material and cost to you (if any) for TPA authentication. Leave it to them and wash your hands of the often-convoluted, costly and lengthy TPA process when done on your own. Sit back and wait to collect your check after the auction. Keep it simple and keep costs and headaches down!
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2023, 12:50 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyCoxDodgers3B View Post
My time in this hobby predates the TPAs. I've also worked as a TPA and ultimately left that to deal in autographs. I miss the pre-TPA era, where much more emphasis was placed on personal responsibility and knowledge. Forcing us to fend for ourselves, it made us stronger and more independent. The reputable dealers were honorable if something they sold later turned out to be amiss. You quickly learned who to deal with and who to avoid, and it was your own damned fault if you continued to roll the dice with dealers of questionable repute.

Since leaving the TPA end of the industry many years ago, I've had practically no need of their services. I can sell my material without slabs, stickers and LOAs. Granted, the majority of what I deal in is not your usual Mantle/Williams/DiMaggio/Jeter, etc. I'm not suffering as a result of not spending undue funds for outside opinions; I'm perfectly comfortable with my own thoughts and feelings on the subject, thanks very much.

Granted, when it comes to big ticket, HOF items, you're going to maximize your potential profit by utilizing the services of a TPA. In those cases, the no-brainer solution is to simply talk to a sampling of your favorite auction houses to see who can make you the best offer for the sale of your material and cost to you (if any) for TPA authentication. Leave it to them and wash your hands of the often-convoluted, costly and lengthy TPA process when done on your own. Sit back and wait to collect your check after the auction. Keep it simple and keep costs and headaches down!
Of course, not everybody likes, nor has any use for, TPA services. But it does seem the market has spoken decisively as to their utility. They have also broadened that market considerably, I'd guess.
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  #16  
Old 05-07-2023, 02:11 PM
mrmopar mrmopar is offline
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There are always new people entering the market. Maybe it is the broader exposure of facebook groups, but it just seems to me that more and more people have entered in the last 3-5 years that know absolutely nothing. They rely on the certificates and authenticators and complete strangers opinions in online groups to guide them.

I am in a group that helps ID signatures and some of the stuff being posted is laughable. It seems to be people buying random stuff from thrift stores, garage sales, online market places, etc and then running over to this group to get the signatures identified, so they can probably turn around and sell for a profit, all the while not knowing a damn thing about what they are doing.

When you ask who signed a baseball that may or may not have a legible signature, but there there is a "HOF 62" or "NL ROY 1995" inscription, well I am not sure what I can say about your ability/knowledge that is anything other than disparaging.

I would have liked to see card makers get involved in the certified autograph craze sooner. I love that aspect of collecting more than just about anything anymore. We missed the boat (except for buyback cuts) on a lot of great players unfortunately, so I guess that helps to add comfort to signatures from guys like that who died before certification was a thing.
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2023, 09:09 PM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homerunhitter View Post
What is your opinion on TPA's? (PSA, JSA, Beckett, SGC, Etc)

Not looking for forty people to post, "you should learn autographs" or "do your homework on autographs" I have seen that a hundred times on this site, I get it. I understand that, but im not asking THAT question....im instead asking....

What is your opinion on TPA's in general? Thank you!
My opinion on TPAs is:

Third Party Opinion Sellers
VG-EX 4.5
(Opinion Grade Only)


NOTE: The OP who requested this opinion did not pay me extra for the Dual Opinion Service, whereby my above opinion would have listed the specific TPA I was opining about. Therefore the opinion flip just states the generic "Third Party Opinion Seller" heading.

If my opinion changes as a result of this thread, I will resubmit and add the following qualifier to my opinion:

A - Altered
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  #18  
Old 05-08-2023, 03:55 AM
Republicaninmass Republicaninmass is offline
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Their OPINIONS are "likely to be correct"
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  #19  
Old 05-08-2023, 07:58 AM
Kco Kco is offline
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It depends on the scenario. Generally they are good and needed, and I always utilize them as a backup to my opinion. If i like the item on my own, and PSA/JSA agree, it layers on my confidence in the piece.

For those saying "I only collect for me so I don't need it", my counter would be if you were to drop dead tomorrow, would your loved ones know what to do, what is worth what, or would they be the ones trying to fly blind to figure out how to sell your belongings after you're gone. It is for that reason almost entirely, that everything I have also has either PSA, JSA or both (for non first party items). There is also a valuation spreadsheet that I update regularly and instructions on which friends, auction houses and colleagues to contact should something happen to me.

The other component is WHICH TPA to use for what items, generally each has their strong suit and weaker areas. I tend to find JSA the best of the bunch for vintage baseball, followed by PSA and then Beckett. As vintage baseball is my primary collection focus, I tend to weight the opinions of these companies in that order.

Bottom line is they add legitimacy to what you're claiming something is. EVERY one of us started with no knowledge and built up our knowledge base and eyes over time. Some people genuinely cannot judge a signature no matter how long they look at it. Anyone just entering the hobby has that same baseline, and TPAs help make their purchase choice a lot safer. Sure TPAs miss some here and there, but they definitely bat over 90%, and well above 95% on the biggest names.
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  #20  
Old 05-08-2023, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kco View Post



For those saying "I only collect for me so I don't need it", my counter would be if you were to drop dead tomorrow, would your loved ones know what to do, what is worth what, or would they be the ones trying to fly blind to figure out how to sell your belongings after you're gone. It is for that reason almost entirely, that everything I have also has either PSA, JSA or both (for non first party items). There is also a valuation spreadsheet that I update regularly and instructions on which friends, auction houses and colleagues to contact should something happen to me.
I have heard this rationale about flying blind so many times, yet Imo it means nothing. First off, as you have done, is very easy to provide your family with the names and contact information for a handful of friends, dealers, and auction houses they can call to sell your collection, with or without TPAs. It took me virtually no time to contact on of the big auction houses, negotiate a rate for items of mine they sell, and give my wife one number she can call where they will haul it all away and send her a check. They will authenticate stuff that is worth it and not waste on stuff that isn't. Anyone could do the same and I have not had to spend a single dollar on a tpa. For me, it's better to take the extra money and buy more items that can appreciate rather than sinking into opinions that don't.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Kco View Post

The other component is WHICH TPA to use for what items, generally each has their strong suit and weaker areas. I tend to find JSA the best of the bunch for vintage baseball, followed by PSA and then Beckett. As vintage baseball is my primary collection focus, I tend to weight the opinions of these companies in that order.
This is a great point and is huge reason to NOT authenticate until right before sale. Suppose 10yrs from now PSA or JSA has a huge scandal and their opinions are worth nothing. It has happened before and could happen again to any of them.
To me, if you see TPAs as a business practice used to maximize sale price, then it's best to certify right before you sell.


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  #21  
Old 05-08-2023, 08:06 PM
homerunhitter homerunhitter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordstan View Post
This is a great point and is huge reason to NOT authenticate until right before sale. Suppose 10yrs from now PSA or JSA has a huge scandal and their opinions are worth nothing. It has happened before and could happen again to any of them.
With all of the graded cards (and autographs) out there can you imagine is PSA had a major scandal where now their opinion is worth as much as GAI (aka..not worth a thing!) the hobby will sink with all the graded cards out there nowadays. Yikes!
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  #22  
Old 05-08-2023, 08:44 PM
jad22 jad22 is offline
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They all seemed mostly unscathed (except for SGC) by the fake tobacco card issue a few years back.
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  #23  
Old 05-12-2023, 08:35 PM
Kco Kco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jad22 View Post
They all seemed mostly unscathed (except for SGC) by the fake tobacco card issue a few years back.
The trimmed card scandal hurt PSA, the issue is the COVID 19 Pandemic bailed them out tremendously as so much new money and old collectors whose flame got reignited through boredom came back into the hobby with a ton of extra cash they weren’t using on anything else.
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