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  #1  
Old 10-06-2013, 02:43 AM
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Bill Gregory
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Default Crossing over/upgrading T206 cards. Input from collectors would be appreciated!

Hey everybody, I just have a few quick questions about things I'll encounter while collecting "the Monster", and would really appreciate some input.

I have decided to go with SGC graded for my white borders set. In my opinion, SGC's slab is the most attractive presentation of tobacco cards, and everything I've read about their customer service (which is highly important to me) has been outstanding. I don't know yet if I am going to stick exclusively with one particular grade as t206hound (Erick) does with his SGC 40 collection, but I do know I'll be staying within the 30 to 50 grade range for now. For me, eye appeal is the most important factor in buying a card, and I can get some very attractive examples in that range without paying a premium the higher grades demand.

I know there are more PSA graded T206 cards than SGC graded, and I've read SGC's information on doing crossovers. From what I can tell, if I send a PSA graded card in to SGC to be graded and slabbed by them, if the card value is under $250, it will cost me $10 per card. Less than $500 will cost me $15, and less than $1,000 will be $25. How do they make a card value determination, though? They won't use SMR, which is a PSA publication. What if I send in multiple cards for crossover, and they fall within different tiers. Can I ask them to hold on to the more expensive cards, and then ship them all at once? Or, would I be wise to stick within one tier to ship at a time?

I'd also like to know about the accuracy of grading between companies. Let's say I make the decision to work on a SGC 40 set, and a few of the cards I need just aren't showing up as available. So, I buy them as PSA 3s. I know that sometimes cards are under or over graded. But in your experiences, are crossover grades pretty predictable? If I send in 10 commons PSA 3s, can I expect to get 8 or 9 of them as SGC 40s?

Lastly, for higher value cards, how easy is it to upgrade? I just bought my first Hall of Famer, a SGC 30 Walter Johnson portrait (thanks again, Rob!). If I decided to do a SGC 40 set for the registry, and needed to upgrade the Johnson to a SGC 40, is it going to be easier for me to sell the card outright and buy a 40, or are other collectors readily willing to exchange a 30 for a 40 (with cash making up the difference)? Again, please answer based on your experiences.

If you guys have any other pointers you feel would help me out as I start going seriously at the monster, I'd appreciate it. I'm in no rush. I plan on enjoying the ride over many years, as I still want to buy other pre-war, vintage and even modern cards, too! But if I can add at least a few cards to the set every month, then I'll be happy. I'm a fairly young guy (42), so God willing, I'll have many years ahead of me. For me, the hunt is almost as fun as getting a card in. I look at the BST and Ebay pretty much every day. Sometimes I buy, more often than not, at least to this point, I don't. And when I don't buy, I love seeing what everybody else is getting. I enjoy rooting other forum members on, too.

Thanks for reading, everybody. I'm sorry if I was a tad long-winded.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2013, 06:10 AM
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P.hil lli$
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Default T206

Hi Bill. I too collect the T206 set in SGC only. I am collecting it in SGC50 or better and have been collecting it for 7.5 years now. I am up to 445 in SGC50 or better.
When I started collecting it, I purchased some PSA graded cards. I think I only had 3 or 4 PSAs when I decided to collect only SGC. I sent them in to get crossed over, and none of them crossed over to their same grade in SGC. Also when I began the journey, I purchased some great looking raw cards with the hope of sending them in to SGC for a minimum grade of SGC50. Again, no luck. None of them made my minimum grade. So, I spent extra money to get these raw/PSA cards graded by SGC, paid for shipping, etc. and didn't have any luck. I decided that I wouldn't purchase anymore PSAs or raw cards because I was spending extra money to have them graded with the CHANCE that they crossed over. A waste of money in my eyes.
I also don't purchase any cards less than an SGC50 in hopes of upgrading later. Again, a waste of money to upgrade in the future in my mind.
You will go through many dry spells in your purchasing. You must be patient.
I set a goal of 10 years to finish my set (520) in SGC50 or better. With 75 more cards to go and 2.5 years to hit my goal, I think I am in good shape.
Finally, if a card doesn't meet your minimum criteria, don't bother with it, another one will come along sooner or later. Patience!
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2013, 06:57 AM
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Adam Goldenberg
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Default Psa/sgc

Also if you do buy PSA to cross to SGC bear in mind that they DO NOT follow the same grading criteria. I took a group to the National this year to cross over to SGC. While many did cross, ANY cards with a sign of paperloss received no higher than a 20. Some of these were in PSA 4 holders.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:03 AM
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I too prefer SGC for pre-war cards; good choice. I've only done a few crossovers and had mixed results. I've had only one card go up a half point grade coming from PSA to SGC. Most have received the same grade. I've had only one that didn't meet the requested minimum grade.

If you have a good enough eye, you can try buying raw, hoping to have the card meet the particular grade. I have to imagine you'd strike out more than often unless you've got a keen eye. Perhaps Erick can chime in about this since he's been going this route to the best of my knowledge. It became a little more difficult to do this when SGC came out with their half-point grades.

I'd recommend buying the card already in the grade you want if you can as it'll probably save you time and headache in the long run. Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2013, 08:08 AM
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Bill Gregory
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Some great input, guys. Thank you both!

Phil, that's awesome you're getting so close to your goal. I don't think I'll come close to completing it in ten years, as there are many other sets, pre-war, vintage and modern alike, that I want to collect cards from, too. I love baseball's history, but I also love watching the game now, and I follow players from when they are first drafted. It's a treat to watch minor league games, and see guys develop. I'm going to use the prospecting skills I've developed to help create a little extra income for buying my cards for my pre-war and vintage collections.

Adam, do you feel on the whole that SGC is a little tougher grader? I can put up with edge and corner wear, some minor staining, and centering that is slightly off. But paper loss, or holes in the card, I draw the line there. Those two things just lower the card's overall eye appeal too much.
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Building these sets: T206, 1953 Bowman Color, 1975 Topps.

Great transactions with: piedmont150, Cardboard Junkie, z28jd, t206blogcom, tinkertoeverstochance, trobba, Texxxx, marcdelpercio, t206hound, zachs, tolstoi, IronHorse 2130, AndyG09, BBT206, jtschantz, lug-nut, leaflover, Abravefan11, mpemulis, btcarfagno, BlueSky, and Frankbmd.
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2013, 08:19 AM
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Bill Gregory
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Some sage advice, Jason. Thank you!

Are you aware of a good grading guide that's been written specifically for T206 cards?
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Building these sets: T206, 1953 Bowman Color, 1975 Topps.

Great transactions with: piedmont150, Cardboard Junkie, z28jd, t206blogcom, tinkertoeverstochance, trobba, Texxxx, marcdelpercio, t206hound, zachs, tolstoi, IronHorse 2130, AndyG09, BBT206, jtschantz, lug-nut, leaflover, Abravefan11, mpemulis, btcarfagno, BlueSky, and Frankbmd.
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2013, 02:30 PM
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David Pierson
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Aloha Bill, Besides paper loss and holes, I think it's a good idea to try and avoid trimmed/altered cards in any way, (if possible we all have seen bad cards get past tpg's). I always felt a trimmed card was much like a card with paper loss in that it wasn't a "whole" card. I like the idea that eye appeal is most important. Dave
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2013, 04:04 PM
mrvster mrvster is offline
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Default Sgc

only way to go with T206 Bill
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2013, 05:00 PM
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I've been slowly sending in a few at a time on specials. Many of them ones I bought in the late 70's -early 80's, plus a few Ebay pickups.

For values, the first batch I sent in by handing them to them at the Shriners show. I asked about value and after a brief look maybe 15 seconds total, they said "mid grade T206s, 100 each." The ones I've done since then I've just gone with a best guess based on Ebay prices, and put down a high value that fit the service level or whatever special I was using. It's mostly for the registered mail coverage on the return. I've been realistic, I wouldn't try to slide the CB Cobb through on a $250 max value special even if it is a borderline A/10. I figure they'd catch it and call me about paying more. There have been a couple that were borderline - If it graded one way it would be over, if it went another it would be over. No problems with that so far.

I find the grades a bit variable, some higher than expected, some much lower. I'm not finicky about having them all in the same range, so it's mostly ok. I've gotten anywhere from 35-84, and about 50% make sense. Some of the rest are puzzling.

But you can't go wrong with eye appeal. There are some really nice looking lower grades out there. I can't see paying much premium if any, but I won't pass up a really nice looking card for the right price.

I do have a few PSA graded ones I'll eventually cross over. Maybe this month since there's a special. I just have to decide if I'll crack them out or not. Probably will, since it's cheaper right now.

Steve B
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2013, 06:21 PM
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Mark Hooks
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Hey Bill,

Like you, I am 42 as well and started on the Monster the first of the year (am 43/524). I also am collecting in SGC 30-50. There is a lot of truth to what others have said with respect to patience. It's tough not to buy everything you see but I made it a point to find the nicest centered cards as possible. Every day I seem to get even more picky.......LOL.

I do have a mixture of raw, SGC and PSA cards though most are SGC. I will end up with them all in SGC holders. I agree, the hunt is half the fun. Maybe we will be able to help each other along the way.

Mark
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2013, 10:16 PM
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Bill Gregory
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Thank you for the responses, everybody. One thing I would appreciate everybody addressing is upgrading cards within a collection.

I've got some nice T206 cards now, and outside of the Johnson, none of them were terribly costly. How easy is it to facilitate upgrades? Would I be best served just by selling the cards, then looking for replacements, or in your experiences, have you found members willing to exchange (perhaps when they have duplicates) with cash making up the difference?
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Building these sets: T206, 1953 Bowman Color, 1975 Topps.

Great transactions with: piedmont150, Cardboard Junkie, z28jd, t206blogcom, tinkertoeverstochance, trobba, Texxxx, marcdelpercio, t206hound, zachs, tolstoi, IronHorse 2130, AndyG09, BBT206, jtschantz, lug-nut, leaflover, Abravefan11, mpemulis, btcarfagno, BlueSky, and Frankbmd.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:44 PM
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2013, 05:49 AM
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In most cases people don't want to down grade. They want to go up. I would find the upgrade first then just sell the lower grade card.
As far as buying a card with plans of crossing to SGC, I would stay away from that if possible. In the long run you will end up paying more for a card than need be. Just wait for good SGC graded cards that you like.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:34 AM
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r!k mmr$
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the 'stache View Post
but I do know I'll be staying within the 30 to 50 grade range for now. For me, eye appeal is the most important factor in buying a card, and I can get some very attractive examples in that range without paying a premium the higher grades demand.
If you stay within a range, your task will be much easier than mine... especially now that SGC has half grades.


Quote:
Originally Posted by the 'stache View Post
How do they (SGC) make a card value determination, though?
SGC doesn't make the value determination... the submitter does. Note that they are aware of T206 values, so you can't submit a Broadleaf Cobb for the wild card special I usually say values of $40-50 for my commons (knowing that most of my cards will come back 40-50).

Quote:
Originally Posted by the 'stache View Post
What if I send in multiple cards for crossover, and they fall within different tiers. Can I ask them to hold on to the more expensive cards, and then ship them all at once? Or, would I be wise to stick within one tier to ship at a time?
With SGC, you can have multiple orders ship together. If you have a submission with a Cobb that's a three day grade and two dozen commons with the wildcard special at ten days, SGC will ship all 25 cards back together at the cost of 25 cards (and the total insured value). They don't make you pay for two separate shipments. If you have questions, call Earl and he will help you out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the 'stache View Post
If I send in 10 commons PSA 3s, can I expect to get 8 or 9 of them as SGC 40s?
I think I did one crossover. When looking at PSA cards... ignore the number and judge the card for yourself. If there is paper loss or creasing (which isn't uncommon with PSA 3s), it probably won't cross. Also note that in many cases a PSA 3 will sell for more than an SGC 40. So, it's probably working against you to try to cross over unless you get a bargain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the 'stache View Post
Lastly, for higher value cards, how easy is it to upgrade? I just bought my first Hall of Famer, a SGC 30 Walter Johnson portrait (thanks again, Rob!). If I decided to do a SGC 40 set for the registry, and needed to upgrade the Johnson to a SGC 40, is it going to be easier for me to sell the card outright and buy a 40, or are other collectors readily willing to exchange a 30 for a 40 (with cash making up the difference)? Again, please answer based on your experiences.
It's probably going to be tough to find someone who wants to downgrade. If you had an SGC 50, you could certainly find someone who wants to upgrade and you could downgrade. I did this many times in my pursuit of forties. My experience is that you are better off selling the lower grade card.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t206hound View Post
SGC doesn't make the value determination... the submitter does.
Actually, SGC will do the value determination if what the submitter puts down is incorrect. I've had SGC call me to tell me that, "recent sales on eBay are higher than what you've indicated, so we have to charge you more to grade these cards."
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:14 PM
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Bill Gregory
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Thanks Bruce and Erick. Very helpful.

I don't have a lot invested in the ones that aren't SGC 40, so I might just keep those, or sell them down the road. I still like them as I only buy cards with eye appeal I like. Who knows, I might just crack the non 40s, and keep them au natural, and work on a second set the way they were meant to be. Maybe build up a nice stack of commons.
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Building these sets: T206, 1953 Bowman Color, 1975 Topps.

Great transactions with: piedmont150, Cardboard Junkie, z28jd, t206blogcom, tinkertoeverstochance, trobba, Texxxx, marcdelpercio, t206hound, zachs, tolstoi, IronHorse 2130, AndyG09, BBT206, jtschantz, lug-nut, leaflover, Abravefan11, mpemulis, btcarfagno, BlueSky, and Frankbmd.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:07 PM
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Actually, Bill, I have both. I began collecting graded cards, primarily because I could not trust my lack of experience to judge card quality, so my HOF collection is primarily graded. The vast majority are SGC. More recently I have amassed the majority as ungraded raw. I find to me there is a certain charm to cards in various condition. Cards with backstamps and names from prior owners have a special appeal, a sense of time and history, a feel and smell that does not disguise the true nature of 100 year old cadboard you lose in plastic.

On the other hand, certain cards look great in the black oversizedSGC holders, such as the lone R312 I have in graded condition

Just my personal opinion, such as it is. And of course tomorrow I may see that last Matty I need in an SGC 40....

Keith
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:02 PM
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I rather have a hole in my card than a hole in my collection.....

actually some SGC 30 cards I have with a Pinhole look as good as some 60's..

sometimes the pinholes are barely noticeable..a way to get a great looking card at a cheaper price...
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:45 PM
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Bill Gregory
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That's an interesting comment, Scott. Thank you for your perspective.

I'm a person that just doesn't like to speak in absolutes. I have a hard time saying "I never" or "I always". So, I sholdn't say "never" when it comes to cards with pinholes, or just the slightest paper loss. Life, like collecting, is never that cut and dry. There have been some cards with incredible eye appeal, and when I look at them, they seem way undergraded.

When I think of thumb tacks, it's the ones made now that leave monster holes. I need to remember that the ones used back then might have been smaller. And yes, I've seen some holes that are very difficult to see. Like creases, sometimes you really have to look for 'em.

I have a few really nice T206s with a tape stain on the back. That's the only thing keeping the cards from being higher than SGC 35.

I guess the best way to collect is to look at the card first, and then compare it against the grade. Or, just look at the card and forget the grade.
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Great transactions with: piedmont150, Cardboard Junkie, z28jd, t206blogcom, tinkertoeverstochance, trobba, Texxxx, marcdelpercio, t206hound, zachs, tolstoi, IronHorse 2130, AndyG09, BBT206, jtschantz, lug-nut, leaflover, Abravefan11, mpemulis, btcarfagno, BlueSky, and Frankbmd.
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