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View Full Version : How much influence does the grade of a card have in your purchase?


Doug
09-04-2009, 09:41 AM
If you are looking to add a fairly common card to your collection that is available in a wide variety of grades, how big of an influence is the technical grade on the example that you end up buying/trading for? Since this is a hypothetical question, all cards are graded accurately, have good eye appeal, and can be raw or graded by the company of your choice. :)

FrankWakefield
09-04-2009, 10:55 AM
15 votes, no posts...

So far, it looks like it's about the cards. I don't remember any kids, when I was a kid, who'd open those Topps packs, see a Mantle and smile, only to frown because the Mantle was next to the gum and had a gum spot on it... I don't recall any kids tossing a Mantle aside because it wasn't high grade.

jrhatchjr
09-04-2009, 11:33 AM
Grade has a huge influence on any purchase I make: generally if a card is graded or nice enough to be graded, I don't buy it ;)

Matt
09-04-2009, 11:38 AM
call for clarification - are you asking the importance of the actual condition of the card or the importance of the grade assigned by a TPG? (what? they're not the same?)

ChiefBenderForever
09-04-2009, 11:39 AM
I always go by eye appeal and whatever the grade is it is. I mostly buy in the 1-4 range with occasional authentic or 5.

Neal
09-04-2009, 11:42 AM
To me, it depends on the card. For instance, the 1933 Goudey Ruths I own are in the 3-4 range, but the 1954 Aaron is a card I want in the 7 grade. The T206's I have must be at least VG 3, with exceptions made for nice 2's.

1950's in 5 range or higher
196o's in 7 range or higher

Doug
09-04-2009, 12:26 PM
call for clarification - are you asking the importance of the actual condition of the card or the importance of the grade assigned by a TPG? (what? they're not the same?)

Nice one! I meant the actual condition of the card, but either one will work. I forgot to add option 5 "I only buy the card based on the number on the slab no matter the appearance of the actual card itself". ;)

Leon
09-04-2009, 12:43 PM
First of all, very nice poll indeed.

One other option could have been "I buy strictly on eye appeal". I bet that would have been a very popular option and is the way I collect.....forget the number on the slab. I will go back to what Corey, Jay M (I think) and many others want...It would be nice to have a service that only states if something is unaltered or not, without a grade given. That is really all I care about. I better go ahead and say ALL collecting is good and if you like to collect by the number on the slab then that is absolutely spectacular, if that is what makes you happy. It's all good...

Doug
09-04-2009, 12:53 PM
First of all, very nice poll indeed.

One other option could have been "I buy strictly on eye appeal".

I was basically assuming that everyone takes the eye appeal of the card into account when they buy it, but we know what they say about one who assumes... :D

Matt
09-04-2009, 12:53 PM
First of all, very nice poll indeed.

One other option could have been "I buy strictly on eye appeal". I bet that would have been a very popular option and is the way I collect.....forget the number on the slab. I will go back to what Corey, Jay M (I think) and many others want...It would be nice to have a service that only states if something is unaltered or not, without a grade given. That is really all I care about. I better go ahead and say ALL collecting is good and if you like to collect by the number on the slab then that is absolutely spectacular, if that is what makes you happy. It's all good...

Leon - We've spoken about this previously; I'd like that grading system as well, with one, internet friendly modification. I would want the objective flaws of the card listed. I.e., rounded corners, horizontal crease. That way, as a buyer, I know I'm seeing everything in the scan that the card is. I don't need someone else to tell me how that horizontal crease should effect my overall evaluation of the card, but I do need to know the crease is there.

Leon
09-04-2009, 12:58 PM
I was basically assuming that everyone takes the eye appeal of the card into account when they buy it, but we know what they say about one who assumes... :D

Of course this is what we do but I bet if you talk to those guys that always say "the pop is this or the pop is that" (which always makes me laugh) they might be different. Maybe an 8 looks better than a 9 but they need the 9 to be higher on the registry?

ebrehm
09-04-2009, 01:00 PM
Card condition is important to me and I am willing to pay for it, and I do try to buy the card and not the holder, but I shy away from the very highest TPG grades because of the enormous price premiums attached. For example I have NM-MT 8 '33 Goudeys but don't buy Mint 9's, and I have Mint 9 Mickey Mantle cards but don't buy Gem 10's. Where one draws that cost/benefit line is of course arbitrary but that's where it comes out for me.

I do have some sets on the PSA registry, but I'd rather have an 8 that looks better than a 9, even though it earns fewer points. I put the attractiveness of the cards first, and let the ranking fall where it may. If someone else is more concerned about their ranking, that's fine too.

Doug
09-04-2009, 01:07 PM
Of course this is what we do but I bet if you talk to those guys that always say "the pop is this or the pop is that" (which always makes me laugh) they might be different. Maybe an 8 looks better than a 9 but they need the 9 to be higher on the registry?

I actually tried to take that into consideration. I was trying to eliminate the rarity/low pop variable with the "When you are in the market for a fairly common card that is available in a wide variety of grades" statement. If I did leave anything out that gets a good vintage card based discussion going is a plus in my book. :)

Cat
09-04-2009, 01:23 PM
If I need the card, I don't care much about grade. If it is higher grade I'll pay more -- not because I want to but because I have to.

Wesley
09-04-2009, 01:30 PM
Same here. I don't avoid the high grade cards and realize when there is a premium associated with the higher grades. But some of the cards that we colelct just don't exist in high grades. For the most part, I value rarity, subject matter, and aesthetics more than the technical grade.

vintagebaseball
09-04-2009, 01:58 PM
I enjoy the history of the player and the actual card more then I care about the grade. As long as I can tell what the card is and can see some detail I am happy with the card.

Al C.risafulli
09-04-2009, 02:05 PM
None of the options apply to me.

For most of what I collect, I try and pick up the card with the nicest eye appeal as possible. Although I prefer to collect cards and have them graded by SGC, I generally don't care what the number is, only that it's graded accurately. I try and avoid certain types of flaws, like ink and pinholes. Usually if the grade is too high I can't afford the card. And I avoid purchasing certain graded cards when they're in certain grading companies' slabs, because I don't trust the grade.

There are two sets I collect where the above does not apply.

For 1938 Goudey I collect the highest graded examples I can afford, provided that the card is graded accurately and has the right eye appeal in terms of centering and toning. I believe that I've built a near-complete '38 Goudey set that rivals anything in the hobby, with grades generally ranging between 6 and 8, with a few copies slightly lower and a few slightly higher. In that set, condition is vitally important to me, and it's why it's taken me something like four years to get where I'm at - and I still need 6 cards and would like to upgrade two more. I should also note that I have occasionally replaced a high-grade '38 Goudey with a nicer-looking example in a lower grade. For instance, I replaced a Charlie Gehringer in 8 with a 7 that had much less toning and better centering, but slightly weaker corners. Both cards were graded accurately but the 7 fit my set better.

http://www.net54baseball.com/picture.php?albumid=7&pictureid=260

For Henry Johnson Confectioners, I collect whatever example I can find, with a goal of completing the set. Condition is not important to me at all. All I care about is that I can see the front and the back of the card, and in the case of my Rogers Hornsby and Tris Speaker, I can barely see the fronts. The cards are simply too scarce for me to worry about condition when I don't have any idea of how many surviving copies there are of each card. It has taken me nearly three years to obtain 50 cards and there's no telling how many cards it will take to get the set complete. Once I acquire a card I cross it off my list, and make no attempt to upgrade.

-Al

Potomac Yank
09-04-2009, 02:17 PM
When you are in the market for a fairly common card that is available in a wide variety of grades (say a T206 Cobb red portrait) how big of an influence is the grade on the example that you end up buying?

*

The moment you used the word "Market", you excluded the hobbyist.
Sure, we all would like a nice looking card, but to a collector, filling in an empty slot with a long sought after common card, is more important than how it looks.

The two mindsets are totally different.

The Marketeer = What will this grade fetch later?

The Collector = One step closer.

Do you have a poll for colectors? :)

Doug
09-04-2009, 02:26 PM
*

The moment you used the word "Market", you excluded the hobbyist.
Sure, we all would like a nice looking card, but to a collector, filling in an empty slot with a long sought after common card, is more important than how it looks.

The two mindsets are totally different.

The Marketeer = What will this grade fetch later?

The Collector = One step closer.

Do you have a poll for colectors? :)

I just rewrote it so that it's non denominational and everyone can vote. Even if you did misspell collectors "colectors". :D

iwantitiwinit
09-04-2009, 02:28 PM
For me it depends on whether I am putting together a specific set or just buying a card I like or buying a card for investment purposes. For specific sets I have minimums and maximums t206 psa 4 or 5, 1953 topps psa 6,7 and the occasional 8, 1967 topps minimum psa8, any card for investment has to be at least a 7 if pre 1948 and an 8 if 1948 or later, if i am just buying a single card i just want to have as a permanent addition to my collection i would buy any card in any grade or even an ungraded card.

Rob D.
09-04-2009, 02:31 PM
I just rewrote it so that it's non denominational and everyone can vote. Even if you did misspell collectors "colectors". :D

Doug,

Did you check to see whether true collectors buy cards? Perhaps they only trade or flip for them.

deadballera
09-04-2009, 02:36 PM
For most of what I collect, I try and pick up the card with the nicest eye appeal as possible (usually in the 2-5 range). Most likely in RAW condition but occasionally buy the graded cards too.


Cards above the 5 range are usually out of my price range that I want to spend on a particular card.

Doug
09-04-2009, 02:39 PM
Doug,

Did you check to see whether true collectors buy cards? Perhaps they only trade or flip for them.

Not yet, but I just rewrote it again to add trading as an option just in case. I don't imagine anyone flips for cards anymore. The last time I tried to do a flip for a card I just ended up hurting myself. :D

vintagewhitesox
09-04-2009, 04:27 PM
I try to buy the highest graded I can afford on the market for my collection, with a strong preference towards eye appeal. if a 4 looks nicer than the 5, I'll take the 4.

Tom S.
09-04-2009, 04:51 PM
I try to buy the highest graded I can afford on the market for my collection, with a strong preference towards eye appeal. if a 4 looks nicer than the 5, I'll take the 4.

Ditto.

Potomac Yank
09-04-2009, 05:18 PM
Doug,

Did you check to see whether true collectors buy cards? Perhaps they only trade or flip for them.

*

You should stick to spelling. :D

Let's see your Doyle _ Plank & Magie .....

Matt
09-04-2009, 05:27 PM
Let's see your Doyle _ Plank & Magie .....

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH SNAP!!!

Is that still called a "dis?"

Rob - you've got some chutzpah. You should know better then to mess with a real collector.

Jim VB
09-04-2009, 05:31 PM
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH SNAP!!!

Matt,

Wow. Having met you at the National dinner, I could have sworn you were OLDER THAN 14!!!!

;)

Potomac Yank
09-04-2009, 05:33 PM
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH SNAP!!!

Is that still called a "dis?"

Rob - you've got some chutzpah. You should know better then to mess with a real collector.

*

Especially when he can back up what he says .....

Rob D.
09-04-2009, 05:34 PM
Joe,

Say hello to McMurphy, Chief and Martini for me.

Matt
09-04-2009, 05:36 PM
Joe,

Say hello to McMurphy, Chief and Martini for me.

That reference hurts my head - does that make you or Joe Nurse Ratchet?

Rob D.
09-04-2009, 05:42 PM
That reference hurts my head - does that make you or Joe Nurse Ratchet?

The possibility of Joe being a member of the staff never crossed my mind. Ever.

Edited to add: I'll stop now. No sense chasing away more lurkers. Hey, you guys, come back. COME BACK! PLEEEEASE!

Doug
09-04-2009, 06:07 PM
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH SNAP!!!

It could have been worse, we could have ended up with one of those "let's see your Johnson" jokes! I was going to buy a Magie until I realized it was misspelled and I could get a Magee way cheaper. :D I'd love to see your Doyle, Plank, and Magie in all seriousness though. Unless I finally hit the Mega Millions that would be as close as I'll ever get to owning any of them.

Yankeefan51
09-04-2009, 06:52 PM
As a type collector, our goal is to obtain the best available example
from a particular set.

Whilst the vast majority of the type cards in our collection are graded 8 or higher, we certainly recognize that there are plethora of sets where there it is virtually (and a number of cases, actually) impossible to acquire an ultra high grade example. Accordingly, we focus on the highest grade obtainable. If and when the occasion arises, we then attempt to obtain to upgrade.

Sets where we have had great difficulty obtaining high grade examples include:

T208
T209- color- all high grade cards appeared to go to one bidder
T214
T216
E 96- all high grade examples appeared to go to one bidder
E 103
E 106
AWH Caramels

Best

Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List

Jim VB
09-04-2009, 06:58 PM
Please make sure he only counts as one vote in the poll. Thanks.

chiprop
09-04-2009, 07:25 PM
Rarity is my barometer, not the grade, but if I had to choose a VG is usually good enough.