View Full Version : Sell the Card not the Grade

08-05-2012, 10:09 PM
I went up to Baltimore for the National and really enjoyed my time there with my wife, and my father who flew out from the west coast. Anyway, while I was looking for a Killebrew rookie in a grade 8 (I ended up leaving empty handed) I had a conversation with one of the dealers who obviously hated the idea of graded cards and said hobbyist should buy the card not the grade (all of his cards were graded by the way). I agree with this statement because there are some 8s or 9s I would never consider buying, and some 6s or 7s I would. He had an 8 that looked more like a 7, but it was priced nearly 30% higher than what I would consider fair value for an 8. So, shouldn't the dealer be selling the card not the grade? It seems hypocritical to give this advise to customers and then not employ it yourself from a selling standpoint. Do you agree?

steve B
08-06-2012, 10:01 AM
I don't completely agree and here's why.

First, not everyone collects by the card, rather trusting the grade above all else. That seems silly to me, but that's the way it is.
So dealing from the current reality while making some effort to change that is ok by me.
I work in a bike shop, and while an expensive carbon racing bike isn't of much use for commuting or getting groceries I'll sell you one of that's what you insist on having. But I'd rather show you the right sort of bike for a lot less money.

Being high for an 8 gives him a lot of room to deal. Since it's a weak 8 someone interested in the number might make a lowball offer and if he's starting from 30% over even 40% off might work just fine. OR he might think any 8 or better is underrated and due to increase. Balancing what inventory to hold a higher price on and what to let go at nearly any price is a difficult skill.

Steve B

08-11-2012, 08:38 PM
I was recently interested in purchasing a 1916 Indianapolis Brewing card in an SGC 4 holder. The seller (fellow board member Val Kehl) told me that, upon further review, he thought SGC had missed a barely-noticeable indentation on the back of the card and that the card should probably have received a 3 instead of a 4. He then sold it to me as if it was a 3.

He sold me the card, not the grade.

Thanks, Val!

08-12-2012, 06:51 AM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

I will say the gentleman you were speaking to is a member here. He will also work with you on his prices. He tends to ask quite a premium for his stuff, but I have found him willing to haggle.

I am not the owner of the card either, I just saw the Killebrew 8 at the show last week, and I know the seller likes to use that phrase. Buy the card, not the holder.