PDA

View Full Version : Thoughts on a card collection


EYECOLLECTVINTAGE
03-28-2017, 08:31 AM
Hey everyone,

So over the past few weeks I got in a few nice collections on consignment. I am familiar with cards, the one aspect that continues to elude me is the grading.

Let me give a quick example.

I just got in a box of over 500 1975 Topps minis. These cards look pack fresh and smell brand new. Sharp corners, gloss etc. I was thinking of bulk submitting some non stars, however these things bring back less than the submission fee if they are graded 7-8. How can you even tell the difference between a 8 and 9? I know they have the PSA grading standards, but I'm worried we send in 100 of these things and they all come back 7's.

I also got in about 500 1969 topps cards that all look pristine, but I worry about the same thing.

There really is no way to know if something will get a 10 I am assuming correct?

Am I better off selling as a raw lot of NM+ cards?

Thoughts would be appreciated.

Big Six
03-28-2017, 09:28 AM
Send in a few and see what happens...just randomly pick.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

bnorth
03-28-2017, 09:46 AM
It takes time and practice to get good at guessing grades. There is no short cut.

I have one of those cheap pair of "reading glasses" you can get at most stores. I have the 3X magnification and they work pretty good. Using them pick out your best cards and write down how you think they will grade. Send in those cards. When they get back see how you done and change your guessing style to what you really got.

If you can get to within 1 full grade +/- of you guess on over 90% of a bulk submission you are doing good.

EYECOLLECTVINTAGE
03-28-2017, 10:37 AM
Send in a few and see what happens...just randomly pick.

Not a bad idea!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

It takes time and practice to get good at guessing grades. There is no short cut.

I have one of those cheap pair of "reading glasses" you can get at most stores. I have the 3X magnification and they work pretty good. Using them pick out your best cards and write down how you think they will grade. Send in those cards. When they get back see how you done and change your guessing style to what you really got.

If you can get to within 1 full grade +/- of you guess on over 90% of a bulk submission you are doing good.

Great Idea. I have a loupe 10X so I will see if that works.

bnorth
03-28-2017, 11:42 AM
Great Idea. I have a loupe 10X so I will see if that works.

I know some people use a loupe. I personally find them next to worthless when inspecting a whole card for grading. When you hold the card up to the light and tilt it to look for any surface imperfections you can see the whole surface with glasses, all you see with a loupe is a very small part. The time you will save is well worth the $4 the glasses cost.

baztacula
03-28-2017, 12:38 PM
I have a complete 1975 mini set PSA graded, which I did in multiple installments over a couple year period. I am nearsighted so I have terrible vision far away but great up close, so I am rather good at predicting what I'll get. I only submitted cards that I felt would get 8,9 or 10 grades. Perhaps 75% of them came back 8 or better. Out of over 1,000 cards submitted, I got ZERO 10s. Some of the 7's I resubmitted and got 8's. Some 8's were bumped to 8.5 or 9. A lot of this has to do with the grader you get and the mood he is in at the time. The odds of scoring mostly 9s and 10s is very low... unless you get a grader who is in a great mood. I have since bought a few 10s and there is virtually no difference from the majority of my 9s... in fact, some 9s even look better.

The best bet is to only send in star cards because you'll be able to sell and profit from a PSA 7 or 8 of Aaron, Ryan, Brett, Yount, Carter, Rice, etc. A PSA 7 common you might sell for $2 or $3... unless it's a Claudell Washington or other low pop 8. Check the pop report for these as there are a few, mainly of the green top/yellow bottom and red top/yellow bottom color schemes. Be aware that these two color schemes are often (but not always) shorter than all of the other cards and PSA won't holder them.

Keep in mind that centering is a huge issue with these, right/left and top/bottom. Top/bottom may be off but you may not notice it as being bad but the same rules apply so try to keep your submissions to cards with 60/40 centering or better in all directions. Also, "snowy" images or other relatively small print defects will get the dreaded 'pd' qualifier. I'm sure you know about the wax stains, so either clean up the fronts by gently rubbing away the wax with a sock or else you'll get a stain (st) qualifier. There isn't anything you can do about a wax stain on the back... as far as I know, that's permanent. Finally, a rarer potential issue is a card that looks fine on the front but is miscut on the back. I have an Aaron 9(mc) that looks great on the front but you can see the border of another card on the back.

EYECOLLECTVINTAGE
03-28-2017, 12:43 PM
I have a complete 1975 mini set PSA graded, which I did in multiple installments over a couple year period. I am nearsighted so I have great vision up close, terrible far away so I am rather good at predicting what I'll get. I only submitted cards that I felt would get 8,9 or 10 grades. Perhaps 75% of them came back 8 or better. Out of over 1,000 cards submitted, I got ZERO 10s. Some of the 7's I resubmitted and got 8's. Some 8's were bumped to 8.5 or 9. A lot of this has to do with the grader you get and the mood he is in at the time. The odds of scoring mostly 9s and 10s is very low... unless you get a grader who is in a great mood. I have since bought a few 10s and there is virtually no difference from the majority of my 9s... in fact, some 9s even look better.

The best bet is to only send in star cards because you'll be able to sell and profit from a PSA 7 or 8 of Aaron, Ryan, Brett, Yount, Carter, Rice, etc. A PSA 7 common you might sell for $2 or $3... unless it's a Claudell Washington or other low pop 8. Check the pop report for these as there are a few, mainly of the green top/yellow bottom and red top/yellow bottom color schemes. Be aware that these two color schemes often are shorter than all of the other cards and PSA won't holder them.

Boy was that helpful and informative. Dang! Thanks a lot for the help. I think I am going to sell cards raw. Grading seems like too much of a hassle and cuts too deep into your margins. Unless it is a thousand + dollar card I'm thinking it doesn't make sense.

baztacula
03-28-2017, 01:04 PM
Boy was that helpful and informative. Dang! Thanks a lot for the help. I think I am going to sell cards raw. Grading seems like too much of a hassle and cuts too deep into your margins. Unless it is a thousand + dollar card I'm thinking it doesn't make sense.

Hehe, I just happened to hop on here at the right time. I'm not an expert about much, but 1975 minis is an exception. I added another paragraph to my first response that has a little more info.

At this point, this is only trivia but 1975 Minis are probably one of the biggest headache-inducing sets that PSA has had to deal with. A while back, there were some shady card sellers who exploited the natural "shorties" phenomenon that I mentioned earlier. They trimmed away imperfections on the other taller cards and snuck them past the graders. I was the one who noticed this unfortunate trend. Around 10 years ago I contacted Joe Orlando (president at PSA) and supplied my evidence in a few emails and a phone call or two and got reimbursed for a bunch of trimmed minis in PSA holders. The graders have learned and they have adjusted so you'll probably never get even a naturally short green/yellow or red/yellow mini in a PSA holder these days.

bbcard1
03-28-2017, 01:24 PM
I think it helps to have a name in the hobby. I have seen incidences that make me think it is often a rigged game.

steve B
03-28-2017, 03:17 PM
Things seem to get really tough at the upper end of grading. I've only done a handful of modern cards and those through SGC. I had a huge batch of 81 Topps, and picked what I thought were almost perfect examples of commons that had low populations in PSA 9 and 10. (SGC has almost no population on those at all) Didn't do all that bad, but didn't do all that good either. A couple 9s, mostly 8 or 8.5, The other modern stuff also got 8s.

I'd target a few likely ones, looking at the population. For the minis it's probably worth the chance on a few as part of a bigger submission. But they have to be really almost perfect.

Steve B

EYECOLLECTVINTAGE
03-28-2017, 03:42 PM
Things seem to get really tough at the upper end of grading. I've only done a handful of modern cards and those through SGC. I had a huge batch of 81 Topps, and picked what I thought were almost perfect examples of commons that had low populations in PSA 9 and 10. (SGC has almost no population on those at all) Didn't do all that bad, but didn't do all that good either. A couple 9s, mostly 8 or 8.5, The other modern stuff also got 8s.

I'd target a few likely ones, looking at the population. For the minis it's probably worth the chance on a few as part of a bigger submission. But they have to be really almost perfect.

Steve B



Just got back a few PSA's and wanna throw up. I had a Jackie that I thought for sure was a PSA 7. I mean this card was perfect. How does it come back a 4? I louped this thing inside out. Centering corners surface, etc etc. Thought it could grab a 8 even. I swear this grading stuff is all politics. I will scan it when it arrives.

ullmandds
03-28-2017, 03:52 PM
Just got back a few PSA's and wanna throw up. I had a Jackie that I thought for sure was a PSA 7. I mean this card was perfect. How does it come back a 4? I louped this thing inside out. Centering corners surface, etc etc. Thought it could grab a 8 even. I swear this grading stuff is all politics. I will scan it when it arrives.

welcome to the corrupt world of TPGing services! I c you started at the top!!!!

EYECOLLECTVINTAGE
03-28-2017, 03:54 PM
welcome to the corrupt world of TPGing services! I c you started at the top!!!!

Ugh tell me about it. What does started at the top mean?

ullmandds
03-28-2017, 03:57 PM
Ugh tell me about it. What does started at the top mean?

PSA...the most corrupt of them all!

EYECOLLECTVINTAGE
03-28-2017, 04:03 PM
PSA...the most corrupt of them all!

Any time I send a autograph in it comes back bad and any time I send in cards they come back severely under graded IMO. It really sucks to be honest because it costs me money up front and costs me more money when they under grade it. I am a very very critical grader when it comes to cards, so I think I might be better off listing raw and selling raw. No one has ever complained about a card they purchased raw from me, as I usually under promise and over deliver (or try to at least)

bnorth
03-28-2017, 04:09 PM
Just got back a few PSA's and wanna throw up. I had a Jackie that I thought for sure was a PSA 7. I mean this card was perfect. How does it come back a 4? I louped this thing inside out. Centering corners surface, etc etc. Thought it could grab a 8 even. I swear this grading stuff is all politics. I will scan it when it arrives.

You did say you did not understand grading. It is apparent in your for sale post of the 75 mini cards. They are not even close to NM-MT.

Yes PSA is a joke but I rarely see cards under graded for people. With them it is more over grading for some submitters.

EYECOLLECTVINTAGE
03-28-2017, 04:14 PM
You did say you did not understand grading. It is apparent in your for sale post of the 75 mini cards. They are not even close to NM-MT.

Yes PSA is a joke but I rarely see cards under graded for people. With them it is more over grading for some submitters.

Which one of the cards were not NMMT other than the Carter out of curiosity. I put the carter as a 6 because the gloss is there and most corners.

Aquarian Sports Cards
03-28-2017, 11:19 PM
Which one of the cards were not NMMT other than the Carter out of curiosity. I put the carter as a 6 because the gloss is there and most corners.

I feel they're all 6's and 7's. I see at least a touch or two on every card, corner or border. centering issues and diamond cut issues. You MIGHT sneak an eight out of that group but I would be surprised, and that's going by an unmagnified scan. If I had them in hand it would likely be worse news.

Beastmode
03-29-2017, 01:09 AM
Looking at your cards posted, I would not send those in. off-center and worn corners. Guessing 5-6's? I collect both high end raw and PSA 9's for this year. But I also have an extensive cardboard lab to look at cards.

Don't worry, lot's of folks think they have NM-MT raw cards. 99% of them are wrong also.

irishdenny
03-29-2017, 01:42 AM
Hey There Stephen!,

I'm a Lil Late to the Party However,
If You Wanting PSA 10's:

1st off ~ Put aside the Cards that are Off Center, Diamond Cut etc...
2nd ~ Same wit Surface damage
3rd ~ Same wit Dinged Corner's
4th ~ Same wit Edge wear, Damage

And You Can Really Do a Good Job By Purchasing One of These:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5gim6Kht6o

Get Rid of the Loupe, it'll Only Cause You issues...
Because You Won't SEE the ABOVE ISSUEs!!!

GLTY!!!

toledo_mudhen
03-29-2017, 07:15 AM
and my 2 cents worth..... I find that there is nothing quite like an oversized, high quality scan to bring me back down to reality.

Stuff you cant see just looking at "card in hand" jumps out in all of it's painful glory.

7s are usually fairly difficult to determine

8s are almost impossible and

9s don't exist in the wild

As for your 4 - I suspect there is a wrinkle on the card that you are not seeing. Any wrinkle/crease, no matter how insignificant, automatically drops the grade to a 5 at best.

buymycards
03-29-2017, 07:53 AM
Hi Stephen, I have another piece of unsolicited advice for you. If you are going to sell cards, especially cards that are described as NM/MT, you need to purchase a scanner. Cell phone pictures don't cut it, and I never buy higher end cards from a cell phone photo.

Good luck,

Rick

1952boyntoncollector
03-29-2017, 08:45 AM
Looking at your cards posted, I would not send those in. off-center and worn corners. Guessing 5-6's? I collect both high end raw and PSA 9's for this year. But I also have an extensive cardboard lab to look at cards.

Don't worry, lot's of folks think they have NM-MT raw cards. 99% of them are wrong also.

And thats the reason why buying graded cards makes sense. All of the argument of what NM-MT is

Timbegs
03-29-2017, 09:03 AM
A nice flashlight in a dark room helps, too. Turn the raw card at EVERY angle, especially over the edge and from EACH corner. If there's anything - a dimple, a ripple, a gloss break, a slight ding to any corner, it is probably 5 at best.

As a general buying rule, I think is is smart to assume the raw cards you buy are overstated by at least one grade. As a seller, I think overstating by more than one is unethical but not criminal. Caveat emptor always applies.

It has been my experience that raw midgrade cards have a lesser chance of being overgraded and are under graded with greater frequency.

Lastly, while it WILL cost you few bucks up front you can do what I did:

Buy high graded examples of the cheapest cards in your set (a 6, 7, 8, 9. Skip ten. Too rare and like chasing rainbows. Hope for the best with any 9 you submit but play lotto, then, too).
Study them and use them as a point of comparison for your raw cards. Never give your own cards a 'break' - if you think you may see something, it counts. Be as tough as you can on your own cards and you will be disappointed less often.

Good luck to you.

ibuysportsephemera
03-29-2017, 09:29 AM
Hey everyone,

So over the past few weeks I got in a few nice collections on consignment.

Since it seems that you have over graded the cards, I am curious what you told the person(s) that consigned the cards to you? Can you fulfill their expectations now that you have found out the cards are not on the level that you thought they were?

Jeff

bbcard1
03-29-2017, 09:54 AM
Good rules of thumb:

1) Your house isn't worth as much as you think it is
2) Your kids aren't as beautiful as you think they are
3) Your cards will not grade as high as you think they will

steve B
03-29-2017, 01:20 PM
Unfortunately you're up against some of the difficult new realities that especially affect mid range stuff (Or what's mid range for me, someone that can afford more expensive cards might think of it as low end)

The ones in the for sale post aren't bad. But new stuff seems to be graded much tougher than old stuff.
The next part of the problem is that - at least for me- when I look at buying a card there's a few things I consider. After I get past the "do I have the money" and "do I already have one" the next thing is the quality vs price.
And that's where middling stuff suffers. I find myself looking at raw cards and figuring on what grade I think it would get if I sent it in.

Lets say a card is pretty nice, and I don't have one. That's two plusses :) And lets say it's $14 So I look at sold copies on Ebay. Yes, not every sale will be a good one, but there's enough to get a range.
The 8s look to be between 20 and 30, a 7 sold for 10 or less and 9s are 50+
So I have to decide if the one available is an 8 or not. If I think it is, then it's an ok deal assuming I'd send it in on a special. If not then it's not a good deal.

Next, I look at similar raw cards, especially since I don't really collect graded cards. Yes, I don't actively collect them, but they do have a lot of influence on pricing. Now a raw example with nice centering sells for $3-4 with usually another 3 shipping, and ones with typical centering are usually $1-2

So assuming I really want that card and soon, I have to decide between.
A typical one for 1-2
A nicely centered one for 3-4
A graded one but "only " a 7 for 10
The Available one for 14
A graded one that's an 8 for 20-30
Or I could go for a 9 and spend maybe 50

None of those are outside my budget, (aside from my brain being stuck in the time when 75 minis were a few cents each maybe .25 for the minor stars. )

I'm not really that into graded cards, so I'd probably choose the nicely centered raw card for $4. Lately I've been looking at the collections differently though. So since someone will eventually need to sell it, I might go for a graded card, and one of the lower priced 8s isn't that much more than the nice ungraded one at 14 so it's a nice option with less risk.


And that's the bind that ALL sellers find themselves in. They have to spend to get nice stuff to sell, but getting a decent return is hard if they can't buy cheaply enough. And there are a lot of competitors willing to overpay.
And a lot of buyers who are even cheaper than I am.

Steve B

EYECOLLECTVINTAGE
03-29-2017, 04:51 PM
Looking at your cards posted, I would not send those in. off-center and worn corners. Guessing 5-6's? I collect both high end raw and PSA 9's for this year. But I also have an extensive cardboard lab to look at cards.

Don't worry, lot's of folks think they have NM-MT raw cards. 99% of them are wrong also.


Thank you. That lab sounds amazing.

I feel they're all 6's and 7's. I see at least a touch or two on every card, corner or border. centering issues and diamond cut issues. You MIGHT sneak an eight out of that group but I would be surprised, and that's going by an unmagnified scan. If I had them in hand it would likely be worse news.

I appreciate the input. You may be right.

Hey There Stephen!,

I'm a Lil Late to the Party However,
If You Wanting PSA 10's:

1st off ~ Put aside the Cards that are Off Center, Diamond Cut etc...
2nd ~ Same wit Surface damage
3rd ~ Same wit Dinged Corner's
4th ~ Same wit Edge wear, Damage

And You Can Really Do a Good Job By Purchasing One of These:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5gim6Kht6o

Get Rid of the Loupe, it'll Only Cause You issues...
Because You Won't SEE the ABOVE ISSUEs!!!

GLTY!!!


Thanks for that link! Didn't even think of one of those. I am going to order one asap.

and my 2 cents worth..... I find that there is nothing quite like an oversized, high quality scan to bring me back down to reality.

Stuff you cant see just looking at "card in hand" jumps out in all of it's painful glory.

7s are usually fairly difficult to determine

8s are almost impossible and

9s don't exist in the wild

As for your 4 - I suspect there is a wrinkle on the card that you are not seeing. Any wrinkle/crease, no matter how insignificant, automatically drops the grade to a 5 at best.

Thanks for the input. I am going to look for that wrinkle the moment it arrives.

Hi Stephen, I have another piece of unsolicited advice for you. If you are going to sell cards, especially cards that are described as NM/MT, you need to purchase a scanner. Cell phone pictures don't cut it, and I never buy higher end cards from a cell phone photo.

Good luck,

Rick

Rick... I just got one. I just do the camera phone because it is so much quicker but will start scanning now.

Since it seems that you have over graded the cards, I am curious what you told the person(s) that consigned the cards to you? Can you fulfill their expectations now that you have found out the cards are not on the level that you thought they were?

Jeff

Thanks for your true concern Jeff.

A nice flashlight in a dark room helps, too. Turn the raw card at EVERY angle, especially over the edge and from EACH corner. If there's anything - a dimple, a ripple, a gloss break, a slight ding to any corner, it is probably 5 at best.

As a general buying rule, I think is is smart to assume the raw cards you buy are overstated by at least one grade. As a seller, I think overstating by more than one is unethical but not criminal. Caveat emptor always applies.

It has been my experience that raw midgrade cards have a lesser chance of being overgraded and are under graded with greater frequency.

Lastly, while it WILL cost you few bucks up front you can do what I did:

Buy high graded examples of the cheapest cards in your set (a 6, 7, 8, 9. Skip ten. Too rare and like chasing rainbows. Hope for the best with any 9 you submit but play lotto, then, too).
Study them and use them as a point of comparison for your raw cards. Never give your own cards a 'break' - if you think you may see something, it counts. Be as tough as you can on your own cards and you will be disappointed less often.

Good luck to you.

Great advice. I really appreciate it.

Good rules of thumb:

1) Your house isn't worth as much as you think it is
2) Your kids aren't as beautiful as you think they are
3) Your cards will not grade as high as you think they will


HAHAHAHA

Unfortunately you're up against some of the difficult new realities that especially affect mid range stuff (Or what's mid range for me, someone that can afford more expensive cards might think of it as low end)

The ones in the for sale post aren't bad. But new stuff seems to be graded much tougher than old stuff.
The next part of the problem is that - at least for me- when I look at buying a card there's a few things I consider. After I get past the "do I have the money" and "do I already have one" the next thing is the quality vs price.
And that's where middling stuff suffers. I find myself looking at raw cards and figuring on what grade I think it would get if I sent it in.

Lets say a card is pretty nice, and I don't have one. That's two plusses :) And lets say it's $14 So I look at sold copies on Ebay. Yes, not every sale will be a good one, but there's enough to get a range.
The 8s look to be between 20 and 30, a 7 sold for 10 or less and 9s are 50+
So I have to decide if the one available is an 8 or not. If I think it is, then it's an ok deal assuming I'd send it in on a special. If not then it's not a good deal.

Next, I look at similar raw cards, especially since I don't really collect graded cards. Yes, I don't actively collect them, but they do have a lot of influence on pricing. Now a raw example with nice centering sells for $3-4 with usually another 3 shipping, and ones with typical centering are usually $1-2

So assuming I really want that card and soon, I have to decide between.
A typical one for 1-2
A nicely centered one for 3-4
A graded one but "only " a 7 for 10
The Available one for 14
A graded one that's an 8 for 20-30
Or I could go for a 9 and spend maybe 50

None of those are outside my budget, (aside from my brain being stuck in the time when 75 minis were a few cents each maybe .25 for the minor stars. )

I'm not really that into graded cards, so I'd probably choose the nicely centered raw card for $4. Lately I've been looking at the collections differently though. So since someone will eventually need to sell it, I might go for a graded card, and one of the lower priced 8s isn't that much more than the nice ungraded one at 14 so it's a nice option with less risk.


And that's the bind that ALL sellers find themselves in. They have to spend to get nice stuff to sell, but getting a decent return is hard if they can't buy cheaply enough. And there are a lot of competitors willing to overpay.
And a lot of buyers who are even cheaper than I am.

Steve B

Yea what you said is 100% true man.

savedfrommyspokes
03-29-2017, 06:52 PM
A nice flashlight in a dark room helps, too. Turn the raw card at EVERY angle, especially over the edge and from EACH corner.

I can see a flashlight in a dark room working well....I use an OttLite in a dark room to "pick through" cards closely, this setup has worked well for me for many years.

mintacular
03-29-2017, 09:04 PM
Don't forget to check border "chipping", especially on darker border cards like 71s and 75s. Do a completed listing of PSA 8 or 9 on eBay and look up and down those cards and ask yourself if you have ones that resemble them. Chances are not on the vast majority. For high grade stuff basically the card has to be fresh out of the pack with razor sharp corners, great centering, no snow or printing lines/defects, edges that don't have the chips, etc. As stated centering will usually winnow down your crop vastly off the bat, don't forget top to bottom, for example on '72s are to determine but many are o/c but doesn't jump out...

Aquarian Sports Cards
03-30-2017, 12:20 AM
And just to let you know I just got grades on 65 cards submitted to PSA. Picked up a nice handful of 8's from 1948 - 1954, got a couple of 9's on pre 1975 stuff, but I also somehow missed a recolored 1971 (and I'm maniacal on that subject) and got 4 grades that surprised me on the low end. So no matter how long you've played the grading game you still get duds.

Eggoman
03-30-2017, 10:49 AM
...So no matter how long you've played the grading game you still get duds.

SO true, because it IS a game, seemingly...