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EYECOLLECTVINTAGE 03-28-2017 08:31 AM

Thoughts on a card collection
 
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.


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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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Six (Post 1645313)
Send in a few and see what happens...just randomly pick.

Not a bad idea!

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bnorth (Post 1645316)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by EYECOLLECTVINTAGE (Post 1645329)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by baztacula (Post 1645354)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by EYECOLLECTVINTAGE (Post 1645355)
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


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