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Mark Hellman
Reply with quote  #1 
...sometimes it don't. I've sent SCD page references on card issues with my submission and still had them kicked back. The special handling element is present only sometimes. Anthony is correct though - variations need to be pointed out and requested, and the best time to do it is before you send in the cards. I've had good luck emailing Joe and then sending the submission to his attention after he responds.
Reply with quote  #2 
If and when PSA comes out with new holders that will accomodate all these odd-sized issues from both centuries, they better have all their reference material and labeling folks up to speed, because they'll be getting a tsunami of unfamiliar stuff that they'll have to get right the first time. Hope they know what they're getting into, y'know?

I hope they come out with something eventually, because a lot of people are commited to putting their collections in PSA holders and it is really sad to see cards like the N2 and N36 chiefs floating around in mylar baggies.

Once or twice I've sent SGC something foreign and weird (german stuff, or dutch gum cards), and if they don't grade it, they send a grading credit towards my next submission.

Another nice thing about SGC is that you can send them ten different kinds of old cardboard on one invoice and the grades you receive are very consistent from card to card and from submission to submission. Recently, however, they've changed things so that 19th century stuff has to be on a separate invoice.

Reply with quote  #3 
I think you must take into account who is doing the grading. At the National this year I had planned on getting some things graded by PSA so I walked over to their booth to get the process started. Picture yourself walking into any local fast food restaurant and walking up to the counter. How old are these people? They are extremely young. They cannot possibly have the experience needed to identify some of these issues much less figure out how to grade them. Needless to say, I walked away.

These were all pre-war cards and not particulary "high-grade" by the way. They eventually made their way into SGC holders for the purpose of resale.

With all that being said, if I had post-war cards that I thought were MINT I would bite the bullet and send them to PSA. The difference in the prices they bring is just too great to ignore
Reply with quote  #4 
In regard to viewing on-line results, then calling before they ship: within 1/2 hour of when my submission appeared online, they had already shipped.

I think standard operating procedure is to convey that your item is shipped as having to make adjustments disrupts the process flow.
“A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.” - English Proverb
Dave G
Reply with quote  #5 
Paul Stratton wrote...

"With all that being said, if I had post-war cards that I thought were MINT I would bite the bullet and send them to PSA. The difference in the prices they bring is just too great to ignore


What a sad but true commentary on the "collecting market" - buying the holder not the card in it.

I find that grading services multiplied during the infamous coin slabbing area - promoted to bring "new money" into the hobby - for new money read "INVESTORS" - investors don't want to have to learn about what they are investing in - just to be able to buy their commodity of interest with some else gauranteeing authenticity and condition. And as a result spculators follow - and you know what happened to the slabbed coin market........

And while there are some very knowledgable and astute collectors of Baseball cards - the overwhelming majority of the "slabbed" market, the same cannot be said of those people who, finding baseball cards too pricey, too unavailable in PSA 7 (the minimum grade that is acceptable to "investors) and who have turned to "marketing" non-sport cards as underpriced, and ripe for growth (can you say plucking?). You only have to see some of the crazy prices that some slabbed non-sport sets have been going for in MAstros and other auctions, how on earth do the buyers of these sets expect to make any money on their investments??????? Except by finding another uneducated sucker to sell to?

anyway - enough of my rant..................
Reply with quote  #6 
Record bonuses on Wall St. this year!!!!

Reply with quote  #7 
I think grading is an offshoot of long distance buying versus buying in person. Nothing wrong with a person seeking a Near Mint card and Third Party grading makes it easier over the internet. I own many "near mint" cards which I purchased from "Wrapper" dealers which are about EX.
Mark Hellman
Reply with quote  #8 
"Picture yourself walking into any local fast food restaurant and walking up to the counter. How old are these people? They are extremely young."

If this was indeed the case, what you encountered was the PSA sales and CSR staff. The graders are kept in back behind closed curtains; they actually transport them to and from shows in travel cages. They look forward to shows because they get to see daylight during their brief transport from the PSA grading rooms to the armored van.

I understand this is done for our safety as well. If looked in the eye, many graders attack...
Reply with quote  #9 
There is no need for sarcasm Mark. We're talking about people's "investMINTs".:
Dave G
Reply with quote  #10 
"I think grading is an offshoot of long distance buying versus buying in person. Nothing wrong with a person seeking a Near Mint card and Third Party grading makes it easier over the internet. I own many "near mint" cards which I purchased from "Wrapper" dealers which are about EX. "

then I rest my case - just how many grades of MINT are there? its either Mint or its not. The splitting of Mint grades by the grading companies is just another case of splitting the atom, the more quarks you get the more envergy = the more money.

And for many many many years - I think Dan C, has the experience with this (not knocking Dans advanced age - merely his collecting experience - talied with his age ) all the old time collectors bought a card based on THEIR own assesment of condition, eye appeal,and whether or not the card was worth the money. They didn't need a third party to advise them - and this also applied to Baseball cards. And while I accept the caveat that one mans Mint is another mans junk, the complaints about grading only really became legion after these "independent third party grading operations" told you that they could be more consistent - and more importantly make you more money. And this was based on their experience, both PSA and SGC, in coin grading........oh I forgot -that tanked and they had to find something else to slab to keep their people busy....., although they were able to reuse some of their enourmous inventory of coin-holding slabs to encapsulate buttons and pins. Mark my words, the next things are going to be Tobacco silks and felts ( hell of a market out there for slabbed B-33s and S.21 and S22s and maybe, dare I say it, Victorian Trade Cards - and anything else someone has the gall to turn into a sight-unseen commodity.

I wonder why this didn;t work with the slabbed, authenticated and graded diamonds that were available a few years back - oh right............Diamonds are forever, cards can deteriorate - gotta make your money while you can :0
Reply with quote  #11 
Haven't "mint" cards traded at a premium for awhile now? I'm wasn't around in the 50's, 60's, or even 70's really as a collector/dealer/whatever so I haven't seen what a lot our "elder statesmen" have seen in regards to the card market, but didn't condition always matter? I mean ever since I can remember dealers charged more for sharp/centered cards. The gap has grown between the top and the middle by a massive percentage it seems but aren't some of these sets still reasonable in ex/mt or lower? It just seems like two completely different markets to me. Personally I would rather have a rare card in low-middle grade but others would rather have a PSA 10 a 60's set. No big deal. I've seen people make worse decisions with their money.

I don't think you can compare diamonds or coins to cards. You can compare the people who are buying these sorts of things as investmints though.
Reply with quote  #12 
I took the plunge and sent in 6 cards for grading to PSA Cards. Unfortunately, they only graded 5 of them. The sixth card, An NM example of Card number 1 Yatching, C.A Briggs Sports Pictures was disallowed because they did not know what it was. They did not contact me for more information, they are simply returning it, ungraded. A waste of time and money. There are hundreds of cards less well known than Sports Pictures. If you have scarce Non Sports cards which you plan to have graded, better wait for the so-called Non-Sport Bible, and better hope they are listed in it. The lack of reference numbers in non sports belittles the hobby.
Dave G
Reply with quote  #13 
Yea - I've been caught like that before - they say they won;t grade it, either cos they are not familiar with it, or its on their list of Non-gradeable items, but they still charge you for that previledge!!!!!

I was the one that supplied SGC, PSA, GAi etc with many of their Non-sport references so that they could grade non sport cards. They do just about all the Brtiish cards one might submit, cos they all have copies of Murray's catalog. But they cover their asses royally when it comes to cards they don't recognise, or they think might be trimmed (or at least not meet their regid specifications for size limits - which are a laugh as you know if you have ever had a pile of say any allen & Ginter cards and stacked them and seen the size variations - especially in the N28 and N29 series - cutting methods in the 1880s were by hand and guillitone - not by computer controlled machines and hnce were a little (british understatement) less precise.) - and they STILL charge you the submission charge.....just for that little pice of paper that points out WHY they won;t grade it......if SGC woun't grade it - send it to PSA - they seem to grade anything, unknown, trimmmed, mutilated, skinned, restored - see the various discussions going on on the Vintage Baseball forum posts.

But converselt - SGC and PSA will slab a Dukes Generals booklet and declare it AUTHENTIC!!!. Now why would anyone want to slab a booklet?????????????

go figure
Mark Hellman
Reply with quote  #14 
PSA does send a voucher for a "free" submission on cards they choose to not grade because they aren't familiar with the issue, no holder available, etc. Granted, finding a cost-effective way to use that voucher is certainly a challenge, but, at least in spirit, they do refund the cost of grading a card they can't grade (not to be confused with cards that are trimmed, altered, etc. - the grading fee covers the cost of assessing the alteration and advising the customer of same).

In case anyone wonders - I'm not terribly pleased with the above policy either. I'd rather see money back instead of a voucher, and I'd prefer PSA go the extra mile to validate issues they are not familiar with.
Mark Finn
Reply with quote  #15 
Over the past few years, submitting non-sports (nonsports?) cards for PSA grading has been a real disappointment. While PSA has self-appointed/self-proclaimed themselves as the "world's leading experts"; it seems to me that in the non-sports sector, PSA does not have <any> expertise.

Just a few of my personal PSA highlights:

1. While many Sports issues have PSA breakdowns for variants; non-sports has relatively few.

2. I don't know what guide(s) PSA uses, but they certainly do not have a very good guidebook. One example is the Heinz Famous Airplanes/Aviators, PSA listed as 1940 & 1938 issues respectively (when the cards have issue dates printed on the cards).

3. Even with prior communication with PSA on how card companies issued cards, they fail to "get it right". One example is card sheets printed in the US, sent overseas to be Guillotined & distributed (think pre war Gum, Inc.).

4. Changing the size of the holder for a series over the years (i.e. Dixie Cup)

OK, I'm done (for now) with my PSA tirade.

marty Krim
Reply with quote  #16 
Hello Paul:

You asked the followng:so I haven't seen what a lot our "elder statesmen" have seen in regards to the card market, but didn't condition always matter?

Well my answer is YES and NO..

In the mid 80's, a baseball card that was $500 in MINT, was $475 in NEAR MINT and was $450 in being not too anal my friends and I saved a few bucks and went for the NEAR MINT or the EXMINT as these cards were fantastic looking..of course, having no idea of the monetary consequences decades later..

I remember during those times the coin people came into the business and proposed a NEW rating system where MINT cards were a

7 out of 10..

8 was something like PURE MINT


10 was to be GEM MINT

We amused ourselves saying that we would NEVER again purchase a MINT card, as we had more class than that !!!

Reply with quote  #17 
There's an idea for your new business Mark, grading and encapsulating non sport cards. PSA has not established their reputation yet in non sports, and the trend sure seems to be in that direction.
Mark Hellman
Reply with quote  #18 
....SGC is a very credible grader. I've often thought that PSA conceded the older NS market to SGC.
Reply with quote  #19 
<<1. While many Sports issues have PSA breakdowns for variants; non-sports has relatively few.>>

Often the breakdowns in variations are the result of collectors lobbying for them. With sports cards having higher numbers of submissions, there have probably been a lot more people lobbying for distinction of those variations.

I've found an email directly to Joe Orlando and/or the registry people (BJ, Gayle, or Cosetta) to be extremely effective in getting variations recognized.
Reply with quote  #20 
I can empathize. First you ship on your dime. They return it before you have chance to explain. You then call with additional detail. They instruct you to resubmit again on your dime.
“A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.” - English Proverb
Reply with quote  #21 
I have found with PSA several times in the past that when checking for submission results to "pop" on their website if you catch it immediately and find there was a non-graded card but you have more info to help them you can call and if you catch them before it gets in the mail they will pull the sub and recheck it. I had that happen twice on some sports card postcard issues and both times they graded the card before it got sent back to me as ungraded.

Bill Bengen
Reply with quote  #22 
Hi fellows NSC collectors.

I had a similar experience this summer when PSA returned 20 license plate stickers from the 1961 Sports Cars series. THey did not grade them because they had no record of their existence.

I contacted, Susan Blanco, Lead Research specialist at pSA, and provided her with documentation to show that there were 40 stickers, not the 20 they showed in their set composite on the Set Registry. This cleared things up, and I re-submitted and was able to add them to my set.

The lesson I learned from this is that PSA's research capabilities with respect to NSC are limited, and we probably know more about our series than they do. This is a quote from Susan's e-mail to me:

"We apologize for not doing these stickers, but please understand that they are non-sport cards and we specialize in sports cards. Unfortunately, we have limited information on a lot of the non-sport items. We are always happy to consider or accept any new information on cards that we have never done. In the future, it is always best to send any information that you might have concerning cards that are not extremely common or that we have never graded before. You can also send scans and additional information for us to consider before you even send them in to avoid the cost of postage and time"

I would recommend that when something new to PSA for grading, you contact Susan first and send her the documentation she needs.

Best for the New Year,

Bill BEngen
Ricky Y
Reply with quote  #23 
If PSA is accepting NSC for grading..then they should have hired an expertise on the staff as a full time member or at least as a consultant prior to jumping into the world of NSC. To me it shouldn't be up to the customer to inform them of the different card sets. You can't commit to something and only go half way especially if they are going to charge you money for their expertise.
Reply with quote  #24 

PSA has promoted themselves for some years now to Non Sport collectors. When we submit cards to them we are contracting their advertised services. We also have to pay a membership fee to be eligible for said service. It seems to me, that the onus is on PSA to contact Us if they are uncertain about our submittals, not simply ignore them and return them ungraded. If they do not have the expertise to handle Non Sports, nor the decency to contact the customer, they should not advertise in this field.
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