In a perfect world the third party grading companies should be evaluating cards objectively, and not letting any sort of biases creep into their final decision for a card. Yet, we all know that we've seen some questionable grading decisions in the past, based on the numerous trimmed cards that have ended up getting numerical grades.
A recent video posted by Vintage Card Curator on YouTube challenged this fact by taking a look at what they refer to as the "9:10 ratio"; a simple calculation that looks at the number of PSA 9 cards and divides the number by the number of PSA 10 grades. A simple way to interpret the number quickly--if for example we see a card has a 9:10 ratio of 12:1 it means that a card gets a 10 grade for every 12 cards graded a 9 by PSA.
The focus of the video which I've posted below is on mostly modern era cards (from 1978-1993), such as the ever-popular 1993 SP Derek Jeter card.
I thought we might be taking a breather on some of the trimming nonsense, but alas there's been another major discovery in the vintage card world. One of the trimming experts over at Blowout Cards (aka 'BODA) has discovered another trim job, this time with one of the more storied cards of the hobby--the 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth (#181) card.
And of course, it was a card being sold over at PWCC. Can someone at eBay please tell me why PWCC is allowed to sell cards on their platform, after all that has happened?
Here's what BODA has discovered. The 1933 Goudey Ruth that was being auctioned off by PWCC was formerly graded by SGC (as a 5 or Excellent condition), cracked from the slab, trimmed and retouched, and then resubmitted to SGC. In turn SGC re-graded the trimmed card at a higher grade, a 6.5 or Excellent-Near Mint.
In this piece, I’ll examine the operations of the company, how they make money and how successful they’ve been in doing so, along with what the future prospects of the company look like. This is by no means investment advice and I do not own any shares of CLCT nor am I being compensated by anyone to write this article. This is all being done for my own enjoyment and to give collectors some future insight in the big business behind sports card grading.
The 1951 and 1952 Berk Ross “Hit Parade of Champions’ sets have started to gather more interest from collectors in recent years. The massive star power across each of the 72 card sets is one reason for the popularity. The cards are also scarcer than any of the popular national issues from the era.
I’ve always like the Berk Ross cards; something about the grainy images has always appealed to me. Yet it wasn’t until I started diving into some the population reports when I recognized that the Berk Ross cards were significantly undervalued.
Of course, values are often subject to collector interest in a particular issue. However, the Berk Ross scarcity combined with the star power make these sets one of the better buys for vintage collectors.
In this piece we dive into the background of the sets, more details about the issues, along with the players in the sets and the corresponding availability and values.
Let’s face it; PSA, SGC and Beckett are just third party authenticators. There is no guarantee, whether intentional or not, that the graders will get it right. It’s now on us, to be a ‘fourth party grader’ of sorts to ensure that we are not getting scammed.
Yet the graders provide a level of ‘certainty’ in what used to be a very uncertain marketplace. But with the recent events, should we still trust the third party graders? Is there any sort of indication that PSA or any other graders have knowingly graded altered cards?
In this piece I review the history of the grading companies, what has transpired in recent years, and whether we as collectors should continue to rely on the graders in providing this consistency to our beloved hobby.
I’ve also surveyed All Vintage Cards followers for their own feedback and will present the results at the conclusion of this article.
Yet as I know many of you are the adventurous type, I write this article with hopes that we all can be more educated on the topic, and that the wide variety of fake Jordan cards are on display for the masses.
In this piece, I am posting many of the fake images that I’ve received, while helping to explain some of the differences between the fakes and the real card.
Some are REALLY bad counterfeits and it’s super easy to figure out.
But some are quite good and it’s hard for even me to tell.
I hope this helps everyone in their quest in securing a Jordan rookie card.
There are celebrity look-a likes, brother cards, print variations and some of the more interesting cartoon color combinations you’ve ever seen.
And with all of that, the cards can be found for a fraction the price of some of the other more popular tobacco or caramel cards of the era.
One variation to the set (aka W515-2) is known as ‘The Little Wonder Picture Series’ due to the additional words ‘The Little Wonder Picture Series’ (hence the title for this post) printed across the entire uncut strip.
Let’s take a closer look at the W515 Strip Card Set.
The history of basketball cards is quite interesting; notably the first official set wasn’t issued until 1948 by Bowman, even though the first professional league (the National Basketball League) was formed in 1898.
Thus, the path for basketball cards has gone down a bit of a different path versus baseball cards. Basketball didn’t really become a household sport until the late 1940’s even thought it was quite popular at American colleges.
I have an investment background so this is only natural for me–my whole life is involved with finding the best funds or stocks for a portfolio. Of course, part of that equation revolves around finding good value.
As I always say, card prices are a determination of demand versus supply. For stocks, it’s a similar story.
And if there’s excess supply (think 1988 Topps) with minimal demand, the cards are pretty much worthless.
But if there’s excess demand versus supply (think Tesla in the stock market or the Green Portrait Cobb) the price rockets higher.
With cards, we determine a card’s scarcity and attempt to evaluate the future demand based on a myriad of factors – player popularity, the card set popularity, etc.
This is NEVER a perfect science and not all collectors think this way, but it’s a good habit to get into if you are making some serious investments in baseball cards.
There are some givens for me. Names like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner will never see a drop in future demand.
But depending on the card set we are considering, there could be more variability in demand over time.
Sure, there’s no certainty in any of this, but it’s the way I think about collecting.
I know common T206 cards might see an increase in line with inflation over time, but there’s no reason to think they should increase significantly in value.
I mean how much future demand should we expect for Buck Congalton’s T206 over time?
So, with that said, I am assembling what I call the All Vintage Cards ‘Value’ Portfolio.
In the stock market, funds labeled as “value” tend to have valuation characteristics below that of the market. Due to this value discrepancy, investors look for these lower valued stocks in hopes there is some reversion to the mean with valuation.
For example, today Ford (ticker F) would be considered a ‘value’ play, as it trades at a very low multiple versus its earnings (or P/E ratio). Whereas a company such as Tesla (TSLA) is very optimistically valued and trades at a significant premium to its expected future earnings.
Hence, I’m attempting to put a portfolio together of cards that I think offer good relative value and have opportunity for future appreciation.
Before getting started, I will reiterate this IS NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. While I think cards are a good portfolio diversifier, please do your own homework. Don’t assume that I will be right about any of this!
Thus, without further adieu, here are the components of the All Vintage Cards ‘Value’ Portfolio.