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If you got started collecting in the 1980’s you might have kept some of your prized sports cards encased in what is commonly known as a screw-down holder.
When protecting your cards starting becoming paramount in the ’80s the screw-down holder was viewed as the premier way to encase your card. What better way to keep your card safe than holding it together with a big, gigantic piece of plastic held together with four tight screws.
Although it used to be the preferred way of protecting valuable cards, screw down holders can cause significant damage to sports cards. The pressure applied from the tightening of the screws can flatten out the card over time.
This can make it appear as if the card has been altered, and the grading companies will often reject cards stored in screwdown holders, returning them as ‘Altered’.
Card grading has completely changed the hobby in the last decade. While there have been some hiccups, a more standardized system has led to a more uniform and liquid market for cards.
Most newer collectors think that they need to send in all of their cards for grading to maximize value, but this isn’t necessarily always the case.
Collectors should certainly engage in self-grading their own cards. The more one can become educated in the process of how grading works, the better-equipped one will be to decide whether to spend the money for card grading.
And as more and more collectors become efficient in grading cards, the more accepted it might be to buy and sell ungraded (or raw) cards.
Unfortunately, despite becoming an efficient grader, an ungraded card still tends to sell for less than any card that has been graded by a third-party grading company such as PSA, SGC, or Beckett.
Thus, the 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie card certainly toes the official line of a vintage card, however, it is now basically the pinnacle and must-own card from the 1980s for vintage baseball card collectors.
The 1980 Topps set, while still generously produced, didn’t quite have the same sort of massive overproduction as other later 80’s sets did. And Henderson himself is still probably one of the more underrated players of his generation, one of the best five-tool players of all time.
Through it all, the card grading companies have been beyond overwhelmed—PSA in an April letter to its followers, said that it had received more submissions in three days than it had in the previous three months. Even SGC had said that over the course of a 24 hour span, the number of cards submitted to SGC for grading increased by over 500%.
The deluge of grading requests forced PSA to halt all submissions below its Super Express ($300) grading level effectively putting a pause button on things to help its graders get caught up. Along the way, PSA also hiked prices for all of its grading services, thus, once operations resume (expected in July) it will cost collectors $50 to grade a card (unless it is submitted in a bulk value or grading special submission).
PSA has pretty much shut down grading unless you want to submit at the $300 level
I’d say one of the most common stumbling blocks I encounter when speaking with novice (and even more experienced) collectors concerns shipping sports cards.
For someone that hasn’t sent a valuable card through the mail, the process can be a bit of a daunting experience. However, once you do it a few times, it becomes a fairly simple and easily repeatable process.
I put this guide together to help fellow collectors and to provide some further instructions on shipping sports cards. This guide will cover supplies needed in order to ship your cards, how properly package your cards, along with different methods of shipping and how the process might vary if sending to any third-party graders.
If you have any questions on this, feel free to leave a message in the comments section, or as always feel free to shoot us an email at email@example.com
In what can only be described as inevitable, PSA just announced that it was suspending all Value, Economy, Regular and Express grading service levels. In a letter to collectors, PSA President Steve Sloan outlines the massive influx of grading requests and the move to ultimately slow down submissions.
Sloan reiterates in his letter that PSA continues to get flooded with grading requests and has received more cards in three days than they did during the previous three months. The letter clearly states that PSA needs to catch up. And in order to do so, they are halting any Value, Regular and Express grading submissions.
So what does this mean for collectors? Well, it means that it will basically be impossible to get your cards graded at PSA, unless you want to pony up the $300 for the ‘Super Express’ grading level. And for most collectors that isn’t an option, unless you are dealing with a card worth in the multiple thousands of dollars.