PSA To Suspend Value, Economy, Regular and Express Grading

March 31, 2021

psa-logoIn 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.

PSA has pretty much shut down grading unless you want to submit at the $300 level

PSA says that they will “take a tiered approach to reintroducing these service levels, with a goal to bring all suspended service levels back by July 1, 2021”.

I think this is probably a prudent move by PSA.  They started by hiking costs, but this obviously did nothing to slow down the influx of submissions.  While I think it makes sense to have a reset of sorts, I’m sure many collectors will complain that they could have done a better job to plan for this.  Unfortunately, it’s not like there are many professional graders hanging around like free agents, waiting to get the call.  It takes time to get people up to speed and to make sure you aren’t pushing out an inferior product.

Now, with PSA pretty much turning off grading, what does this do for SGC and Beckett?  Or for any of the newer entrants to the hobby, such as CSG or HGA?   And what does this do for cards already graded by PSA?  Do they know deserve some sort of scarcity premium?  

For years now PSA graded cards have demanded a premium over other grading companies, but for how long can that ultimately last if you can’t actually get your cards graded?  Does this help the pricing for ungraded cards?   Still a lot of unknowns right now, but this is big news. 

We’d love to hear what you think — please leave a comment below.

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  1. card graders are grossly underpaid (average of around $39k a year with the “top graders” making just 65k annually — see Glassdoor▪︎▪︎ for one example), PSA big wig (president or cEO, I’ve forgotten which) let it slip sometime in 2019 that most cards are graded in 30 seconds, PSA has been involved with trimming scandals along with PWCC and Probstein. HOW are they still #1 in this industry, showing obscene profits? No longer accepting ANYTHING other than their top tier submissions & fooling upwards ofn99% of us into believing card grading is ‘rocket science” when, in fact, anyone with decent eyesight can become a grader in a very short time? Not going to be assigned a super dope card, but certainly eligible to grade a party high percentage of the more common cards and the unproven rookies we like to speculate on?

    Taking into account the huge corporations that aren’t going back to brick & mortar office space postpandemic (e.g. Anthem Blue Cross) we’re looking at a glut of empty commercial space for expansion. All the planets are aligned for cheaper-than-ever office space PSA has already acquired double its prepandemic space, yet just keeps blaming its inability to hire qualified graders. I don’t doubt that’s true given nobody can live on 40k a year gross

    Any logical/common sense replies welcomed.

    Beckett is even lower.

    ■■ updated June 24,2021

    The national average salary for a PSA is $39,746 in United States. Filter by location to see PSA salaries in your area. Salary estimates are based on 208 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by PSA employees.,3.htm

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