psa-monopoly

PSA To Buy SGC – Should This Card Grading Monopoly Be Allowed?

by All Vintage Cards

I was shocked when I heard that Collectors Holdings (the parent company of PSA) had acquired SGC. I felt the same when Collectors acquired Goldin Auctions (the hobby's most prominent sports card auction house).

Our portfolio focuses on service providers that bring expertise, quality and value to hobbyists, and SGC has built a strong reputation on these three fronts. We recognize that every collector has their own preferred authentication and grading provider, and we look forward to providing expertise that will continue to enhance SGC’s customer offering.. 

- Collectors CEO Nat Turner

The big three third-party sports card grading companies (PSA, SGC, and Beckett) have held onto their competitive positions for years, weathering the somewhat unsuccessful challenges of other competitors (such as CSG). 

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PSA To Buy SGC – Should This Card Grading Monopoly Be Allowed?
csg-grading

CSG Card Grading 2023 Update – Are They A Legit Contender?

by All Vintage Cards

I wrote a piece on CSG Card grading in 2021 and there have been some requests for an update, given some of the changes at CSG.

The most significant change happened in 2022, with the launch of a new label and a revamped grading scale.

In my last article, I noted the following about CSG's slabs:

In a simple word--ugly.  This is where I wish they tried to survey the collecting world before pulling the trigger on a slab/flip design.  I have to admit, I don't like the design--it feels too busy and suited for a more modern day card.  

Well, maybe they were listening to me? Because they made a significant change.

Here was the slab before (that I was highly critical of):

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CSG Card Grading 2023 Update – Are They A Legit Contender?
joe-dimaggio-world-wide

SGC Can’t Seem To Identify Trimmed Cards

by All Vintage Cards

I've been pretty supportive of SGC over the years, even used their card grading services for a lot of cards in my own personal collection.

However, another recent discovery of a trimmed card in an SGC holder has me somewhat concerned.

Here's the deal: a Blowout Forums user (who else?) discovered that an SGC 6 1936 Goudey World Gum Joe Dimaggio card was trimmed, resubmitted to SGC and ultimately rewarded with a new SGC 8.5 grade. 

Check out the comparison from user CornDog below.

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SGC Can’t Seem To Identify Trimmed Cards
psa-card-grading

PSA Grading Costs – 2023 Update

by All Vintage Cards

PSA's card grading prices have been quite volatile thoughout the past several years.

To offset an onslaught in demand during the midst of the pandemic, PSA shut down all card grading services at its most affordable price points 

The acquisition of Collector's Universe (the parent of PSA) has brought about a multitude of operational changes to improve PSA's grading service. 

Still, that hasn't stopped collectors from thinking PSA (aka Professional Sports Authenticator) is the devil of the industry, controlling the fortunes of the hobby, and squeezing every last dime from grading fees.  

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PSA Grading Costs – 2023 Update
ebay-authenticity

Understanding The eBay Sports Card Authenticity Guarantee

by All Vintage Cards

It's been a little while since eBay announced the first steps to help alleviate the wrath of counterfeit cards sold on its platform.  

I thought it would be a good time to update collectors on some of the feeback from the program, while helping to provide more clarity on the details.

First things first, let's take a step back to discuss the details of eBay's Authenticty Gurantee for sports cards.

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Understanding The eBay Sports Card Authenticity Guarantee
sgc-grading

SGC Card Grading Review – Is It Better Than PSA?

by All Vintage Cards

PSA gets all the fanfare, but SGC is the second oldest grading company in the hobby. 

Launched in 1998, about seven years following the start of PSA, SGC has built a reputation as one of the most trustworthy and reliable card graders in the business. 

Unfortunately, PSA graded cards still sell at a sizeable premium to both SGC and Beckett graded cards. 

My hope is that at some point, SGC graded cards earn the due that they deserve. 

As follows is a full review on SGC.

Please let me know your thoughts on SGC in the comments section.

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SGC Card Grading Review – Is It Better Than PSA?
beckett-grading

Beckett Card Grading (A Collector’s Guide) BGS, BVG, BCCG

by All Vintage Cards

Beckett has long been a powerhouse in the media business. 

It's monthly price guide magazines are synonymous with card collecting from the 80s and 90s.

Beckett Card Grading was launched back in 1999 and remains among the top tier of today's card grading companies. 

In this piece, we review the history of Beckett Grading and explore some of the details of its different card grading options.

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Beckett Card Grading (A Collector’s Guide) BGS, BVG, BCCG
psa-logo

PSA Drops Standard Grading Price To $100, Is It Worth The Premium?

by All Vintage Cards

PSA recently announced that its Standard grading service would reopen to collectors, at a new price point of $100 per card.

Recall that PSA shut down everything aside from its premium grading services in early 2021. They have not been able to keep up with the steep increase in grading demand.

The latest changes come amidst many changes at PSA.

Starting with the acquisition of its parent Collectors Universe, followed by the departure of CEO Joe Orlando and replacement by Nat Turner.

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PSA Drops Standard Grading Price To $100, Is It Worth The Premium?
best-grading-companies

The Best Card Grading Companies: A Collector’s Survey

by All Vintage Cards

We’ve written extensively about sports card grading and many of the controversies that have surrounded the space.

With the explosion in demand for card grading, collectors have faced long wait times and higher prices.

I felt like it was a good time to get a pulse of the collector community to get opinions on the best grading companies.

Let’s face it, a lot has changed, and new competitors have come into the market.

In what follows, I provide the results of our 2021 Sports Grading Collectors survey while also providing some of my experiences with the different grading companies. 

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The Best Card Grading Companies: A Collector’s Survey
csg-card-grading

Is CSG A Worthy Competitor To PSA?

by All Vintage Cards

The sports card grading market has witnessed a lot of change over the past few years; excessive demand has led to an extreme shortfall of grading availability at the top tier graders, specifically PSA

Like any burgeoning industry, entrepreneurs have launched into action, attempting to pick up the slack from some of the biggest grading companies.  

One new entrant – Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG) which is backed by a successful comics and coin grading company launched this past February and is headed by a few former high-ranking card graders from Beckett

But, we’ve seen many new upstart grading companies come and go in the past.

Does CSG have what it takes to compete against PSA?

Disrupting any of the top three grading companies (PSA, SGC, and Beckett) would be a monumental task, but I think CSG at least has a fighting chance to become a major player in the space.  Their team of experienced card graders and success in other grading verticals gives them a higher probability of success.  In my mind, probably the fiercest competitor we’ve seen in a long time. 

Let’s explore CSG the company in more detail and discuss some of the reasons they may or may not be successful with their card grading venture.

Note that I did reach out to CSG multiple times to try and arrange an interview, but no one responded. 

Have any experience with CSG? 

Let us know in the comments or always feel free to shoot me an email at chris@allvintagecards.com

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Is CSG A Worthy Competitor To PSA?