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Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
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Not only are demonstrably proven trimmed cards encapsulated without that crucial notation (and the accompanying much lower grade) being discovered at an astonishing rate, there has also recently been an issue with a single collector/reseller receiving an eye-raising number of Black Label 10s (an absolutely perfect grade, with all 4 subgrades being flawless 10s). These are supposed to be rare by their very nature, but compelling evidence has been presented that the Black Label is for sale and can be applied to cards that don't deserve it.

Sadly, the old maxim coined before trading cards were even created remains true: wherever there is an angle, someone (or a lot of someones) will play it.

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Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
 
Posts: 2866 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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To the naked eye there might appear to be no difference between a 9.5, a 10, a Gem Mint or a Black Label. As with most things in this world, people have taken a good idea and carried it to such an extreme that it no longer makes any sense at all. It corrupts the idea so much that the good part is abandoned by even sensible people.

Professional card grading is a very good idea for certain cards and with certain readily understandable standards. This is however not what the card grading system has become in an effort to wring every possible cent out of graded card sales for every possible half-baked differential that no one beside the grader can even see.

You can't even call the grading system corrupt at the higher grades because there is no way to prove preferential treatment unless you actually catch money changing hands. Otherwise it's all based on inconsistent opinions of numerous graders and grading services and the differences we are agonizing over are so minimal as to be invisible to a reasonable person.

Whoever wants to go to these extremes because they feel the benefits are worth it should do so. Graded cards have not taken hold with non-sport collectors nearly as much as with sports cards collectors. I like to think its because non-sport card collectors are smarter. Big Grin
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I collect comics, as well, and last year, Superman's title, Action Comics, reached issue # 1000, after 80 years

There were a ton of variant covers, including 1 which was only available in the UK as a slabbed, graded, book for around $ 250. In other words, you could not purchase that cover loose, unslabbed. Just another gimmick !
 
Posts: 2381 | Location: NY | Registered: August 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
To the naked eye there might appear to be no difference between a 9.5, a 10, a Gem Mint or a Black Label.


I personally feel like when someone gets to this point in collecting they are collecting labels not cards.
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Tommy C:
I collect comics, as well, and last year, Superman's title, Action Comics, reached issue # 1000, after 80 years

There were a ton of variant covers, including 1 which was only available in the UK as a slabbed, graded, book for around $ 250. In other words, you could not purchase that cover loose, unslabbed. Just another gimmick !



This is what killed comic books. You'd think that they'd have learned their lesson with all the bagged comics with trading cards and holofoil diecut covers in the early 1990s. No, they just supersized it. A generation later its even worse than it was in the 90's... its just the covers arent holofoil anymore, and they cost a whole lot more.


The irony is, slabbed comics of overproduced junk from the early 90's now goes for 100's of dollars when there is tons of mint stock from that era for 50 cents apiece (x-Force, X-men, Venom). But the new scam is "only slabbed 9.8 is mint", so die hard collectors have to have ONLY certified 9.8 copies which are selling for 100s of times what they are actually worth. But the dealers are happy. They clean out their 50 cent / dollar bins and make 1000s of dollars on non scarce junk.

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Studio-Hades
http://www.studio-hades.com
 
Posts: 544 | Location: AZ | Registered: December 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by Studio-Hades:
The irony is, slabbed comics of overproduced junk from the early 90's now goes for 100's of dollars when there is tons of mint stock from that era for 50 cents apiece (x-Force, X-men, Venom). But the new scam is "only slabbed 9.8 is mint", so die hard collectors have to have ONLY certified 9.8 copies which are selling for 100s of times what they are actually worth. But the dealers are happy. They clean out their 50 cent / dollar bins and make 1000s of dollars on non scarce junk.


No, the real irony comes 10 -15 years from now when they try to sell those 9.8 graded comics and find out what they get. Right now, if they are selling for 100's of dollars than that's what the market is carrying. It's only when the bottom falls out that they understand it was non-scarce junk instead of the valuable collectible they think that grade makes it today.

As far as I'm concerned, grading any type of collectible at all is probably a wise thing for less than 5% of the market. And when I say grading I mean accurate and expert grading, not the rubber stamp variety. The kind of grading that affirms the item and ensures it hasn't been tampered with. The other 95% doesn't need it and only gets it to attract those collectors who have fallen in love with the slab and overpay for it.

But to post things like that about grading or some of the other popular trends that go on in collectible markets is just like spitting into the wind. You can talk common sense until you are blue in the face, collectors decide the market price and if junk goes for hundreds of dollars that is it's price. Until it isn't and you are still holding that 9.8 comic. Big Grin
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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The heat seems to be turning up on this issue
blowout members seem to be throwing the auction company PWCC under the bus, as it seems that the FBI and other Govt departments are going to be investigating this matter.
And most people who have cards with them,and are trying to clear them before the **** hits the fan.
There seems to be three players in this saga the seller, the grading company,and the auction company PWCC.
At the moment the auction company seems to be getting most of the attention, but the others are lurking in the background
If this is investigated and proved this will change how cards are graded and auctioned and possibly traded, and we will now have to read all the small print in full for all the get out it clauses.
In my opinion this is all brought about by GREED
 
Posts: 256 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: November 22, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
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Greed, sure, but for many, especially with sports cards, it's a prestige thing.

The thing that sets them apart from our beloved non-sports is that there is a lot more product, especially baseball cards, being made, and there are VASTLY more collectors of it all.

Most of the cards just aren't very limited, and the deep pocketed players can easily get a copy of almost everything. So how do they top each other? By getting something that is rare: that particular card with a perfect grade. Quick profits are at the heart of today's third party grading, absolutely, but the "mine is better than yours" aspect is still a big, big driver.

I'm sure it exists at some level with the upper echelon non-sports guys, and vintage enthusiasts especially, but the basic difference among the two types of the average collectors of each is one of the things I love about non-sports people in general. Like me, when they see we both have some of the same great cards, we aren't looking at them with a magnifying glass to see which one is in better shape. We're more likely to just be glad to share in the joy that we both have the card.

If non-sports collecting wasn't (mostly) like that, I'd have quit a long time ago. I still buy some specialty Topps sports cards (and their regular baseball set) each year, but I generally stopped collecting a wide range of sports cards about 15 years. Guess why?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: chesspieceface,

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Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
 
Posts: 2866 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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An interesting twist is starting to emerge from this case and the statements that are being made by PSA. It's early in the investigation and no definitive remarks have been made, but I was struck by the general tone in the PSA comments that are appearing in the various forum posts.

What PSA seems to be saying is that cards, I would think particularly older cards, were not of uniform size and that a certain tolerance in the size of a trading card can be expected. To be sure quality control of older cards was not good and the printing and cutting process had problems that made certain sets very prone to systemic problems. Still I can't recall rampant problems with the size. I had and still have sports cards in boxes and if there were differences in the size of the cuts, either there weren't many or the difference was too small to notice. I didn't know it was a problem that required a built in tolerance for both the standard size and the smaller tobacco card sized cards.

In any event, this might be the argument made for the passing and grading of trimmed cards by PSA. Yes, we noticed the size difference, but it was within the tolerance of a legitimate smaller cut for that issue, so it was deemed to be in the original condition.

The problem with that argument, even if you accept it, is that it calls everything into question. It means that they are not grading for the true size, but for an acceptable range of sizes within their own rules of tolerance. As long as a good professional trimmer knows to stay within that range, the card won't be flagged as trimmed.

I've never heard of the tolerance argument, but of course grading is so subjective at the higher levels, it's all a matter of opinion and not even the same opinion. If nothing else this case as it matures should be an eye opener into the graded card world and I'm sure there will be a lot more to say about it when actual facts start to come out. For now this is just my own interpretation of recent comments.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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At one point I think I read that vintage cards were cut by wires -- I'm not sure how that worked, but apparently that was the reason that so many cards were cut off center (at least that is what I read), I am not surprised to hear that older cards are not as uniform as newer cards. . .

It seems like a reasonable response from PSA.

The question that I have then is this -- if a card is trimmed, but still within the appropriate size range is there really a problem?
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
It seems like a reasonable response from PSA.

The question that I have then is this -- if a card is trimmed, but still within the appropriate size range is there really a problem?


It may seem like a reasonable response in wake of the fact that they have a bunch of trimmed cards with high grades in slabs. Big Grin

Yes, there is a problem. Doctored and repaired cards have never been allowed to carry high grades or even moderate grades in this hobby, any more than unlicensed cards are allowed in price guides. Card trimming is not accepted. You can't say a little is OK. You can't say if it's done well it's OK. You can't say if I don't know about it's OK. The hobby would have to change the rule and open the floodgates.

And some people will make lots of money off of it. If somebody is buying cheap cards, fixing them, and selling them to someone else at five times the price, because they've been graded high, and NOT TELLING THEM. If trimming were fine, why not just disclose it and let the buyers decide how much they want to pay?

You are not even supposed to submit a trimmed card to a grader if you know it. That's in the fine print of the agreement. So yeah, it would still be a problem and I don't think PSA will say it isn't. It's not just a rule or principle, there is a direct reward involved. There is the matter of defrauding buyers to get more money.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Gold Card Talk Member
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I 'get it' from the perspective of the investor. Trimmed cards are bad. . .

But from a practical sense . . . If a card is miss cut -- slightly too large, and someone corrects that problem by cutting it smaller and improving it's appearance in the process . . . that makes it less valuable?!?

So. . . 2 card that look to be in the same condition and are the same size, but one card was cut perfectly at the factory and another card was cut too large initially and trimmed later . . . the trimmed card is worth like 80% less. . .

Even if no one can tell the difference in the 2 cards.

From a practical standpoint I just can't wrap my head around that.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: webjon,
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I 'get it' from the perspective of the investor. Trimmed cards are bad. . .


If you'd care to look at it from another angle, there is an interesting recent article about Collectors Universe on a stock website called seekingalpha. You can just Google it. Collectors Universe is the parent company of PSA.

I have no idea of the accuracy of what is reported of course, but it's a peek into the corporate business side of this hobby and it touches upon the possible consequences of a scandal to PSA. Stuff card collectors don't even think about when we buy cards, hobby materials and related services.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I 'get it' from the perspective of the investor. Trimmed cards are bad. . .


If you'd care to look at it from another angle, there is an interesting recent article about Collectors Universe on a stock website called seekingalpha. You can just Google it. Collectors Universe is the parent company of PSA.

I have no idea of the accuracy of what is reported of course, but it's a peek into the corporate business side of this hobby and it touches upon the possible consequences of a scandal to PSA. Stuff card collectors don't even think about when we buy cards, hobby materials and related services.


The article in question.

I don't understand the aversion to linking to articles and to mentioning the name of "the auction site" (ebay).
 
Posts: 1279 | Location: Huntsville, AL United States | Registered: November 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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Interesting article. I was especially surprised to see that they did $20,000,000+ in trading card/autograph business last year.
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
Interesting article. I was especially surprised to see that they did $20,000,000+ in trading card/autograph business last year.


Yes and I didn't know they had so much to do with the coin market either.

But the interesting point is that the article says pretty much what we were talking about. If the art of card trimming has advanced down to 1/64 of an inch and they can work within the tolerance range that the grader allows, "then grading companies may not be able to differentiate the best trimmed cards from untrimmed cards and they may not be able to truly authenticate a card".

Unfortunately this tolerance argument or excuse, while it may be valid all along, did not stop graders from assuring that they could identify trimmed cards and charging the fees to do it.

Thanks for linking the article Bill. I wasn't averse to it, I'm just really bad at it. Big Grin
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
Yes and I didn't know they had so much to do with the coin market either.

But the interesting point is that the article says pretty much what we were talking about. If the art of card trimming has advanced down to 1/64 of an inch and they can work within the tolerance range that the grader allows, "then grading companies may not be able to differentiate the best trimmed cards from untrimmed cards and they may not be able to truly authenticate a card".

Unfortunately this tolerance argument or excuse, while it may be valid all along, did not stop graders from assuring that they could identify trimmed cards and charging the fees to do it.

Thanks for linking the article Bill. I wasn't averse to it, I'm just really bad at it. Big Grin


I also had no idea they were involved in the coin market. . .

It could be interesting. . . we'll see what happens. Given their revenue I'd suspect they had lawyers involved in writing their guarantees and such and may have a way to get out of it. . . Then again a lot of the evidence on Blowout -- especially serial numbered cards is pretty tough to swallow, I mean how hard would it have been for PSA to keep track of what serial numbers they've authenticated and go back and verify them.

All of that said I can't see what trimming has to do with authenticating. . . Just because a card is trimmed doesn't mean it's not an authentic card.
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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This is another interesting interview:

https://www.sportscollectorsdigest.com/nerattowle/

It's over a decade old and talks about restoring cards showing that this isn't a new issue/discussion.
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
All of that said I can't see what trimming has to do with authenticating. . . Just because a card is trimmed doesn't mean it's not an authentic card.


Big Grin I like how you stick to your guns. The card is still authentic, but the trimming is contrary to hobby rules of original condition without repairs or doctoring not deemed acceptable. It should not be graded at all or should be graded low, depending on the grader's policy. Certain things, like removing gum stains are acceptable. I know you are not going to change your mind, so I'll quit. Big Grin But I'll leave you with this one . . .

Suppose you buy a vintage cherry red convertible and its in mint condition and a mechanic checks it out and says its in perfect original shape and you go ahead and pay a lot of money for it and you're really happy. Then you find out awhile later that it had been in an accident that the seller lied to you about, and the mechanic lied to you about, and it had taken major damage. But it got repaired, and while some parts were not original, it still looked good and ran well.

Would you be angry that you weren't told? That you were actually lied to? Would you think you paid too much for a car that was in a serious accident and you bought as represented in mint condition? Just asking. Wink Big Grin

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Raven,
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Contest Czar
Picture of barobehere
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
All of that said I can't see what trimming has to do with authenticating. . . Just because a card is trimmed doesn't mean it's not an authentic card.


I know you are not going to change your mind, so I'll quit. Big Grin But I'll leave you with this one . . .

Suppose you buy a vintage cherry red convertible and its in mint condition and a mechanic checks it out and says its in perfect original shape and you go ahead and pay a lot of money for it and you're really happy. Then you find out awhile later that it had been in an accident that the seller lied to you about, and the mechanic lied to you about, and it had taken major damage. But it got repaired, and while some parts were not original, it still looked good and ran well.

Would you be angry that you weren't told? That you were actually lied to? Would you think you paid too much for a car that was in a serious accident and you bought as represented in mint condition? Just asking. Wink Big Grin


You did not quit. You fired another shot after saying, "I quit". DO you want a prize? I ran too many Magic: the Gathering tournaments where someone knew they were losing and said, "I quit" and then came back later looking for a prize saying, "I did not really lose, I quit!" There was a very unpleasant term we all used for people like this.

If you quit then do so. If you want to keep going then go.

Hate to break it to you but, OMG, it depends on the fricking person to decide if a trimmed card is acceptable or not. To demand action or not if a company said it was trimmed or not. If the trimming was not noticeable because of 1/64 of a measurement and the card is still in the size requirement I would like to see anyone do better in spotting the difference! So, if you still have faith in PSA or lost faith in PSA it is all up to the individual consumer.

As for the corvette question. If the car looks like it suppose to and it runs great, I would rather have worry free parts (original or not)!

If a card looks like it is suppose to and it is in the approved range that I would be fine with it!
 
Posts: 5524 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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