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billryan
billryan
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May 27th, 2021 at 5:55:32 PM permalink
Grading companies have ridiculous turnaround times right now, as everyone is sending cards in. Several companies are simply not accepting submissions., and another just announced they accepted a single 50,000 card collection to be graded.
I get offered more than I can deal with and keep having to remind myself that I'm supposed to be retired.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
billryan
billryan
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May 27th, 2021 at 6:08:25 PM permalink
When looking at vintage cards, you want to look for creases. Then you want to look at the corners. Top cards have four sharp corners.
Then you have to look at the centering. The vast majority of cards from before 1986 have terrible centering. You want 50-50 but most will be 60-40 at best. You need to check all margins, top, bottom, sides and back. A 1971 Nolan Ryan that grades a 8 is worth about $500 but one that scores a nine is $1500 and a 10 might bring in $10,000.
Many people will have a card they think is near perfect but will only score a 7 or an 8. Another thing you need worry about with expensive cards is the ease in which one can trim a card. Take a card that is 60-40 on the border. Shave a bit off one side and now its 55-45 or 50-50. It is possible for mechanics to alter the cards on a molecular basis by manipulating cards with heat.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
DRich
DRich
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May 27th, 2021 at 6:35:15 PM permalink
Bill is absolutely correct. If the card is centered and the corners are perfect and no visible defects it will probably grade at least a 7.
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AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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May 28th, 2021 at 4:36:23 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

When looking at vintage cards, you want to look for creases. Then you want to look at the corners. Top cards have four sharp corners.
Then you have to look at the centering. The vast majority of cards from before 1986 have terrible centering. You want 50-50 but most will be 60-40 at best. You need to check all margins, top, bottom, sides and back. A 1971 Nolan Ryan that grades a 8 is worth about $500 but one that scores a nine is $1500 and a 10 might bring in $10,000.
Many people will have a card they think is near perfect but will only score a 7 or an 8. Another thing you need worry about with expensive cards is the ease in which one can trim a card. Take a card that is 60-40 on the border. Shave a bit off one side and now its 55-45 or 50-50. It is possible for mechanics to alter the cards on a molecular basis by manipulating cards with heat.

I'm not buying cards, so I'm not concerned about trimming or altered cards. It's highly unlikely any of the cards I have had been trimmed or altered.

I know the basic grading concepts, I'm talking about the things that are not so obvious. like, what's really the difference between a 9 and a 10 when it comes to the same card? I take it that's just a grader's judgment. i have heard about people getting a lower than expected grade and then resubmitting the same card and they end up getting a better or worst grade.

I also don't understand how the grading prices really work, I guess you pay whatever tier level on what you think your cards will grade at? Do you pay before or after? what happens if you make a big mistake and your card grades 3 levels lower or higher than your estimate? or perhaps that can't happen because they will never grade something much better than you have paid for?
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
billryan
billryan
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May 28th, 2021 at 6:34:17 AM permalink
you give them a credit card when you submit cards. They will charge you initially based on your lists. If you put a card on your list that is worth much more than you said, they will adjust your bill upwards and not release it until it is paid. If you say a card is worth $200 and it ends up being worth $1,000 you will receive an upcharge.
Here is the thing, though. If you list your card as being worth $200, that is all the insurance the card has. You can't put in a $1,000 claim on a card you listed for $200.
All the grading companies are desperate for new employees. Beckett just hired some 200 people . If they are lucky, 50 of them will be fully trained and able to start grading in six months.
The future of grading is in technology. A machine can examine the card down to the smallest pixel and can detect alterations that humans will miss.
There is a youtube video of a potential seller offering a card to a number of dealers. The dealers all gave it a clean bill of health and were prepared to make an offer on it. Then they are shown the card imaged on a scanner that blows every pixel up 100X and you could see where several small creases had been repainted.
A human can grade 50-75 cards an hour. This machine can do 50 cards a minute.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
billryan
billryan
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May 28th, 2021 at 6:44:49 AM permalink
Any sort of stain on a card will kill its grade, and some cards show fingerprints much more than other cards.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
jmills
jmills
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May 29th, 2021 at 4:26:52 PM permalink
That degree of perfectionism makes collecting baseball cards and comics sound dire. I collect records, and while there is grading involved, it's a lot looser. Of course even the top collectible records top out at less than $10,000, except for a few outliers.
billryan
billryan
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May 29th, 2021 at 7:04:19 PM permalink
Quote: jmills

That degree of perfectionism makes collecting baseball cards and comics sound dire. I collect records, and while there is grading involved, it's a lot looser. Of course even the top collectible records top out at less than $10,000, except for a few outliers.



I can see a graded and slabbed record market emerging if only to protect against knockoffs.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
billryan
billryan
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May 29th, 2021 at 7:32:26 PM permalink
Quote: jmills

That degree of perfectionism makes collecting baseball cards and comics sound dire. I collect records, and while there is grading involved, it's a lot looser. Of course even the top collectible records top out at less than $10,000, except for a few outliers.



To be clear, we are pretty much talking the top 3% of the market. The majority of cards and comics lose most of their value as soon as you buy them.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
jmills
jmills
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May 30th, 2021 at 8:13:31 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

I can see a graded and slabbed record market emerging if only to protect against knockoffs.



Slabbed? I'm not familiar with that term.

I think there is a company that will professionally grade records, but I can't see anyone doing that except for the rarest of the rare - gold label stereo Please Please Me's, Elvis Sun 45s, certain deep groove Blue Notes, etc. Knockoffs are known but generally not hard to spot if you know what you're looking for. There is one notorious ebay seller that creates hype and promo stickers and puts them on records, and reseals are not unheard of. I buy 99% of my records at thrift stores and flea markets for a dollar or two, so it's not a concern for me. When I occasionally put out some money for something I really want, it's generally something pretty obscure no one would bother to counterfeit.

To give you an idea of the top end of the market, gripsweat culls the daily highest ebay sales. The vast majority of online record sales are on ebay or discogs.

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