Sports Cards Hobby Thread

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
A couple “bargains” in the mail today

PSA 10 2018 Topps Update Don’t Blink Mookie Betts - $22.55 shipped, less than it would cost just for this card’s current grading costs and feels like a good deal for a PSA 10 of a superstar

WWE Topps Chrome refractor lot - came on my radar because it has an orange /25 of Bayley but it also had orange Booker T insert and King Corbin and a gold /50 Shayna Baszler. I won this way cheaper than I paid for a single Bayley before. Only bidder winning for $1.99 plus shipping. Got all these for $6.67, three /25 cards and a /50
Curious on stuff like the latter, are you going 3-6 pages deep in a search to find them?
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Not really. I really don’t understand how people missed the Chrome lot. I found it because I have a common search for Bayley stuff I use and I tend to filter as Newly Listed and then just browse til I get to listings I’d seen before. I got in on the bid I believe in over four days to go. Shocked no one even made another bid. A couple random things I‘ve looked at got outbid and I had a rare thing where some clown who won probably made himself pay more for it because he bid like 14 times himself, including uncontested during the final twenty minutes of the listing, I feel like my best course of action is typically last minute snipes where my max bid is truly how comfortable I am going, winning like I did on the lot feels like an extra rarity in the current market.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
PSA sent out an email tonight that they are temporarily suspending further acceptance of value, regular and express effective immediately while they catch up on the backlog.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes

A Message from the PSA President
color-bar-1200x10.png
Hello PSA Customers,

Since my last update, the momentum behind the hobby has only accelerated. In fact, our Collectors Universe President and CEO, Joe Orlando, recently shared the reality of the surge of submissions to PSA.

I’ll try to further illustrate what has happened. The sheer volume of orders that PSA received in early March has fundamentally changed our ability to service the hobby. The reality is that we recently received more cards in three days than we did during the previous three months. Even after the surge, submissions continue at never-before-seen levels.

Given our growing backlog, it would be disingenuous for us to continue to accept submissions for cards that we will be unable to process in the foreseeable future. It’s an unpleasant conclusion, especially after the March 1 price increase, but it is necessary to properly serve the customers who have already submitted to PSA.

Effective immediately, PSA is temporarily suspending our Value, Regular and Express service levels. This will allow us to fully unbox and receive the recent surge of orders and focus on our most impacted service lines.

We will take a tiered approach to reintroducing these service levels. Our goal is to bring all suspended service levels back by July 1, 2021.

Collectors Club members will have their memberships automatically extended to match the duration of the Value suspension. This extension will ensure existing members have 12 full months to utilize their annual Collectors Club benefits.

PSA’s growth planning and capacity expansion remains in full effect. We recently added an additional 58,000 square feet to our California operation on top of the 62,500 square feet we added a few months ago, furthering our ability to hire and process orders. A successful Virtual Career Fair on March 16 netted many fresh candidates. Today we stand 783 people strong and are growing daily, compared to 421 employees at Collectors Universe in January 2020.

Please also know that PSA is working on physical office expansion to new international markets, and for the first time, new grading locations in the United States. This will help diffuse submissions across multiple locations and allow PSA to tap into new grading talent across the hobby. More information will be announced in the near future. If you are interested in working for PSA, please email your resume and a cover letter to our Human Resources department at jobs@collectors.com. Those interested in applying to become a Grader should contact our Grading Recruiter, Mike Levine, at mlevine@collectors.com.

This announcement puts our existing customers first. You have been extremely patient in waiting for your cards. This change will help get your cards back faster while maintaining the quality and accuracy you expect from PSA. We are working around the clock for you, and we appreciate your support as we grow our capacity.

Thank you and enjoy collecting,

Steve Sloan
President

I was curious what the deal with the quarterly grading specials, those are shut down. They indicate they are hoping to get everything caught up by July 1st so that means there is no grading specials for members in Q2 2021, which kinda sucks for a paid membership.

I actually got an update last night a 2 card regular order I sent in late February got checked in last night and moved to grading today. Probably still a month and a half out but fun to see something moving. Maybe more in light of their advancements. I’m ready to have my cards back.
 

SFH

Integral Poster
My biggest grading mentor advised me to hold off on submitting my pre-war stuff until things @ PSA slow down/reopen. I mentioned I was considering SGC until they raised rates and was also considering CSG for them (but there's little on their site about vintage nonsport grading).


Also of note today, I don't know a damn thing about running a business beyond "pretend like the customer is always right." Last week I bought a 5 card "graded" lot of Barry Sanders cards from sportlots for $9 shipped. I put in quotes because it was some off brand I never heard of, didn't have # grades just the words "near Mint" on the labels. They arrived around 11:30am today. I scanned them into my hard drive and listed them on Facebook Marketplace for $30 with offers allowed at $24. Google says markup at 5% is too low and 20% is too high.

By 4pm I was printing a shipping label to NY for full asking price plus I didn't click "free shipping" so the customer paid the shipping cost, not cutting into my gains. This margin calculator I found says my profit margin is "70%." https://www.omnicalculator.com/finance/margin with $21 profit. Not a bad way to make $21 that I'm just going to put right back into my hobby anyway. I had ideally wanted to sell it locally, but hell, FB is working out a LOT better than ebay.

I was concerned my "for sale" stuff I'm having graded by CSG would be hard to move, I'm trying to avoid eBay and Myslabs is only allowing BGS, PSA, and SGC. As long as I'm sticking to retired HOFers or current players I might be okay on the CSG selling front. ESPECIALLY with PSA being on hold.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
I was curious what the deal with the quarterly grading specials, those are shut down. They indicate they are hoping to get everything caught up by July 1st so that means there is no grading specials for members in Q2 2021, which kinda sucks for a paid membership.

I actually got an update last night a 2 card regular order I sent in late February got checked in last night and moved to grading today. Probably still a month and a half out but fun to see something moving. Maybe more in light of their advancements. I’m ready to have my cards back.
I saw a statement where they had gotten more cards in the 3 days before the price hike hit compared to the prior 3 months! They had to basically do this and even then, I doubt they catch up very fast.

Also of note today, I don't know a damn thing about running a business beyond "pretend like the customer is always right." Last week I bought a 5 card "graded" lot of Barry Sanders cards from sportlots for $9 shipped. I put in quotes because it was some off brand I never heard of, didn't have # grades just the words "near Mint" on the labels. They arrived around 11:30am today. I scanned them into my hard drive and listed them on Facebook Marketplace for $30 with offers allowed at $24. Google says markup at 5% is too low and 20% is too high.

I wouldn't trust Google on the markup stuff, especially in the sports cards market when 10s are literally 7-8X 9s and a graded card can be 4-5X what the price of a raw card is. But great job getting basically a 3X profit out of that.
 

SFH

Integral Poster
Great point on Blowout was made, if the average submission has $100 book value, raw, and they received 3 million submissions on top of existing backlog, they must have north of $1 Billion in raw cards in their vault. Not sure if everyone in this thread has seen Breaking Bad, but there's a scene in a climate controlled storage unit with over $50,000,000 cash money, bug spray, dehumidifiers, etc... to prevent rot of cash.

That's gotta be a similar situation at both BGS and PSA right now. And one would expect next level security systems in place, if not an actual human on site 24/7.


@HarleyQuinn - when you sub to GMA, do you use a traditional credit/debit or do you use your paypal? Their site says they take paypal but there's no indication of when you use it. The steps only include the CC stuff, unless I'm missing it. I have some Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, & Marvel cards I'd like to slab. CSG doesn't seem to be doing non-sports currently, and I don't think I'm good with $20/card at the cheapest @ BGS and SGC for these specific cards.


General audience: the tobacco card seller sold me some boxing cards from the 1930s that should be arriving in the next week. I think those will be SGC bound and flipped. I think boxing collectors will want these.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Great point on Blowout was made, if the average submission has $100 book value, raw, and they received 3 million submissions on top of existing backlog, they must have north of $1 Billion in raw cards in their vault. Not sure if everyone in this thread has seen Breaking Bad, but there's a scene in a climate controlled storage unit with over $50,000,000 cash money, bug spray, dehumidifiers, etc... to prevent rot of cash.

That's gotta be a similar situation at both BGS and PSA right now. And one would expect next level security systems in place, if not an actual human on site 24/7.


@HarleyQuinn - when you sub to GMA, do you use a traditional credit/debit or do you use your paypal? Their site says they take paypal but there's no indication of when you use it. The steps only include the CC stuff, unless I'm missing it. I have some Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, & Marvel cards I'd like to slab. CSG doesn't seem to be doing non-sports currently, and I don't think I'm good with $20/card at the cheapest @ BGS and SGC for these specific cards.


General audience: the tobacco card seller sold me some boxing cards from the 1930s that should be arriving in the next week. I think those will be SGC bound and flipped. I think boxing collectors will want these.
I just used a CC for my GMA submissions in part because I rarely use my CC in general so it kept it active and showed some usage on it. The only time I use my Paypal is for Ebay or for when I have to send some $$ to help pay for the board.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SFH

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Picked up a 2020 Certified RPA /349 for WR Tyler Johnson for $24.25. Cheaper than some other card listings even with BO. Card was also a 5 color patch. Johnson's buried a little bit behind Evans/Godwin but Antonio Brown is demanding a higher pay to re-sign with TB and I think TJ has a good shot at being the #3 either with AB not re-signing or injuries hitting the team anyway.
 

SFH

Integral Poster
Base price for SGC went to $75 today, am being assured it is not an April Fools joke. The FB group mod says through him, $50 per card. That's just too much. Allegedly it is only temporary, probably until PSA resumes business.

Now we await what BGS, et al... do.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Yesterday I was doing some casual browsing on eBay and stumbled on a PSA 10 of a 1992 Fleer card that features Barry Larkin and Kirby Puckett. Not the fanciest card but I liked it and if I got cold feet, I have a buddy who is a big Puckett fan that I assumed I could always gift it to. I won as the only bidder for like $19.69 with $3.50 shipping and tax.

Saw he did combined shipping and ended up being lone bigger on two more that were some oddball number of change below $21 a piece. There was a PSA 10 93 Bowman rookie Aaron Sele, who was a favorite of mine as a kid and a 2014 Bowman Chrome Rookie of Jadeveon Clowney.

Sent request for total, seller emailed me under the Clowney listing that some item number was out of stock and he told me if I paid, I would have to refund so he asked me to cancel. I looked and since he sent the invoice, the cancel looked like I would have to cancel everything, so I told him I would pay in full and he could just refund me. He apologized and we moved forward.

Refund seemed a little short to me as I think Clowney was the card no longer available and that was probably the most premium product encased as a PSA 10 in that order. Looked today and that code he referred to was the number he put in the Puckett/Larkin listing. The one that led me down this path... oh well, that was a cheap junk wax era card (though it had the people with the best careers out of any purchase). I kinda wonder if I overpaid for what I got now but in the scheme of how grading costs are now, it wasn’t crazy. Around $48 after shipping and tax for the two.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
This, IMO, is (arguably) a tip of a possible "Grading Burst" because so many people had to get their random cards graded that they flooded SGC first, then PSA, and they'd flood GMA and BGS next. I'm waiting for CSG to initiate a price hike and HGA was smart to start out with a cap on submissions.

Glad I was just picking up my cards raw and buying various slabbed stuff on the relative cheap. When you emphasize graded cards, particularly the 10s (and maybe the 9s)... this is what was going to happen. PSA taking a year or so to get cards back (on top of its original backlog) was the first inkling and people completely ignored it.
 

SFH

Integral Poster
Pretty much. Depending what happens in the next few days, on top of my wife quitting her job anyway, I'm probably going to be pumping the brakes on the hobby and just focus on waiting for my outstanding grading to return. The grading shenanigans is making me have to figure out an alternative to my registry stuff. I'll figure it out, eventually.
 

SFH

Integral Poster
Not long after I posted the above I received a message that I won an Opening Day themed drawing. Random hobby page asked us to share our favorite team so I posted my Frank Thomas autoed rookie as my response. Apparently that entered me into the random drawing, I won, and was given the choice of 1 out of 8 cards.
389XF39.jpg


I really don't follow modern baseball too much and the guy needed an answer so I said, "well I posted Frank, I am a White Sox fan, so I guess the Robert rookie?" So he's sending me BOTH White Sox cards. "You will get both white Sox cards being they were the only ones that weren’t numbered and it you said it was your favorite team."

So my mood, hobby wise, definitely perked up in the last hour or so. I'm on the fence with spiritual stuff, but if that wasn't a kick in the pants from a departed loved one I don't know what is.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
While everybody chases the RPAs and Graded Cards over on Ebay, I continue to ride Beckett (and Three Star Sportscards) for valuable pickups.

Spent about $112 on 20 Cards... Trying to continue to target legends/low serial #s/superstars
Roger Craig: 2009 SPx Winning Materials Patch /25
Sidney Crosby: 2010-11 Certified Top Choice Mirror Red /250 and Mirror Blue /100
Magic Johnson: 2017-18 Contenders Draft Picks Draft Ticket /75
Alex Ovechkin: 2009-10 Artifacts Silver S /75, 2011-12 Certified Fabric of the Game Jersey /99
Richard Petty: 2020 Select Red /99

NBA Panini Prizm: Larry Bird (14-15 Yellow/Red Mosaic, 18-19 Green, 19-20 Orange Ice), Jerry West (18-19 Purple Pulsar /35), '14-15 Light Blue /49 for John Havlicek, James Worthy, and Moses Malone
NFL Select Prizm: Steven Jackson (18 Neon Green /49), 2016 & 2017 Tie-Dye /25 for Earl Campbell, Richard Sherman, Darelle Revis (Die Cut), Steve Smith Sr, T.Y. Hilton
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Great pick ups. All that stuff should at worst stay around that price.

I am curious if we are getting close to the bubble burst or not. Prizm basketball 2020-21 just came out. While it is a nice looking card, the Lebron base is selling for over $100. Print run is much greater than the last few years too. No way that sustains.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Great pick ups. All that stuff should at worst stay around that price.

I am curious if we are getting close to the bubble burst or not. Prizm basketball 2020-21 just came out. While it is a nice looking card, the Lebron base is selling for over $100. Print run is much greater than the last few years too. No way that sustains.
That's the other reason I've been jumping on the slightly older Prizm and Select products. People are going to either be hoarding them/not opening them or stupidly chasing the base cards (or no-name rookies) and realizing too late the scarcity/value of the serial #d stuff. I also tend to opt for the "name" of the player so I'd gladly take the un-numbered Red/Yellow Mosaic, Green, and Orange Ice of Larry Bird over a base Rookie Card of say Joel Embiid or Kevin Knox.

Also, those products are already super high in price so I'm not ripping an '18-19 Prizm Hobby Box for $8,500 (lirl). But you tell me I can get a Green Larry Bird ($4) and Purple Pulsar Jerry West #'d /35 ($6) for a combined $10? I'll jump on that all day, every day.

Even Select in football has spiked in prices. 2017 Select is like north of $9,000 or whatever and I got two cards #'d /25 in Earl Campbell & Steve Smith Sr for $7 combined.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Fun with random 2020-21 Prizm NBA sales (including shipping)...

Tyrese Haliburton RC Base = $46.20
Malachi Flynn RC Silver = $45.00
Precious Achiuwa RC Red Wave = $41.50
Devin Vassell RC Red Wave = $40.50
Deni Avdija RC Base = $36.20
Saben Lee Auto = $35.50
Patrick Williams RC Base = $35.15, $35.14, $26.00
Obi Toppin RC Base = $26.45
RJ Hampton RC Base = $21.62
Isaac Okoro RC Base = $19.20

Vince Carter Silver = $37.89
Giannis Orange Cracked Ice = $30
Tobias Harris Auto = $24.75
Derrick Rose Blue Ice /125 = $24.65
JJ Barea Blue Ice /125 = $19.75
Robert Horry Auto Silver = $19.50
Jimmy Butler Red /299 = $11.70
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Fun with random 2020-21 Prizm NBA sales (including shipping)...

Tyrese Haliburton RC Base = $46.20
Malachi Flynn RC Silver = $45.00
Precious Achiuwa RC Red Wave = $41.50
Devin Vassell RC Red Wave = $40.50
Deni Avdija RC Base = $36.20
Saben Lee Auto = $35.50
Patrick Williams RC Base = $35.15, $35.14, $26.00
Obi Toppin RC Base = $26.45
RJ Hampton RC Base = $21.62
Isaac Okoro RC Base = $19.20

Vince Carter Silver = $37.89
Giannis Orange Cracked Ice = $30
Tobias Harris Auto = $24.75
Derrick Rose Blue Ice /125 = $24.65
JJ Barea Blue Ice /125 = $19.75
Robert Horry Auto Silver = $19.50
Jimmy Butler Red /299 = $11.70
Nine of those are super shocking given the market. I’d say most surprised I am is Vince Carter. He’s kinda an anomaly because there is a lot of nostalgia for him being the next best thing and he‘s in that weird bucket where he never lived up to potential but is likely a Hall of Famer. Never hit that next level but became a serviceable bench player for many years and is way high on the scoring list.

Early in the boom I got a /3 Obsidian card of him for about $40, figuring he’d be a Hall of Famer and the market might spark for a SSSP of one of his final cards as an active player. Card is sitting at PSA now but even if I work up the nerve to sell, makes most sense to do it with HOF in the picture.

Out of that list, the Jimmy Buckets seems like a steal I would’ve tried to get. I somehow have picked up a nice little collection of him here and there.

I won a few Prizm 20-21 singles on eBay the other day. The Paul Pierce Fearless insert as a Silver version for $3.25 plus $4 shipping. Also won an Orange Cracked Ice Jayson Tatum for $15.50 plus $4.25, which seemed decent given the market on his variants in recent sets. Won a Precious Achiuwa base rookie from same seller for $2.19 but the guy didn’t combine shipping so I still paid another $4.25 in shipping.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Here’s a great example of the grading backlog. Someone bragging about this on the basketball card Reddit. Said they were testing HGA’s computer-guided grading. I think HGA is the one that opens limited slots and someone decided they wanted to send this.

3y0ad2enjlr61.jpg
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
I had no idea that former Disney CEO (who used to do introductions on Wonderful World of Disney) Michael Eisner has been involved with Topps. It seems like they are making changes from the last investment group that took over in 2007 and the company will soon be publicly traded

 

SFH

Integral Poster
I always dig autos but I’m having a hard time telling who that is. Who is it and any story to acquiring it?
Greg Maddux, drafted by the Cubs in the mid-late 80s (his rookie cards are 87) and won a world series with Atlanta. My favorite pitcher. I've had the photo via Pinnacle since the late 1990s I think, could be more recent. Sent it off in January for a private signing but due to COVID it kept getting postponed.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Definitely familiar with Maddox, guess I just didn’t recognize him there. That’s a great pickup. I did a couple private signings about ten years back and got some great autos. I know Nolan Ryan signs for a fee through his foundation, which I’ve considered.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
I had no idea that former Disney CEO (who used to do introductions on Wonderful World of Disney) Michael Eisner has been involved with Topps. It seems like they are making changes from the last investment group that took over in 2007 and the company will soon be publicly traded

I hope this forces Topps to try and challenge for licenses or up their game somehow in regards to other sports like the NFL.

Also, that HGA example is interesting because it's a 2.0 grade whereas I've seen cards that had 9.0 grades that looked like they were averaged out of the 4 subgrades (e.g. 10, 9.5, 9.5, and an 8 getting a 9.0) so in theory that card should've gotten a "6.5" to "7" grade overall.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
One of my first hopes is Topps will get more aggressive in trying to get back to Football or Basketball. There’s money to be had from a competition over product quality. It’s also a shame Upper Deck isn’t in the mix for basketball since they have the rights to autographs for Lebron and Jordan.

As for that grading, I agree. I usually see an average so I wonder if something is just weighed higher for them or it flat out comes to that being such a horrible miscut they don’t call it a 5 if the card doesn’t even feature the correct player’s head.
 

SFH

Integral Poster
If HGA is doing it like BGS, they use an algorithm instead of an average. The basic rule of thumb, with a few examples being exceptions, is that the final grade will not exceed a .5 grade higher than the lowest subgrade. There are a few outliers I've found (even in my own collection) where a 9centering/9corners/9edges/3 surface will have a final grade at 4 instead of 3.5.

That said, I'm not much of a math guy, so I can't decode the algorithm other than that basic principle.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
If HGA is doing it like BGS, they use an algorithm instead of an average. The basic rule of thumb, with a few examples being exceptions, is that the final grade will not exceed a .5 grade higher than the lowest subgrade. There are a few outliers I've found (even in my own collection) where a 9centering/9corners/9edges/3 surface will have a final grade at 4 instead of 3.5.

That said, I'm not much of a math guy, so I can't decode the algorithm other than that basic principle.
The problem is that HGA doesn't seem to be doing it the way that BGS does and they seem to be weighing certain subgrades higher possibly? In theory, the below card should be getting a 7.5 grade by the BGS principle but the total subgrades = 34 (so 8.5 average), and yet it gets an 8? Also, that back centering is awful... yuck.

One interesting thing I've noticed is that I think HGA is going to go the way of BGS/SGC in that 10s are going to be extremely rare because they have the crutch of the 9.5 to fall back on and the "AI" Centering/Surface thing is probably wicked tight in its parameters of what could constitute a 10. I don't like PSA necessarily but I've warmed up to how simple their grading is in that it's a 1-10 system and the grade is what it is. The caveat of, "Buy the Card, not the Grade," still applies of course but trying to decide between a card that is 3 9's/1 9.5 vs. 2 9s/2 9.5s is starting to become an overly analytical process.

s-l1600.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: SFH
Top