Altered Cards and a Concerned Hobbyist

My thread last night was locked, but I was encouraged to try again, so here goes.

I like PSA. I own many PSA graded cards. I think it will be better for the hobby if PSA succeeds, and I want them too.

But PSA has failed, a failure of unknown scope, but a failure nonetheless. Untold numbers of altered cards reside in PSA holders. The bad guys seem to be winning too much, and my confidence is shaken. Blaming the bad guys is not a response, because one of PSA’s core missions is to stay ahead of the bad guys.

PSA needs to regain my confidence. It won’t do so unless it addresses the issue forthrightly to all of its customers, not just those who read the message board, and explain how it intends to do better. I don’t think the statement yesterday achieved those things. Hopefully the next one will.

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Comments

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    You have a right be be concerned, because a lot of big time money is spent on PSA cards. If I spent thousands on a PSA card, and found out it was altered, it would destroy my confidence in them.

  • I'm getting very concerned that this is going to have a profound effect on my business... On average, I sell about 3 PSA graded cards a day... I've sold 5 in the past 10 days since this thing blew up.

    Yes, a thorough investigation is going to take time, but at this point no one's looking for a conclusion to this mess, but we do need more than a generic statement about how PSA takes fraud seriously... As I said a week ago, if the parties involved in this simply try to deflect blame and hope everyone forgets about it, things are just going to get worse and everyone's going to lose... For me, that could potentially mean losing my business.

    I wonder if Wal-Mart is hiring??

    DesertIceSports.Com

  • dennis07dennis07 Posts: 1,749 ✭✭✭

    I honestly believe that if there was/is a way for PSA to determine something was wrong with any given card they would have graded the card accordingly. The bad guys are so good at what they do it is obviously impossible to tell they have altered the card.

    Collecting 1970 Topps baseball
  • softparadesoftparade Posts: 8,071 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 5, 2019 11:13AM

    Look at the crazy **** the fed constantly has to do with paper money to stay ahead of counterfeiters. Wherever the money goes the fraud goes.

  • AFLfanAFLfan Posts: 281 mod

    @softparade ... I made a slight adjustment to your post.

    Todd Tobias
    PSA Employee & Grateful Collector
    I focus on autographed American Football League sets, Fleer & Topps, 1960-1969, and vintage lacrosse cards.
  • detroitfan2detroitfan2 Posts: 2,851 ✭✭✭

    Again, unless you have proof that either PSA is knowingly grading altered cards or lackadaisical in their approach to determining alteration, I would like to know specifically what you are asking them to do? I am genuinely curious. Are you proposing that, for example, they research every submitter to ensure that they are not related to Gary Moser or whoever that clown is? What would prevent Moser from submitting under the name Joey Bagofdonuts with a PO Box?

    You say you want them to do what they are paid to do, no more and no less. Every single profession that I can think of, from surgeons to judges to auto mechanics, make mistakes in their jobs, that doesn't mean that they are not "the best at what they do". It may be that PSA is "perfect" with detecting card alterations given every mechanism available to them. If your assumption is that they are going to do the detective work that has gone on to bring to light recent "misses", I just don't see how that is feasible.

  • rcmb3220rcmb3220 Posts: 755 ✭✭✭

    @Desert_Ice_Sports said:
    I'm getting very concerned that this is going to have a profound effect on my business... On average, I sell about 3 PSA graded cards a day... I've sold 5 in the past 10 days since this thing blew up.

    Yes, a thorough investigation is going to take time, but at this point no one's looking for a conclusion to this mess, but we do need more than a generic statement about how PSA takes fraud seriously... As I said a week ago, if the parties involved in this simply try to deflect blame and hope everyone forgets about it, things are just going to get worse and everyone's going to lose... For me, that could potentially mean losing my business.

    I wonder if Wal-Mart is hiring??

    I feel for you. I wonder about the business prospects for guys like you going forward. It doesn’t affect me much because I grade mostly for my collection and only buy lower value graded cards to bust out for my raw PC.

    I’m sure the effect will be temporary. There have been issues like this in the past. A downturn in the economy would have a much greater impact.

    Dane

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 1,270 ✭✭✭

    I don't think it's crazy to believe that any TPG messes up and messes up more than I or you would like. TPG grade fake minor league cards all the time, you can find them on EBAY. There is just too much and too many issues they try to grade and without the proper expertise involved, things fall through the cracks.

    Most of the people in the hobby are not the ones buying $5,000 or higher cards. So, if they mis-diagnose a 1987 Jim Kelly it's not that big of a deal. And unless someone else takes the time prove their case (much like what happened in this case), no one will ever know.

    PSA admits they make mistakes.

    They do a very good job overall and have got it right more times than not. As time goes on let's see how they handle it, give them a chance to make it right with everyone.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • PROMETHIUS88PROMETHIUS88 Posts: 2,203 ✭✭✭✭

    Going back and forth between here and Net54 and mostly reading. I have my opinions but I prefer to let everything to be put on the table before making any judgments one way or another. What I have asked, but haven't gotten an answer to is....... has anyone seen one of these altered cards in hand? My point is everyone wants to say these alterations should be caught by TPG's but does anyone really know how good they are. It's easy when you can go back and look at before and after pics. I just don't know that it's that easy otherwise.

  • HighGradeLegendsHighGradeLegends Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭

    @PROMETHIUS88 said:
    Going back and forth between here and Net54 and mostly reading. I have my opinions but I prefer to let everything to be put on the table before making any judgments one way or another. What I have asked, but haven't gotten an answer to is....... has anyone seen one of these altered cards in hand? My point is everyone wants to say these alterations should be caught by TPG's but does anyone really know how good they are. It's easy when you can go back and look at before and after pics. I just don't know that it's that easy otherwise.

    THIS

  • DBesse27DBesse27 Posts: 441 ✭✭✭

    @dennis07 said:

    @MLBdays said:
    Which statement do you guys believe....this will ultimately be the question in the end....

    1. PSA was duped b/c they could not determine "conservation" and thought the cards were legit ~ in essence, the conservation was done so well PSA was exposed for a whole in their system....OR
    2. PSA was in on the fraud and encapsulated cards they knew to be "conserved".

    If it's the 2nd one then PSA has a credibility problem of some decent magnitude...... jobs likely lost.

    No way it's #2. In the big picture of things there would be little gain for PSA and a LOT to lose. To think PSA was in on the fraud is way out of bounds- just my opinion as a long time business person.

    Agreed.

    Yaz Master Set
    #1 Gino Cappelletti master set
    #1 John Hannah master set

    Also collecting:
    1964 & 68 Venezuelan Topps
    1974 Topps Red Sox
    Andre Tippett

  • davidlisadavidlisa Posts: 53 ✭✭

    I'm very concerned about these PSA failures. I've spent thousands of dollars on PSA cards mostly from PWCC auctions. I'm concerned about the value of these cards. PSA needs to communicate the next step for buyers of PSA cards who are concerned. Should I send these cards to PSA for review ?

  • @davidlisa said:
    I'm very concerned about these PSA failures. I've spent thousands of dollars on PSA cards mostly from PWCC auctions. I'm concerned about the value of these cards. PSA needs to communicate the next step for buyers of PSA cards who are concerned. Should I send these cards to PSA for review ?

    Hi David sorry to hear about this. I'd consider taking Steve Sloans advice and going back to the seller, and then having PSA reviewed if you get nowhere with pwcc.

    PSA builds a better mousetrap, the bad guys build a better mouse.

  • detroitfan2detroitfan2 Posts: 2,851 ✭✭✭

    Graygator, very well thought out post and very solid ideas!

  • mexpo75mexpo75 Posts: 1,389 ✭✭✭

    I really do not think PSA has in cahoots with this whole thing. I do hope there is some way to find out which cards are in question. If this is done I know PSA will do the right thing.

    PackManInNC
  • HighGradeLegendsHighGradeLegends Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭

    @Oldcardguy said:

    @davidlisa said:
    I'm very concerned about these PSA failures. I've spent thousands of dollars on PSA cards mostly from PWCC auctions. I'm concerned about the value of these cards. PSA needs to communicate the next step for buyers of PSA cards who are concerned. Should I send these cards to PSA for review ?

    Hi David sorry to hear about this. I'd consider taking Steve Sloans advice and going back to the seller, and then having PSA reviewed if you get nowhere with pwcc.

    PSA builds a better mousetrap, the bad guys build a better mouse.

    Welcome to the forum

  • HighGradeLegendsHighGradeLegends Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭

    @mexpo75 said:
    I really do not think PSA has in cahoots with this whole thing. I do hope there is some way to find out which cards are in question. If this is done I know PSA will do the right thing.

    This

  • DezHoodDezHood Posts: 145
    edited June 5, 2019 3:46PM

    “As with any financial transaction, if you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact the seller to initiate a refund request”.

    First of all, I would say financial transactions can differ a great deal depending on whether you bought a loaf of bread, a car, a house, what the specified terms were such as “as is” etc. Second of all, collectors aren’t unsatisfied because the card was damaged in the mail - they are unsatisfied because they have a doubt as to whether PSA graded the card correctly. Trading cards change hands frequently and in all kinds of ways even sometimes being traded!, not just eBay transactions. Even if the most recent two buyers are able to return the card, what’s the goal? To eventually stick the card with a “bag holder” who doesn’t have anyone to return it to? Rather than come off as empathetic, this statement comes off a combination of condescending and callous.

    The examples of potentially doctored cards I’ve seen have been a mixed bag. Some really skilled doctoring and some hack jobs where the card was super thin and loose in the holder. Regardless of whether there are more cases of the former or latter, I would have liked to see more assurance that PSA would try to change for the better. Perhaps there is some over-confidence bred by catching the obvious fakes which I'm sure get sent in frequently so I’d prefer to see PSA take the stance that even one card getting through is too many rather than emphasize how good their percentage is. What about having two different employees do authentication and grading i.e. one person authenticates the card and one person grades it. When working quickly, it can be human nature to skimp a little on an earlier step in order to finish sooner. Perhaps more data analysis that has nothing to do with looking at cards can be done i.e. flagging submissions with large percentages of very valuable cards on the way in and submissions with high percentages of rejected cards on the way out.

    Before this statement I was mostly annoyed with the scammers rather than PSA, but this just didn’t hit the right notes for me.

  • Desert_Ice_SportsDesert_Ice_Sports Posts: 256 ✭✭✭

    Being a dealer in the hobby and travelling to 250+ card shows in the past 10 years, I've heard everything you could imagine about PSA... Some people think the high grades only go to the top submitters... Others think corrupt graders encapsulate trimmed cards and send them out the back door... And now, people think PSA is in cahoots with PWCC to encapsulate and sell these trimmed cards... The truth is that all of these things are ridiculous... PSA would have very little to gain and a LOT to lose doing any of these things.

    From what I've heard, the guy at the forefront of this. Gary Moser, has been trimming cards since the 80s... I had never heard of Moser's reputation until two weeks ago, but when I mentioned him to a dealer friend of mine from the Northeast, he used the words 'thief', 'lowlife' and 'scumbag' within 5 seconds... I would hope companies like PWCC and PSA would prefer not to do business with people like this, but apparently this is one lesson they're going to have to learn the hard way.

    This is the worst time for something like this to happen, with the National in less than 2 months...

    DesertIceSports.Com

  • GilbeyGilbey Posts: 130 ✭✭

    @MLBdays said:

    No way it's #2. In the big picture of things there would be little gain for PSA and a LOT to lose. To think PSA was in on the fraud is way out of bounds- just my opinion as a long time business person.

    The same could be said of PWCC but look where are now.

  • @Gilbey said:

    @MLBdays said:

    No way it's #2. In the big picture of things there would be little gain for PSA and a LOT to lose. To think PSA was in on the fraud is way out of bounds- just my opinion as a long time business person.

    The same could be said of PWCC but look where are now.

    Au contraire, For PwCC their entire business model was Built around getting the highest prices for investment grade assets, and they were willing to do whatever it took to get those prices and subsequently conserve those assets. At first with the shilling and bid retractions, now evident from bids on their own auctions, then finally busted from their own sales history. They offered absolutely nothing any other seller on Ebay could provide. It wasnt the eyeballs, it wasn't the safety of a big name seller, it was fraud from the beginning.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    This whole scandal is just sickening. I feel bad for the people who have PSA cards that they spent hundreds or even thousands on, and found out they are altered. They're the victims here.

  • PADIdiverPADIdiver Posts: 127 ✭✭

    We need to be patient with any type of response. This issue has massive legal and liability issues and PSA is careful to tread around this. Also, remember that Collectors Universe is a publicly traded company and therefore need to follow certain ways of disclosing information and I don't believe a message board would satisfy that. I'm sure the lawyers are involved but patience is needed... your bank won't tell you right away why your credit card had fraud or where you got counterfeit money from.

    On another note, Collectors universe stock is down 10% over the last two days.

  • LarkinCollectorLarkinCollector Posts: 6,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PADIdiver said:
    On another note, Collectors universe stock is down 10% over the last two days.

    @Walt_Altmen

  • nam812nam812 Posts: 9,361 ✭✭✭

    @LarkinCollector said:

    @PADIdiver said:
    On another note, Collectors universe stock is down 10% over the last two days.

    @Walt_Altmen

    I begsu pardon?

    My 1910 Champions T218 set at 100% with a GPA of 5.047, and all 153 cards are scanned.
  • LarkinCollectorLarkinCollector Posts: 6,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @nam812 said:

    @LarkinCollector said:

    @PADIdiver said:
    On another note, Collectors universe stock is down 10% over the last two days.

    @Walt_Altmen

    I begsu pardon?

  • shagrotn77shagrotn77 Posts: 5,103 ✭✭✭

    Very well put, Gator. I was hoping you’d start this thread again today. PSA can start by answering 2 questions:

    1. How did so many altered cards, including cards that don’t meet minimum size requirements, end up in PSA holders?
    2. What is PSA doing to ensure that this failure is not ongoing?
    "My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. Our childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When we were insolent we were placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard really."
  • graygatorgraygator Posts: 294 ✭✭✭

    There is also the separate question of what we should do as consumers while there is still uncertainty. Here's where I'm tentatively at:

    1. I will not buy from or consign to PWCC.
    2. I will not be submitting cards to PSA.
    3. I will not sell my collection. I bought cards and the cards are still the cards. I will continue to check them against any questionable cert list that comes out and pursue a grade guarantee claim if necessary.
    4. I will not buy a PSA graded card unless I first do more extensive research than I have previously to attempt to determine whether the card might be altered.
    5. I will not bid or pay more for a PSA graded card than I would bid or pay for an ungraded version of the card that I knew to be real. No more extreme premiums. I will likely not be buying any PSA 10s until the air clears.

    I'm interested to hear what others are thinking. Business as usual? Getting out altogether? Somewhere in between?

  • prgsdwprgsdw Posts: 380 ✭✭✭

    I ordered a digital caliper and am going back over all of my Dallas Cowboys graded cards when it arrives for starters...

  • DBesse27DBesse27 Posts: 441 ✭✭✭

    @graygator said:
    There is also the separate question of what we should do as consumers while there is still uncertainty. Here's where I'm tentatively at:

    1. I will not buy from or consign to PWCC.
    2. I will not be submitting cards to PSA.
    3. I will not sell my collection. I bought cards and the cards are still the cards. I will continue to check them against any questionable cert list that comes out and pursue a grade guarantee claim if necessary.
    4. I will not buy a PSA graded card unless I first do more extensive research than I have previously to attempt to determine whether the card might be altered.
    5. I will not bid or pay more for a PSA graded card than I would bid or pay for an ungraded version of the card that I knew to be real. No more extreme premiums. I will likely not be buying any PSA 10s until the air clears.

    I'm interested to hear what others are thinking. Business as usual? Getting out altogether? Somewhere in between?

    I’m in between.

    Yaz Master Set
    #1 Gino Cappelletti master set
    #1 John Hannah master set

    Also collecting:
    1964 & 68 Venezuelan Topps
    1974 Topps Red Sox
    Andre Tippett

  • LOTSOSLOTSOS Posts: 1,253 ✭✭✭✭

    @graygator said:
    There is also the separate question of what we should do as consumers while there is still uncertainty. Here's where I'm tentatively at:

    1. I will not buy from or consign to PWCC.
    2. I will not be submitting cards to PSA.
    3. I will not sell my collection. I bought cards and the cards are still the cards. I will continue to check them against any questionable cert list that comes out and pursue a grade guarantee claim if necessary.
    4. I will not buy a PSA graded card unless I first do more extensive research than I have previously to attempt to determine whether the card might be altered.
    5. I will not bid or pay more for a PSA graded card than I would bid or pay for an ungraded version of the card that I knew to be real. No more extreme premiums. I will likely not be buying any PSA 10s until the air clears.

    I'm interested to hear what others are thinking. Business as usual? Getting out altogether? Somewhere in between?

    For me it’s as follows:

    1) I’m not selling what I have.

    2) I’m done with PWCC for both purchases and consignments.

    3) While most cards I purchase most likely wouldn’t be the target of trimmers and con artists I’m going to be extremely hesitant to purchase any more PSA 10s. Particularly with any in either of the last two generation of holders. And yes I do recognize it’s been going on longer than that.

    Kevin

  • RookieHOFersRookieHOFers Posts: 705 ✭✭✭

    @graygator said:
    There is also the separate question of what we should do as consumers while there is still uncertainty. Here's where I'm tentatively at:

    1. I will not buy from or consign to PWCC.
    2. I will not be submitting cards to PSA.
    3. I will not sell my collection. I bought cards and the cards are still the cards. I will continue to check them against any questionable cert list that comes out and pursue a grade guarantee claim if necessary.
    4. I will not buy a PSA graded card unless I first do more extensive research than I have previously to attempt to determine whether the card might be altered.
    5. I will not bid or pay more for a PSA graded card than I would bid or pay for an ungraded version of the card that I knew to be real. No more extreme premiums. I will likely not be buying any PSA 10s until the air clears.

    I'm interested to hear what others are thinking. Business as usual? Getting out altogether? Somewhere in between?

    Gray, It’s clear both on this board and BO that your passionate about the hobby. I appreciate your willingness to be objective with your approach and tone to this thread. You make some wonderful suggestions. I think it’s wise for everyone to collective exhale and let things play out. I’m confident that PSA will do everything they can to get on top of this and improve themselves in the process. I’ve been fortunate to spend time with Joe and have hobby discussions and one thing I can assure you is that he’s not a crook, and moreover incredibly passionate about this hobby like most of us are. I think it’s an easy out to think that PSA should be catching each and every worked on card, but I believe the reality to be that these “crooks” have gotten very good at their craft, and without the luxury of before and after pictures, some of the work being done is nearly impossible to catch.

    As for your question, I won’t ever buy from PWCC again. It’s simply a matter of lack of trust with me. There are too many things that Brent and his company have done over the last few years for me to be confident in saying that “Brent has HIS and HIS only best interest” in his dealings and will do what he needs to “massage” the facts to fit his narrative. That’s not someone I care to engage in business with.

    I’m not even close to a place of selling my collection outright, but have and continue to sell things off from time to time, when it makes sense. I won’t stop that practice.

    I will indeed do more due diligence with purchases and will be curious to know the provenance of cards where I can obtain that information.

    Lastly, I’ve read a lot of comments regarding the timing of this only from the standpoint that we are a couple months out from the National. These “bad apples” will be at this show. Gary Mosher, Kevin Burge, etc will be waking the aisles and will be behind tables. It blows my mind that these guys get a pass. I’m not at all condoning an violence, whatsoever, but how do the crooks themselves get to walk around and conduct business within the building like “business as usual” with all the noise being directed at PWCC and PSA. Something to think about....

    Matt
    I collect: Mickey Mantle and 86 Fleer Basketball
  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have let my Collectors Club membership lapse but, at the same time, I also just sent them a white whale (raw) that arrives home tomorrow.

    I don’t believe PSA acted nefariously here but I’d like to see a mix of simple and more complex processes put in place

    Curious about the rare, mysterious and beautiful 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos?

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/987963/1951-wheaties-premium-photos-set-registry#latest

  • I think I’ve only purchased from PWCC once and it was a mostly ungraded set. Won’t be buying from them again.

    I will continue sending bulk subs to PSA, but most of the stuff I submit are Topps Tiffany cards from sealed sets and vintage cards that are mid grade so there’s little worry about them being altered. I have a few thousand cards I want slabbed over the rest of the year so I hope buyers don’t lose interest in PSA cards. If so, I’ll have a lot more graded cards in my PC.

  • VintagemanEdVintagemanEd Posts: 760 ✭✭✭

    I sure hope we get a list soon. I think that will go a long way in helping the situation but will also give many a false sense that there are no other bad cards in holders out there. As far as people saying they are going to be more careful etc in buying psa cards..... I think your kidding yourself if you think you would always be able to tell if a card has been doctored

  • RoflesRofles Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    I’ve been following this very closely, and have several thoughts.
    1) People fear, and therefore criticize what they don’t understand. In that regard, how PSA chooses to grade their cards is what’s made them the best. I think the benefit of the doubt should be given more here, especially for PSA.

    2) This has all unraveled SO FAST, people are DEMANDING that TPGs have an IMMEDIATE solution!
    You have to identify the problem to establish a solution.
    As far as I’m concerned, PSA can take however long they need if that’s what it’s going to take to implement the proper solution(s) to this.
    One more thing regarding PSA’s statement and giving the benefit of the doubt: if there’s ANY sort of pending investigtion with law enforcement, then they can’t say much to begin with other than its being looked into.
    In the meantime, I’m going to trust in PSA that they are going to handle this exactly the way they need to to maintain and regain collectors trust in all of this.

  • PaulMaulPaulMaul Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Collectors, understandably, desperately want to believe that PSA can catch all bad cards submitted. That belief is what makes us comfortable. One of the takeaways here is that that probably was never realistic, and never will be. It’s an imperfect world, and we OCD types have a very hard time accepting that.

  • DragnetDragnet Posts: 575 ✭✭

    @graygator said:

    @detroitfan2 said:
    Again, unless you have proof that either PSA is knowingly grading altered cards or lackadaisical in their approach to determining alteration, I would like to know specifically what you are asking them to do? I am genuinely curious. Are you proposing that, for example, they research every submitter to ensure that they are not related to Gary Moser or whoever that clown is? What would prevent Moser from submitting under the name Joey Bagofdonuts with a PO Box?

    You say you want them to do what they are paid to do, no more and no less. Every single profession that I can think of, from surgeons to judges to auto mechanics, make mistakes in their jobs, that doesn't mean that they are not "the best at what they do". It may be that PSA is "perfect" with detecting card alterations given every mechanism available to them. If your assumption is that they are going to do the detective work that has gone on to bring to light recent "misses", I just don't see how that is feasible.

    I'm just a collector, and I don't expect I have the greatest ideas, or that PSA will actually implement them. Also, there's too little information available about what exactly the problem is to know exactly what to do to fix it. And of course restoring consumer confidence is their burden, not mine. But here's some ideas of what might help to restore my confidence.

    1. Publish and widely distribute a "recall" list of potentially compromised cert numbers so that its customers can both judge how big the problem is and better examine their own cards. Maybe it's a small problem and we can all be happy. Right now it’s impossible to tell.
    2. Review without hassle and honor their grade guarantee for any cards on the recall list that are in fact altered.
    3. If some alterations have become so good that they are too difficult to reliably catch, disclose that fact, estimate their failure rate, and eliminate the representation that they can catch them.
    4. If alterations can still reliably be detected, adopt and enforce a policy where if a certain percentage of a submission is determined altered, the rest of the cards will also be returned ungraded and the submitter barred from future submissions.
    5. If they are not already doing so, keep a record, including a scan and a notation of the alteration, of every card worth more than a set dollar amount that is rejected as altered and returned to the submitter, for later cross-checking, and make public that they are doing so. The rapid advancements in technology should make this more feasible every year. Start with the most valuable cards and as able reduce the qualifying dollar amount.

    I'm no expert in alterations or in how to detect them. I don't have any good ideas on how to improve that specifically. I can see where if there are more advanced techniques that can be implemented PSA might not want to disclose the methods specifically, as that would better enable the doctors to evade them. But a general statement of what advancements they are making on this front would be good as well.

    Well said Gator!! IMO you are right on here, and have offered a number of perfectly reasonable suggestions given the circumstances -- some, perhaps all of which ought to be adopted immediately and announced publicly should PSA wish to begin the process of restoring confidence in their brand.

  • vols1vols1 Posts: 615 ✭✭✭
    edited June 5, 2019 10:34PM

    @Desert_Ice_Sports said:
    Being a dealer in the hobby and travelling to 250+ card shows in the past 10 years, I've heard everything you could imagine about PSA... Some people think the high grades only go to the top submitters... Others think corrupt graders encapsulate trimmed cards and send them out the back door... And now, people think PSA is in cahoots with PWCC to encapsulate and sell these trimmed cards... The truth is that all of these things are ridiculous... PSA would have very little to gain and a LOT to lose doing any of these things.

    If the 'Conservation' approach becomes the accepted standard in the hobby then everyone involved has a lot to gain. It appears the public perception is slowly being chipped away at by some heavy hitters in an effort to normalize this practice. I think eventually it will be more accepted like it is with comic books. Not that I agree with this approach, but it appears there's a lot more money in the 'Conservation' camp than there is the traditional camp.

  • DragnetDragnet Posts: 575 ✭✭

    @shagrotn77 said:
    Very well put, Gator. I was hoping you’d start this thread again today. PSA can start by answering 2 questions:

    1. How did so many altered cards, including cards that don’t meet minimum size requirements, end up in PSA holders?
    2. What is PSA doing to ensure that this failure is not ongoing?

    I absolutely agree with question #2 - Mr. Sloan's post notwithstanding, this is something that must be addressed with some rigor, citing specific actions that will be taken. I realize this may take some time, but it should be treated on the highest order of priority. PSA would benefit from as much transparency as possible here, and should do everything in their power to reassure and engage its customer base throughout this process.

    Indeed, along the same lines, I also echo many of Mr. Jason Simonds sentiments and share his desire to have a number of critical questions addressed, difficult as they may be. While his thread was closed, here are some of those that I feel are also appropriate:

    --Does PSA agree with the definitions set forth in PWCC's market tenants, specifically in regards to Conservation vs. Alteration (here: https://www.pwccmarketplace.com/marketplace-tenets)
    --Have the "bad actors" been identified? How many cards are potentially impacted by this scandal?
    --How will unsuspecting customers/victims be notified? What remedy will be provided?
    --PWCC's statement on the matter indicates they have been working with PSA and law enforcement on this issue, could you confirm and potentially elaborate on this?

  • HighGradeLegendsHighGradeLegends Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭

    @Oldcardguy said:

    @Gilbey said:

    @MLBdays said:

    No way it's #2. In the big picture of things there would be little gain for PSA and a LOT to lose. To think PSA was in on the fraud is way out of bounds- just my opinion as a long time business person.

    The same could be said of PWCC but look where are now.

    Au contraire, For PwCC their entire business model was Built around getting the highest prices for investment grade assets, and they were willing to do whatever it took to get those prices and subsequently conserve those assets. At first with the shilling and bid retractions, now evident from bids on their own auctions, then finally busted from their own sales history. They offered absolutely nothing any other seller on Ebay could provide. It wasnt the eyeballs, it wasn't the safety of a big name seller, it was fraud from the beginning.

    Once again, welcome to the forum

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    @RookieHOFers said:

    @graygator said:
    There is also the separate question of what we should do as consumers while there is still uncertainty. Here's where I'm tentatively at:

    1. I will not buy from or consign to PWCC.
    2. I will not be submitting cards to PSA.
    3. I will not sell my collection. I bought cards and the cards are still the cards. I will continue to check them against any questionable cert list that comes out and pursue a grade guarantee claim if necessary.
    4. I will not buy a PSA graded card unless I first do more extensive research than I have previously to attempt to determine whether the card might be altered.
    5. I will not bid or pay more for a PSA graded card than I would bid or pay for an ungraded version of the card that I knew to be real. No more extreme premiums. I will likely not be buying any PSA 10s until the air clears.

    I'm interested to hear what others are thinking. Business as usual? Getting out altogether? Somewhere in between?

    Gray, It’s clear both on this board and BO that your passionate about the hobby. I appreciate your willingness to be objective with your approach and tone to this thread. You make some wonderful suggestions. I think it’s wise for everyone to collective exhale and let things play out. I’m confident that PSA will do everything they can to get on top of this and improve themselves in the process. I’ve been fortunate to spend time with Joe and have hobby discussions and one thing I can assure you is that he’s not a crook, and moreover incredibly passionate about this hobby like most of us are. I think it’s an easy out to think that PSA should be catching each and every worked on card, but I believe the reality to be that these “crooks” have gotten very good at their craft, and without the luxury of before and after pictures, some of the work being done is nearly impossible to catch.

    As for your question, I won’t ever buy from PWCC again. It’s simply a matter of lack of trust with me. There are too many things that Brent and his company have done over the last few years for me to be confident in saying that “Brent has HIS and HIS only best interest” in his dealings and will do what he needs to “massage” the facts to fit his narrative. That’s not someone I care to engage in business with.

    I’m not even close to a place of selling my collection outright, but have and continue to sell things off from time to time, when it makes sense. I won’t stop that practice.

    I will indeed do more due diligence with purchases and will be curious to know the provenance of cards where I can obtain that information.

    Lastly, I’ve read a lot of comments regarding the timing of this only from the standpoint that we are a couple months out from the National. These “bad apples” will be at this show. Gary Mosher, Kevin Burge, etc will be waking the aisles and will be behind tables. It blows my mind that these guys get a pass. I’m not at all condoning an violence, whatsoever, but how do the crooks themselves get to walk around and conduct business within the building like “business as usual” with all the noise being directed at PWCC and PSA. Something to think about....

    I have to say, I agree with you about Brent and PWCC. They just don't seem to care about anything but making money. The blocking of people for returning things also seems spiteful, and petty. I don't care to do business with people like that.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @vols1 said:

    @Desert_Ice_Sports said:
    Being a dealer in the hobby and travelling to 250+ card shows in the past 10 years, I've heard everything you could imagine about PSA... Some people think the high grades only go to the top submitters... Others think corrupt graders encapsulate trimmed cards and send them out the back door... And now, people think PSA is in cahoots with PWCC to encapsulate and sell these trimmed cards... The truth is that all of these things are ridiculous... PSA would have very little to gain and a LOT to lose doing any of these things.

    If the 'Conservation' approach becomes the accepted standard in the hobby then everyone involved has a lot to gain. It appears the public perception is slowly being chipped away at by some heavy hitters in an effort to normalize this practice. I think eventually it will be more accepted like it is with comic books. Not that I agree with this approach, but it appears there's a lot more money in the 'Conservation' camp than there is the traditional camp

    For this one, I have two responses:

    1) I’m not sure I follow this logic; aside from those who stand to gain from Altered/conserved cards, I see virtually no acceptance of them anywhere and it is in fact the very idea of ‘conservation’ now being permitted that people are getting up in arms about which has in turn caused a major crisis of confidence among collectors of TPG cards.

    OR

    2) Good morning, Brent! Nice try.

    Curious about the rare, mysterious and beautiful 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos?

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/987963/1951-wheaties-premium-photos-set-registry#latest

  • MeferMefer Posts: 1,102 ✭✭✭

    I’ve been reading and following these threads like many of you with interest. Here are my random thoughts on the issue that probably are not with the digital paper they are printed on.

    As a starting point, it’s unrealistic to believe PSA or any TPG can and will catch every alteration. With the advancement of cutting tools and the always lurking morally bankrupt person trying to “scam” the system, things are going to get through. That has to be accepted. We do however trust PSA to ideally have a low fail rate and obviously not knowingly engage in any behavior to unethically pass these cards.

    A corollary to the above, and a point that is lost, is cards “flunked” by PSA the submitter knows is legitimate. If I had the proverbial dollar every time I read on these boards how PSA “screwed up” by flunking that card “pulled straight from a pack and dropped into a Card Saver 1” I’d be a rich man. That suggests there is, and rightfully so, caution and thought in grading.

    Keep in mind as well that with many issue having legitimate size differences, it would be very easy for a skilled card doctor to improve an issue on the larger size of the spectrum. With that being the case, I have to ask myself can anyone always spot the trimmed card? I don’t think anyone of us on this board, let alone a professional grader, can say “I’ll catch it all.” To test that theory, imagine being handed 1,000 cards and tasked with weeding out any altered cards, if any. Take 10 experts and you will most likely get 10 different results. Space the exercise out over six months by doing two complete reviews and I bet the same grader would not replicate the same results each time.

    All told, It’s impossible to implement a perfect system that will catch everything. While certainly the accuracy of weeding out bad apples could be increased by more scrutiny, at some point the value of additional scrutiny will out weigh the value added of grading, defeating its purpose.

    What can be done? I have some thoughts and suggestions:

    1. It would behoove PSA to lift the curtain and share details on the grading process. I’ve heard varying stories over the years and, candidly, I really have no clue as to what are the procedures, training of the graders, how many view the cards, etc. If PSA has confidence in its procedures, as it should and must, this transparency would be a welcome step.
    2. In conjunction with point one, PSA should internally and critically review its process and identify areas of potential improvement.
    3. As many of the suspect cards (but not all) include low production and individually numbered inserts and parallels, thought perhaps should be given to charging more based upon production number (the lower the count, the higher the cost) with the submitter required to submit a sworn attestation that to their knowledge, the cards are not altered. PSA may even consider including an indemnity clause for buybacks if established there was knowing intent to defraud. That attestation would then be kept with a record of the final grade/rejection of each card. While certainly scammers would still sign such, it adds a level of detail and acknowledgement of actions that could dissuade/limit submission of altered cards and/or provide more ammunition to hold the scammers accountable and liable.
    4. Point three in my view largely works as it can be pretty easy, but not full proof, to spot trim jobs on numbered cards as points of reference are easily established (and with the higher cost of grading for these, perhaps PSA could even run a quick eBay/Internet search to see if raw scans of the card exist.
    5. As for older cards and cards not serially numbered, PSA should clamp down on the value assigned to the cards by submitters and obviously charge more for higher valued cards. PSA already does this to a large degree but PSA should be extremely picky on this front. Those costing more on the submission front should, in turn, be subjected to a higher level of scrutiny (I personally cannot say if this is already done; I’d like to think so but see point one above). Moreover, for cards at a certain value level and above, submitters may be required to submit documentation and images related to the purchase of the card within the last five years with a signed attestation/indemnity clause like above. An honest submitter would have no problems doing so while a scammer could simply lie and fail to report a sale (which if later discovered to be a pattern of intentional concealment could raise red flags and revoke submission privileges).

    I think the above thoughts put more responsibility on the submitters of high valued cards and also require PSA to increase its due diligence. It’s not perfect and questions could be raised and debated about cut off points. However, the point is that collector A submitting 1987 Topps Brook Jacoby cards will pay less and have less scrutiny compared to collector B submitting 30 cards valued at thousands of dollars. Accountability is increased the bigger the stakes which is the heart of the current issue.

    That’s enough rambling. I’ll leave it to the adults and wiser collectors than I to sort out and I’ll take my seat again at the kids’ table!

    Matt

  • graygatorgraygator Posts: 294 ✭✭✭

    There seems to be a recurring theme that it is unfair or unrealistic to expect PSA to catch every alteration. But we didn't establish that standard, PSA did. PSA is the one who represents that it can do it. And it backs up that representation with a guarantee that if they miss and you buy an altered card in reliance on their opinion, they will pay you the difference in value between what you paid and what an altered card is really worthy. They make no allowance for value, or for a failure rate. They guarantee it, with their money, full stop.

    I don't think it's unfair to hold PSA to its representations and guarantee. And in this particular situation, I think it's reasonable to insist that PSA facilitate the honoring of its guarantee for its customers by making it easy to determine whether they possess altered cards or not. PSA has a choice. Will it keep the information it has about submissions from known card doctors under wraps, and fight every claim on its guarantee tooth and nail, or will it admit its fault and facilitate a review under its grade guarantee to make it right for its customers?

  • DBesse27DBesse27 Posts: 441 ✭✭✭

    I’m confident they will do the latter.

    Yaz Master Set
    #1 Gino Cappelletti master set
    #1 John Hannah master set

    Also collecting:
    1964 & 68 Venezuelan Topps
    1974 Topps Red Sox
    Andre Tippett

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