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Graded Set Building: What grade range is best?

I'm building a 1959 Topps Football graded set. My question is: is it better to have the entire set in a general grade range (say, mostly 6s and 7s) or better to have high-graded stars but also some lower graded stuff?

I ask because I have some highly graded stars (an 8.5 Bart Starr for example) and some highly graded commons (several 9s), but also some 4s and 5s. Should I sell off the high grades and keep the set all in the same range? Or is it always good to have the high-graded stars, no matter what the rest of the set is at?

Comments

  • daltexdaltex Posts: 907 ✭✭✭

    I think in general it is difficult to sell a graded set as a whole. This is why you see "setbreak" so frequently on eBay. While you own it, it depends on your personal sense of aesthetics. Keeping he high grade cards allows you to improve your set over time. Trading out the 8s and 9s for 4s will provide more money for your budget.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 8,023 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If I am building a set, I like having the cards all about the same grade.

    If you have the big $ cards in high grade, I would try to upgrade the commons to be in the 8 range or better.

    It depends on your budget and what you plan on doing with the set.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • When this set is finally sold (and ultimately they all are), you (or your heirs) will do better on sales of high grade stars than you will with low grade stars. As long as you are in no hurry to complete the set and can afford it in higher grade, I would hold out for the nicer cards.

    Todd Tobias
    PSA Employee & Grateful Collector
    I focus on autographed American Football League sets, Fleer & Topps, 1960-1969, and vintage lacrosse cards.
  • 76collector76collector Posts: 635 ✭✭✭

    Keep it consistent

    I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid.
    Collecting:
    post world war II HOF rookie
    76 topps NM/MNT+
    68 topps ex
    54 topps vg
    successful deals with Keevan, Grote15, 1954, mbogoman
  • gemintgemint Posts: 5,347 ✭✭✭

    It really depends on your preference. If you're happy with lower grade cards and you aren't looking at it as an investment, then downgrading the stars could be the way to go as you get to pocket some cash and balance out the set. Most people prefer sets in a particular grade range (low, mid, high) rather than a mix of all. My personal preference is to build vintage sets in PSA 8 or higher but that's just my preference. It's really about what you like and what you can afford.

  • lwehlerslwehlers Posts: 558 ✭✭✭✭

    i have been collecting all of the hall of fame players for my 1983 topps set. i like to have all of the stars base cards in psa 9 and the subset cards like the allstar and superveteran cards i really do not mind if they are eights as long as they are centered.

  • pab1969pab1969 Posts: 518 ✭✭✭✭

    My first set was all 7's. Anything higher can get expensive, especially for vintage. Be consistent and take your time acquiring the cards. Remember to buy the card and not the grade.

  • balco758balco758 Posts: 557 ✭✭✭✭

    I started a 58 set in 5’s. Am a long, long way from completion but personally find nice 5’s to be nice cards. As others have said, it really depends on your goal.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 8,023 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @balco758 said:
    I started a 58 set in 5’s. Am a long, long way from completion but personally find nice 5’s to be nice cards. As others have said, it really depends on your goal.

    I like this set. There are some very attractive 5's out there, and at a fraction of the price of the high end cards.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • 19591959 Posts: 143 ✭✭✭

    I too built the 1959 football set. As someone above wrote, it is best to sell a card at a time, not as a complete set. The commons from that set are not to expensive to buy in 6, and 7s, but will not sell for much at 6 or below. If your stars ( Unitas, Brown, Starr ) are high grade, I would advise getting all of the set in high grade. My set is all 8's , but I bought each one a few years ago so did not have to pay a lot. If you plan on keeping it for a while, and are not in a hurry, save up your money and buy quality .

  • bobsbbcardsbobsbbcards Posts: 3,227 ✭✭✭

    Consistent is the way to go. If trying to complete the set in high grade is too pricey, then It's reasonable to sell off the high-grade cards and try and complete the set in a grade that pleases you. If you end up with an appealing set that's PSA 5-6 or thereabouts, you'll enjoy the heck out of it! :)

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 1,601 ✭✭✭✭

    shift focus from actual numerical grade to the best centered version you can find that doesn't break the bank or hinder your completion of the set. if and when it's sold, it will probably be broken up into single cards, therefore overall gpa is moot.

    the best ability is availability.

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