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Yet another smack in the face

SpivackSpivack Posts: 1
edited January 3, 2023 10:37AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I've been a customer and supporter of PCGS from day one. I've spent just under mid six figures on grading fees. I think PCGS does a good job and provides value for their fees.

That stated; I'm as frustrated as anyone about the inexcusable turnaround times. We all know this is greed-based, just most are too cowardly to let it come out in public. Coins sitting for weeks and months in the administrative cycles is a simply choice to not employ enough worker bees. That in itself is a great disservice and blatantly disrespectful to us, their customer base.

However one thing I found to be tremendously respectable was that PCGS didn't bill customers until they performed the service they get paid for....as the world should be and as consumers should demand.

I recently discovered that now they're billing on the front side. Now they're holding our coins -and- money hostage. This is such a slap in the face to the very people keeping them in business, us collectors.

The hobby and business of numismatics needs yet another grading company as much as a person needs a kidney transplant from a bed wetter. However when (if) a grading company comes along that exercises customer respect and appreciation they'll absolutely obsolete the existing grading companies.

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Comments

  • VanHalenVanHalen Posts: 3,807 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1st post? Valid points all.

    Happy New Year!

  • PapiNEPapiNE Posts: 280 ✭✭✭

    There's another TPG coming and there seems to be excitement about it within the community. I would think it would ease waiting times but it also may cause others to cut staff. I've recently had to correct two of their mistakes so they're certainly not flawless and more competition may be a positive.

    USAF veteran 1984-2005

  • OnastoneOnastone Posts: 3,780 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Spivack said:

    I think PCGS does a good job and provides value for their fees.
    Coins sitting for weeks is a great disservice and blatantly disrespectful to us, their customer base.
    Now they're holding our coins -and- money hostage. This is such a slap in the face

    It's too bad you have no choice as a disrespected and under appreciated customer.
    Do you know how many coins PCGS has graded this year? Do you care?
    Do you think spending more money than others makes you more important? That fact was stated in your opening statement.
    How can a company provide "value for their fees" and then be accused of being "greed based"?
    Would you like some crackers with that whine?

  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,022 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the post had focused on the stated change of submitters being billed at the time of their submissions, responses would probably be a lot more empathetic.😉

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Spivack... Welcome aboard.... Cheers, RickO

  • gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Spivack If you don't like how a company conducts their business you can take your business somewhere else.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,835 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know. Speed kills. In 36 years, and almost 52 million coins graded... what's the rush ? I've never had my card hit until after I've received mine ( coins) back. But that's me. And I'm nowhere near six figures in grading fees. Closer to 5.
    The whole plandemic messed with the mindset of the whole. Welcome to the house of real pain.

  • GoldminersGoldminers Posts: 3,585 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Unfortunately, all businesses in 2023 will be forced to deal with inflation. Get ready to turn the other cheek.

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PapiNE said:
    There's another TPG coming and there seems to be excitement about it within the community. I would think it would ease waiting times but it also may cause others to cut staff. I've recently had to correct two of their mistakes so they're certainly not flawless and more competition may be a positive.

    Not going to happen. Their secret sauce is that ALL coins will be graded by the same three people with a single umpire if they don't agree. How many coins can that group grade per day or per week? If one takes a vacation day, does the whole organization shut down?

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    Just preserving the post for posterity.... ;)

    If you want to do THAT, take the URL over to the Internet Archive and click the save this page in the internet archive button.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,240 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:

    @PapiNE said:
    There's another TPG coming and there seems to be excitement about it within the community. I would think it would ease waiting times but it also may cause others to cut staff. I've recently had to correct two of their mistakes so they're certainly not flawless and more competition may be a positive.

    Not going to happen. Their secret sauce is that ALL coins will be graded by the same three people with a single umpire if they don't agree. How many coins can that group grade per day or per week? If one takes a vacation day, does the whole organization shut down?

    That seems to be how it works now. I frequently get emails about the office being closed, not accepting submissions, etc. They will really need to figure out how to scale the service. Although, even with that downtime, the turnaround is still much faster than our hosts currently.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

  • gtstanggtstang Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 31, 2022 7:13AM

    Spivack is the last name of a well established member here but I do wonder if that is actually them. Hmm.
    I do see validity on the complaint to billing on the front end for a service that has not been completed.
    It could be a sign of financial distress or maybe some higher ups decided to bill up front because their services are taking so long that there have been problems with cc's expiring before service is complete.
    What happens if the customer gets so frustrated that they demand their coins be sent back? Will their funds be tied up even longer?

  • shishshish Posts: 1,104 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 said " If you don't like how a company conducts their business you can take your business somewhere else."

    True, but where would you suggest? For example, NGC is viewed by many as much less desirable.

    Liberty Seated and Trade Dollar Specialist
  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TwoSides2aCoin said:
    I don't know. Speed kills. In 36 years, and almost 52 million coins graded... what's the rush ? I've never had my card hit until after I've received mine ( coins) back. But that's me. And I'm nowhere near six figures in grading fees. Closer to 5.
    The whole plandemic messed with the mindset of the whole. Welcome to the house of real pain.

    Nor have I. I just searched the website and couldn't find any info about a change here. I currently have 3 orders in Grading and have not been charged for any of them. Can anyone provide more insight to potential billing changes? Or is that maybe for dealers or bulk orders?

  • Indeed there are two sides to this story. Like Southwest Airlines, any company could have been caught with their pants down and blindsided by circumstances of outdated tech, shortage of qualified employees, blue flu or actual flu, etc. Their rent, insurance, and utilities are going up just like everyone else’s. So I will give them the benefit of doubt for now.

    The other side of the story is to realize that the hedge funds are not out to protect customers or employees when they take over a company. It is all about squeezing every last dime of profit and bumping up shareholder values.

    I am surprised the TPG’s have not already moved their operations to Asia or Africa to get more bang for their investment. After all, that is now the American dream.

  • Isn't this a typical strategy (collect now, service later) for Private Equity companies who try to maximize profit/returns for their inverstors...didn't PCGS get purchased by PE last year for 700mill?

  • goodmoney4badmoneygoodmoney4badmoney Posts: 1,126 ✭✭✭✭

    @Hhhinkleiii said:
    Isn't this a typical strategy (collect now, service later) for Private Equity companies who try to maximize profit/returns for their inverstors...didn't PCGS get purchased by PE last year for 700mill?

    In November 2020, it was announced that Collectors Universe would be taken private in a $700 million all-cash buyout by hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, D1 Capital Partners, and collector Nat Turner in the first quarter of 2021.

  • Glen2022Glen2022 Posts: 843 ✭✭✭✭
    1. Do quicker turn around times result in less accurate grading? I don't know. Do you?

    2. Wouldn't a new TPG need some time (perhaps several years) to earn acceptance by collectors as to the accuracy of grades assigned to their work? Think of some of the now defunct (and some not defunct) TPGs whose grading is highly suspect.

  • shishshish Posts: 1,104 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 I agree with everything you said, however the majority of collectors seem to lack the grading skills and confidence needed to buy raw or coins graded by many of the grading services. Pre 1986 we had no choice but to learn to grade which was a blessing.

    Liberty Seated and Trade Dollar Specialist
  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,491 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The billing issue is minor imo. I understand the gripe but they are going to hold onto your coins for x period of time, they need the cash flow and liquidity for holding onto possibly millions of dollars of coins at any given time. And as someone pointed out, cc aren't forever... It's better to get the money ahead than risk the card being closed or expired and not able to collect.

    Personally, I stopped submitting to pcgs because of the delays. NGC has very reasonable turn around now. I think it's a fair question... If ngc and others can get ahead of the curve, why isn't pcgs doing more to also get ahead? Can they not find employees? Do they refuse to find and train employees? The first is understandable because no one wants to work these days... The second is just greedy. I understand there has to be a balance and I'm sure they don't want to be overstaffed either when the surge ends either. I can see the time and effort being high cost to train an employee for potentially a temporary surge, however this has been going on for years now not months.

    While understandable to some degree it doesn't change the frustration level.

    The bigger burn for me personally is paying for a grade and getting a details cleaned/whatever. It feels like paying for a grade and getting just an estimate is not getting what I paid for. I've seen some ANACS slabs say something akin to ms65 details - cleaned... I get there are some details issues that would prevent a true honest grade but not near the level that they issue them I'd suspect. But how ngc and pcgs (any maybe others) do it, it's still left up to the seller and buyer to determine the grade when that's what the tpg was paid to do.

    With all that said, the op is free to take his money elsewhere. There are many other options, however some if not all basically operate the same way so I don't see much alternative that would alieviate the billing issue as described.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,400 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spacehayduke said:

    @shish said:
    @gumby1234 said " If you don't like how a company conducts their business you can take your business somewhere else."

    True, but where would you suggest? For example, NGC is viewed by many as much less desirable.

    NGC dominates the ancients grading market and still are the biggest player in world coins grading although PCGS is catching up. My experience is that NGC is as consistent in applying ANA grading standards to US coins as PCGS. IMO, it is marketing hype that has made NGC coins less desirable to some........

    NGC is also the official grading service of the ANA and ANA members can use their service without paying for membership. Also, NGC is the official grading service of the PNG. I like PCGS but I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,022 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gtstang said:
    Spivack is the last name of a well established member here but I do wonder if that is actually them. Hmm.
    I do see validity on the complaint to billing on the front end for a service that has not been completed.
    It could be a sign of financial distress or maybe some higher ups decided to bill up front because their services are taking so long that there have been problems with cc's expiring before service is complete.
    What happens if the customer gets so frustrated that they demand their coins be sent back? Will their funds be tied up even longer?

    I’m certain that @wondercoin (Mitch Spivack) is not the person who started this thread.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • U1chicagoU1chicago Posts: 5,600 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @spacehayduke said:

    @shish said:
    @gumby1234 said " If you don't like how a company conducts their business you can take your business somewhere else."

    True, but where would you suggest? For example, NGC is viewed by many as much less desirable.

    NGC dominates the ancients grading market and still are the biggest player in world coins grading although PCGS is catching up. My experience is that NGC is as consistent in applying ANA grading standards to US coins as PCGS. IMO, it is marketing hype that has made NGC coins less desirable to some........

    NGC is also the official grading service of the ANA and ANA members can use their service without paying for membership. Also, NGC is the official grading service of the PNG. I like PCGS but I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid.

    NGC ended the free membership for ANA members. Now ANA members get $15 off membership (which comes with $150 in grading credits if you go for the $150 level).

  • blu62vetteblu62vette Posts: 11,901 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:

    @PapiNE said:
    There's another TPG coming and there seems to be excitement about it within the community. I would think it would ease waiting times but it also may cause others to cut staff. I've recently had to correct two of their mistakes so they're certainly not flawless and more competition may be a positive.

    Not going to happen. Their secret sauce is that ALL coins will be graded by the same three people with a single umpire if they don't agree. How many coins can that group grade per day or per week? If one takes a vacation day, does the whole organization shut down?

    I dont think the secret sauce is the same for the grading company.

    http://www.bluccphotos.com" target="new">BluCC Photos Shows for onsite imaging: Nov Baltimore, FUN, Long Beach http://www.facebook.com/bluccphotos" target="new">BluCC on Facebook
  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Other than a submission for correction of a "mechanical error" my last submission was in 2016. I used to submit quite regularly through my own account and even more through the accounts of dealer friends.

    My desire to play that game evaporated 5 or 6 years ago and I don't think that's likely to change.

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 31, 2022 11:02AM

    @Custerlost said:

    I am surprised the TPG’s have not already moved their operations to Asia or Africa to get more bang for their investment. After all, that is now the American dream.

    Excellent point! Think how long it would take if all the TPG'ers moved their operations to CHINA?!?! You may never see your coins again!!... Or they'll come back counterfeit!!

    I'll pay more and wait longer for operation here in the states! If any TPG'er moves their operations to CHINA or anywhere overseas...............I'll be done with them! And you can take that to the bank or mint my friends!!

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • metalmeistermetalmeister Posts: 4,584 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to the forum. :)

    email: ccacollectibles@yahoo.com

    100% Positive BST transactions
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,882 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We're here for you whenever you feel the need to whine in public

  • WalkerloverWalkerlover Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭

    The biggest problem is all the modern coins being graded that are all MS 69-70 anyway. I believe the preference in grading should be classic coins first to be graded, modern mint coins last

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,532 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Walkerlover said:
    The biggest problem is all the modern coins being graded that are all MS 69-70 anyway. I believe the preference in grading should be classic coins first to be graded, modern mint coins last

    modern products make up the majority of the grading quota. In order for pcgs to maintain its market share in that segment of the market, they need to quickly churn out all of the first strike and similar issues quickly to meet demand. Another reason why CAC grading is poised to succeed, provided that the service meets the expectations of collectors.

  • P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,240 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Walkerlover said:
    The biggest problem is all the modern coins being graded that are all MS 69-70 anyway. I believe the preference in grading should be classic coins first to be graded, modern mint coins last

    Aren’t those handled by different staff? I assume the same graders that spend all day choosing between 69 and 70 (sounds like a brutal gig) are not the same graders that reviewed the Bass collection. Separate queues for classics and moderns. I’m open to being wrong, as this is just my assumption with no evidence.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @P0CKETCHANGE said:

    @BStrauss3 said:
    Not going to happen. Their secret sauce is that ALL coins will be graded by the same three people with a single umpire if they don't agree. How many coins can that group grade per day or per week? If one takes a vacation day, does the whole organization shut down?

    That seems to be how it works now. I frequently get emails about the office being closed, not accepting submissions, etc. They will really need to figure out how to scale the service. Although, even with that downtime, the turnaround is still much faster than our hosts currently.

    At this point, there is zero interest in scaling the service to the market "demand" - that was clear in the LSCC preso.

    Less clear, but clearly implied is that they will be taking steps using their perceived market power to limit demand to the volumes they can process.

    I expect that fees will end up being expensive enough to limit the market demand to where they cover their costs and make a fair return at the volumes they can process.

    People forget that there are a whole range of solutions in the basic equations of Economics, especially if you aren't looking to maximize revenue. If you are privately owned you can tell Wall Street to pound sand with their quarter over quarter growth demands.

    They will simply not holder the modern trash.

    They won't expand into coins that their experts aren't experts in.

    Don't want to sticker a bunch of modern $100 dimes? Charge $100 for the service. Make it so clearly uneconomical that you don't have to specifically exclude the riff-raff. If that doesn't work, $200. $500.

    Now, one way to expand capacity would be to segment experts. Have a group of three who do only Lincoln cents. And a group of three who do classic 20th-century silver. etc. They didn't rule THAT out. It never came up.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @P0CKETCHANGE said:

    @Walkerlover said:
    The biggest problem is all the modern coins being graded that are all MS 69-70 anyway. I believe the preference in grading should be classic coins first to be graded, modern mint coins last

    Aren’t those handled by different staff? I assume the same graders that spend all day choosing between 69 and 70 (sounds like a brutal gig) are not the same graders that reviewed the Bass collection. Separate queues for classics and moderns. I’m open to being wrong, as this is just my assumption with no evidence.

    It's been said that a few years ago one of the services set up in a warehouse and had the monster boxes delivered there for junior staff to handle. It was presented as a kind of self-contained offsite operation.

    Nothing new... the GSA Silver Dollars were graded by GSA Clerks who had received a half-day preso on grading from a numismatist.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • vulcanizevulcanize Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:
    If they would just grade my coins ahead of everybody else, everything would be fine.

    LOL.
    I wish.
    At the Baltimore show, was suggested to use the express service that was supposedly faster, but ironically it was delayed and took waaaaaaaaaay longer whereas my economy submission at same time frame made it back two months earlier.

  • 1madman1madman Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bolivarshagnasty said:
    Agreed, billing on the front side is wrong. A recipe for losing customer base.

    NGC has done this for as long as I can remember and they are still functioning

  • 1madman1madman Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @U1chicago said:

    @PerryHall said:

    @spacehayduke said:

    @shish said:
    @gumby1234 said " If you don't like how a company conducts their business you can take your business somewhere else."

    True, but where would you suggest? For example, NGC is viewed by many as much less desirable.

    NGC dominates the ancients grading market and still are the biggest player in world coins grading although PCGS is catching up. My experience is that NGC is as consistent in applying ANA grading standards to US coins as PCGS. IMO, it is marketing hype that has made NGC coins less desirable to some........

    NGC is also the official grading service of the ANA and ANA members can use their service without paying for membership. Also, NGC is the official grading service of the PNG. I like PCGS but I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid.

    NGC ended the free membership for ANA members. Now ANA members get $15 off membership (which comes with $150 in grading credits if you go for the $150 level).

    This is inaccurate. There is not a $15 discount any longer. Careful about posting disinformation if you decide to guess

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Love these weekend posts. :D

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1madman said:

    @U1chicago said:
    NGC ended the free membership for ANA members. Now ANA members get $15 off membership (which comes with $150 in grading credits if you go for the $150 level).

    This is inaccurate. There is not a $15 discount any longer. Careful about posting disinformation if you decide to guess

    I just looked at the ANA Membership Benefits listed here:

    https://6180285.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/6180285/2022 ANA Member Benefits.pdf

    Among other things, this is noted:

    NUMISMATIC GUARANTY CORPORATION ™
    Founded in 1987, NGC® is the world’s largest and
    most trusted third-party grading service for coins,
    tokens and medals. As an exclusive benefit for being
    an ANA member, you receive $15 off a new NGC and
    PMG membership.

  • 1madman1madman Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The offer ended in May 2022. I agree they should take down the advertisement for it, but I don’t work for them, so I can’t help in that regard

This discussion has been closed.