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Vintage Commons Grading: Cost vs Grade/Results

As I look to grade my colllection I've had for 60 years, I scratch my head as the math makes no sense in grading commons. Who in their right mind would submit a common for grading, when it costs $19 per card and a 9 grade in most cases sells for less than the cost. If I have a bunch of commons (70-81) and I think some may be 10's it does not make financial sense to gamble that I may get a 10. I see PSA commons graded at 7-9 auctioned off on PWCC all the time and I wonder was there a time that it made sense to submit commons for grading? I guess, I'm asking is there a financially viable strategy to grade commons that may be a 10? Thanks

Comments

  • HidhoeHidhoe Posts: 310 ✭✭✭
    edited January 20, 2024 7:21AM

    If you have money to burn, do it.
    If you’re looking to make a profit it’s better to put money in an S&P fund long term.

  • Thanks Guys.

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,662 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the grade in the range of 7-9 is the goal, seems to make sense to buy graded cards. The earlier the vintage cards (1952-1962), it seems that getting a 9 or 10 is more of a Hail Mary and I'm no Doug Flutie.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinkat said:
    If the grade in the range of 7-9 is the goal, seems to make sense to buy graded cards. The earlier the vintage cards (1952-1962), it seems that getting a 9 or 10 is more of a Hail Mary and I'm no Doug Flutie.

    That is if you can find them. Some sets don't have a ton of 9's available. Maybe if want an PSA 8 set it might be possible. if you are in a competition for a set, it gets frustrating sometimes.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • 80sOPC80sOPC Posts: 1,194 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I never understood why commons were graded in the first place. Who cares about the card grade of a player no one cares about?

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,109 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @80sOPC said:
    I never understood why commons were graded in the first place. Who cares about the card grade of a player no one cares about?

    Some people are set collectors and want a complete set in PSA 10. Some are team set collectors and need all the guys in a 10.

    I think these people are a dying breed, as with the cost of grading going up combined with the difficulty in getting a 10, make it almost impossible to achieve.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Joe and 80's make good points.

    1) whose going to spend $15 to get a 1974 psa 8 Pepe fries or whomever. Essentially the set registry is going to stay right where it is. I doubt seriously anyone wants to build any sets past 1985 and even then that sounds like a huge flush of cash done the toilet.

    2) I have three sets, i collected. i have the number 1 1978 opc Set. But I can't ever find a card I need. Maybe twice a year someone will post one I need and then they ask 10 times what its worth to me.

    3) The player registry will probably hang around. That one makes more sense.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would love to do set registries on some 70s but won’t bother. PSA doesn’t seem to make it attractive to collectors anymore so it’s hard to believe the market will remain for those. Values will have to go up a lot on commons to make sense at current grading prices.

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BBBrkrr said:
    I would love to do set registries on some 70s but won’t bother. PSA doesn’t seem to make it attractive to collectors anymore so it’s hard to believe the market will remain for those. Values will have to go up a lot on commons to make sense at current grading prices.

    And they will. Especially the 9's and 10's.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • CakesCakes Posts: 3,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Love that basement!

    Successful coin BST transactions with Gerard and segoja.

    Successful card BST transactions with cbcnow, brogurt, gstarling, Bravesfan 007, and rajah 424.
  • gemintgemint Posts: 6,058 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's frustrating that PSA is making being a graded set builder more difficult. Having said that, I don't see graded set collecting going by the wayside anytime soon. It's just more difficult to build sets with your own submissions due to the high cost of grading and inconsistent/harsh grading standards.

    I've been making good progress on my sets over the past few years. I think the current environment will most negatively affect late 70s and newer sets. There aren't enough commons out there from those sets to build them without self submitting. For older sets, the populations are out there. It's just more expensive to buy them in many cases than in the past.

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    yeah, it's kind of cool to have a whole graded set. I have the whole 1978 OPC set on the registry, #1. I just haven't updated the registry to show that. I think I am missing one or two on the registry but i have the cards.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • I am new to the graded card world (since 2022) and have submitted several dozen subs of holofoil Pokémon cards from my trading/duplicate accumulation (circa 2000 - 2006). I have raw collection sets from the very first (1999) Pokémon TCG through early 2006.

    I would love to submit entire expansions for grading - if only the cost of grading unc/commons would drop back to prices I have heard about (sub-$10).

  • brad31brad31 Posts: 2,478 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Registry has little meaning to me but am on because the checklists help see what I need (can quickly look down my spreadsheet to see if card is missing or I have it in another holder). Not going to stick with one grading company. Work on HOF baseball sets - have ‘55 bowman, really close on ‘61 Topps in spitting distance on ‘68 Topps but in all cases about 20% to 25% of my cards are SGC or the occasional BVG. Also work on player runs. Not going to ever pay to cross so my sets languish in the 20s to 30s.

  • HarnessracingHarnessracing Posts: 280 ✭✭✭

    I submit aprox 7000 cards a year +-.
    My business was commons and minors. No more. If a common can’t break even in 8. I don’t submit it. I only send cards I think are 9s.
    My last PSA submission popped a Monday. 50 various Rickey Henderson cards from 81 and 82. Was fortunate enough to get 8-10’s and zero 7s or less.
    I will not send anything else to PSA UNLESS I come across a purchase with a reason too.

  • @Harnessracing said:
    I submit aprox 7000 cards a year +-.
    My business was commons and minors. No more. If a common can’t break even in 8. I don’t submit it. I only send cards I think are 9s.
    My last PSA submission popped a Monday. 50 various Rickey Henderson cards from 81 and 82. Was fortunate enough to get 8-10’s and zero 7s or less.
    I will not send anything else to PSA UNLESS I come across a purchase with a reason too.

    That would be a dream submission for me. What’s your secret? How do you evaluate the raw cards to get such a high rating?

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ive sent in 500 cards to PSA and received 3 10's. 1987 topps cards, i.e. meaningless.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • RonSportscardsRonSportscards Posts: 735 ✭✭✭✭

    @olb31 said:
    ive sent in 500 cards to PSA and received 3 10's. 1987 topps cards, i.e. meaningless.

    But how many of the 500 did you honestly think had a shot at a 10?

    I subbed 126 cards in 2023. Of those, I thought 60 had a legit shot at a 10.
    I got 21 10s, quite a few 9, and the rest were clunkers.
    I cracked 6 of those clunkers and SGC returned 3 of them as 10s.
    Most notable of course was the 89 Hoops Jordan that was a PSA5 reborn as a SGC10.

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RonSportscards said:

    @olb31 said:
    ive sent in 500 cards to PSA and received 3 10's. 1987 topps cards, i.e. meaningless.

    But how many of the 500 did you honestly think had a shot at a 10?

    I subbed 126 cards in 2023. Of those, I thought 60 had a legit shot at a 10.
    I got 21 10s, quite a few 9, and the rest were clunkers.
    I cracked 6 of those clunkers and SGC returned 3 of them as 10s.
    Most notable of course was the 89 Hoops Jordan that was a PSA5 reborn as a SGC10.

    Yeah probably about 30 had a chance for a 10. so i got 3 out of 30.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,247 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have never been interested in the registry, but from what I can ascertain, it is basically competitive card collecting?

    To each their own.

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 6,205 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    I have never been interested in the registry, but from what I can ascertain, it is basically competitive card collecting?

    To each their own.

    Sure, that is a part of it.

    It’s also a resource for research information, a virtual gallery of some of the finest cards in the world, a checklist of basically every card set you can think of in all four major sports from past to present plus both PSA and collector created team and player sets, type card collector sets, non-sport and TCG sets that are shared with other collectors digitally.

    It’s also a means for various types of communication with your fellow collectors, a way of organizing and valuing your collection and, most importantly, it’s a lot of fun.

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

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

  • BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    I have never been interested in the registry, but from what I can ascertain, it is basically competitive card collecting?

    To each their own.

    I always liked the consistency of everything in the same holder/company. I sent in quite a few for the 70s holiday special just to clear the decks on things I've had for a long time.

    So far, most of the grades have been fine and what I expect (7-9). The weird thing is that probably 1/3 are coming back as Miscut or Size issues and not graded. I'm going to crack the lowest ones and send those along with the Miscut/Size ones to another company for comparison.

    It will be a nice comparison.

  • @80sOPC said:
    I never understood why commons were graded in the first place. Who cares about the card grade of a player no one cares about?

    Never understood? Yes you know...registry caused it!

  • pdoidoipdoidoi Posts: 430 ✭✭✭

    @RonSportscards said:

    @olb31 said:
    ive sent in 500 cards to PSA and received 3 10's. 1987 topps cards, i.e. meaningless.

    But how many of the 500 did you honestly think had a shot at a 10?

    I subbed 126 cards in 2023. Of those, I thought 60 had a legit shot at a 10.
    I got 21 10s, quite a few 9, and the rest were clunkers.
    I cracked 6 of those clunkers and SGC returned 3 of them as 10s.
    Most notable of course was the 89 Hoops Jordan that was a PSA5 reborn as a SGC10.

    A PSA 5 to a SGC 10 that is crazy. I think PSA really needs to look into this crap and I really hope SGC is being truly honest in their grades.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,109 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    I have never been interested in the registry, but from what I can ascertain, it is basically competitive card collecting?

    To each their own.

    It's FUN!

    I never collected cards as an investment (although I have some now), that's not even really collecting is it?

    Isn't card grading actually a competition in itself?

    The majority of my Killebrew collection was purchased prior to PSA being in business. I then had some graded, found out about the registry, stared a set and was at #3 all time almost right away. I then submitted the rest of my cards over time and was #1 for a while.

    Yes, there's competition involved, it's also about having the nicest set you can put together. I dropped out of trying to get back to #1 when it became too expensive, and less fun for me.

    At first I never posted photos of my cards, then one day I got kind of scolded by someone who said I was being a bit selfish. I thought he had a point and posted pictures.

    Funny, a couple of years later someone else said they thought I was being a "show off" because I posted pictures.

    Someone else thanked me for posting pics, and commented that they use my set to see if the card they are interested in is in the set.

    Depends on what you like, and like to do.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,247 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    @craig44 said:
    I have never been interested in the registry, but from what I can ascertain, it is basically competitive card collecting?

    To each their own.

    It's FUN!

    I never collected cards as an investment (although I have some now), that's not even really collecting is it?

    Isn't card grading actually a competition in itself?

    The majority of my Killebrew collection was purchased prior to PSA being in business. I then had some graded, found out about the registry, stared a set and was at #3 all time almost right away. I then submitted the rest of my cards over time and was #1 for a while.

    Yes, there's competition involved, it's also about having the nicest set you can put together. I dropped out of trying to get back to #1 when it became too expensive, and less fun for me.

    At first I never posted photos of my cards, then one day I got kind of scolded by someone who said I was being a bit selfish. I thought he had a point and posted pictures.

    Funny, a couple of years later someone else said they thought I was being a "show off" because I posted pictures.

    Someone else thanked me for posting pics, and commented that they use my set to see if the card they are interested in is in the set.

    Depends on what you like, and like to do.

    for me, the only reason i am interested in graded cards is the ease of mind they provide. like me, you have been in the game a long time. remember pre grading when it felt like the wild west when you mail ordered? you really never knew what you were going to get. or if it was authentic. grading gave me the peace of mind that what i was getting was real, and there was finally a stadard for condition.

    I am glad that so many get satisfaction from the registry.

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • RonSportscardsRonSportscards Posts: 735 ✭✭✭✭

    @pdoidoi said:

    @RonSportscards said:

    @olb31 said:
    ive sent in 500 cards to PSA and received 3 10's. 1987 topps cards, i.e. meaningless.

    But how many of the 500 did you honestly think had a shot at a 10?

    I subbed 126 cards in 2023. Of those, I thought 60 had a legit shot at a 10.
    I got 21 10s, quite a few 9, and the rest were clunkers.
    I cracked 6 of those clunkers and SGC returned 3 of them as 10s.
    Most notable of course was the 89 Hoops Jordan that was a PSA5 reborn as a SGC10.

    A PSA 5 to a SGC 10 that is crazy. I think PSA really needs to look into this crap and I really hope SGC is being truly honest in their grades.

    I really felt the card had a legit shot at a 10, otherwise I would not have sent it in since that card has crazy high pop. It has 4000 10's already LOL. SGC giving it a 10 is more in line with what my expectation was.

  • RonSportscardsRonSportscards Posts: 735 ✭✭✭✭

    I just got my email reminder to renew my PSA membership.
    In it it says: "Service Levels that unlock PSA’s lowest pricing starting at $15/card."

    So it seems we're not going to be seeing prices lower than $15 to get those commons graded, anytime soon.

  • detroitfan2detroitfan2 Posts: 3,308 ✭✭✭✭

    @RonSportscards said:
    I just got my email reminder to renew my PSA membership.
    In it it says: "Service Levels that unlock PSA’s lowest pricing starting at $15/card."

    So it seems we're not going to be seeing prices lower than $15 to get those commons graded, anytime soon.

    A bit off topic, but does your membership have to be active at the time you submit or at the time the grades pop and you are charged? Mine is expiring in Feb and I have been thinking of submitting one more time but probably won’t renew.

  • RonSportscardsRonSportscards Posts: 735 ✭✭✭✭

    @detroitfan2 said:

    @RonSportscards said:
    I just got my email reminder to renew my PSA membership.
    In it it says: "Service Levels that unlock PSA’s lowest pricing starting at $15/card."

    So it seems we're not going to be seeing prices lower than $15 to get those commons graded, anytime soon.

    A bit off topic, but does your membership have to be active at the time you submit or at the time the grades pop and you are charged? Mine is expiring in Feb and I have been thinking of submitting one more time but probably won’t renew.

    I don't know. I have to believe it's when you submit. Mine is up in Feb too, but I'm leaning toward renewing. Waiting 70s special to pop to help my decision and finding out if Loupe credits apply to renewals, or only just for new signups.

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @detroitfan2 said:

    @RonSportscards said:
    I just got my email reminder to renew my PSA membership.
    In it it says: "Service Levels that unlock PSA’s lowest pricing starting at $15/card."

    So it seems we're not going to be seeing prices lower than $15 to get those commons graded, anytime soon.

    A bit off topic, but does your membership have to be active at the time you submit or at the time the grades pop and you are charged? Mine is expiring in Feb and I have been thinking of submitting one more time but probably won’t renew.

    im sending a buddies cards, next week and mine runs out in 30 days.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • pdoidoipdoidoi Posts: 430 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    @craig44 said:
    I have never been interested in the registry, but from what I can ascertain, it is basically competitive card collecting?

    To each their own.

    It's FUN!

    I never collected cards as an investment (although I have some now), that's not even really collecting is it?

    Isn't card grading actually a competition in itself?

    The majority of my Killebrew collection was purchased prior to PSA being in business. I then had some graded, found out about the registry, stared a set and was at #3 all time almost right away. I then submitted the rest of my cards over time and was #1 for a while.

    Yes, there's competition involved, it's also about having the nicest set you can put together. I dropped out of trying to get back to #1 when it became too expensive, and less fun for me.

    At first I never posted photos of my cards, then one day I got kind of scolded by someone who said I was being a bit selfish. I thought he had a point and posted pictures.

    Funny, a couple of years later someone else said they thought I was being a "show off" because I posted pictures.

    Someone else thanked me for posting pics, and commented that they use my set to see if the card they are interested in is in the set.

    Depends on what you like, and like to do.

    Sometimes you just can't win.

  • sayheywyosayheywyo Posts: 435 ✭✭✭

    Not one bit interested in grading a full set of cards. I have put together a few player runs and use the registry to track those and some others that I added to my inventory. There is an active inventory with a price change drop down that seems to update every couple weeks (not always accurate, but close enough for me.)

    TOTAL ITEMS 33 TOTAL COST $0.00 APR VALUE $4863.06 PSA VALUE $6050,00 MY VALUES $0,00

    Looks like this. Kinda cool feature minus the values continuing the downward trend.

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,662 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sharing through the registry or providing pictures on the forum is merely illustrating and encouraging what is possible.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

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