Sunday, January 20, 2008

PSA Introducing Half-Grades

A sample of a PSA grade 8.5

For those of you who haven't heard yet, the PSA grading company will not stand even with BGS and others by implementing half-grades into their scale.

PSA cited gaps in card values between a grade 7 and grade 8, for example, as one major reason for the change.

An example they provided is:

Example Card PSA 7 - PSA 8 - PSA 9
1909-11 T206 Christy Mathewson Portrait $4,300 - $14,500 - $75,000
1915 Cracker Jack #30 Ty Cobb $9,250 - $30,000 - $75,000

They hope that by filling in a half-grade, collector's will be able to better determine the true value of their card.

This is because a card that graded just below grade 9 would be labeled as a grade 8 and potentially lose thousands of dollars in value. However, with half-grades, a grade 8.5 could be used on the card and split the price gap between a grade 8 and a grade 9.

However, don't expect to receive a 9.5 card back from PSA as it will not exist. Rather than producing a third mint category, the company will fore go it. It would probably be too difficult for them to regrade all of the previous PSA grade 10s as Pristine.

And why do I say regrade? Well, that is because PSA will regrade old submissions. But, there are some regulations.

1. The card should be submitted just like an ungraded card
2. The collector must submit the card under its declared value (which means the value of the card in its current grade)
3. These cards will never be downgraded
4. You are not assured that your card will gain a half-grade

This change is obviously causing a lot of talk among collector's from all over. PSA understands that and will try to please everyone who wants to take advantage of this new service.

1. PSA will be doing more on-site grading at shows
2. Collector's should expect longer turnarounds following submissions, but will post updates on their websites when they figure out how long submissions should take
3. They are open to feedback

The biggest downfall from this new policy is the regrading. I firmly believe PSA should allow previous submissions to be submitted for regrading at a reduced rate.

If a collector resubmits 50 cards and only gets a half-grade bump on four of them, do you think he/she will look to PSA for their future grading needs?

However, the new system does benefit PSA as it was falling behind other companies who had half-grades. It will also give those collectors who get bump-ups a better idea of the value of their collection. And thirdly, it will make the set registries more competitive.

What's your take on PSA's new system?

For more information about PSA's new policy: Click Here.

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