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Old 03-12-2019, 11:36 PM
rickyb80 rickyb80 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 2
Default It's possible many people overestimate their own ability to grade cards

It is quite common for people, in general, to overestimate their own abilities.
I joined PSA a few years ago and didn't make it past the initial 15-card order. I got upset because my cards received poor grades and cursed PSA in every way imaginable. I took the grades they assigned to my cards personally. I knew my cards weren't perfect, but it seemed that my expectations were always a grade or so above the one assigned.

I spent a couple years paying very close attention to everything in the collecting world. I learned a lot about many things and the more I educated myself, the less upset I would get with the card grading companies. Part of that was also due to the fact that I had sharpened my ability to identify and acquire quality cards and I was no longer submitting cards that were unworthy of being graded. I reached the point where I could successfully grade my own cards.

Many people think they are at that point, but I can tell you that most people actually are not. It's hard not to raise an eyebrow when I see someone declare grades that are well above what I know a card should be. Most of the time people are stubborn, don't take my advice, and even get upset with me as if I were somehow purporting to be the authority on grading. The truth is, I do not consider myself to be the authority on grading. I can only speak from my own personal experience.

Full understanding requires a sedulous approach that considers the nuances between each year/set. For example, O-Pee-Chee's don't get graded the same as Topps, especially if they were cut in the 60's or 70's. I've heard this had to do with infrequent blade sharpening, which explains the rougher edges on some versus others. Cards are assessed while considering the era in which they were produced, the methods that were used, etc.

Many people do already know these things but there are also many who do not. That is not to say that there is no reason to doubt the grading companies and I realize there are many collectors who are solid at assessing their cards. However, my experience is that most people do overestimate their own abilities, and it's not my job to convince them to take my advice.

Rule of thumb is to "buy the card, not the grade", and those who stick to that will be successful. I amassed nearly my entire collection almost solely on the profits I made buying cards that were clearly under-graded. Granted, there are times I buy a card that looks under-graded, only to receive it and notice a surface issue that was not visible online. In those cases it is still possible to recoup the money I spent with a little patience, quality photos, and a well-worded description.

I only submit to SGC and Beckett. I see way too many people paying huge premiums for over-hyped cards in PSA holders. I have seen them over-grade more cards than I can count, and many blindly assume that anything in a PSA slab is better than anything else in any other slab. I have seen too much inconsistency from PSA, and their slabs leave a lot to be desired.

I do not feel as though the grading company's are taking advantage of anyone. Whether or not one gets involved with grading is a personal choice. It's a matter of personal preference, and an expensive decision for many people. It's hard to have sympathy for anyone willing to invest money into something without first taking the time to gain a full and complete understanding of the process in which they are investing.

The same people who pay to submit their collection without truly possessing the ability to properly assess with precision and without taint of personal bias, are the same people who later complain that they were "ripped off" or "taken advantage of". I am not saying that was the case in Mr. Purdy's article. In fact, I really like the writing and feel there is a lot of truth to it. It's a nostalgic piece that reminds me of the simpler times that I prefer. Perhaps I've gone on a bit of a tangent. My point is, for every person who actually can grade their own cards, there are 10 more who mistakenly believe they can.

Please. I hope nobody takes anything I have said personally. I'm just being honest and this is not directed at anyone in particular.

Take care. By the way this is my first post on Net54.


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