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  #1  
Old 08-07-2015, 08:23 AM
MCoxon MCoxon is offline
Mike
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Default Condition / grading obsession in the hobby

What's your take on how the hobby has evolved over the years with respect to condition?

Seems to me a high end collector "sub-set" has emerged paying obscene prices for high-grade cards -- say, PSA 8-10 -- based on their condition scarcity, even though those cards often have only minute differences in actual condition (e.g., need a loupe, black light, etc.)

When I was growing up, raw vintage cards that were in Ex-Mt condition at the card shop seemed rare and "high-end". But today, a PSA 6 is considered "Mid-grade".

Feels like this is creating a two-tier market: high-end where prices are skyrocketing like precious metals; and "all other", where prices are actually fairly stable over 20, 30 years.

(check out Mike Payne's Top 300 baseball cards book from 1999, the prices listed seem similar to today's prices for anything from Good to Ex-Mt after adjusting for condition. But a PSA 8 or PSA 9 suddenly goes for 3-10x what the 1999 "high-range" price listed in the book)

Anyway - is this focus on grading and particularly the high-end focus good or bad for the hobby? Why? The answer is probably "It's good in some ways, bad in others" - but would love to hear other collectors' take.

Last edited by MCoxon; 08-07-2015 at 08:25 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2015, 08:48 AM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
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Default Cards

I think it depends on why one collects cards.... hobby only, investment only, or combination hobby and investment. Also depends on whether you are just a collector, just a seller, or do both. If you sell and invest , in whole or part, grading is hard to ignore or avoid

Also, if you get caught up in the Registry rankings, you are hooked

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 08-07-2015 at 08:55 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2015, 09:28 AM
David W David W is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
I think it depends on why one collects cards.... hobby only, investment only, or combination hobby and investment. Also depends on whether you are just a collector, just a seller, or do both. If you sell and invest , in whole or part, grading is hard to ignore or avoid

Also, if you get caught up in the Registry rankings, you are hooked
Yes, what Al says.

There are a fairly large number of people with deep pockets driving the high end market up for a variety of reasons, ego, investments, or whatever.

But the low and mid range condition stuff, which is much more plentiful, doesn't seem to change a whole lot.
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2015, 10:07 AM
MCoxon MCoxon is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
I think it depends on why one collects cards.... hobby only, investment only, or combination hobby and investment. Also depends on whether you are just a collector, just a seller, or do both. If you sell and invest , in whole or part, grading is hard to ignore or avoid

Also, if you get caught up in the Registry rankings, you are hooked
Do you think grading created more "investors" vs. collectors? That could be one of the outcomes of the introduction of grading...
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2015, 10:13 AM
David W David W is offline
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Originally Posted by MCoxon View Post
Do you think grading created more "investors" vs. collectors? That could be one of the outcomes of the introduction of grading...
Maybe, but where grading really grew in popularity was the advent of E Bay.

It made it much simpler to purchase cards when you knew what you were getting.

There was Tipton mint, and Larry Fritch mint, and on and on it went. I hated the descriptions in some of the old Fritch catalogs - NM, except for punch hole in top, or VG/EX - except for writing and slight crease.

What did that mean??????

So PSA and others devised a scale with standards and you knew what a 1, 2,3.... etc were.
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2015, 10:25 AM
1952boyntoncollector 1952boyntoncollector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W View Post
Yes, what Al says.

There are a fairly large number of people with deep pockets driving the high end market up for a variety of reasons, ego, investments, or whatever.

But the low and mid range condition stuff, which is much more plentiful, doesn't seem to change a whole lot.
Until auction houses don't put the Registry ranking on their descriptions, the registry will always be important

low POP cards in the best condition that are sought after in the top tier rankings are the new 'star' cards ......big stars but short of HOFs or almost HOFs in vintage with high POP really don't sell as well as low POP PSA 8s of unknown guys for 1950s cards for example..

Last edited by 1952boyntoncollector; 08-07-2015 at 10:27 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2015, 10:28 AM
1952boyntoncollector 1952boyntoncollector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W View Post
Maybe, but where grading really grew in popularity was the advent of E Bay.

It made it much simpler to purchase cards when you knew what you were getting.

There was Tipton mint, and Larry Fritch mint, and on and on it went. I hated the descriptions in some of the old Fritch catalogs - NM, except for punch hole in top, or VG/EX - except for writing and slight crease.

What did that mean??????

So PSA and others devised a scale with standards and you knew what a 1, 2,3.... etc were.
the few times I have bought raw cards I have been disappointed....I almost never disappointed on graded cards if ever..
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2015, 10:56 AM
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Mark70Z Mark70Z is offline
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Default Tpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
I think it depends on why one collects cards.... hobby only, investment only, or combination hobby and investment. Also depends on whether you are just a collector, just a seller, or do both. If you sell and invest , in whole or part, grading is hard to ignore or avoid

Also, if you get caught up in the Registry rankings, you are hooked
Agree w/what Al said. Personally I just collect as a hobby, BUT when I'm gone (pushing up daisies, expired and gone to meet 'is maker!, a stiff! Bereft of life, etc.) I'd like my collection to be worth "something" to "someone". Again, I probably should depart of it before I go... Anyone what a bunch of Brooksie junk?!?

Personally I don't understand the registry thing, but every now and then I do have an urge to pick up a high grade card, then I see the price tag, and the urge goes away...
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2015, 11:49 AM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
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Default The End

But what if you become one of the walking dead Mark ? What then ?
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2015, 12:35 PM
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Mark70Z Mark70Z is offline
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Default Walking Dead

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Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
But what if you become one of the walking dead Mark ? What then ?
This isn't the end. - Tyreese

Oh, and Al I'll have to will you my "bestest" item so you can post it along w/the '67 Topps full color test sheet and you'll be an envy to someone else besides me...
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