Mobile App Idea For Graded Card Collectors

Love it or hate it, grading is part of The Hobby.  I for one am a collector that is torn down the middle about the whole thing.  I can see some good for having it, but then reading a book such as The Card shows you how corrupt and stupid it can be.  No grading company is perfect and its very possible for a fake card to make it into one of their sealed holders.  I do think they can help weed out counterfeit vintage cards.

Among all the graders, PSA, BGS, and SGC remain some of the most popular within the industry.  One thing I would do before purchasing a graded card is verify the card’s serial number.  If you can’t see the card’s serial number it was given by the grader, that may be a sign you don’t want to purchase the card.  By checking the serial number you can see if the card your looking at was actually graded by that company.  There are a ton of “look-a-like” holders out on the market that closely resemble some of the more popular graders.  Thats why its important to run the serial number.

I know I’ve stated this information before, but I think it bears repeating.  I once caught a scammer trying to pass off a Yogi Berra 1952 Bowman card graded by PSA a Mint 9.  He didn’t display the serial number in the photo and when I asked for it, none of the numbers he gave me came close to being that Berra.  He was also asking $10k for the card.

With the release of the Apple iPad, I had an idea for a mobile app that I would love to see put into production.  I’d like to see an app that allows collectors to verify graded card serial numbers straight from their mobile device.  I’m far from a computer programmer, but I think its one mobile app that could serve useful to The Hobby.  If there are any mobile app programmers reading, please contact me about creating the Sports Card Info Graded Card app!!  This app has to be more useful than that card flipping game made by Topps.

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Flashback Product of the Week: 2002 Upper Deck Graded Football

This product is a little interesting because collectors receive one PSA graded card per box.  Each graded card will be a Mint 9 or higher.  The problem with a product like this is that most of the time collectors will receive a meaningless graded card because they wanted to insert one into every single box.  Combine that with not one of the best rookie classes in NFL history you know it doesn’t sound like a good product.  Maybe if the rookie class would have been better, this product would have taken off.  Since 2002, I can’t think of another product that has inserted graded cards.  Today you’ll see cards in graded holders, but not authenticated straight out of the box or pack.

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PSA Look Alikes

There are a ton of low-end grading companies within the industry.  Rarely do they ever give a card less than a 10 grade.  This evening I came across this seller who has a bunch of these Gem Mint 10 rookie cards up for sale.  At first glance I thought they were graded by PSA, but looking closer the holders don’t mention PSA at all.  Most of the time cards graded by these low-end companies don’t sell well, but thats not the case with these holders.  The strip at the top looks very close to what PSA would use and collectors aren’t seeing this.  Take a look:

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PSA look alike

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Authentic PSA holder

I have a feeling you can report this seller all you want, but eBay won’t be closing them down.  They don’t mention PSA, but people think it is PSA because of the colors and layout of the holder.  This person has found a huge loophole and is try to make as much money as they can.

Card Annoyances: Relics In The Grading Slab Lable

Does anybody like having relics inserted within the lable of their graded card?  I think this takes game-used relics just a little too far.  In my opinion, I don’t think graded cards should have pieces of relics in the lable because it takes away from the overall card itself.  The card you are sending in for grading is probably significant enough for you to pay the grading fee and it doesn’t need anything else added to it.  If you wanted a relic of that player, it would probably be cheaper to purchase a brand new relic card instead of paying the fee they charge to insert something into the lable.

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Card Annoyances: Overproduced Graded Base Cards

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Here is another minor pet peeve I have – overproduced graded base cards.  What is the point of sending a card like this in for grading, especially to BCCG?  You see these things floating around eBay and card shows all the time, usually trying to find some sucker to bring in.  Its great if you like to collect sets that have been overproduced, I have nothing against that, but I just don’t understand the meaning of getting them graded.  I can see why collectors would get vintage base cards graded, but stuff from the late 80’s and early 90’s don’t need to be graded.  Except for rookie cards, I don’t think its worth getting the base cards graded.

Collecting Sports Legends: The Ultimate Hobby Guide

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Last weekend I was on Amazon.com looking for a good book to read.  I wanted something that dealt with the sports memorabilia industry, and I came across this book titled “Collecting Sports Legends: The Ultimate Hobby Guide“.  Today this book arrived, and it looks awesome.  There are over 300 pages featuring some of the rarest cards in the world from a wide variety of sports.  They showcase some of the best athletes through their collectibles.  Just browsing through it I came across a picture of a Mickey Mantle 1951 Bowman RC graded by PSA a Gem Mint 10!!!  I can’t wait to read through the entire book.  Every sports collector would enjoy a book like this, I highly suggest that you check it out.

Q & A – What does “OC” stand for on a graded card?

Question: Saw your guide on fake Rookie Jordans ,,, Some sellers have rated cards with ‘OC’ printed on them. Whats the difference ?

Answer: PSA is the only company to use what they call “qualifiers”.  The PSA qualifier OC stands for off center.  PSA uses these to give a card a higher grade.  For example, a Michael Jordan 86-87 Fleer rookie card graded a PSA 8 with the qualifier OC is probably equal to a regular PSA 6 without any qualifier.  PSA’s other qualifiers are: MC = miscut, ST = stain, MK = mark, PD = print.  Thanks for the question.