I mentioned in a post back in June 2021 how I got my old sports trading card collection. Things have changed a bit over the past six months and it’s time I share an update. After bringing back the collection to PA, I dove back in and studied the hobby even further. I started to follow several different people and learned a lot of valuable information. Without going into too much detail, I can say that I feel a lot better than I did back in June.
This update is about three cards, but at the same time, there is way more involved than that. I would like to go over some things I’ve learned about grading cards, how my submission went, and what I plan to do going forward.
From the getgo, I wanted to submit my core cards to a grading company like PSA. They got flooded with so many cards in 2020 that they had to close their doors to new submissions. To this day, they still aren’t open as they once stood. Before things got out of control, you could have had a card graded for around $12. PSA and other grading companies didn’t know how to handle all of the orders.
Eventually, PSA opened submissions up at $300 a card. Insane, right? There was no way I was sending a card at that price. A couple of months later they dropped the price to $150 and that is where it stands today. There are rumors of another price drop coming. In fact, some of the biggest news of the industry occurred this past week with the CEO stating he wants grading prices to go back to their original cost.
That lead me to look to an alternative to PSA. I read about and watched videos about many different grading companies. Other companies such as Beckett or BGS also shut down and haven’t really made any attempts to bring down the price. So, it was SGC. The next place to send cards. They’ve handled the situation quite well. I made the move and sent three of my most iconic cards to SGC. As for the Wayne Gretzky card, I will wait for PSA to make one more price drop.
My Submission to SGC
I sent in three cards to SGC on October 14, 2021. I received my cards back on November 22, 2021. This is a good return time for a standard service. I paid $30 a card. This doesn’t include shipping to and back. All-in I would say it cost me around $120 to send these three cards. The good news is, I only paid a few cents for these cards back in the day. If I had bought these recently, I would have not submitted them.
Let’s get into the cards. I will share what I saw and what I thought my grade was going to be. I knew right away that I didn’t have 8’s, 9’s, or 10’s. I was hoping for some fireworks and although it wasn’t a full letdown, I was hoping for a little more. The grading is based mainly on the condition of these four criteria: Surface, Corners, Centering, and Edges.
This is my favorite card of the bunch. When I submitted it I knew it would score low. However, as you can see it received a 3 VG grading score. I knew that the centering left to right was very bad. Top to bottom is pretty good. All of the corners are fairly soft. The surface is really clean except for a small marking in the BEARS logo. The edges are very good. I was thinking it would get a 5 while hoping for a 6. Well, I was way off. I’ve looked closer at it and I can see a lot of imperfections. I guess I was underestimating how bad it was.
This is the one card I thought I had a chance at a decent grade. I know they are grading these cards way tougher than in years past. You can look back at some of the 8/9/10’s and wonder how they fared so well. As for my Rickey, I thought this would come out with the best score. Well, this card came back as a 6 Excellent, Near Mint. Check out the centering. Front and back and top and bottom are near perfect. Two of the corners are a little soft. The edges are near perfect as well. As for the surface, I thought this was in great shape. I was thinking it would get a 7 and hoped for a 7.5 or even an 8. I was definitely disappointed in a 6.
This was the surprise of the group. I thought this card would definitely score lower than Rickey. As you can see the left to right is definitely off 65-35 and the top to bottom is off somewhat. That back-centering is good. The surface and edges are really good. There is one maybe two soft corners. There is a small surface issue on the back. I was pleasantly surprised by the score I got of 7.5 Near Mint+.
What Will I Do with the Cards?
I did the comps on these cards based on some recent eBay sales and other tools. Unfortunately, the value of these cards isn’t that great. I’ll make more than I put in, but maybe I should have held out on the grading of these cards. Here are some numbers for you based on the day I wrote this.
Walter Payton SGC 3 – $200
Rickey Henderson SGC 6 – $60
Joe Montana SGC 7.5 – $180
Since I’m in on these cards with my brother I may just give him half the comp price for each card and keep them in my personal collection. These cards are some of the most iconic cards and maybe better as a story than a couple of hundred dollars.
Continuing My Journey in the Sports Card World
I’m not sure where I plan to take this card collecting journey. As long as it keeps gaining steam there is no reason for me to move away from it. My son and I are having a great time opening boxes and packs. We’ve gone to a few card shows as well. As of right now, I don’t plan on spending $100’s or even $1000’s on high-end wax products. I will continue to open the retail stuff and resell what I can.
I put out some ads on Craiglist. I’m trying to find gold in people’s old collections. I’ve had a dozen inquires and one deal. I’m actually positive on that deal as of today and I’m sitting on another 200 cards.
Hopefully, in my next post, I will share the story that got me really excited about the hobby. My son and I hit a big-time card and made a lot of money. I’m not sure how many times that kind of luck will occur. Let’s just say it has covered all expenses and then some for what I’ve been doing.
In the end, I was glad I was able to submit cards to a grading company and learn the process. SGC was very easy to work with. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I submit my Gretzky card to PSA. Good luck with your collections and investing and let me know if you have any cards you want to sell.