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#154942 - 07/04/03 11:03 AM PSA Considering Half Point
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Not sure if any of you were at SportsFest and heard this information, if not you can read up on it at the CU Forum on this thread. http://forums.collectors.com/messageview.cfm?catid=11&threadid=203971

I was all in favor of this in the mid to late 90's for accuracy in grading. When PSA was being run my Rocchi he said that they would never adopt a half point system because of the perception that it would give the public--that PSA had no faith in their 1 to 10 system and was therefore abandoning it. Rocchi's predecessor, Orlando felt the same way and has said so publicly. That was then but this is now.

I think that it is quite clear from those who have posted on the above thread on the CU boards that they would not be happy if PSA were to adopt this change. Jim Crandall, who is one of several people who have significant investments in PSA holders, has clearly voiced his opinion on the matter rejecting the idea.

It will be interesting to see what PSA decides to do. Many have always felt that PSA does what is best for PSA short term without regard for the masses. And that much of what they do is motivated by the few businesses that account for the bulk of their modern submissions, which represents a majority of their business. After 10 years and 6 million cards it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Personally I think that it would mark the end of the PSA dynasty. I do not think that people like Crandall will have much say since they are already 90% done with their sets and are not the ones who are contributing materially to PSA's bottom line. If PSA were to do this I see this as an opportunity for SGC and GAI to grow their services.

Greg



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#154943 - 07/04/03 11:46 AM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: botn]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

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Greg,

I noticed that thread. It's hard to say how much credibility that rumor has. Certainly the gentleman who started the thread is a credible person himself, but just because people are yapping about it, doesn't make it credible. Of course, it doesn't make it incredible either. Who knows? People love to yap and things can take on a life of their own.

There is a logic to a change. Yes, there are six million slabs out there, but PSA has to be concerned about the next six million and where they are coming from. PSA is part of CU, a publicly traded company. Its fiduciary responsibility lies with the shareholders, not the people owning the slabs.

Still, an about face would be stunning and would rock the old guard. In the end, the question is would more cards be submutted, yes or no?

Financials don't lie. (Please no enron jokes.) PSA's own finanicials use the word "DEGRADATION" to describe the rate of submissions. That's a brutal word. Fact is, PSA has to find an economic model, which works in today's competitve marketplace. Clearly, they have not. Even if CU turns a profit, what is PSA contributing to the bottom line?

But that's PSA's problem not mine. We collectors here have made the right choice with SGC. It's focus is serving its customers with an eye on the long term. It enjoys a reputation for accurate and consistent grading.

From a business standpoint, it really doesn't matter who grades the most cards, but which companies have created a business model that, based on the number of card submissions they receive and other revenue they generate, allows them to stay in business, operate profitably, and maintain their integrity. SGC has.

PSA has not found a way to be profitable. Until they do, anything is possible.



Edited by vayank (07/04/03 11:48 AM)
_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#154944 - 07/04/03 01:00 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: vayank]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Matthew,

I was at the SportsFest Show in Chicago and it was there that the idea was being talked about. It came from someone at PSA. The person on the CU Forum is very reliable and is passing along information that he got from the same source that I did. Again, the change is only being considered.

I think that CU, like any company, has to be profitable in order to maintain a quality service or product and any responsible company will weigh the impact on both the end user as well as their financial health. I do not think that PSA's problem is one necessarily of not enough revenue but one of not enough revenue to justify the costs of generating that revenue. It is no secret that their worst month would be any other grading companies dream come true.

While it may not be common knowledge I think that many people are aware that PSA has made changes and choices in the last year that, in my opinion, have not been at all in the best interest in their remaining a going concern despite their conclusion that these choices were in their best interest financially.

One of those has to do with the fact that I understand that only one grader looks at cards right now. I think that is a real problem when you grade as many cards as they do. But this is a public company and public companies must be run efficiently.

The other situation is the way that PSA had to deal with the WIWAG scandal. As a short term solution it was brilliant but I think that in the long run this will catch up to them in some devastating way. If PSA were not a public company they may have dealt with this situation differently.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that from a marketing point of view it is genius. This is having your cake and eating it too. I think that it really undermines the brand name and can quickly be their demise on the heels of a closed lipped WIWAG debacle.

Greg

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#154945 - 07/04/03 02:21 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: vayank]
deadlyembrace
The Venus Card Trap


Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 596
Loc: Austin, TX

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In reference to the differences between cards awarded a "mint" grade from varying grading companies, previous posts to these boards have stated, "All 9's are NOT created equal" ... or something to that effect. That's because SGC offered half grades, and many of the competition do not.

The obvious "gotcha" in a prorposed change to PSA's grading structure (... to provide for half grades ...) is that, in the absence of a regrade, all 9's are suspect. Are they really an 8.5?

I can guarantee you that less than 100% of the PSA 9's I've submitted have crossed to SGC 96s ... (Did you hear that? That was the knife going in ... hehehehe ...).

Now, trickle down the grading scale. How many half grades would PSA offer? How many additional cards would become suspect?

What kind of potential loss would that represent for the PSA faithful who are sitting on vast, expensive collections? Remember, all it takes for prices to fall in a normal marketplace is the perception of a problem.

My bet is that PSA will run from half-grades like its collective hair was on fire. It risks alienating its existing collecting base.



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#154946 - 07/05/03 04:11 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: botn]
Lothar52
enthusiast


Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 240
Loc: Ohio, USA

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as a line in airplane once eligantly stated " they new what they were getting into... i say... let em crash"

loth
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I love CAKE....

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#154947 - 07/06/03 12:52 AM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: Lothar52]
Lothar52
enthusiast


Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 240
Loc: Ohio, USA

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well..i just got hammared from my previous statement on psa boards... yeah.... i dislike psa cause they gave me bad customer service... you know what...its my right!!! do i collect psa cards... sure... they are all over ebay... do i buy the card and not the holder..yes..cause i know how not to be sucked in.... do i have my raw cards i got when i was younger grade by sgc?? sure...they have a better price then psa and there holders look awesome.. do i post on psa's message board..yes.. its more like a news real place then a comunity...the posts go by so quick...its fun reading quick hits abotu the hobby there...whats the big deal????

why do people take this grading company thing so seriously?? more people should go to med school ..that way they learn whats really important in life... gimme a break!!!

loth
_________________________
--------------------
I love CAKE....

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#154948 - 07/07/03 01:37 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: Lothar52]
Fabfrank
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 06/11/02
Posts: 293

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I've said it on the other board, and I'll say it here. Any major deviation from the current grading system is going to hurt PSA. If they want to address the 1/2pt scale they can do is indirectly by printing the grading breakdown on the label (ala Beckett). In this manner they can keep their 10 pt grading system, but the market would be able to decide which criteria would lead to a higher end 8 or lower end 8.
This would be a positive innovation for them without "upsetting the established apple cart".
Being the SGC forum, let's see what SGC can do to get more market exposure for their product. Whether it be through marketing, co-branding or aggressive pricing SGC must work harder on getting more product in the market.

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#154949 - 07/07/03 05:08 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: Fabfrank]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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HOT OFF THE PRESS...

http://forums.collectors.com/messageview.cfm?catid=11&threadid=204952

It was nice of Joe to post but it seems like he is not acknowledging the thread that is over 100 posts strong where collectors, investors and members of the forum vehemently reject the change and clearly have stated their feelings about the half point change.



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#154950 - 07/08/03 12:28 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: botn]
Lothar52
enthusiast


Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 240
Loc: Ohio, USA

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i was thinking about it...and i support there going to a half point system..they would simply include a IN BEtWEEN price range between a 8 and a 9... none of this down 8 values.....i dont believe it will happen...in fact people will look at the 8 value as a bargain and they may sell EVEN MORE. i like psa.. in fact i love them.... i love sgc too.... i just hate the fact that psa pooped on me the first time i used them and i haev had no prob with sgc customer service. i say a half point system would be great for all the major card companies... and only one does not offer it... psa... lets get it to where ican tell a high end psa 6 ...ie a 6.5 from a low end 6... a 5.5.... thats a grade difference and the same number on teh card...and believe me i got some that are almost 7s and soem that should be 5s....

do what is right..and forget all these greedypeople on baords who are scared for there money... if you are in cards for money you got a screw loose.. dothe stock market it appreciates alot faster and at higher volumes...
_________________________
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I love CAKE....

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#154951 - 07/08/03 11:03 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: Lothar52]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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Joe is taking a beating on the CU boards over the half point change. While the concept is still only being "considered" it looks like it is going to backfire on CU. It is clear from his post that the change to the half point will probably occur, it does not take too much reading between the lines to see that.

However, I am not so sure that Joe is really in favor of this change, as it seems that it could be coming from higher up. I will not mention names, only initials, DH--anything for the short-term buck. Sadly for CU (depending on which side of the fence you are on) this will probably result in a mass exodus, as I had predicted. The PSA faithfuls feel betrayed and I do not blame them. This type of alienation does not surprise me but I am sure that this is coming as an unprovoked slap across the face to those who have blindly supported PSA.

If PSA takes this course I would hope that these folks will see the value in other grading services like SGC and GAI who pride themselves on customer service issues.

PSA survived the WIWAG scandal because nobody wanted to ask the questions that needed to be asked and force the truth. This situation however hits home as the "threat" of customer's collections being diminished as a result of this change. Frankly I see the fraud that was perpetrated by WIWAG far more damaging to everyone's collection than the change in the grading scale. But what do I know?

Greg

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#154952 - 07/08/03 11:22 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point *DELETED* [Re: botn]
MW1
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Registered: 07/30/02
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#154953 - 07/08/03 11:59 PM Re: PSA Considering Half Point [Re: MW1]
botn
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 215
Loc: Santa Monica, CA

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MW

PSA has always been the "stepchild" of what is now known as CU. It makes me glad that I recognize other grading services. I think that it is more egos (due to the registry) than anything else that makes PSA's customers so loyal.

The set registry has allowed PSA to grab the majority of card submissions. When you get down to it, when PSA is grading accurately, what do they have over SGC or GAI? I am not sure that they have any advantage. Generally speaking, the only reason that PSA graded cards sell for higher prices than SGC or GAI counterparts is because collectors say that they are worth more.

If you look at PSA now with the overwhelming complaints about no customer service and the inconsistent grading, why should these cards be selling for more? If the collectors would look at the cards that they are spending their discretionary income on, in many cases they can find better product offered in a competitor's holder.


Greg

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#154954 - 07/09/03 02:31 AM Re: PSA Considering Half Point *DELETED* [Re: botn]
MW1
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#154955 - 07/09/03 02:49 AM The dissent continues to grow... *DELETED* [Re: MW1]
MW1
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#154956 - 07/10/03 06:23 AM Re: The dissent continues to grow... [Re: MW1]
srs1a
Old, dense-headed hammers are cool. Best nail pounders.


Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 987
Loc: NY

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I have been travelling on business the past few days and hadn't checked the boards...WOW, JO sure stirred up a hornet's nest.

To me, the (potential) move to half grades looks like a move to try and grab more of the modern market. As far as I can tell, BGS has quickly established itself as the dominant player in modern cards....and given the Becketts name recognition in the modern market, it isn't clear to me that PSA will be very successful in this attempt.

If they do try this...and at the same time, alienate their vintage base (looks like they are doing a pretty good job of this), it would be a classic case of fixing what isn't broken and paying the business consequences.

We shall see...

Scott



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