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#244943 - 10/25/03 09:02 PM Why is the proper detection of altered baseball cards so important?

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

I know, it seems like a rhetorical question...the grading of altered cards defrauds the consumer by creating the false impression of a higher grade and greater value...but also consider the following secondary and tertiary effects:

  • When altered cards are encapsulated by a trusted grading company it artificially inflates population numbers. In the case of cards that are notoriously condition sensitive or production scarce, this may very well have the effect of devaluing legitimately graded examples. It may also have the unintended effect of usurping customer confidence in all population statistics for a given grading company. We all know that as high-end populations increase, values for the highest graded examples of a particular card tend to decrease. Some issues have value predominantly because of their undesirable placement on the original uncut sheet or due to a haphazard production or collation process. To mitigate these factors by introducing "artificial" or altered grades, a grading company is doing a grave disservice to collectors who value legitimate condition scarcity or have already paid significant sums for tough-to-find cards.

  • The grading of altered cards may have the eventual effect of suppressing the entry of new scarcities into the hobby marketplace. Here's why: as long-time collectors of scarce vintage cards see downward fiscal pressures on key, commonly-altered issues (e.g., color-bordered cards, high-series cards, coveted first and last set issues), they may be less inclined to submit their cards for grading. I don't think there's any question that as key vintage baseball cards sell for record prices, more specimens find their way to market. The grading of altered cards may have an eventual dampening effect on this process as prices fall. Using this same analysis, future submissions to a particular grading company may also decline as collectors will undoubtedly have a desire to have their cards encapsulated by a company that does not have a reputation for grading altered sports cards.

  • Another undesirable result of altered card encapsulations might be focused on collector set registries. For example, if some set builders purchase large numbers of altered cards -- issues that may be unattainable under normal circumstances -- there may be a legitimate disincentive for other collectors to compete knowing that they are paying for legitimate scarcity while other set registrants are artificially inflating their GPA and set point ratings. The long-term result might very well be the erosion of confidence in a particular company's set registry as both entry level and advanced collectors are discouraged from registering their legitimate, privately graded cards and sets. Indeed, those collectors who have the closest associations with the most prolific card doctors will benefit the most from the deception and deceit. Such associations will only act to further perpetuate the detrimental effects that card altering has on this hobby. Well-educated, honest and knowledgeable collectors will comprise the group that is hurt the most.
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    #244944 - 10/26/03 01:19 PM Re: Why is the proper detection of altered baseball cards so important? [Re: MW1]
    Learning the Ropes

    Registered: 10/04/03
    Posts: 19


    Your first point especially hits home. This is one of the factors that contributed to my recent decision to sell off my trimmed graded cards as well as some that I merely have strong suspicions of being trimmed. I have many low population 1950's decade PSA 8's and 9's -- several pop 1 of 1, 2, 3 -- and the sooner I sell them off, the sooner I become immune to the consequences of card doctors artificially inflating the population numbers, thereby making my cards worth less (in addition to already being worthless!).

    #244945 - 10/27/03 05:46 AM Re: Why is the proper detection of altered baseball cards so important? [Re: Tiger]
    The Collectinator

    Registered: 05/30/03
    Posts: 333
    Loc: Trimmed, Pressed, Power Erased


    Im not going to get into a debate with you and will leave it to one post on my part but I find your total lack of scruples in the reselling of cards that you KNOW are trimmed (and not disclosing this to a potential buyer) to be nothing short of despicable.

    I've got what seems to be an ever growing pile of altered cards and while it pisses me off to be taken advantage of, my conscience (and apparently you lack one) prevents me from selling these cards AT ALL.

    If I sell them and disclose what's wrong, my fear is that people who like to prey on others will buy my altered cards for a pittance and find a way to get them into holders for resale to an unsuspecting customer. If I sell them without disclosure, then I am no better than the jerk(s) who sold me the altered cards in the first place.

    Hopefully I speak for most of the people on this board when I tell you that you are not wanted here. You lack morals and wish to remain anonymous so you can take advantage of the unsuspecting.


    Most Sincerely


    #244946 - 10/27/03 06:10 AM Re: Why is the proper detection of altered baseball cards so important? [Re: njdolphins]
    I am gonna miss that car.

    Registered: 08/23/03
    Posts: 215
    Loc: San Antonio, TX

    njdolphins...I totally agree. How could someone knowingly sell a trimmed card to an unsuspecting buyer? Tiger, if you do this, then you are no better than the grading company who encapsulated the card. You have no right to complain as well. No tap dancing, slick-talk, is going to convince me otherwise.

    Your're part of the problem imo. I've been burned as well, it's only been about 300-400 dollars worth of less, but I just decided to keep my cards in my collection. I look at my 300-400 dollars lost as a valuable lesson learned. You should think twice about selling these cards.

    Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

    #244947 - 10/27/03 06:31 AM Re: Why is the proper detection of altered baseball cards so important? [Re: njdolphins]
    Collector is an understatement.

    Registered: 09/10/03
    Posts: 119


    How are you so sure your psa graded cards are altered? Is this your opinion, the opinion of a dealer and what is it based upon? If you have already answered this forgive me.

    I also have a pile of altered cards--every time I submit to psa there are a small percentage that come back altered. Sometimes I resubmit the ones that look fine to me and sometimes they will grade. When it was under the direction of a different head grader I also sent psa-rejected cards to sgc and they often came back graded.

    But if a card was clearly altered, at the end of the day I sold them as altered cards.


    #244948 - 10/27/03 08:32 AM Re: Why is the proper detection of altered baseball cards so important? [Re: Davalillo1]

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 744
    Loc: @ a Baseball Card Show

    i like the watchdog idea but i think it would be nearly impossible to arange such a group.
    my couple of ideas on the whole restored/doctored cards are.
    1. i believe that the grading companies should yes should encapsulate the cards and designate them as trimmed/restored. i think this would make it tougher not impossible to resubmit such a card again. every time you crack a case it increases
    the chance for damage.also would open the door for an all trimmed set
    2. on the topic of pressed out creases i believe that it would be in the grading company's best intrerest to pre-screen everything that comes in and then grade a week later.i know this would cause maybe a hiring or two but if they catch these cards then it's good for the hobby.
    3. i believe all the companies would benifit from this and in turn the collectors would feel safer in the graded card market. but then these message boards would be only about cards so you might not go for it?
    4. i have often said that a review service is probably in order(4 party grading service) yes you laugh but if it helps this hobby then i'm all for it.
    any thoughts?
    Ken Griffey Jr

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