Today I received an email.
Where to begin. Well, this has been happening quite commonly here lately. We’ve seen way too many instances of this on E4 alone (in addition to the amount of times they’ve sent back cards damaged without saying anything i.e. top right corner examples); I can only logically assume this has happened to many others not on forums. This is alone already grossly incompetent and unacceptable in the first place. It destroys any trust and reliability you can have in them.
I responded saying it would be more appropriate a gesture of apology if they awarded the declared value of $199. I knew this would go nowhere. But it’s the principle. They conveniently go with declared value before and after encapsulation in so many cases we’ve seen, even if the card is worth more when graded. But when it is worth less, they’ll go with that. The market value only reflects the past 2 sales, not the ~20-30% higher previous ones, nor does it consider the fact that you can’t obtain it now if you wanted to, considering current prices and availability. Nor does it consider sales tax, nor does it consider the most important thing. Any sentimental value of the card, the time/energy investment in obtaining it, etc. They just don’t care.
Then for me personally, this comes after the last couple submissions and the frustration I have with my experience of late with grading vs buying and the gross discrepancy between these two. Sending pack fresh vintage eng cards in and getting 8’s and 7’s, buying 9’s and seeing significant wear and damage, etc. And now, I find it ironic, that when this card–submitted not for the second, but for the third time–gets an appropriate grade, it is damaged by PSA. This is not just a pack fresh card, but one that is 10 worthy. To get an 8 twice, along with the twenty+ other cards being 7/8 as well, is laughably ludicrous. And I was already of the disposition that it isn’t worth it anymore. Just try to ask for pictures from the few sellers that are willing to do so, to verify condition, on the 9’s left to buy to achieve my goals. 'Cause buying just any 9 ain’t worth it. They are always worse (way worse) than the ones I’m submitting.
This didn’t used to happen. In the past they’ve usually been pretty close to accurate grades, they seldom damaged cards. Maybe tcg’s being graded in Jersey has created a big discrepancy. Who knows. And really this is just for english. Japanese still is being graded easily and generously to boot. I get JP cards with whitening and wear and always surprised by the overgrading.
Maybe just maybe this card getting the 9 is a sign that I had fortune with other regrades, as some sort of consolation on my last order. After all, it would be even more bemusing if this got the 9 and the others in the same condition didn’t. But I don’t have any confidence in that happening with the track record at hand. Fingers crossed anyway.
Just considering everything they do to people, the not-first-in-first-out, the joke of the backlog a couple years ago, the mafia-esque tendencies they have, the incompetence in grading, the absent communication, and now this… It’s just not worth it anymore. I’m not a brand loyal person. I don’t collect a few PSA slabs because PSA is on there. I collect them because I want a card inside of some nicely-presented plastic with an acknowledgement that it is mint by a party other than myself. A party that used to be reputable, still is by the public, but to me, which has always been dubious and case by case, just is less than ever before. What is important here to me is the cards. I’m not going to “never look at PSA slabs the same way ever again” or anything like that. My verification of the grade has always been paramount and trumped theirs anyway. This just changes my grading with them personally. Others can take that risk and waste money if they are submitting for their collections. Grading is so ridiculously profitable for flippers that it’s always worth it to them. This is coming from a collector of the cards they are submitting. This might only resonate with similar folks.
There is nothing this post is meant to do other than to air my grievances to people I know that would be interested to know in another data point of PSA damaging cards. I’m just angry. I’ve had enough. I guess I should be grateful it was only one, and (hopefully) none of my shadowless which immediately follow this card in the order.