PSA shuts down for 90 days – the effect on the sports card industry
On March 30, 2021, PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) announced that it is temporarily suspending all of its Super Express ($350 per card) grading services for at least 90 days with the hope of reopening all services around July 1, 2021. PSA received more cards in 3 days than in the previous 3 months, which led to the backlog and ultimately the difficult decision to stop new submissions for several months.
Okay, let’s look at the impact this could have in the short term. The long term should be minor for the sports card industry as it appears at this point as they intend to return to serving all PSA grade levels within 90 days.
1 – People I believe will step back and pay attention to checking each card and really enjoy the card looking for what’s more instead of just looking for a rated card as they just won’t rate as much many cards as before due to the postponement of services by PSA.
2 – S SGC (Sports Card Guaranty Company) at a minimum of $75/card and BGS (Beckett Grading Services) at a minimum of $100/card to get a card graded in 1 month or less, we most likely won’t see a big increase in business as PSA still has a Super Express service open at $350 /card and their brand demands much higher values on the open market.
3 – The suspension of PSA grading services leave room for companies like HGA (Hybrid Grading) and CSG (Certified Sports Guarantee) to catch up, especially on the lower-end cards with values of $500 or less because of their low-cost grading services. For now, I believe CSG will have the best chance to grab a good chunk of the $500 or less value card market share from PSA at least in the short term while PSA’s value service is suspended. How much market share CSG retains if PSA restores the $25 valuation service is the unknown variable.
4 – In the short term, PSA 10 values need to go up for all cards, but they especially need to go up for the lower end cards priced at $1k or less, simply because you can’t rank with any is a PSA sports card at this value, unless you want to use Super Express Service, but that wouldn’t make financial sense to do at $350 per card. I fully expect this to create more demand for these cards in the short term. However, in the long run, many of the base level cards that are PSA 10 should return to normal values once/if PSA resumes service with a value currently set at $25/card. Higher value cards than staples in each market (baseball, football, basketball, etc.) should continue to rise as there are fewer of them on the market, which is the simple rule of supply and demand.
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