I recently received a surprise: PSA completed a grading order that I sent their way in the heart of the 2021 grading boom, barely making it past the company’s shut down of new submissions. My previous submission too more than 450 days to be processed and this one arrived after only 430 days.
|STEP||DATE||TOTAL TIME ELAPSED|
|Receive cards from USPS||Marc. 9, 2021||-Start-|
|Entered in PSA system & identity researched||Apr. 20, 2021||42|
|Assembly||May 1, 2022||418|
|Quality Assurance Check #1||May 11, 2022||428|
|Quality Assurance Check #2||May 13, 2022||430|
|Grades populated||May 13, 2022||430|
|Cards shipped back / tracking provided||May 13, 2022||430|
I used the registry trick to get a preview of my grades and found a half dozen of my 23 cards graded Gem Mint 10. The actual grades changed sometime in the quality assurance process, leaving me with only a single gemmed 2001 Origins Alex Rodriguez refractor. I have previously seen anomalies pop up with other collectors’ gemmed cards using the registry trick and think his might be a data entry issue more than a second set of eyes determining an initial grade is incorrect. I come to this conclusion based on how quickly the cards moved through the quality assurance process. More information about what goes on behind the scenes leading to such an outcome would be very interesting to observe.
So just how did the cards stack up against my expectations?
1991 Elite: A Rickey Henderson I submitted came back as a NM-MT 8, better than the NM 7 that was expected.
1993 Finest: Straight NM-MT 8s across the board with all but one card grading as projected. The outlier was a Charlie Hough that was given a somewhat lenient NM-MT rating.
2001 Origins Refractors Complete Set: I thought there would be more Gem Mint 10s, but was at least happy that no overlooked flaws appeared that would drop cards below a Mint 9. The result is an entire set of consistently graded cards in sequential serial numbered slabs.
I think I’m done sending cards to PSA in the near term, given the current pricing structure, positive experiences with other grading services, and a lack of ungraded cards that I intend to slab. We’ll see how the collection looks after a regular return to attending card shows. An influx of raw cards that I can physically inspect prior to purchase could be helpful. Regardless, it’s going to be a least a year or more before I seriously consider moving forward with another order.