Alright vintage guys, let's have a talk about raw vs graded cards

tglg

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When purchasing vintage online, especially if you are doing high dollar vintage cards, do you worry about fakes? Does buying PSA slabbed cards ease some of this fear and or worry? I feel it does, even though I will still use my grading system to make sure I am close to theirs.

So let's say you are looking at, not a huge card here, but say an Enos Slaughter 1954 Red Heart, and you can purchase one raw that grades a VG-EX for $15. Would you do it? According to Beckett, the VG-EX grade has a BV of $50.

Now, say the exact same card is available in a PSA 4 VG-EX for $15. Would you buy it? If both cards were sitting next to each other for the same price, which would you choose? I would prefer the PSA myself, again, as I am buying online and not able to actually hold the card and feel the card. Here is the kicker........according to Beckett, the PSA 4 has a BV of $15.

Why does the same card, with the same grade, have more value raw (and more likely a fake) than a slabbed, authenticated card?

And this isn't the only example nor the only set that this occurs in. But to me, I would think that the graded/authenticated card would be worth more, as it eases my mind about authenticity. Say I am buying a 1954 Bowman Mickey Mantle. According to Beckett, a raw VG-EX card has a BV of $1000. But if you look at the Graded VG-EX 4 card, it has a BV of $800. I know some people like to have cards unslabbed, but if and when I purchase one of these Mantle cards on the internet, to me, the extra comfort that I am not buying a fake with my hard earned money makes the slabbed card worth more.

Let's have a discussion and see if I can understand other points of view.
 

HoosierBuddy

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I don't believe any card should have a higher bv graded than raw. This isn't in line with your example, but if a card is 20 raw it should be the same graded. A piece of plastic and some guys opinion shouldn't quadruple the value.
 

AndyDrummond

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I don't believe any card should have a higher bv graded than raw. This isn't in line with your example, but if a card is 20 raw it should be the same graded. A piece of plastic and some guys opinion shouldn't quadruple the value.

I agree with that, some of the graded prices are out of control, but on a low Pop Card, it can be justified. All in all, I like the reassurance of the graded card being authentic because I’ve been burned, but a lot of times the gamble on a raw version is worth it.
 

criollos

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This is a good topic, Tony. I love the hobby and enjoy vintage cards, but I purposely stay away from trading or buying vintage cards online because I consider the condition of the card too much of a subjective point of view. I know there are "guidelines" to determine the grade of a card, but still too much of a subjective matter for me.

I do think there is some value to having a card graded and slabbed. Whether it is 2X, 4X, or 10X more valuable I don't know....that's for each collector to decide. I think the value is on the fact that the card is safely protected and should not get any more damage after it has been slabbed. I also see that some collectors are not happy after their cards come back from the grading company with a low grade, but I trust they use their best knowledge and experience and very specific tools to decide on the grade of a card.

I'm sorry I may had not answer your specific concern for this thread, but just wanted to say how I feel about trading vintage cards online.
 
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Camsue

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I am with Andy on this I was burnt bad by a fake Mantle years ago that cost me a great deal. Everything was right about this card until I sent it for grading. I don't believe graded should be worth a ton more than raw but the grading almost guarantees authenticity. If the card is reasonable I would not sweat it.
 

tglg

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I agree with that. I believe they should be the same value, as the grade is what values the card. For me, I place a little value on the graded only due to a better chance of having an authentic card. But in the examples above, the raw cards have higher book value than the graded cards. Now granted, these examples are not on the extreme PSA 8,9, and 10 cards of older vintage. This is based on VG and EX copies of some quality vintage players and/or cards. And on PSA 3, 4, and 5s, Beckett tends to have higher value on the raw cards than the graded cards. And in some cases, like the Slaugher above, it is almost 4x times higher for a raw vs graded.
I don't believe any card should have a higher bv graded than raw. This isn't in line with your example, but if a card is 20 raw it should be the same graded. A piece of plastic and some guys opinion shouldn't quadruple the value.
 

David K.

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I'm not into Vintage cards because there's so many fakes. I agree the that price between raw and graded is crazy.....But if a raw card is $40.00 the graded card should be $60.00. Just my two cent worth. Best regards, David
 

tglg

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And that is what I am getting at. I even ok with them being the same value if they are the same grade. But why is a potential fake 1954 Bowman Mantle in VG-EX RAW UNSLADDED UN-AUTHENTICATED condition worth 20% MORE than one that has been authenticated, slabbed, and given the exact same VG-EX grade? Or the Slaughter mentioned above, when you look at an ungraded card on Beckett, it gives a value of $50. But if you look at the same card, same condition, in a slabbed graded card, it is worth about 27% of the value of the ungraded. So why wouldn't I just remove the card from the slab if it is going to increase the value by almost 4x.

It kinda is a reverse effect of the top slabbed grades, which do bring a premium. But when dealing with mid grade or lower grade cards, a VG card is a VG card, wether in the slab or not.
I'm not into Vintage cards because there's so many fakes. I agree the that price between raw and graded is crazy.....But if a raw card is $40.00 the graded card should be $60.00. Just my two cent worth. Best regards, David
 

AndyDrummond

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I agree with you there, there is a gamble when sending in lower grade cards for sure. If it doesn't grade at a certain level you may not get any return on your investment. The risk infinitely amplifies with the modern cards too.
 

budd2222

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I don't believe any card should have a higher bv graded than raw. This isn't in line with your example, but if a card is 20 raw it should be the same graded. A piece of plastic and some guys opinion shouldn't quadruple the value.

Just to put it out there. If you buy a raw EX. card and find out it has been trimmed or altered. Should a graded card giving the reassurance of it being authentic worth the premium? You could buy a raw or altered graded card for less.
 

tglg

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OK, I am bringing this up again. Honestly, not trying to beat a dead horse, just not understanding I guess.

Take this 1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folder for example:



When I look this card up on Beckett.com, it shows me that in VG condition, it is valued at $120. Now, when I click on the Graded Pricing tab, it shows me that in VG condition, it is valued at $60.

This is the part I am having trouble with - 1) just like HoosierBuddy said, if it is in VERY GOOD condition as a raw card, is should be $120 min. as a graded card (because hey, VG is VG, right), and 2) in this day and age of so much business being done via the internet and mail, you cannot hold, feel, get a closer look, or as some say, smell the card, to try and guage it's authenticity. So with that said, to ME, and I say for ME, a card slabbed by the right company, thus easing MY mind about authenticity, could be worth slightly MORE than a card that is raw and has a higher potential of being a fake.

But again, I can agree with Hoosiers, in that the plastic the card is in may not make it worth more. But, if the card grades what the slab says it grades, why should it make it worth half as much? I know some would say that they want to touch the card, feel the card, hold the card, but really, a slabbed cards value is cut in half because it is in a slab?

And this is just this example, there are soooooo many examples of this out there. I am not trying to argue the fact that a slabbed "10" is or isn't worth MORE than a similar raw card, as I don't buy into that type of stuff at all for my collection. But I do enjoy my vintage cards, and when I am cataloging stuff for my wife and kids and trying to organize, I am just flabergasted (spelling) at the concept of how the slabbed card in the same condition is worth half as much. If anything Beckett, you make me NOT WANT TO USE YOUR SERVICE to have something grade, as your SERVICE THAT I AM GOING TO HAVE TO PAY YOU FOR IS GOING TO DE-VALUE MY CARD, lol.

Or, is the graded pricing really more of a reflection on the true values of a said card, because Beckett tracks those sales and those sales can be tallied by specific grade. I mean, with my subscription to Beckett OPG, I can see the sales of said card by grade and the dates and prices. So maybe the slabbed prices are a better indicator for what vintage is truly worth, even if not graded. Maybe instead of the slabbed being worth $120 instead of $60, maybe with the tracking the Beckett says they do to determine prices is more accurate on the slabbed/graded. So maybe the raw is only worth $60, not the $120 they are posting.

Chime in please. Don't want to discuss the whole values up by being slabbed, just prefer to focus on values down because of being slabbed. Thanks, Tony.
 
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budd2222

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OK, I am bringing this up again. Honestly, not trying to beat a dead horse, just not understanding I guess.

Take this 1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folder for example:



When I look this card up on Beckett.com, it shows me that in VG condition, it is valued at $120. Now, when I click on the Graded Pricing tab, it shows me that in VG condition, it is valued at $60.

This is the part I am having trouble with - 1) just like HoosierBuddy said, if it is in VERY GOOD condition as a raw card, is should be $120 min. as a graded card (because hey, VG is VG, right), and 2) in this day and age of so much business being done via the internet and mail, you cannot hold, feel, get a closer look, or as some say, smell the card, to try and guage it's authenticity. So with that said, to ME, and I say for ME, a card slabbed by the right company, thus easing MY mind about authenticity, could be worth slightly MORE than a card that is raw and has a higher potential of being a fake.

But again, I can agree with Hoosiers, in that the plastic the card is in may not make it worth more. But, if the card grades what the slab says it grades, why should it make it worth half as much? I know some would say that they want to touch the card, feel the card, hold the card, but really, a slabbed cards value is cut in half because it is in a slab?

And this is just this example, there are soooooo many examples of this out there. I am not trying to argue the fact that a slabbed "10" is or isn't worth MORE than a similar raw card, as I don't buy into that type of stuff at all for my collection. But I do enjoy my vintage cards, and when I am cataloging stuff for my wife and kids and trying to organize, I am just flabergasted (spelling) at the concept of how the slabbed card in the same condition is worth half as much. If anything Beckett, you make me NOT WANT TO USE YOUR SERVICE to have something grade, as your SERVICE THAT I AM GOING TO HAVE TO PAY YOU FOR IS GOING TO DE-VALUE MY CARD, lol.

Or, is the graded pricing really more of a reflection on the true values of a said card, because Beckett tracks those sales and those sales can be tallied by specific grade. I mean, with my subscription to Beckett OPG, I can see the sales of said card by grade and the dates and prices. So maybe the slabbed prices are a better indicator for what vintage is truly worth, even if not graded. Maybe instead of the slabbed being worth $120 instead of $60, maybe with the tracking the Beckett says they do to determine prices is more accurate on the slabbed/graded. So maybe the raw is only worth $60, not the $120 they are posting.

Chime in please. Don't want to discuss the whole values up by being slabbed, just prefer to focus on values down because of being slabbed. Thanks, Tony.

My question is. Are HOF player cards graded and common player cards treated the same? Face it how many want a low grade vintage card of someone they have never heard of? As a non sport collector some vintage cards I will only buy graded just because of reprints. For your question are more none graded cards being sold, and are they being sold in bulk to bring up the price?
 

robertd

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The issue is with Beckett values not with the actual card values. If BV is showing a card to be worth more raw than graded by a reputable grader in the same condition then their values are just inaccurate. In fact, most vintage and pre-war collectors pay absolutely zero attention to Becket prices. My favorite era to collect is pre-war and I can say with a fair amount of certainty that a card graded a PSA 3 is worth more than a VG raw example (as long as the buyer and seller agree that the raw card is in VG condition). There are multiple reasons that graded cards are worth more. One is that some people only want graded cards, but it costs a lot and takes a long time to get cards graded so it is worth more to get one that is already graded. Another is assurance. While the number on a slab is just an opinion, most people believe that you at least won't end up with a fake.

When I am buying expensive cards online I only buy graded cards. For one there are too many fakes out there. But besides that, trimming, coloring, erasing, etc. is much more common in vintage and pre war. I would hate to buy an expensive card raw only to find out it's been trimmed. and is worth a fraction of what I paid. I do often buy raw cards from sets that I am very familiar with (T205, T206, T210, E90-1), but even then I stick to lower grade commons or low tier HOFers.

All that being said, because I am a well documented idiot, I crack all my cards when I get them and put them in a binder. When I go to sell I will have to pay a ton for grading, but I do it anyway. Here's my pre-war collection if anyone cares:

https://dixonsbaseballcards.weebly.com/
 
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cjay101

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I will make a few statements and can clarify from there.

1) Beckett 'value' is not good for anything anymore except trading. Even in that situation, if something holds a high cash sale value the buyer will rarely trade at book.

2) Keep in mind what a standard raw VG-EX card is to an everyday collector may end up 1-3 grades higher upon review by a grader. It can go the other way as well. It can vary from grader to grader sitting next to each other. There is a TON of speculation in raw cards because picking them up, grading them in bulk, and flipping them at a high grade is the business model for probably 20-40% of brick and mortar hobby shops in the USA. I have spoke with a few personally that have said if it wasn't for vintage cards coming through the door to grade and auction off, they would shut down and deal strictly with ebay.
 

katester44

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Just to put it out there. If you buy a raw EX. card and find out it has been trimmed or altered. Should a graded card giving the reassurance of it being authentic worth the premium? You could buy a raw or altered graded card for less.

Part of the problem is that sometimes even the "expert graders" miss that a card has been trimmed or altered. I am building vintage sets and have no interest in having graded cards be a part of that. It is just as risky that the expert misses something that I can miss on my own and not have to pay a premium for it.
 
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