PSA has moved to new offices and brought in newly hired help but the grading and authentication arm of Collectors Universe is still trying to decrease the backlog of submissions for autographs and trading cards. The news goes hand-in-hand with another record-setting financial quarter for the Southern California-based company.
Collectors Universe released its financial statement for the second fiscal quarter of 2019 on Tuesday, reporting a 12% increase in the last three months. Coin grading revenue was up but card and autograph authentication was again the big driver, according to CU President Joe Orlando. PSA and PSA/DNA set another quarterly revenue record for the division, beating last year’s figure by $1.4 million, a 29% year-over-year increase. The card and autograph revenues represented a second quarter record.
“Through the first two quarters of fiscal 2019, this part of our company is well on its way to its ninth consecutive year of top and bottom line growth,” Orlando stated. “Despite continued improvements to our operational capacity, the backlog of submissions remains robust as we enter the second half of the fiscal year. An unshipped order not only represents revenue left on the shelf, it also reminds us that there is a customer behind that submission who eagerly awaits the return of their collectibles.”
Orlando says PSA set a new all-time quarterly high for unit shipped at roughly 590,000 collectibles–over 6,500 per month.
PSA/DNA President Steve Sloan says the company is doing what it can to stem the ongoing wave of submissions that’s kept customers waiting much longer than the usual turnaround times and is now working to improve communication to customers. However, in a message on the company’s website, he stated while PSA increased capacity by 25% by the end of last year, submissions had increased by 165% from 2017 to 2018. Hiring qualified new grading and authentication specialists and training them to keep up with demand has proven to be a challenge.
“As you can imagine, this takes time, as PSA’s brand has been built upon specialized skills that require experience, repetition and focus,” he wrote. “It would be easy to hire unqualified graders and rush product out the door. We will not do that.”
PSA has hired three new customer service representatives since January 1 and has a lengthy list of positions it’s looking to fill including a research specialist, another customer service rep and an image scanning tech.