Under an ongoing crush of submissions and watching secondary market prices for its cards explode, PSA has raised its prices for trading card grading and authentication. The rumored move had been the subject of online discussions late last week and some customers rushed to input submissions over the weekend.
The changes weren’t trivial. Many of the new pricing levels represent a 100% increase in costs to collectors and dealers.
Collectors Club Value services, which account for much of the company’s huge backlog of submissions, will now cost a minimum of $20 per card as opposed to $10 under the previous rates. Cards produced from 2018 and up will now cost $25. PSA did lower the minimum order requirement from 20 cards to 10 and raised the declared value threshold from $199 or $499.
It’s those newer cards arriving at the company’s offices in massive amounts each day that are overwhelming PSA’s work force, which as increased by 167 in the last two and a half months, according to President Steve Sloan. The increased submission cost is expected to temper that flood of orders and allow graders to chip away at the backlog.
Regular service, for cards priced at up to $999, jumped from $50 to $100 per card; Economy service, which is currently suspended, will go from $20 to $50; Express, with a maximum declared value of $2,499, jumped from $75 to $150 with a 15-day turnaround no longer guaranteed. Super Express jumped from $200 to $300 and PSA’s Walk Through service will now cost $600 instead of $500.
In addition, the company is suspending its crossover service in which collectors can send cards graded by other companies and have them done by PSA, as well as its custom encapsulation service.
The company told collectors in a message posted Monday that any orders that were submitted online prior to Monday, are in transit to its Southern California offices or already there won’t be affected by the changes.
Collectors Universe, the parent company of PSA, was recently acquired by a private group of investors for $853 million.