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With the card collecting industry continuing to surge, pushing card values to an all-time high, PSA announced this week that it is temporarily suspending most of its card-grading services due to an avalanche of submissions.

The news comes after PSA announced early this month a price increase for most of its services.

In a March 30 letter to its customers, PSA President Steve Sloan said the company’s volume of orders in March has severely impacted PSA’s ability to service the hobby. Sloan said that PSA, which was already backlogged for months due to a surge in submissions, received more cards in three days this month than during the previous three months as submissions continue to rise at unprecedented levels.

“Given our growing backlog, it would be disingenuous for us to continue to accept submissions for cards that we will be unable to process in the foreseeable future,” Sloan said in a letter on the PSA website. “It’s an unpleasant conclusion, especially after the March 1 price increase, but it is necessary to properly serve the customers who have already submitted to PSA.”

PSA is temporarily suspending its Value, Regular and Express services. Sloan said the move would allow PSA to “fully unbox and receive the recent surge of orders and focus on our most impacted service lines.”

A PSA graded MIckey Mantle card. 

A PSA graded MIckey Mantle card. 

PSA will use a tiered approach to resuming those services, with a goal of bringing back all services by July 1. Collectors Club members will have their memberships automatically extended to ensure they receive their full 12 months of benefits.

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PSA has expanded its operation this year to accommodate the growing number of submissions, adding more than 120,000 square feet to its facilities and hiring more than 300 new employees in the last year. The company continues to hire more employees and is discussing the possibility of adding new grading locations throughout the country.

“This announcement puts our existing customers first,” Sloan wrote to customers. “You have been extremely patient in waiting for your cards. This change will help get your cards back faster while maintaining the quality and accuracy you expect from PSA. We are working around the clock for you, and we appreciate your support as we grow our capacity.”

PSA shipped more than 715,000 collectibles back to customers during one quarter during the pandemic last year and Sports Collectors Daily reports that its backlog of cards totaled more than one million a year ago and could be as high as 10 million now. The overwhelming number of submissions has left collectors waiting for weeks for their submissions to be logged into the PSA system and as long as eight months to get them back. 

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