When it suspended its card-grading services in March, PSA vowed to resume at least some of its services by July 1.
PSA fulfilled that vow Thursday when it began accepting submissions again for its Express Service. Sports Card Investor first reported the change, also reporting a price increase from $150 to $200 per card.
PSA’s Super Express Service (at $300 per card) and its Walk-Through Level (at $600 per card) had been the only services available since it halted submissions on March 30. The company’s Economy ($50 per card) and Regular ($100) remain suspended.
PSA, the leading card-grading company in the sports collectible industry, halted its services amid an avalanche of submissions that led to a backlog of as many as 10 million cards. Dealers and collectors were waiting as long as nine months for cards to be graded during the backlog.
Nat Turner, the chairman of Collectors Universe, which owns PSA, told Sports Collectors Digest in April that the company was overwhelmed by an “avalanche” of submissions.
“Specifically, what happened is we received an actual avalanche of cards around mid-March. It was like a power surge to the system, and we couldn’t even tell people if their box was in the building,” Turner told SCD. “That’s just not acceptable. It’s not fine, but it’s more fine to like say, ‘Look, it’s going to take seven months to get your cards turned around.’
“I think people are willing to understand that. They’re not happy about it, but it’s definitely not acceptable to say, ‘Hey, your precious cards, we can’t even tell you if we have them.’ That’s definitely not OK, so that’s really what precipitated the suspension of service. We needed to get through that power surge of demand — all the boxes that had piled up — so that we could confidently tell everybody, ‘Your cards are in the building. Here’s where they are in the process. They’re all here and accounted for.’”
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PSA announced June 7 that it had caught up on its order entry process and maintained a July 1 goal for bringing back at least part of its services.
“As stated previously, our goal is to bring back the suspended service levels with a tiered approach beginning on July 1,” PSA announced on its website. “It’s not an easy solve as it’s imperative that we re-emerge with daily submission volume being less than daily grading capacity.”
Turner told Sports Card Investor that PSA was doing its best to reopen its services while also limiting overwhelming demand that could cause another shutdown.
“Growing capacity is difficult and we’re doing it,” Turner said. “We have grown a lot, believe it or not. But the demand that we know is out there for our service is too high to open up further than one level lower. We have to prioritize cards that are in the building against cards that aren’t.”
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PSA has made several moves to expand and improve its operations, including the hiring of hundreds of new graders, the launch of a Customer Request Center and the purchase of software company Genamint, which brings new technology to the grading and authentication process.
PSA also announced recently that it will be at The National July 28-Aug. 1 offering card-grading and authentication services on-site at the event.
“We plan on bringing a small, dedicated team to receive, accept and grade orders ON-SITE (sorry, no drop-offs for take home service),” the company said on its website. “We are still working through the logistics, but we will be there to service what will likely be the largest National ever.”