PSA Doubles Their Prices
On March 1st, 2021, PSA officially doubled the prices for their card grading services. All six of their pricing packages (Value, Economy, Regular, Express, Super Express, and Walk-Through) are now significantly more expensive. To make things even worse, the turnaround time guarantees have also been removed.
While this may sound like a bad dream, the change comes as little surprise to many. PSA, one of the most notable card grading and authentication services in the world, has historically lagged behind their biggest competitor in terms of pricing. It's been rumored for quite some time now that PSA would eventually make a move to achieve parity with Beckett Grading Services.
Why Is PSA Doing This?
While most of us can only speculate, it's fair to say that brand equity is a growing concern for PSA. Due to the low barrier to entry, collectors have likely been flooding PSA with submissions. As these graded cards are released back onto the market, it stands to reason that the potential value of PSA's brand could actually be diminished.
Supply and demand is another consideration. PSA may simply not have the resources to process the large amount of inbound orders. Perhaps an increase in pricing will help lower the demand and provide them with some opportunity to clear their backlog.
What This Means For Other Grading Companies
This is likely good news for many of the smaller grading companies like CGC and GMA. While these brands certainly do not have the same reputation as PSA or Beckett, they have slowly been increasing in popularity among collectors.
CGC, for example, is growing a reputation for being more strict with their grading than PSA. Many esteemed collectors have found their encapsulation to be superior as well. With prices as low as $9 per item, it's easy to see why some are opting for CGC or GMA instead.
What This Means For You
If you're hellbent on using PSA, our advice would be to proceed with caution and refrain from any YOLO submissions. The most stable market values are usually seen in raw (ungraded) cards or cards with a grading of 10. Anything in between seems to be a grey area and not worth risking.
If you know you can get a 10, go for it. Otherwise, it will be more difficult to see a return on any sort of speculative bet using this new pricing scheme.