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Old 04-23-2014, 09:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PSA Flip Question

I am embarking on my first serious venture into vintage and I apologize for the basic nature of my questions. As a modern / autograph collector, I am intimately familiar with BGS slabs, and the old/new label phenomenon of the slabs.

In collecting vintage, I am primarily going after PSA flips. I read that the red flips are for graded cards, and blue flips are only for autograph grade, but that a red flip may also have an authenticated autograph as well.

My real question centers around old and new PSA labels. I see different fonts on earlier numbers, also PSA slabs with holograms on the back (of the early numbers) but not any longer. Are higher grades with earlier labels more valuable / more scrutinized as compared to newer labels? (a phenomenon seen with the old/new BGS labels, in my opinion). Also, besides checking serial #'s and examining the cases for "frosting" is there anything that I need to look out for when purchasing vintage? I do feel much more secure buying graded, and I'm not looking for super high dollar cards (yet).

Thank you for answering my vintage newbie questions!
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can answer the one about the old labels... sometimes they are favored by people for the chance to resubmit. Usually this is for very high end cards. PSA introduced a half-point grading system up to 8.5. The old labels were graded before this change and therefore some old cards could get half-grade bumps. Particularly popular are PSA 8s of high-end cards where a bump to an 8.5 could mean a few hundred dollars more value.

If you are going to be doing a lot of vintage buying/selling, you should get a subscription to vintagecardprices.com. They catalog eBay sales by grade and are a great resource.

As far as things to look for, figure out what component of a card you like best. I personally prefer a well-centered 7 with softer corners than an 8 that is not as well centered but has sharper corners. A lot of collectors feel similarly.

Check PSA cert #s and population reports from their website.

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Old 04-23-2014, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You are also correct about the colored flips. Red is for either grading or authenticating the card itself (ie an original - not a reprint). Blue flips are strictly autograph authentication and have no regard to if the card is real or not.

If you have a red flip with a line that reads, "PSA/DNA Authenticated" that means the graded card also has a signature authenticated by PSA/DNA.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The link here is to a very valuable thread on the CU boards. It lists all of the different eras of PSA flips whenever they changed styles at all. It will help with making sure flips are real and not fake.
Collectors Universe Forums - For Reference: The History of the PSA Flip Label (twiley's archived thread)
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the succinct and extremely useful advice.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why would you focus on PSA flips? Buying a card graded by PSA is no guarantee of anything given all the scandals they've had.

Collect the card, not the grade....
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfw13 View Post
Why would you focus on PSA flips? Buying a card graded by PSA is no guarantee of anything given all the scandals they've had.

Collect the card, not the grade....
Yes, collect the card. BUT, buying an encapsulated version of the card will ensure easy resale down the road. People just trust them more.

It is certainly no LESS likely to be real and unaltered than a raw card, so I say buy PSA. That being said, you can certainly find nicer 6s than 7s, etc. You still need to buy the card, but I think sticking to PSA is a smart idea, especially for the beginning vintage collector.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phabphour20 View Post
Yes, collect the card. BUT, buying an encapsulated version of the card will ensure easy resale down the road. People just trust them more.

It is certainly no LESS likely to be real and unaltered than a raw card, so I say buy PSA. That being said, you can certainly find nicer 6s than 7s, etc. You still need to buy the card, but I think sticking to PSA is a smart idea, especially for the beginning vintage collector.
Yes, if you don't know anything about vintage then buying a piece of plastic is a little better than buying raw. It would be even better to learn and then buy a baseball card rather than a piece of plastic. But if plastic is what anyone wants to collect then by all means they should. They should invest in some Windex too so their plastic stays shiny......OH I love the smell of plastic in the morning!!
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