SGC Now Offers Scans of Collectors’ Graded Cards
SGC will now provide customers with high definition scans of their graded cards
Like many of you, I’m sure, I got a welcome email today from SGC with the announcement of a new program to offer customers scans of their graded cards.
That might not sound like much. I mean? A scan of your own cards? But it’s a really great perk to have and one that will be welcomed by just about anyone. Some quick details and then I’ll get into this a bit more.
The program is called SellerReady™ and that’s a trademarked name, as you can see. I have no idea what their plans are but I would probably be surprised if that name ultimately ended with just scans. I envision them probably trying to do a bit more with it and really play up that name. That’s the marketing person in me and with zero insight as to what they’re actually doing, I should add. I just envision sort of a suite of services that they could roll out to aid customers having cards graded in making the selling process as easy as possible. Again, no real idea what that looks like. Just eyeballing.
While you can obviously use the pictures for all sorts of things, SGC notes that they are good for things such as eBay listings, social media posts, or your own personal inventory. I got a link with my images directly in the email. I’m not sure how far they will ultimately go back (and the email says that older images may not be available). Mine went back to my August 2019 submission. I want to say that my last one before that was earlier this year and I did not see images for those.
Also, SGC provides both front and back scans of the card.
If you’ve got a high-quality scanner, you’re probably less enthusiastic about it. But even then, you’ll save the time in having to scan the image in yourself if that’s something you do. As someone that scans just about every pre-war card I buy, I can tell you that this will be a nice little perk.
Now, as someone that has a terrible scanner, I’m very pleased about it. My scanner was somewhere around $100 and while it scans raw cards just fine, it is horrendous with graded cards.
Bad scanners don’t have the ability to provide real clear images of graded cards. Generally, even with tinkering with the options, you generally will get blurred images. Good scanners, however, make all the difference.
As a simple eye test, here’s a good example. I recently bought this Babe Ruth W511 strip card raw and subsequently had it graded. The picture on the left is my scanned version of the card. Now, compare that to the image supplied by SGC on the right. The difference is night and day.
For another comparison, I wanted to see how my picture of my T51 Murad Williams basketball card stood out. I’ve got a few of these cards raw but only one that is in decent enough shape to be graded. I had this graded this year and while it looks gorgeous in person, my scan was less desirable.
It’s one of my favorite basketball cards in my collection and, unfortunately, I’ve suffered through with a really bad image of it. But the new and improved SGC picture is light years better than what I had. It’s really nice to have a clearer picture of it.
Again, my picture on the left and the SGC one on the right.
One thing collectors should note is that the images from SGC really seem to be color-enhanced. Not that they are artificially pumping in color. But the color really pops in their images compared to what the cards look like in person. At least several of mine seem to.
For example, the Ruth card in person is not near that ‘yellow/colorful.’ I note this because a lot of buyers really obsess over card images and someone might be disappointed in viewing a scanned card on eBay and then seeing the actual card in person. Just something to keep in mind here if you’re using these for trying to sell your cards.
SGC mentioned in the email they are still tinkering with this. It’s possible they realize that and make some modifications to it. Or maybe not. Plus, there’s no ‘formula’ that’s going to work for everyone. While some people will appreciate the really vibrant colors, others might not if they sell them then get complaints from picky buyers.
I say that because I’ve seen it happen over and over. Buyers routinely complain that some sellers are using overly enhanced photos to make their cards look better and then are disappointed seeing the card in person. I can totally see that being a problem for some folks.
I’m honestly surprised grading companies (well, SGC, anyway — I have no idea if PSA or Beckett does this) haven’t been doing this already. I’m sure they obviously keep pictures of cards they’ve graded for their own marketing and records so it seems simple enough to just share those with the people who are using their service.
In the end, it won’t be enough for someone to start using SGC over PSA or Beckett if they prefer those companies instead. But if you’re using SGC, it’s definitely a nice perk to have.