Following PSA suspension of services, SGC heavily raises card grading prices

Earlier this week, PSA announced it was temporarily suspending many of its card grading service levels, citing heavy demand. SGC was ready to pounce and, on Thursday, introduced a new, significant price increase.

SGC’s base card pricing is going from $25 to $75, effective immediately. That’s right, even if you’ve got a $50 card, it will now (for the time being) cost you more than its worth to have it put into a nice plastic holder.

Over the last 24 hours, the number of cards submitted to SGC for grading has increased by over 500%. With that being said, effective immediately, SGC is increasing our base rate from $25/card to $75/card. We understand that this is a significant price hike, but it is absolutely necessary due to the decision our competitor has made.

SGC mentions that the price increase is temporary and that prices would be going down when they feel they can meet demand. Their statement, however, did not offer any timelines as to when things will go back to normal. That is a different strategy than PSA, which offered a July 1 date for the potential end of the suspensions for many of its services.

The move, of course, is intended to slow submissions to allow them to catch up. And in essence, it doesn’t even make much financial sense to have something graded that’s worth less than, I don’t know, $300? After all, is it worth paying more than 25% of a card’s value just to have it slabbed? Even if you’ve got a $500 card graded, you’re still paying nearly 20% of its value just to be encapsulated. Personally, I probably wouldn’t pay that much for a card to be graded unless it was valued at about a grand. But submitters will be the decision-makers here. And even SGC acknowledged they were pricing out ‘a large group of cards’ with the increase.

Keep in mind, this isn’t SGC’s first time in recently raising prices. Only just a few weeks ago, SGC bumped its standard price to grade cards from $15 to $25. That price hike was a reactionary one as it came shortly after PSA bumped its prices.

So, that SGC’s move here is reactionary again is interesting. Not ‘interesting’ in the sense that its unexpected. After all, if those cards can’t be sent to PSA, SGC would receive many more orders and they would soon be under siege if they didn’t raise their prices. But soon, collectors will be looking to SGC to see how they react every time PSA does something in the future. Heck, SGC doesn’t even hide the fact that they are reacting to what PSA (or others) is doing. Their own statement above mentions that the price increase was necessary to what their competitor was doing.

Let the madness continue.

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