I'm only posting this because they are the largest third party authenticators.
Their credibility in the sports card world is quickly burning in flames. All this started with some collectors breaking open several card trimming rings who were getting thousands of altered cards graded by PSA.
Now it's been discovered that a former employee at Beckett Grading has been receiving a statically impossible number of Perfect grades from Beckett.
It appears, as many of us have always suspected, that if you're a big customer or have an "in".. you get whatever you want.
I've never put much faith in third party autograph authentication. But I am now quite certain that Beckett and PSA are either competently incompetent or downright corrupt (more likely the latter)
It's a sad state of affairs.
Never used them for anything.
I have internally debated with myself about using these services. They do serve a purpose. With that said, I still can't bring myself to use them. They are primarily used to help sellers market their product. As long as the majority of potential customers maintain confidence in them all will be fine. If the bubble ever bursts, watch out!
The bubble may be bursting right now.
I recall some other "conservation" processes in other CU divisions that would result in an upgrade. Not for me. The item takes a bath and eventually you may as well.
This is primarily concerned with grading of baseball cards, not autographs.
I was not speaking of autographs.
However, the rampant dishonesty and profit motives being alleged would seem to carry over as well.
If they are willingfully turning a blind eye to big customers on grading cards, why wouldn’t they do the same for autographs?
Unlike autographs, where everybody hides behind “opinion”, there are ways to prove a card was altered. This was only discovered because some of the altered vintage cards are rare and expensive enough that many collectors track past auctions (1952 Mantle auction is where this all began). On some very high end modern cards, past sales of serial numbered cards were conclusive proof. They sold with a low grade because of bad corner and the exact same card magically reappeared up for sale with a sharp corner and a higher grade. When people dig in deeper they realized these were coming from large dealers who were having many thousands of cards graded every year.
Card grading or authentication of autographs, same companies and same business practices.
its going on with concert posters also and other collectibles its a rigged system
I definitely think that some of this does go beyond cards alone. I do think that all three of the major TPAs have a tendency to pass questionable autographs for their biggest, high-volume customers. I’ve looked at the inventories of several large autograph sellers on eBay and found many times multiple questionable autographs that were passed by either Beckett, PSA/DNA, or JSA. Do you think that when a big client sends in 300 autographs for authentication that the TPA meticulously goes over every autograph in fine detail to determine authenticity? I don’t. They likely see who the client is and then pretty much rubber stamps them, and unfortunately several of them are likely not authentic.
Not too long ago, I noticed a high-volume autograph seller on eBay with mainly Beckett COAs and several questionable autographs. I asked him if Beckett ever rejected anything he sent in. His response was, “You figure it out!” Now if you’re really a reputable seller who deals with a reputable TPA, that’s probably not the response you should offer to a concerned, potential buyer.
There is a large degree of legitimacy to the three major TPAs, yet serious concerns do exist. And they still need to do their jobs better and more fair.
Of course, the missing piece is the rejections. We don’t get to see those. It would be interesting to see what gets rejected from the high-volume customers. Some of the bad ones that are being authenticated are good forgeries that were purchased on eBay for bargain prices. “You figure it out!” doesn’t sound too good though.
+ 1 "You figure it out" is about all you need to know.