In our previous episode, we discussed some of the drawbacks that might be associated with relying on a Quick Opinion from PSA/DNA. The author of a previous discussion was confused about the possible authenticity of a Paul McCartney autograph with inscription when PSA QO returned "Likely Not Genuine", but Roger Epperson said it was authentic.

The consensus said to go with Roger's opinion and not PSA QO. Many people had less than flattering things to say about PSA's QO service. One member (me)even called it worthless, while noting that PSA's full service, on the other hand, had many merits to it. I also wondered how many legitimate sellers had lost potential sales of authentic items because of PSA QO. And I also noted that PSA QO also often shied buyers away from good items.

So here is one of the best (or worst) examples of how PSA QO can really ruin things for a buyer who is looking for a good deal on an authentic John Lennon autograph.

Some time not too long ago, a friend of mine won an auction (can't remember if it was on eBay or in an auction house) for a Beatles Fan Club letter that was signed on the reverse by John and Yoko. He won it for about $1200. The autographs were in good condition. However, the signatures had not been authenticated. So my friend paid for a PSA QO, and it came back, as so often it does, "Likely Not Genuine". So that scared him off, and he used that excuse to back out of the deal.

Well, the next thing he knows is that that same John and Yoko item is now on sale on eBay by PressPass collectibles for $3299, and it comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA!
A piece he could have bought for $1200 is now being offered, fully-authenticated, for over $2000 more, by the same company whose Quick Opinion service rejected it! Yes, PSA's QO really screwed my friend. Here's a link to the current sale:

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Maybe next time your friend will get Roger Epperson's quick opinion rather than PSA's. Just a thought.

For music items like this, yes, definitely. But I'm not sure this service by PSA has any benefit at all.

I really hope that this instance is just a coincidence. I would hate to think there is collusion there.

Press pass and other large volume sellers can get almost anything authenticated. And if PSA won't cert it, JSA certainly will. There's been plenty of bad graphs certed through press pass, and he buys up most things on eBay and flips them for double.

Press pass shares a business address with iconic auctions.. I wonder what's going on there?

Your friend made the mistake of caring about a quick opinion. Especially when you are dealing in the higher end bracket, you have to do better than that.

Press Pass has an "in" with PSA, but that's another facet of PSA criticism. 

Given some of the other problems described, perhaps "worthless" is a generous description.

I think PSA will fall one day.

I'd be careful in investing in something solely on their name.
Exactly! At one time Global had a good reputation. Unless it is a witnessed PSA or JSA cert I don't give it much value. Even then I want to connect it with an advertised private or public signing, preferably with documentation from the signing itself.

Who knows what people will think of PSA or JSA opinion certs 10 years from now.
You bring up a good point about not knowing the future for PSA and JSA. PSA/DNA has been around for about 18 years now, I think. Hopefully, there will not be some huge scandal which drives either one out of business, or else the few PSA and JSA certs I have may become worthless pieces of paper.

Even though I've criticized them, justly I believe, I really don't want either one to fail because I think they are overall beneficial for the hobby. The hobby needs a referee so-to-speak, an arbitrator. The more people feel secure about the authenticity of autographs, the more likely they will be to buy autographs and become part of the hobby. But if all major TPAs went away, we would need something to fill the void, or else many of us would have a difficult time selling our autographs when it came time to sell.

I'm not a fan of of third parties but I agree with you. The hobby is better with them than without them. 

The concern I have with PSA/JSA is that they are cozy with so many large volume dealers. Many of those dealers have good reputations. But there is a significant possibility for a scandal.  

Hi James,

This case is exactly the same with my experience. You can see the link to previous discussion of Elvis autograph below:

I have used PSA quick opinion and they said no. The item was finally closed at only $900 and I lost this opportunity forever. Finally, this autograph was sold by Presspass at a lot higher
Do not use PSA with music. Use Roger Epperson.

Sometimes if I think the autograph is real, I'll buy then submit for authentication before I pay.

Awful, but that way you arent tipping anyone off that works somewhere and you only pay for quick opinions for stuff you're buying.
Hi, Kit. PSA QO is really ruining things for a lot of people. PSA is being very irresponsible with how they utilize their quick opinion service. If they are not going to render serious opinions, regardless whether it's a quick opinion, they should just drop their quick service altogether. They are just collecting $10 and not taking it seriously.

It's not an excuse to say they are being cautious on high ticket items, because their quick opinion changes the game for both the seller and buyer.

Sometimes people will win an auction (like in my example) and then decide not to pay when PSA says "Likely Not Genuine", even though the item is authentic. It's kind of a form of professional malpractice really by PSA.




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