Taking My Hacks

The Hobby of Holders

Joe Orlando

There is no doubt that if a collectible can be encapsulated inside of a PSA holder, the collectible tends to become more marketable. In the early days of the company, back in 1991, the slabbing was limited to standard-sized trading cards (2½ by 3½ inches) and the more popular issues like 1952 Topps and 1933 Goudeys. As the years went by and as more card holders were developed, you could see the impact of the holder almost immediately.

The impact made sense. The holder creates more liquidity, it makes the collectible easier to sell via the Internet, it helps protect the collectible and provide better presentation. The label makes an impact as well because it contains all the pertinent information. It also takes much of the guesswork out of the equation. The collectible is summarized, concisely, identifying exactly what it is, noting the certification number and, if applicable, the grade.

That summary, aside from the grade and certification number, is what can really assist the seller in reaching new buyers. For example, an ungraded ticket does not tell the potential buyer why it is special because the ticket was obviously made prior to the event taking place. With a PSA label, the significance of the event or outcome of the game is noted, so the buyer knows exactly what they are getting. This helps bring peace of mind to buyers who may have never even considered collecting tickets before the advent of the service.

Even with autographs, when we decided to utilize the various holders we already had in-house to encapsulate signed items such as trading cards, index cards, postcards and cuts, it changed the entire market so we decided to expand the holder selection. Over the last several years, we have slabbed hundreds of thousands of signed items because the hobby demanded it. Just like with cards and tickets, the PSA holder completely changed the market.

The reason all of this is being mentioned is that PSA is unveiling another holder; one that we feel has the potential to revolutionize a market that we already serve – photographs. This new holder will be used for two main purposes, original photo authentication and autograph authentication/grading of 8x10s. While PSA's original photo authentication service has been in operation for a few years now, we feel that this new holder has the potential to make a substantial impact on the collecting world because of the basics outlined in the aforementioned paragraphs.

Original photos, which exist in the millions, can be extremely valuable and very scarce. They can also be fantastic companion pieces to existing collections. The label will include all of the important information so collectors who are new to the subject matter will feel more comfortable with the product ... which means they will be more comfortable spending money. There's no doubt that there are many variables when it comes to the value of photos such as subject, era, clarity, content, photographer, issuer, etc but we think PSA can help simplify things with a detailed label.

After consulting with original photo experts and collectors, we tried to make the holder sturdy enough for safe storage but thin enough so it remains suitable for possible framing and light enough to remain mobile in small quantities. The recipe for success has been established in the past. Combine the right experts with a strong brand name and, if the collectible is appropriate for encapsulation, the market tends to respond favorably.

We look forward to unveiling this service and hope it helps enhance the photo market, for buyers and sellers alike.

Never get cheated,

Joe Orlando

Joe Orlando
Editor In Chief