Taking My Hacks

The Hope that Spring Brings

Joe Orlando

I don't know what it is but there is something about spring that injects life into our hobby. Maybe it's as simple as the baseball season starting or the promise of better weather that creates excitement. Maybe it's the beginning of a new auction season or the rapid approach to the NBA playoffs that puts collectors in a better mood but, no matter what the reason is, the feeling is palpable.

As a lifelong hobbyist, I have always felt this way. As someone who works for PSA, while I am always excited during this time of year from a business perspective, there is something different about this year. Even in this tough economic climate, there is an increased feeling of excitement around the office about some of the projects we are working on and an enthusiasm from our customers that you can clearly sense.

This is, most likely, a product of various things but it is terrific news regardless. To see our hobby continue to persevere in the face of a troubling economy just goes to show how loyal and committed collectors really are, not to mention how quality collectibles continue to represent a good place to park your hard-earned money. Nothing, including quality collectibles, is immune to downturns in the market but they have proven to be a solid option for prudent investors.

Heading into the summer months, one of the more exciting things to come out of PSA in quite some time will be the launch of our new east coast office. As a result of hobby demand, we decided that the time was right to provide an additional location for our customers, especially considering the concentrated customer base found on the upper east coast. PSA receives a lot of business from that region of the country since that is where a large percentage of the material resides.

We hope to better serve existing customers and introduce ourselves to some new ones as a result of this latest move. One of the main reasons behind the move is the continued growth of our autograph services. PSA/DNA has posted three consecutive record quarters and the service, as a whole, now represents a very significant portion of the overall business at PSA. The growth has been steady for several years, thanks to all of you.

Our brand has always been the preferred choice in the hobby since PSA/DNA autograph authentication started in 1998 but the key behind the record revenues has been the clear embracing of the various services offered for autographs, from autograph encapsulation to autograph grading. We are all very pleased and grateful that collectors have been so supportive. In addition, due to the bulky nature of autographs (unlike cards, which are much easier and safer to ship long distances), having an east coast office will enable us to better serve our customers.

Performing onsite autograph authentication has become a very large portion of our business as some members of our staff travel over 100,000 miles per year. By being able to process autographs on both coasts more efficiently; our customer reach and turnaround times will naturally improve. As we draw closer to opening the new office, more details will be provided.

As we head towards the summer months, PSA would like to thank everyone for their support of our company. It is hard to believe but 2011 marks our 20th year in business. None of it would be possible without you. We look forward to improving our services and unveiling some exciting things in the months ahead.

Never get cheated,

Joe Orlando

Joe Orlando
Editor In Chief