2020: The Year in Review
Hello PSA Customers,
As always, I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and in good health. As we reach the conclusion of a year no one could have predicted, this month’s update looks back on all we experienced during the past 12 months, both as a company and an industry.
Shelter-in-place order opens floodgates
In March, the hobby received an unexpected shot in the arm. With everyone sequestered in their homes, the opportunity to rediscover collectibles was front and center. More and more people started sending in their trading cards, tickets, packs and autographs for authenticating and grading. PSA was inundated with submissions. When we returned to the office in April, we had to reconfigure our operations to make room for social distancing while at the same time, scaling-up operations to meet demand.
Auction records set during the pandemic
The flood of submissions to PSA fueled the market as auction houses throughout the country were bolstered by more consignments, many of which set records for auction prices realized. Case in point, the "Uncle Jimmy Collection" made headlines in the spring, with thousands of vintage cards, many of them signed by baseball Hall of Famers. The collection established many valuation benchmarks, highlighted by five Babe Ruth-signed 1933 Goudey cards selling for a combined $1.4 million.
PSA adjusts to the new normal
With the realities of 2020 taking shape, PSA needed to ramp up our growth initiatives. We took a new look at staffing plans, space needs, operational efficiencies, and product priorities. Status quo was not an option.
Hiring efforts prove fruitful
Expanding our staff in all departments became a top priority. PSA’s human resources and marketing departments focused on attracting qualified candidates to every aspect of our business. We held a virtual career fair in August that drew more than 700 applicants. We reached out to local colleges to entice recent graduates. And we invested in our training department to ensure our new hires are ready to uphold the PSA values and quality standards. Since April, PSA has added more than 120 new employees to receiving, research, grading, customer service and virtually every aspect of our business. And we continue to add new people to the team every week.
Operational footprint expands
With the need to process more orders and house more employees, it became obvious that our physical operation needed to expand as well. In October, our parent company, Collectors Universe, announced that it had acquired an additional 62,870 square feet of office space in the building adjacent to ours that doubled our operational footprint without the need to relocate. More people plus more space, the necessities for expanding our business to meet the demands for our service.
PSA website undergoes redesign
In the fall, PSAcard.com underwent a substantial facelift and unveiled a cleaner design coupled with a more intuitive user interface. Now it’s easier than ever to find detailed information about our various authentication and grading services and proper instructions on how to submit your collectibles. We also launched the Customer Communication Center to share important data and insights with customers and the Customer Request Center to fast-track operational requests.
Submission ID labels introduced
In September, we launched new submission ID labels for orders processed through our Online Submission Center. This new improvement allows customers to print out and adhere a label to the side of their package instead of just writing the service level name on the box. The beauty behind the new ID labels is that when packages arrive at PSA, the barcode is scanned, and the customer is notified via email that their submission has been received and their Orders page is updated to reflect the arrival of their submission.
The efforts we’ve made in 2020 to strengthen our foundation and expand our footprint will pay dividends in 2021 and beyond. We all look forward to turning the page on 2020 and ushering in the New Year with renewed enthusiasm and vigor. Here’s hoping that 2021 brings with it health, happiness and prosperity.