Remember Y2K? Remember all the hype created about Y2K? Why not create some baseball card Y2K hype too about how worthless your cardboard is without grading? I never could get the hype and I have been collecting for near 30 years. If I had a 1952 Topps Mantle, yes I would grade, if I have a 2012 Topps Bryce Harper...um, sorry Bryce, no slab for you! Baseball card history shows us almost every year the hype is created about values. Buy this, or do this and your simple piece of cardboard is worth more than a pile of gold coins! What would you rather have, a graded Sammy Sosa or $1,200 worth of gold. Sorry Sosa, I'm going with the tried and true coins! Below is an ad from Beckett in 1999 showing a boreing old Sammy Sosa RC only worth $90 (according to Beckett) and then spend $15 to slab, add some plastic and a sticker...BAM, worth $1,200! It is just that easy!
You may have seen this ad in 1999 and maybe you paid the $90 book value on that Sosa at a card shop. Then you paid the $15 to slab it in hopes to make money down the road. What a great idea, right? You have only spent $105 and may make $1,200! You are making almost $1,100 for putting a stamp on an envelope. Now it is 2013, and the market is FLOODED with graded 1990 Leaf Sammy Sosa Rookie Cards.
Right now there are hundreds of these graded cards on Ebay, you can pick up a graded 10 for a price around $7! For the most part the graded and ungraded cards go for about the same rate! Most of these graded cards I see being sold are selling for LESS then the cost to slab the card in the first place! Don't get me wrong, there are certain times I think slabbing could benefit, those cards are the early vintage cards where there are very many mint cards left. Here is a Beckett Graded 10 going for $7.
Who is at fault here for the false hype? Does Beckett Grading Service who also produced at the time a price guide for graded cards inflate prices in hopes to create a niche of loyal collectors to expand their brand? Did Beckett at the time use the Y2K craze to make under educated collectors think that their cards would be worthless in the future if their cards aren't slabbed? I have even pulled a Bryce Harper AU and still never considered slabbing. What do you all think?