We all know that when the pandemic started last March, our hobby/industry went crazy. While many, many industries took a beating, our market got scorching hot. However, what has happened in the last couple months is well beyond that! The growth I saw take place in this industry over the last 30 years has now been surpassed in the past 8 weeks! I have never seen anything like it. But with it, has brought some logistical nightmares. Anybody who uses third party grading (PSA, BGS, SGC) has dealt with some disappointment and frustration. The turnaround times have gotten worse than we have ever experienced. Bulk submissions sent in today may not come back until Christmas! 20-day submissions will hopefully get to you by the MLB All-Star game. In reality, there is really no blame you can give to them. The amount of submissions they are getting daily surpasses what they used to get in a month. The demand to have your cards graded is so high that the grading companies are overwhelmed. Well, it has now happened here. The absolute explosion in the unopened market has now overwhelmed our ability to process, authenticate, wrap, and ship. I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but over the last few months, it has left me with no choice. We have to put a pause on the type of submissions we will accept going forward. Once we get some resemblance of normalcy around here, we will adjust accordingly. Believe me, I have put off making this decision as long as I possibly could. However, we are past the breaking point. I didn’t want to have to explain that getting your material back might take several months. I didn’t want this to be like the unfortunate situation the card grading companies are in. However, we are there also. If we process and ship 50 orders a day, 100-150 more come in that day. UPS, FEDEX and USPS back the trucks up daily and unload packages everywhere. Then there are the semis that bring orders by the pallets. We have the workers here who can wrap and ship without too much delay. However, authenticating it all takes an exceedingly long time.
Moving forward, we will have to implement some restrictions on what can be submitted. We don’t want to completely pause the whole process. We just must tweak a few things so we can catch up, before the whole process crashes!
1) Any and all factory sealed cases that need to be wrapped FASC can still be submitted. If the case is worth $100,000 or the case is worth $100, go ahead and ship it here. Factory sealed cases can be processed quickly as all I need to do is verify that they are still originally sealed. They can then go straight to wrapping/shipping. However, if the case is not still factory sealed, please hold off on submitting. In this case, every pack in every box needs to be looked over.
2) Any boxes (wax/rack/cello) from any sport can be submitted at this time if our buy price on it is $300 and higher. For example, you can submit any football box from 1986 and older, but please hold off on any football boxes 1987 and newer (except for 1989 Score football, which would be over the $300 threshold). For traded/update sets, you can submit your 1984 Fleer baseball update and 1984 USFL, but please hold off on other issues for now.
3) You can still submit any item of any value for the RUSH service. This service costs 15%, instead of the normal 8%. I realize that sometimes an item needs an answer right now as to its legitimacy and we don’t want to eliminate this service. As a reminder, please fill out the form online indicating rush and also write “RUSH” in bold letters on the outside of the package. Due to the amount of packages that come in daily, we may not look at some for weeks if this is not done.
We feel that implementing these steps will stop the flow of 75% of the material coming in, but can still include what is most important to have right now.
I realize that there have been a lot of submission forms that have been filled out over the last several days. We will still honor all those submissions, as long as you can have the packages post marked by Friday Feb 19th. Also, if you have anything in house at our offices right now, we will honor all those items also. However, beginning Saturday Feb 20th, we will be implementing the 3 rules stated above.
Again, I did not want it to come to this. But this rather insane market has caused us to have to take action. Not doing so may just make things a whole lot worse than it already is.
Most people already know, but BBCE is the one who also authenticates all the packs for PSA. Before all this market explosion, we would get 8-10 boxes a month (roughly 15x10x10 size) of packs to authentication. Well now the FEDEX truck backs up to the warehouse and unloads packs by the pallet every month. Yes, you read that right, pallets of packs monthly. The amount of work that needs to be done around here is just beyond comprehension. My employees and myself work like madmen around here (and women!). But the volume of material to authenticate/wrap/ship has become impossible.
I hope everyone understands the situation we are in. I guess like they say “It is what it is”. As the insanity of what is happening in our industry/hobby goes, so does the amount of third party authentication. We will constantly be assessing the situation and will update any changes we can make to resume accepting submissions. While Alf was my favorite show when I was younger, we just cant process all of the inexpensive boxes that are flowing in right now. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, Steve Hart