On a recent eBay purchase, the card's SGC holder had a number of minor scratches and rub marks. Clearly the worst slab I've ever seen. In looking back, the flaws are visible on the eBay listing, but I focused on the card and not the slab.
So, does the experienced card seller have an obligation to point out the poor condition of the slab? It's too bad for me? Do you consult with the seller?
If the slab is cracked or heavily scratched, I think the seller should disclose it in the listing. I personally view the slab as a kind of frame for the card and anything that distracts from the card's presentation should be disclosed.
However, I don't think you should contact the seller over it. I guess I think it isn't worth the time and aggravation.
If the condition of the holder is important to you then ask the seller for a description of the holder before bidding on the card. Most sellers will he happy to give you a detailed description in order to prevent a problem, but you will likely scare a few and they'll just block you. The best thing to do is to reduce each bid you place by the cost of the reholder. That way it won't matter what the holder looks like. If the holder comes in nice shape then you're ahead of the deal.
You said the slab had minor scrathes and rub marks. Try this before sending it back to PSA. Get two paper towels, bunch one up in a ball and spray an edge with WD-40 and rub the slab vigorously for 10 seconds or so. Wipe immediately with the clean towel and see if the slab has been recovered well enough for you to live with whatever else is left. The WD-40 will surely take off any and all glue residue and most, if not all rub marks and many scratches.
I don't have to say DO NOT spray the slab directly, do I?
One caveat, if you have the older version slab where the white lettering exists on the back of the slab with the PSA logo, the WD-40 WILL take off the white print. Easy to avoid by taping over that area when working on back of the slab stuff.
Short of the above, send it in for $5, easy enough fix, you just have to live without the card for a while.
sheesh! it's not enough we're concerned about the grade of the card...whether it's overgraded, undergraded...incorrectly labeled...now we have to be concerned about the holder. Maybe cards should be encapsulated twice...once to grade the card...and then again to grade the holder!!!
I can sympathize since I'm pretty picky about scratched up holders myself. The $5 to get it reholdered isn't a big deal, but when you add in the cost of shipping and/or insurance both ways it can get pretty expensive depending on the value of the card.
Since it was evident in the scan the scratched holder was presumably factored into the other bidders (or prospective other bidders) decisions that enabled you to win the item a that price. How much more would you have paid for a nicer holder?
Reholdering is at least a $5 proposition -- $5 for the actual reholdering and some amount for postage and insurance (plus a hassle which has no precise dollar value).
Why on earth would I recommend WD-40 to solve a surface problem if I haven't used it many, many times myself with great success? Perhaps you missed the part about "wipe immediately". I own about 700 slabbed cards and have used WD-40 over and over to remove glue, marks and even a few minor scratches. I suppose if you left the stuff on there overnight it might eat into something, but that's why you have a clean wipe nearby to remove the stuff. My slabs clean up like new from PSA. I have never had a problem using WD-40...BUT, to each his own, I was just trying to pass on a technique that I've found to be very efficient in rejuvenating slabs.
Hopefully nobody gets Goo Gone and Goof Off mixed up. I didn't have any Goo Gone handy so I tried some Goof Off that I had on hand (it says on the bottle it removes glue/adhesives) to get a sticker off a holder and it ate up the surface of the plastic. Luckily the card survived unharmed. Just a warning so nobody tries it!