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KSA Grading

October 22 2007 at 2:39 PM

Jim F  (Login hockey_jim)
Owner

 
Hey guys. This post is not going to be news to most of you but it may help out some newer collectors. Yesterday I was at the show in Ottawa. Someone offered me a few cards cards including a Bobby Hull rookie. The card would have graded a psa 4-5 because of corner wear but it had the rubber band wave going. I think most of you know what that is. Anyway, the person asked me what the card would grade, I said probably a 3-4 because of the corners and the bends caused by the rubber band. Anyway, they rejected my offer and shopped the card around a bit more. They ended up giving it to ksa who was grading at the show. We're used to ksa overgrading cards but they gave this card a 6 which is just a joke. So now, the guy selling it thinks I'm a crook trying to low ball thier card and some unassuming collector will get screwed on ebay thinking they are buying a nice card. Anyway, the moral to this story is, for those of you that make the occasional bid on ksa cards thinking they are only a grade or so over, be careful because they are not getting any better at grading. Jim.

 
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AuthorReply
Paul
(Login shiftintermedia)

Re: KSA Grading

October 22 2007, 2:49 PM 

Jim,

I am sorry to hear about the injustice that KSA is doing to the card grading market. I feel that they should not even exist as a grading company. They are consistently bad! All the grades I have seen and have heard about are appalling. I have no doubt that your grade of the Hull rookie is correct and the fact that that card was given a 6 is beyond me - especially with the problems you described.

I feel terrible for the people that buy KSA graded cards.

Paul

 
 
Joe
(Login JOE-1)

Re: KSA Grading

October 22 2007, 3:01 PM 

Actually, Jim you were bang on .... it is widely perceived that KSA grades are consistently 2 full points under PSA grades. So a KSA 6 will be equal to a PSA 4

 
 

Anonymous
(Login James_McThigh)

Re: KSA Grading

October 22 2007, 4:19 PM 

If someone asks you what their card would grade, it's good to start off by saying "According to PSA grading standards, your card would probably grade a ..." Because if you mention PSA, then they should understand.

 
 

Jim F
(Login hockey_jim)
Owner

Re: KSA Grading

October 22 2007, 4:38 PM 

If it was a collector, that would work but this was just a person that came across a few cards and all they knew was they bought a beckett and thought they were rich.

Which brings up another pet peeve. How come when a non collector finds a card they know to go buy a beckett, know how to look up the card and the price but they can't read the first few pages that explain condition. Jim.

 
 
Earl Strohmeyer
(Login strohman)

KSA

October 22 2007, 5:57 PM 

I honestly feel that KSA has gotten worse over the years. I bought a number of KSA graded cards back around 1999-2000. They were all in the KSA 7-8 range, and they seemed to be accurately graded. The corners were sharp and there weren't any problems that made the grade seem too high. At the time I thought that KSA was equal to PSA. After all, the called themselves "Canada's most respected grading company!" Now that I have learned the truth, I have sold all of the KSA cards from my collection.

But now I see overgraded cards from KSA all the time! It could be that they feel that they are drumming up business among non-serious collectors. The people that had the Hull rookie at the show this weekend are probably very happy with their KSA 6 right now and I'm sure that the card will be sold locally, or show up on eBay very soon! I'm sure if they guy ever picks up another raw card, he will send it to KSA so that he gets a higher grade, and then gets more cash out of the card.

It's too bad that KSA doesn't put forth more effort to grade acurately, or just get out of the business!

 
 
Rob
(Login billyberu)

KSA Grading

October 23 2007, 2:01 PM 

Hi,

I agree with Earl. I still have several early KSA cards that are in my collection that are graded fairly consistent with PSA standards. These included 58-59 and 62-63 Parkies. However, I typically will not buy any stuff that has been graded by KSA today without seeing it first hand as his graded stuff is usually overgraded by the 2-3 points as mentioned. I think that if you can find some early serial # cards you may be able to find a deal.

Rob

 
 
Anonymous
(Login nightmares101)

Re: KSA Grading

March 14 2011, 2:48 PM 

Most people who collect and sell graded cards are well aware that KSA over grades cards, and that the resale of a card graded by this company can bring more disappointments than satisfaction.

KSA had a wonderful opportunity to get into the market as a legitimate competitor of PSA and BGS, being from Canada and all, but blew it. They were near-sighted, and one needs to look at the bigger picture to be successful. They knew they would get repeat customers if they gave higher grades to the cards, repeat customers are a good thing when one is trying to establish a business; however, when these cards got out into the market, they were less valuable because over-graded. In the end, this practice hurt the reputation of the company.

Because many people in the hobby are not buying cards graded by KSA anymore, now is actually a good time to by them. Despite being over-graded in many cases, there are still some great cards in these holders that can be had for less than what the cards sell for raw. I bought a Jacques Plante rookie card, graded a KSA 7, for $500 dollars on eBay not long ago, which will probably grade a PSA 6. A PSA 6 will sell for well over $500--well over. So, this purchase was a good investment.

I still think KSA is better than Beckett in some respects--mark well the word "some." Compared to modern stuff, Beckett are terrible at grading vintage stuff. Just recently I saw a Dave Keon rookie card on eBay graded an 8 that had rounded corners on the left side. I couldnt believe my eyes! Moreover, Beckett will grade cards that have been sheet cut, whereas PSA won't. Their tolerance in this area may have something to do with an experience I just had. I had a card graded by Beckett, an extraordinary grade of BGS 10, and when I sent the card to PSA to be crossed over, they came back and said it was trimmed. Because PSA is probably the worse grading company for crossovers, I sent the card to SGC and they too came back and said the same thing. So, the question becomes: how many trimmed cards are in these Beckett holders?

In the end, and despite PSA's idiocy in the context of crossovers, because of the PSA registry, one cannot go wrong in getting cards graded by PSA. Even though their standards are declining and even though their quest to be more precise in their grading, incorporating the .5 decimal system into their previous system, has resulted in them having a laughable grading system, there's nothing between a 9 and a 10 where the cards are the most valuable; cards graded by this company will secure maximum dollars if and when one decides to sell one's cards.




    
This message has been edited by nightmares101 on Mar 14, 2011 4:58 PM


 
 
Dan Basso
(Login tripoli99)

well put, I agree with all your comments

March 14 2011, 4:57 PM 

I just had 3 KSA cards come back from PSA, all a grade lower but that was my expectation

 
 
Jon Murphy
(Login WAXDREAMS)

Re: KSA Grading

March 14 2011, 6:49 PM 

I think there are good and bad stories with all of the graders.I personally bought a KSA 8 OPC Gretz RC for $500 cracked it and it came back a PSA 8.My KSA 8.5 Orr RC I think has a great chance at a PSA 8 it is sharp.
Every card has to be looked at individually as I have seen some high end KSA stuff out there.
However KSA is the weakest overall I would say.

 
 
Eric W
(Login ericwag)

KSA Grading

March 14 2011, 11:21 PM 

More maddening than the over-grading is KSA's lack of consistency. A few KSAs will grade equal to PSA. Many will be one to two grades lower. A few will be three grades lower. Random.

In my opinion for pre-WW2 hockey (my field), PSA grades toughest, then SGC, then BVG, then KSA.

The other companies also have their inconsistencies - if you follow early tobacco, I'm sure you've seen those 1912 C57s on eBay lately graded PSA 3 that look much much worse than any PSA 2 1910 C56 you'll ever see. Also, I bought a 1923 Paulin's which PSA graded as a Hole Punch Redemption which has no hole.

One more consideration, PSA, SGC and BVG will all buy back a card you bought on eBay if graded by them and subsequently found to be a counterfeit. Of course, you have to have super strong proof and purchase is at their determination of 'market price', of course. But KSA won't even do that - NO guarantee for authenticity.

Eric

 
 

Garret Morrison - (Knuckles)
(Login shutoutkings)

Re: KSA Grading

March 15 2011, 12:17 AM 

That guy will unfortunately learn the hard way eventually in regards to KSA and he will think back on this.

I learnt the hard way myself in buying a Bobby Orr RC and a Gretzky RC that were both graded by KSA. The Gretzky KSA 8 came back from PSA as a 3 and the Orr didn't even pass PSA grading as it was deemed trimmed. Those were the first and the last KSA graded cards I ever touched.

Garret Morrison
www.thesummitshow.com


    
This message has been edited by shutoutkings on Mar 15, 2011 12:18 AM


 
 

Danny
(Login danthevintageman)

Re: KSA Grading

March 15 2011, 1:00 PM 

When i have to resell a card I use SGC,
I have yet to have a single complaint or i have never heard or seen someone on this forum complain about this company.
On the other hand just to many stories and complaints about KSA and PSA.
SGC is by far the best graders in my books.

 
 
Marty
(Login strongside1)

KSA Grading

March 21 2011, 11:08 AM 

Hey Jim and hows it 'goin. I've spoken to Nathan (Ontario office) twice in the last 2 years in regards to their grading and as to what mine and the public perception is on it but it obviously has had no impact whatsoever. Ksa had a great opportunity to establish themselves as a foremost grader in the industry but may have opted to give out higher grades to appease their customers or for whatever reason. I agree that the standard now is whatever the KSA grade is, knock 2 whole grades off for the card to be compatible with PSA or SGC and still it's "buyer beware". Also I find the holders they use are much more prone to "tampering" than from any other grading company. In closing I believe their reputation has been greatly impacted as a result of their grading criteria and I for one have no more KSA graded cards left in my collection, for what it's worth I'd take your grade over theirs any day. Later..

 
 
Elmar
(Login esb1922)

Re: KSA Grading

March 21 2011, 2:08 PM 

I had 1933 Ice Kings Siebert card in KSA 6.5. Sent it to crossover - just got it back last week as PSA 2 (fortunately it was last KSA card in my collection)

 
 

Jim F
(Login hockey_jim)
Owner

Re: KSA Grading

March 21 2011, 2:10 PM 

Maybe it's time someone takes a crack at starting a legitimate grading company in Canada. Wonder if the market is big enough?

 
 
Marty
(Login strongside1)

grading..

March 21 2011, 3:54 PM 

..well unless either PSA or SGC decided to start up in Canada, I think if someone were to start a new company for grading, there would undoubtably be some serious "growing pains" because even now I think the people involved in KSA are only doing it part time. To say that PSA are consistent in their grading would be inaccurate but they do have the set registry which is huge for them and let's face it, PSA cards sell for top dollar. I believe that a lot more people would send their cards to psa or sgc were they not concerned with having to deal with customs, etc. and it's my opinion that KSA will eventually go the way of the "dodo" bird..

 
 
Anonymous
(Login JOE-2)

Re: KSA Grading

March 21 2011, 10:36 PM 

Marty .... i remember a few years ago a seller i follow, and buy from actually stated in his auctions that the KSA cards he was selling were "over graded" by his strict standards, as a disclaimer as not to ruin his reputation as a grader of raw cards.

A lot of PSA's problems stem from most likely from the shear volume they have to deal with which consequently effects their consistency (after all they're only human). I've always felt and can't understand why PSA hasn't takeover KSA yet ?? I believe a PSA Canada subsidiary would be an absolute boom for the company. ~ i also know for a fact there's still tons of stuff sitting raw here in Canada because collectors refuse to deal with KSA and are hesitant to deal with PSA because of some of the issue's mentioned previously. That would change in a heartbeat if PSA opened up shop north of the border. No idea why they haven't attempted it yet as imo. it would seem like a solid business decision.

 
 
Earl Strohmeyer
(Login strohman)

Re: KSA Grading

March 21 2011, 11:17 PM 

Don't forget GAI! They were the new kid on the block a few years ago, and some even bragged that they would take on PSA since they had some old PSA graders working for them. (Or something like that.) At the time they were the only company grading packs and that seemed to give them a bit of legitimacy.
I did pick up one GAI card in a trade--1954 Topps Delvecchio GAI 7. I sent it to PSA and it crossed over to a PSA 7, which was great!

I don't know all the details, but GAI didn't last too long. At this point, a lot of collectors have invested enormous amounts of time, energy and money into their PSA or SGC graded collections. I don't see a new company being able to put much of a dent into that market share. I agree that PSA could easily establish themselves in Canada easily and finish off the dying KSA. Maybe they aren't interested in cornering the hockey market. Perhaps they feel that there aren't enough cards from other sports to make it lucrative enough for them. Maybe it will happen eventually!

It does seem to be a largely untapped market for now.

 
 
Dan Basso
(Login tripoli99)

if you presume Canada would be mostly hockey...

March 22 2011, 2:19 AM 

it seems to me, compared to Baseball, Football, Basketball in the USA, hockey would represent a very small share of the grading market..so that's why PSA isn't interested in coming to Canada....besides, they only have one location right now, and it adequately serves Canadians who can handle a bit of paperwork. KSA is a dead brand to me.

 
 
 
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