I'm hoping some pack experts can help me with this one, does the grade a pack is given normally tell you what to expect from the cards inside? For example if a 79-80 OPC pack (Something we have all seen before) grades a PSA or GAI 8, should I expect the cards in the pack to grade 7-8 if opened or really is it a shot in the dark? Lets leave out the fact that gum would cause a stain or two.
no, the cards could all be off centered for example
December 2 2007, 10:55 PM
this is what PSA says about a PSA 8 Pack::
NM-MT 8: Near Mint-Mint. A PSA NM-MT 8 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA Mint 9 but it may possess one or more of the following technical imperfections upon close inspection: Slight wear at one or two corners, a pin-sized hole at one of the corners, a wrinkle in the surface of the wax/cellophane wrapping, slight toning or soiling on the seal, very slight toning of the wrapper itself and/or a slight centering imperfection to the wrap. In addition, the pack must be "fresh" in appearance and free of any water or mildew damage to the wrapper or gum in order to qualify for this grade.
What Dan posted seems to be a good breakdown of what to expect, with anything old sometimes you can expect the gum to stick to the top card be it an insert or regular card. Otherwise the cleaner the pack the better but there is little margins between a 7 to 9 and would expect both to be the same in relative condition of cards within.
One of the most common things is moisture damage, it is sometimes hard to tell if it is slight but that can affect the cards as the gum will sometime melt down the sides and damage the card edges, a quick smell of the pack will always tell you best in this area, if it is graded I am sure they would have done this or they should. Not always a good eye it is sometimes a good nose.
That goes without saying that we did some pack wars at the expo of some beat up 1971 topps packs, heavy corner wear and they just looked bad (they were cheap tho), most if not all the cards were high grade and we graded a few being 9's.
I've opened a bunch of opc and topps packs within the past six months from the late seventies to the mid-eighties. A problem I have come across relates to the weight of the gum on the cards. Packs on the bottom of the box, or boxes in the bottom of a case, have had the weight of the packs and boxes on top of them for decades. Sometimes, whole packs yield cards with indentations of the gum shape on them. I'm not sure how psa would grade cards like that, but I assume it would be similar to rubber band indentations.
As fun as it is to open vintage packs, it's almost never a winning proposition. Even so, it does bring back fun memories.