CSG shifts gears! Whats new? Whats good? Whats bad?
On 3-25-22 CSG announced a few MAJOR changes. The changes are so huge that it actually staggered me for a bit. My immediate reactions were WHAT IN THE HECK IS GOING ON but I knew that I could react, well after letting it settle in, I'm reacting. Here are the changes and what they could mean for you and us in the hobby. Not long ago CSG sent out surveys to all membership subscribers. In the survey were questions about priorities when picking a company to grade with, the visual aspects of the company (colors, positioning, case, label etc), lastly registration/data logging. I believe that most people took this time to let CSG know about the visual appearance of the slabs, which brings us to our 1st major change.
#1 CSG changes the label completely! Colors, Label info, Location of data etc. Whats this mean to us? Well those that didn't like the green now get black and yellow. The appearance of the label in my opinion looks fairly unfinished in the sneak peak we received, its very GMA-ish. However the original green label looked very similar. Very unpolished on images but once we get this new one in hand, like the old one, I am sure the holograms and crystal clear slabs will do its work and win my respect. A Snazzy video of the new slab can be seen here.
#2 Elimination of sub grades... This one probably irks me the most. CSG is set apart from its equivalent SGC by adding sub grades. At one time I thought CSG could over take BGS as the number 2 grading company but without subgrades the only thing that they can differentiate themselves from others is turnaround time, cost and quality. Sub grades are a perk on so many levels, the main factors are knowledge and transparency. Similar to BGS the sub grades are very useful for crossing cards to other company's such as PSA. The benefits of no sub grades however is that the process should cut down wait times to even faster (40 days for bulk). CSG states that only about 20% of users are actually using sub grades (I must be all 20% because I only get sub grades). Another aspect to this is that lack of subgrades will leave the label with wide open space possibly contributing to some of the negatives explained in change #1. #3 CSG is rearranging and reclassifying each level of grades to be closer to the hobby standard. Previously the grades were Perfect 10 (all 10 sub grades), Pristine 10 (10s with 1 9.5), Gem Mint 9.5 and Mint 9. This lead to a lot of confusion many would say that a 9.5 was an equivalent grade to PSA 10 and BGS 9.5. CSG is now aligning its grades to be very similar to PSA as you can see below. My opinion on this is very mixed. CSG was known for being by far the toughest graders in the business. On modern cards an 8.5 was more commonly seen than a 10 variation. In the new grading an old 9.5 is now essentially a 10.
IN FACT our 9.5s are 10s. CSG is offering a re-slabbing service where we can send in our CSG 9.5 Gem Mint cards and changing them over to a new label and grade of Gem Mint 10. It seems to good to be true but for $5.00 plus shipping 9.5s will become 10s (no subs of course). CSG has confirmed this via Forum and Instagram. Long term I am not sure if this helps or hurts the CSG market but I do know for sure our old 10s just got a massive bump and mad respect from CSG collectors. Being able to get a new 10 easier I am sure cannot be better for the market but for us collectors it sure will feel better not having a load of 8.5 and 9s in stock. With all this said, my overall opinion is positive, CSG put out a survey to thousands of people, took the information and made changes. Adapting to your customers opinions and desires is a massive part of becoming a long term successful business. Stay tuned for updated CSG services offered by Treasure Hunters Sports Cards. We are actively making changes to allow for re-slabbing your 9.5s.