February '23 Grading Recap
March 2nd, 2023
- Overall grading activity increased by 1% in February vs January (+6% per business day).
- Cards graded by PSA were flat; cards graded by SGC increased 14%, Beckett increased 10%, and CGC increased 5%. CSG results are not being reported this month due to pop report updates.
- TCG (+16%) and non-sport (+17%) were two of the strongest categories in February. TCG hit a record high at PSA in February.
February Grading Summary
Items Graded - by Month
Items Graded - by Month - Excluding PSA
TCG Cards Graded at PSA
Items Graded by Era
Gem Rate Breakdown by Era
February 2023 PSA Grading Recap
- PSA graded 1,008,069 items during February; total output was flat vs January and up 34% year-over-year.
TCG activity hits new high
- TCG was 42% of the cards graded by PSA in February.
- TCG (+18%), non-sport (+18%), and tickets (+139%) increased in February.
Set Summary - Sports & Other
2022 Bowman baseball moves into the top spot
- Added to the list in February: 2022 Bowman Chrome Prospects baseball and 2020 Prizm basketball
- Dropping from the list: 2021 Upper Deck hockey and 1986 Fleer basketball
Set Summary - TCG+
Sword and Shield Vstar Universe grabs the top spot
- Added to the list in February: 2020 Sword & Shield Vivid Voltage, 2016 XY Evolutions, 2000 Pokemon Rocket, and 1999 Pokemon German
- Dropping from the list: 2022 Sword & Shield Lost Origin and Brilliant Stars, 2021 Celebrations Classic Collection, and 2019 Japanese Sword & Shield Vmax Climax
Player Summary - Sports & Other
The top 5 remain the same
- Added to the list in February: Bobby Witt Jr
- Dropping from the list: Justin Herbert
Subject Summary - TCG
Charizard, Pikachu, and Mew grading activity jumped in February
Card Summary - Sports & Other
2022 Topps Update Julio Rodriquez continues to hold onto the top spot
Card Summary - TCG
Little change atop the Pokemon leaderboard as 2022 releases dominate
What's Next for PSA?
- PSA managed to sneak past a million cards graded during February, despite one fewer business day.
- Overall, things have been trending in the right direction; however, PSA has become increasingly reliant on TCG volume - which set a new high in February. Given the positive momentum and increased competition, PSA extended its TCG pricing promotion into March.
- Generally speaking, PSA has been fairly quiet on the product front. The company has likely been putting extra attention to ensuring the new grade -> vault -> Goldin Marketplace workflow is running smoothly.
- Given that, we are very interested to see whether PSA has any updates coming that could help to spark demand beyond the grade to flip use case.
February 2023 SGC Grading Recap
- SGC graded 92,636 cards during February - a 14% increase vs January and a 13% increase year-over-year.
SGC's Pokemon special generated meaningful returns with Pokemon activity up 333% compared to January.
Newly released '23 Pokemon Crown Zenith takes the top spot
- Added to the list in February: 2023 Pokemon Crown Zenith, 2022 Mosaic football, 2021 Topps Japan baseball, 1999 Pokemon Base, and 1962 Topps baseball
- Dropping from the list: 2022 Bowman Chrome, Bowman Chrome Draft and Bowman Mega baseball, 1958 and 1959 Topps baseball
Player (& Subject) Summary
Charizard quickly nears the top of the chart
- Added to the list in February: Charizard, Jalen Hurts, and Patrick Mahomes II
- Dropping from the list: Kobe Bryant, Wander Franco, and Bobby Witt Jr
What's Next for SGC?
SGC continues to build positive momentum and its new Pokemon pricing special drove meaningful incremental growth for the company in February.
On top of that, SGC also announced a new pricing special targeting 2023 Topps baseball cards that appears to be off to a solid start.
Overall, SGC has put together a nice strategy that could help it once again cross the 100k cards graded threshold that it reached in 2022.
That would be a meaningful milestone for the company - which saw growth stunted for a good part of 2022 after PSA service levels became generally available again.
SGC has been seeding the market with more of its slabs; a big question now is - to what degree does this impact its brand and secondary market prices?
Other Charts - CGC
What's Next for CSG/CGC?
- CSG was pacing towards a modest decline in grading activity before freezing its pop report mid-month for data quality updates.
- Overall, CSG continues to play the long game - building partnerships that should help compound momentum over time. That said, momentum appears to have quieted and the company needs to continue to increase its relevance in the short term.
- CGC, on the other hand, has been producing strong results for several months now - even in the face of increased competition. We expect to see more of the same from CGC and would not be surprised to see them expand their offering (similar to Marvel in 2022 [which has not yet hit the pop report]) over the next few months.
Other Charts - Beckett
What's Next for Beckett?
- Beckett continues to make needed improvements and there are some signs that grading momentum is trending in the right direction as a result.
Beckett is also benefiting from the TCG wave where a Black label is much more attainable and helps cards (that are generally in better condition) stand out from a sea of gem mint alternatives.
- That said, the company is still playing catch-up on several fronts.
The challenge for them is finding the correct balance of getting things in order (improving ops) while also becoming more aggressive in the market (innovation + increasing its marketing presence).
The latter can not come at the expense of the former; yet the market is increasingly competitive.