February '24 Grading Recap

Published March 2nd, 2024
  • Overall grading activity was down 1% in February vs January (and up 25% YoY).
    • PSA graded 1.24m cards - up 1% vs January, and up 23% YoY
    • CGC graded 164k cards - down 11% vs January, and up 25% YoY
    • SGC graded 146k cards - down 7% vs January, and up 58% YoY
    • Beckett graded 66k cards - up 13% vs January, and up 3% YoY
February Grading Summary

February Grading Summary - Sports

February Grading Summary - TCG+

Items Graded - by Month
Items Graded - by Month - Excluding PSA

Category Comparison

TCG Cards Graded at PSA

Items Graded by Era

Gem Rate Breakdown by Era

February 2024 PSA Grading Recap

  • PSA graded 1,240,198 items during February; total output increased 1% vs January and was up 23% year-over-year.

Category Summary

Football set the pace for PSA in February

  • TCG was 39% of cards graded (vs 43% in November)
  • Football (+32%) and baseball (+12%) drove sports card grading growth in February.

Set Summary - Sports & Other

2023 Prizm football jumped to the top spot

Set Summary - TCG+

Pokemon 151 Japanese hangs on to its lead at the top

Player Summary - Sports & Other

Ohtani reclaims the top spot from Jordan

Subject Summary - TCG

Charizard reclaims the top spot from Pikachu

Card Summary - Sports & Other

CJ Stroud holds on to the top spot

Card Summary - TCG

Van Gogh Pikachu is still 2x the next closest card on the list

What's Next for PSA?

  • PSA activity was up slightly in February, narrowly setting a new record-high for output with 1.24 million cards graded. Football was the primary driver of growth, while TCG actually saw a noteworthy decline in activity despite a very modest pricing special in February. We’ll see if the TCG special has more a meaningful impact on March results.
  • The big news is obviously the SGC acquisition. In the near term, we don’t expect to hear much on this front.
  • Meanwhile, PSA is offering a vintage special in March. As discussed last month, we are also interested to hear more about the upcoming release of grader’s notes - which we expect to be initially available on a limited basis.

February 2024 SGC Grading Recap

  • SGC graded 146,312 cards during February - a 7% decrease vs January and a 58% increase year-over-year.

Category Summary

Football and basketball were the top categories in February

  • Football was the top performing category for SGC in February (+10%).

Set Summary

2023 Prizm football was the most graded set

Player (& Subject) Summary

Jordan surpassed Ohtani in February

Card Summary

CJ Stroud claimed the top spot

What's Next for SGC?

  • While SGC output dipped in February, results were still strong on the heels of a record-setting January. Without a major baseball special in the market, football actually fueled the sports category in February.
  • As mentioned, we don’t expect to hear much from PSA regarding the SGC acquisition; that said, we will be paying close attention to how the acquisition impacts SGC grading volumes over the next few months. Limited updates could cause some pause with SGC enthusiasts and lead to a decline in submissions in the near term.
  • Overall, the PSA acquisition is clearly a huge win for the SGC team and we congratulate them on strong execution over the past couple of years. They have arguably been the most consistent grader from an output standpoint and did an excellent job of maintaining and building on the momentum from the pandemic - even after PSA cleared its backlog.

Other Graders - CGC

Category Summary

Set Summary

Card Summary

What's Next for CGC?

  • CGC TCG saw a modest decline in grading activity in February. TCG was still >90% of CGC volume and continues to be the driving force for grading activity.
  • On the flip side, CGC sports has seen fluctuating performance. In light of the recent PSA/SGC developments, there appears to be a potential window for alternative graders to gain traction. It's possible CGC may adopt more aggressive pricing strategies or promotions in the short term in hopes of getting more cards in CGC slabs.
  • However, for CGC sports to break through, identifying and leveraging a distinct strength is crucial. SGC's success in baseball, for instance, was significantly boosted by their partnership with Topps/Fanatics, complemented by their turnaround times. CGC could see greater benefits from implementing more strategic and focused pricing specials, rather than adopting a broad-based approach.

Other Charts - Beckett

Category Summary

Card Summary - Sports

Card Summary - TCG

What's Next for Beckett?

  • Beckett saw a second consecutive month of improvements in February. Additionally, the company did offer a February pricing special - which could help results in March.
  • There’s an opportunity for Beckett to make some noise in response to the PSA/SGC news. The market continues to be at odds with its longstanding affinity for the Beckett brand and a growing disillusionment among its once-loyal base. Hobby sentiment suggests many have given up hope that Beckett can kick things back into gear.
  • That said, a Beckett resurgence would be welcomed by many. The big question, however, remains: What's motivating Beckett? At this point, what Beckett deems important is mostly a mystery.