July '22 Grading Recap + Analysis of PSA Pricing Special

Published August 3rd, 2022

Due to changes Beckett made to update & sync missing data to its pop report, GemRate will not report on July results as the pop report was inconsistently updated throughout most of July.

  • The total cards graded across all graders (excluding Beckett) increased 4% in July vs June.
  • PSA graded just over a million items in July - up 13% from June.
  • SGC saw a steep decline in activity - dropping 46% - and the combined CSG/CGC activity dropped 13%.
  • TCG/Pokemon activity was roughly flat in July while the major sports (basketball, baseball, football) were up mid-single digits vs June.
  • The PSA pricing promotion appeared to have a meaningful impact on the competitive landscape.
July Grading Summary
Items Graded - Weekly in 2022
Items Graded - By Week Since May - Excluding PSA

Category Comparison

Items Graded by Era

Gem Rate Breakdown by Era

July 2022 PSA Grading Recap

  • PSA graded 1,001,612 items during July - up 13% vs June.
  • TCG/Pokemon activity was only up 1% in July, while the major three sports (πŸ€,⚾️,🏈) were up 14%, 23%, and 23% respectively.
  • 54% of the items graded in July were from sets from 2010 and on (compared to 48% in June)

Category Summary

The three major sports saw sizeable increases in July

  • Basketball, baseball, football, non-sport, soccer, and tickets all outperformed overall activity during July.

Set Summary

TCG continues to top the list

  • 1999 Pokemon Game held onto the top spot for the sixth straight month
  • Added to the list in July: 2020 Mosaic football and 2021 Pokemon Sword & Shield Shining Fates
  • Dropping from the list: 1986 Fleer basketball and 1999 Pokemon Fossil

Player Summary

The top 9 remain unchanged

  • Added to the list in July: Ja Morant and Joe Burrow
  • Dropping from the list: Mike Trout and Zapdos

Card Summary

The 2020 Swsh Black Promo Charizard continues its hold at the top

  • Added to the list in July: 2021 Topps Jo Adell #43 and 2021 Pokemon Swsh Black Star Promo Full Art/Eevee Vmax #87
  • Dropping from the list: 2000 Pokemon Promo Black Star Pikachu and 2020 Pokemon S&S Vivid Voltage Jirachi

What's Next for PSA?

  • July was a busy month for Collectors/PSA:
    • Crossed the million card threshold for the first time.
    • Graded the first items in the NJ location.
    • Launched a successful pricing promotion leading up to the National that appears to have impacted the competition.
    • Launched its new vault offering alongside a more unified digital presence.
    • Launched Grading with Goldin - a precursor to a more diverse offering from Goldin.
  • July was a very strong month for PSA. They launched several meaningful initiatives that set the stage for a busy second half of the year. On top of that, the backlog is effectively clear. That said, stealing share will only go so far. New tools and partnerships (like the ones announced in July) will be great for maintaining its lead but what if anything can PSA do to increase demand for grading as a whole? The market has changed significantly and a meaningful portion of the backlog would never get graded today. As grading reaches a new steady state, is there a way for PSA and Collectors to expand the market beyond lowering prices? Perhaps Collectors/PSA and Fanatics need each other more than most of us may have realized.

July 2022 SGC Grading Recap

  • SGC graded 54,016 cards during July - a steep 46% decline vs June - as the company was clearly impacted by the PSA pricing special.

Category Summary

All categories dropped in July; however, football and TCG had the smallest declines.

Set Summary

2021 Prizm football jumps to the top spot shortly after release.

  • Added to the list in July: 2021 Prizm football, 1956 and 1957 Topps baseball, 1910 Piedmont Cigarettes (T206), and 2021 Topps Chrome UCL
  • Dropping from the list: 2022 Bowman Chrome Prospects, 2021 Donruss football, 2020 Prizm basketball, 2021 Topps Chrome F1 and 1968 Topps baseball

Player Summary

  • Added to the list in July: Mac Jones and Trevor Lawrence
  • Dropping from the list: Mike Trout and Ken Griffey Jr

Card Summary

  • Added to the list in July: 1959 Topps Hank Aaron #380, 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle All-Star #487, 1968 Topps Mickey Mantle #280, and 2021 Panini Prizm Mac Jones #336
  • Dropping from the list: 2022 Topps Wander Franco #215, 1993 Topps Derek Jeter #98, 1976 Topps Walter Payton #148, and 1968 Topps Johnny Bench #487

What's Next for SGC?

  • July was disruptive given that SGC had been the most consistent performer in 2022. SGC got its first taste of the new normal in grading - where PSA has little to no backlog and is getting more aggressive on price. The turnaround time advantage is likely to shrink as PSA capacity opens (NJ) and frees (no backlog). SGC did launch a new, pre-grading service that seems to have been well received - a win for the brand. However, the new service will likely have minimal impact in the near term. Will SGC lower prices and how aggressive can they be? Ultimately, the brand needs to win beyond pricing but a drop could help them maintain momentum in the near term.

Other Charts - CSG

Category Summary

Set Summary

Player Summary

What's Next for CSG?

  • CSG/CGC had the least eventful month of all the graders. The company did appear to suffer some impact from the PSA promotion but the impact was not as strong as that seen for others. That aside, the company was relatively quiet in July. Similar to SGC - the new normal is here - and we will quickly find out where CSG/CGC stands.

Others - Beckett

Due to changes Beckett made to update & sync missing data to its pop report, GemRate will not report on July results as the pop report was inconsistently updated throughout most of July.

  • Beckett is in the early stages of trying to re-establish itself as a leader in the market. The company has been more active in its comms, announced new partnerships, and teased its new, long-overdue website update. Their new CEO has been making appearances to talk about Beckett's future and increase transparency. Additionally, Beckett was certainly a topic at the National. Many weighed in on the new, not really new, slabs that were being promoted.
  • Important for GemRate - the company also fixed a longstanding issue with items missing from its pop report (mentioned above). This limited GemRate's visibility into July performance as a whole - though there are signs Beckett was also impacted by the PSA promotion.
  • Overall, Beckett is rebuilding momentum and trust and needs to continue to be aggressive in re-establishing a strong core and not getting overly distracted by new, shiny objects.