November 2021 Recap
PSA graded 734,994 items during November - a solid 15% increase highlighted by seven days where the company graded over 40,000 items.
TCG (Pokemon) was the top graded category for the second straight month and is showing no signs of slowing down in the near future.
The base 2019 Prizm Zion Williamson became the first card to cross 20,000 PSA 10s and the 2019 Prizm basketball set will likely become the first to cross 500,000 cards graded in December.
Published December 1st, 2021
PSA output increased by 15% in November compared to October - with 734,994 items graded during the month
The November output is a solid performance that was highlighted by PSA posting seven days with over 40,000 items graded.
PSA also set a record high for weekly output during November with over 209k items graded the week of 11/15.
Average output per day was 24,500 items graded
The mix across eras was less volatile in November; however, ultra modern did increase as a % of the cards graded
Gem rates as a whole were flat compared to October
The gem rate across all items graded in November was flat at 38% (38% in October, 43% in September and 40% in August).
Of the top 100 cards graded, 39% saw an improvement in their gem rate during November compared to October.
The gem rate for 2019 Prizm basketball dropped to 57% in November vs 60% October. We highlight 2019 Prizm basketball as one of many proxies to gauge overall gem rate trends.
TCG was the most graded category for the second straight month and is showing no signs of slowing down in the near future
TCG, basketball, football, non sport and boxing/wrestling/mma all had double digit growth that outpaced overall activity during the month.
Only baseball and multi-sport cards were down compared to October.
1999 Pokemon Game holds down the top spot for the second straight month; 2020 Prizm football surges
There were two new additions to the top set list this month: 2020 Prizm football - which has experienced a surge in activity over the past two months - and 1999 Pokemon Jungle
2020 Topps Chrome baseball and 2019 Donruss Optic basketball both dropped from the list
Jordan continues to be the most graded player regardless of broader hobby trends
Jordan, LeBron, and Kobe all lagged behind overall activity
Joe Burrow and Tyler Herro were new additions to the November list and replaced Ken Griffey Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr.
Pokemon is the top card on the leaderboard for the first time and it’s not even close
It appears the October drop in activity was mostly a blip as PSA has regained most of the momentum it had coming out of September. This bodes well for the hobby as it awaits details on the reopening of PSA’s regular service level that is expected any day now.
While there is excitement around more affordable grading options, it’s important to temper enthusiasm as PSA is still sitting on a massive backlog and is well aware of the tidal wave of submissions ready to head its way at any given moment. We expect the volume of submissions made available initially to be far fewer than what the hobby would like to see; yet, that is certainly the right step forward as operations continue to ramp and the company works towards a more manageable steady state.
We are most interested in hearing details about the mechanics of how they manage demand (e.g, queue system / registry priority) once details surface.