September '23 Grading Recap
Published October 2nd, 2023
- Overall grading activity was roughly flat in September vs August (and up 12% YoY)
- PSA graded 1.20m cards - down 2% vs August and up 12% YoY
- CGC graded 147k cards - up 38% vs August and up 62% YoY
- SGC graded 115k cards - down 3% vs August and up 66% YoY
- Beckett graded 61k cards - down 18% vs August and down 4% YoY
September Grading Summary
September Grading Summary - Sports
September Grading Summary - TCG+
Items Graded - by Month
Items Graded - by Month - Excluding PSA
TCG Cards Graded at PSA
Items Graded by Era
Gem Rate Breakdown by Era
September 2023 PSA Grading Recap
- PSA graded 1,208,865 items during September; total output declined 2% vs August, but was up 12% year-over-year.
TCG activity hits another new high
- TCG was 48% of cards graded (vs 43% in August)
- Grading activity for each sport dropped compared to August.
Set Summary - Sports & Other
2022 Prizm football remains on top by a narrow margin
- Added to the list in September: 1986 Fleer basketball, 2022 Select football and basketball
- Dropping from the list: 2023 Topps, 2021 Prizm football, and 2021 Donruss Optic football
Set Summary - TCG+
Japanese Pokemon holds 8 of the 10 spots again
- Added to the list in September: 2023 Pokemon Japanese Sv1a Triplet Beat
- Dropping from the list: 2021 Pokemon Japanese S&S Eevee Heroes
Player Summary - Sports & Other
Ohtani's lead at the top widens
- Added to the list in September: Nolan Ryan
- Dropping from the list: Justin Fields
Subject Summary - TCG
- Added to the list in September: Magikarp
- Dropping from the list: Lillie
Card Summary - Sports & Other
Ohtani, Elly, and Victor continue to dominate the leaderboard
Card Summary - TCG
Japanese Pokemon hold every spot in the top 10 again
What's Next for PSA?
PSA delivered a strong performance in September, largely attributed to the continued growth of TCG.
As we have now seen a number of times in 2023, TCG growth has compensated for a modest slowdown in sports card grading.
Over the past couple of months, PSA has been less aggressive with its promotions and appears to be opting for a similar strategy in October.
TCG will likely have to carry grading once again if PSA wants to approach/surpass the August and September totals.
September 2023 SGC Grading Recap
- SGC graded 115,531 cards during September - a 3% decrease vs August and a 66% increase year-over-year.
Football dips in September; TCG growth accelerates
Baseball, basketball and TCG growth helped to offset a slowdown in football grading during September.
2023 Topps Chrome stays on top
Player (& Subject) Summary
Shohei remains at the top of list
Topps Chrome comprises the majority of the leaderboard
What's Next for SGC?
SGC had another strong month in September.
It also had the splashiest month across the grading companies - launching a new mobile app, reducing pricing, and extending promotions.
October grading activity should provide a strong read on how SGC's recent changes impact demand.
Other Graders - CGC
What's Next for CGC?
CGC's September results appear robust but, for now, earn an incomplete grade.
Once again, CGC has been making modifications to its pop report infrastructure, causing disruptions in timely data updates.
Given that, we recommend looking at August and September data together as a blended result to best assess CGC momentum.
That said, we appreciate CGC's efforts to tighten up its data processes (fueled by its CSG/CGC merger).
GemRate has a biased opinion, but we believe getting the pop report right is a worthy investment.
We look forward to the company returning to regular pop report updates in the near future.
Other Charts - Beckett
Card Summary - Sports
Card Summary - TCG
What's Next for Beckett?
Beckett experienced a deceleration in momentum during September. There doesn't appear to be a singular catalyst as the slowdown was evident across most categories.
Throughout 2023, Beckett has graded between 56k and 75k cards monthly. In general, Beckett continues to remain fairly quiet relative to its competition - particularly as it relates to pricing and promotions.
It remains to be seen whether Beckett will adopt a more aggressive approach to boost volume, or if they are content maintaining their current operational range, as has been their trend for the majority of the year.