PSA is adding back a service level just over three months after suspending almost all submissions amid a massive backlog of cards.
Nat Turner, executive chairman of PSA’s parent company Collectors Universe, confirmed to Sports Card Investor that PSA will begin accepting submissions for the Express Service Level with a price increase from $150 to $200 per card.
The $300-per-card Super Express Service Level and $600 Walk-Through Level had been the only available options since PSA announced it was halting submissions on March 30.
Considered one of the grading industry’s leaders, trading card collectors have been anxiously awaiting PSA’s return after President Steve Sloan said in March that the company had a July 1 target for reopening in a tiered approach.
Lower service levels like Economy ($50 per card) and Regular ($100) will remain suspended.
Turner said that PSA is doing its best to reopen while also limiting overwhelming demand that could cause another shutdown.
“Growing capacity is difficult and we’re doing it,” Turner said. “We have grown a lot, believe it or not. But the demand that we know is out there for our service is too high to open up further than one level lower. We have to prioritize cards that are in the building against cards that aren’t.”
In a post on the company’s website, Sloan also announced that PSA would be suspending Economy and Regular Service Levels for tickets and packs. They will return in a tiered approach similar to trading cards.
In a column earlier this year, Collectors Universe President and COO Joe Orlando said PSA was accepting more submissions every five days than it used to receive every three months.
Prior to PSA’s shutdown, the number of submissions was so great that the company didn’t have the capacity to even open the packages to begin processing orders. Turner says that process has been one of the toughest obstacles.
“A big (issue) is order entry and receiving, which people don’t think is a big deal,” Turner said. “But going through every box shipped to us, going through to see that every card is in order, and going through and actually putting that order into the system is very time-consuming — especially when you receive millions of cards in a span of a couple weeks.”
PSA has since made several upgrades to its ability to process cards as well as its ability to authenticate and grade them.
PSA announced in April that it had acquired software company Genamint in order to bring machine-learning technology to its authentication and grading process, and Turner says the company has also made a surge of hires to help increase submission capacity.
“We’ve hired a ton of people, many of whom are still in training,” Turner said. “I’m very confident that capacity will be much higher by the end of the year than it is today. And where it is today is probably 50% higher than where it was a few months ago. So we’re expanding very rapidly.”
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