PSA DNA Autograph Authentication: When to use a Submission Group vs Sending Direct to PSA DNA
January 28, 20227 min read
So I get this question a lot about submitting autographs after you've already had them signed and you want to get them authenticated by PSA. Now, typically this is with cards, because obviously PSA slabs the cards there, but people are also sending in, other stuff that they've had signed, you know, baseballs and photos and stuff like that. So today's topic is going to be around the benefits and also the downside of using an autograph submission group, as opposed to sending them directly into PSA yourself.
So first off I've used a lot of submission groups. There are some really good ones out there, and there's some really bad ones out there. A lot of this stuff is out of their control. They can't get PSA to work any faster or prioritize some of their stuff sometimes. So it's really not their fault. It's just the way the system is set up right now. They're getting wholesale pricing from PSA. So PSA typically doesn't really put them at the top of the leaderboard because they have other customers who are paying full retail that they're going to take care of well, before they're going to take care of any wholesale orders.
So let's talk about the benefits of using a submission group for autographs in relation to PSA. Again, this could be autographed cards that you sent one to send in. Now these are not pack pulled ones. I'm talking about just in person ones that you've got in person, or once you've gotten from signings.
The biggest benefit of a submission group is the cheap pricing. 100%. It can be anywhere from 50%, 40%, sometimes even more off of the PSA list price there, depending on how many you're sending in, who you're sending in of et cetera. You know, for example Mickey Mantle, doesn't have a whole bunch of room on whereas you've got a guy, like, let's just say Larry Bird, who has a little bit more room on. So the biggest benefit again is the cheap pricing. It is very, very cheap to get something authenticated going through a submission group.
Another benefit is you get to actually talk to a person instead of PSA. So if you have questions on, "Hey, am I doing this right? What's the pricing on this? When do you expect to get it back? Hey, any updates on this?" You can generally get an answer fairly quickly. You don't have to go through the ringer of talking to someone at PSA. So that is a big benefit if you're one of those people that is very needy and has to know exactly where your submission is at all times.
So those are basically the two big benefits of using a submission group. The downside is it absolutely takes forever. I feel like I'm on a ship going all around the world and I'm just waiting for the cards or waiting for autographs to come back. It could be three months. It could be six months and you just never really know and then randomly something will get done. You've always got to constantly follow up. That's my biggest pet peeve about it is, "Hey, it's been four months since I sent these back. Is there any other update on these? Have you gotten these back yet?" Sometimes they'll be like, "oh yeah, we got these back right here."
Again, it's completely out of their control. Another big downside of using submission groups, and I've seen other groups that do have some system like this, but most don't, is there's no online tracking system to say, "Hey, listen, yes, we've received your 10 autographs here. This is when you can anticipate getting them done". That way you can kind of see where you're at in the process. That at least allows you to know that the ball was rolling on your order. Nothing worse, as we all know for people that have sent stuff into PSA is just to have it sit there and not know what's going on forever and ever, and ever. That's not a good feeling. You at least want to see the ball rolling. So a lot of these submission groups don't have any real technology that allows you to track the orders. Now, the card company that I use for card grading as far as PSA cards go, Gemmint, you guys heard me talk about them. They have an excellent online system, very easy to track, you know exactly what step you are in the process. As far as the autograph authentication stuff, I really haven't seen a submission group out there that has a solid tracking system.
Before we start talking about the benefits of sending directly to PSA, one of the big benefits of using a submission group is definitely that cheap pricing. So if you are getting an autograph authenticated and you're not looking to sell it, you just want to get it authenticated for your collection and you really don't care when you get it back. Then I would suggest using a submission group 100%. If you're getting a cheap autograph done, something that is going to cost you let's say 8 bucks to get authenticated or 10 bucks or something like that, and you don't want to pay the $20 or $25 or whatever PSA charges on their site. You want to get a little bit of a discount. Then definitely the submission group is the way to go. You will 100% save money that way. It's definitely not for the people who are in this business of selling autographs. So if that's what you're looking to, do you want to look in to sell something quickly? It's probably not a good idea to use an autograph submission group.
So let's talk about sending it directly into PSA instead of sending it to a submission group, what are the benefits of sending it directly to PSA? Well, you know PSA has your item. You can go into their online portal. You can see when it's been received, when it's shipped, all that kind of stuff. Very easy to use system.
You also have some other options too. Some submission groups don't offer some of the express options sometimes. So if you want something done in 5 or 10 days, and you want to send it directly into PSA, as opposed to sending it into a submission group, having them hold it for a week or so until they send their bulk stuff in it's a lot quicker to get your express stuff back if you send it directly into PSA, because they do offer that 5 and 10 day turnaround time.
The downside of sending into PSA. Of course it's much more expensive. Larry bird's autograph I believe on PSA site is like 35 bucks to get authenticated, that's a steep price. But if you send it into a submission group, you might pay, I think it was like $15 or something like that, or maybe $10. So you are going to pay a lot more. I would only consider sending in your autographs direct to PSA, if, first off, it's an item that you deem, I can't lose this item. I want to make sure that it's, that it gets to PSA, that PSA has it, that I'm not dinking around with some other person out there that I, you know, may or may not know or have met once.
When it gets to like high end stuff like that, I'd rather just deal with the source and just send it directly into PSA to make sure that they've got it. I know PSA is going to take care of the item, and I know that they're going to ship it back to me exactly the way that it should be taken care of.
But you should definitely consider using PSA if you are going to be selling autographs and you want to get them back quickly. If your, let's say for example the Derek Jeter signing just got done. And let's say you bought one of those you sent in an autographed jersey, or let's say an autograph card, and you want to have it slabbed and authenticated by PSA DNA. You're going to want to send that directly into them. Probably going to even pay the express fee of maybe 10 days to get that back. Cause again, if you're going to be selling that item, paying an extra 50 or so bucks or a 100 bucks or so,it really doesn't make a different much of a difference if the card is over $3,000 value, plus you'll get it back. You know, that PSA has it. There's no problems with it. You're not sitting up at night worrying about what's going on with it. You feel really good about the situation. So that's when I would use PSA instead, as far as sending directly into them, you'll get that card back if you pay the 10 day in about a month or sometimes less. So that's a huge advantage. Whereas, opposed if you sent that into a submission group, I mean, it could be three months, six months, if you just don't do any express options and that is no good feeling for an expensive item, like a Jeter SP rookie card.
So hopefully this helps you guys kind of navigate that world of submission groups. Again, if you are going to use a submission group, just make sure that it's someone that you trust, maybe someone that you met in person. Someone that has good customer service that can help you out if you've got questions and whatnot. And when in doubt, just send it direct to PSA. Okay. They'll take care of you. Yeah. It's more of a cost on your end, but you'll feel way better in the end and you'll get some good sleep at night.
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