A Word Regarding Card Alterations
This is a growing topic of concern for collectors and with good reason. The altering of cards is epidemic, and what is even more alarming is the fact that many cards are being altered by dealers and by auction houses (who in many cases own the very cards being altered and auctioned). Robert Edward Auctions’ position regarding the altering of cards is very clear: We don’t do anything to cards. Period. We don’t think it is right for dealers or auction houses to alter cards (or any items) without full disclosure. Robert Edward Auctions does not file the edges or corners of cards, “squash” cards, press cards, bleach cards, re-back cards, restore cards, clean cards, trim cards, remove creases, or in any other way doctor or alter any card or item without full disclosure. EVER. We can't promise anyone that every card in every case will receive exactly the same grade we give it, or that there is never an encapsulated card with a problem; no one can do this. But at Robert Edward Auctions, if there is a problem with a card, at least you know that the auction house is not responsible. Ever.
Please note that REA catalog descriptions sometimes use the words that “we have submitted” a given number of key cards in a set for grading (as opposed to someone else having sent them in for grading). This is intended to be taken literally and is sometimes meaningful to bidders precisely because they know that we have not “done anything” to the cards that are graded, as well as the balance of cards in the lot. We have been told countless times that sometimes cards in a given grade sell for better prices at REA than elsewhere. This could very well be the case, in part, because sometimes the cards at REA actually ARE a little better.
In addition, collectors and dealers are sometimes surprised to learn that the number of times Robert Edward Auctions has broken cards out of holders, resubmitted cards for grading, and gotten higher grades is EXACTLY ZERO. That’s right. Never. REA has NEVER broken a card out of a holder for resubmission and NEVER gotten a “bump” on a grade. REA has a policy that we do not break professionally graded cards out of holders and resubmit them in the hopes of getting higher grades. We live with the grades that we get. For better or worse. Period. (There have been several times when we have requested a review of a graded card in its holder. In each case there was no change to the grade. There have also been times where we personally grade a card differently than a grading company. We don’t have a problem with this, and this will sometimes significantly impact the final selling price of a card.) There is more to this than meets the eye and for REA this is, frankly, a double-edged sword. In short, we sometimes lose consignments specifically because we are not willing to do anything to cards and because consignors are led to believe that they can get better grades elsewhere. We always ask them “How can this be? If another company can get better grades by altering the cards, this is wrong. If another company can get better grades because of influence, this would be wrong also. If another company is claiming that they can get better grades due to one or both of these factors, and they in fact cannot, then it is also wrong to make such claims.” We are very upfront that we don’t do anything to cards. We are very upfront that we don’t resubmit cards for grading. It’s not because we’re lazy. It’s because this is how we think it should be. This sometimes costs us consignments. We don’t think these would-be consignors are doing themselves any favors, by the way, and we are very confident that in virtually all cases, in large part because of our policies, cards at REA are actually more likely to bring more money, especially as buyers have become more aware of the relevant issues.