Recently, we've discussed the white-hot market for grading sports cards.
An article in the Tampa Bay Times interviews Max Spiegel of Certified Collectibles Group.
Since February, we’ve received hundreds of thousands of sports cards, said Certified Collectibles Group president Max Spiegel.
That’s shocking, considering it normally takes time to build a grading service. That just shows how hot that market is.
Hot doesn’t begin to describe it. The sports card boom of 2021 bears little resemblance to the early ’90s, when Boomers shelled out big bucks for the Mantle and Mays rookies their moms threw out in the ‘60s; and a glut of new products flooded (and ultimately devalued) the market.
Today’s sports card industry has more in common with the art market, as ultra-rare, ultra-high-end cards command small fortunes at auction. In August, a 1-of-1 Mike Trout autographed rookie card sold for a record $3.9 million. Last week, an autographed Tom Brady rookie sold for $3.1 million, a record for a football card. The market’s gotten so heated that Target recently stopped selling trading cards to discourage shoppers from fighting for packs.
Pam Mitchell looks closely at a German Thaler coin while working in the grading room at Certified Collectibles Group's headquarters in Sarasota on June 8. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]
Over the years, the Certified Collectibles Group has operated quietly, courting little public attention, given the value of the items that pass through its Lakewood Ranch headquarters. Spiegel said the private company has about $100 million in annual revenue, with dozens of employees in London, Munich, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
But the sports card market has forced the company to open up a bit. Like other industries, the grading business is facing a hiring shortage, as companies struggle to keep up with demand. Certified Collectibles Group is looking to add about 100 employees to its staff of 400 in Sarasota, from graders to accountants to mail clerks. It’s dangling a $2,500 bonus for those who sign on and stay for at least six months.
With graders, because it’s a specialized position, and because there’s so much demand, we will hire anybody who’s qualified, Spiegel said.
Once you find them, you don’t want to lose them.
Especially the longer the sports card market stays this hot.
We always knew that it would rebound, Spiegel said.
Where it’s at today, I don’t think anybody could have predicted. This is just really unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in any of our collectible categories.
To read the complete article, see:
As sports card market goes wild, Tampa Bay card grading company cashes in
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
FEIGENBAUM: COINS ECLIPSED BY SPORTS CARDS
BECKETT SUSPENDS MOST GRADING SERVICES
Wayne Homren, Editor
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