Aug. 29—TRAVERSE CITY — A new technology aims to take control of the grading of sports cards and put it in the hands of the collector.
Cardscore brings “crowdsourcing to grading (scoring) of sportscards and other collectibles,” according to cardscore.com. Collectors scan a card for grading at kiosks at select card stores in the country and images are sent to at least 50 collectors.
Cardscore will soon be available at a new Traverse City sports card store, Legends North, which opened for business a week ago at 1216 S. Garfield Ave.
“This will be the first place in northern Michigan that has a kiosk for the grading of cards,” said Lou Brown, who has a kiosk in his store in Grand Rapids, Legends Sports and Games, 3645 28th St. SE.
Cardscore accepts “standard-sized raw cards and encapsulated cards that have been professionally graded by one of the major grading companies,” according to its website. Cards are scanned high-resolution and downloaded to a server.
But unlike traditional grading, the card doesn’t go through the mail to one of five main professional grading companies like Professional Sports Authenticator or Beckett.
“The card never leaves the users hand,” said Greg Gendron, who runs the new Traverse City store. “That’s a great thing.”
Brown said traditional grading has been
See GRADE page
difficult because some services have suspended operations for lower-level grading because of increased demand.
“We’re getting cards back that we submitted a year ago,” he said.
In the Cardscore system, a minimum of 50 collectors grade the score on four essential criteria: Corners, Edges, Centering, and Surface.
“You’re putting your cards in the hands of people that have been looking at cards forever,” Gendron said.
Gendron said Cardscore puts many pairs of eyes on a card and issues an average score, with high and low outliers eliminated. Cardscore was launched at the Tristar card show in Houston on June 3.
Brown said the base cost of Cardscore is about $16 and the total process takes around 10 days. “It’s fluid,” Brown said. “It depends on demand.”
Cardscore is also “not meant to replace professional grading,” according to its website. But Gendron said the technology is “growing in reputation.”
The other current locations of a Cardscore kiosk, according to its website, are Lansing, Saginaw, Frankenmuth, Bay City, Charlotte and Grand Rapids. Cardscore.com noted that kiosks soon will be installed in New Buffalo and Detroit. And now TC.