Beckett Launches Ticket Grading Service: Micah Parsons’ Aaron Judge 62nd HR Ticket The First
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Over the past two years, ticket collecting has been on the rise. Unlike cards, tickets offer a connection to a specific moment and often, because they weren’t universally collected until recently, they provide the collector with an appealing amount of scarcity.
The scarcity also comes from the fact that it’s ordinarily difficult to acquire a physical ticket for a modern day sporting event.
Prices paid for big tickets have caught the attention of the collecting world. It happened most notably last February when Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio bought a Jackie Robinson debut ticket for $480,000. A Michael Jordan unripped debut ticket sold that same month for $468,000.
PSA, the leader in grading cards, provided the market with even more legitimacy and value when they began grading tickets. But PSA had gone unopposed.
That was until Monday, when competitor Beckett announced they would start grading tickets after poaching one of PSA’s senior graders, Steve Lee, to take over its ticket grading business.
Leading up to the formal announcement, Beckett took pre-orders from interested ticket collectors and received more than 6,000 tickets to grade.
The first one they officially graded? Micah Parson’s signed ticket for Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run game from Arlington in Oct. 2022, which the Cowboys linebacker attended.
Beckett said during its launch that they’re promising more accurate turnaround times and more lines on the case to explain the story behind the ticket.
“People who collect tickets love to have the story on the case,” Lee said. “We’re offering six total lines, which means that people don’t have to abbreviate to tell that story like they have to do for the other guys.”
Beckett is also differentiating by offering personal tickets to be slabbed. “We’ll take the first game with dad or the last game with grandpa,” Lee said. “Now, obviously we have to take the collector for their word, but there’s no harm because it’s really only valuable to that person.”
Beckett is also offering to slab some tickets PSA will not, such as the game where the Covid shutdown happened, after then-Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive.
Lee also expects another option to become popular: slabbing a ticket and a cut of an autograph together.
With customers frustrated by the variance of return time at PSA, Beckett is promising that everything will be graded within 45 days. That includes customers who pay the lowest price of $30 per ticket.
For $30, PSA offers value grading, which typically takes about 120 days.
At the higher price points, Beckett might have a slower turnaround time, but has aimed to return pieces in fewer than two months at half the price. Lee says a higher priced option that includes a faster turnaround is in the works.
While tickets make up roughly 1% of PSA’s business, Lee says he hopes ticket grading could eventually reach 5% of overall revenues for Beckett, which currently does cards, autographs and VHS.
Sports tickets will be the bulk of that revenue. Movie stubs have also gained steam, but Lee thinks concerts are going to be the rocket ship.
“Music is starting to go crazy,” Lee said. “Everyone remembers their favorite concerts and has their favorite artists.”
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