So, you bought a few trading cards online in the hopes of expanding your 1950s baseball or Pokémon card collection. You had assurances about the PSA tamper proof case they come in. But, upon receiving them, you notice some cracking around the tag and the edges of the case.
Are PSA cases tamper proof? Is it possible to open the case and switch out the card without breaking the plastic? Can you identify a fake PSA case? In short, older PSA cases aren’t tamper proof but the newer ones are more durable. However, if there’s tampering, it will be obvious.
Learning how to discern these things will save you time, money and frustration. It’s not difficult, but there are some nuances.
Can PSA Cases Be Opened?
PSA cases, also called slabs or flips, can be opened. There are some people who extol their ability to open a PSA case in 30 seconds or less. Of all the ones available from different companies, PSA seems to be one of the easier to open. However, this is mostly true for older slabs.
Opening Older PSA Cases
In fact, all you need to open older PSA cases is a flathead screwdriver and a can opener. However, the hermetic seal gives the evidence needed. But people have become quite innovative in figuring out various methods to reseal it.
Evidence to Look Out for
The best way to determine this is by a frosted appearance around the edges. This is a sure sign of the glue used to put the slab back together. Cracks may simply be damage the case incurred on its journey to you or because of the carelessness of a previous owner.
However, you will see some white-looking splinters in the plastic from a break-in attempt. In most cases it will be obvious that someone tried to tamper with it in some way, shape or form. This will be more evident with the method of resealing.
About Newer PSA Cases
The newer cases will have chips and broken pieces once opened, so there aren’t many stories or anecdotes of people experiencing them. The newer cases are more akin to Beckett or BG ones, where they’re nearly impossible to get into.
So, even though they can be opened, they have to have a way to go back together. Some people do attempt heat if they have the right equipment for it. Ergo, look for clear signs of melting or alteration. The best way to know is by comparing it to one you already have, if any.
PSA Recommends using Card Saver 1’s when submitting cards for grading. To check the current price and availability of Card Saver 1 Sleeves, click here to view the selection on Amazon.
How Can You Tell a Fake PSA Case?
Another common issue with PSA cases is that some people will pass off fake ones for real ones. Collectors who are unaware of such deceptive practices and don’t use discernment end up in utter disappointment. There are four things you can check to ensure you’re getting the real deal:
1. Images ; Available Details
Many people are buying trading cards online these days. Places like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace have opened the door to a worldwide range of possibilities. This means you have an even greater chance of finding a great card to add to your collection rather than relying on the local comic book and trading card store.
However, you will still have to do your due diligence and probably more meticulously than you would in person. While the options are wide open online, so are the conmen. This means ensuring the seller has plenty of pictures that include close-ups, profiles and other angles. The more information they list about the flip, the better off you will be.
When in doubt, ask the seller any questions and see what their responses are. If they’re willing to answer anything in a timely fashion and in a direct way, you can begin to let up on your skepticism.
2. Checking Labels
The next surefire way to check for a fake PSA case is to look closely at the label. Hold it in front of a bright light. If you can decipher the text, it’s likely authentic. If not, you’re quite possibly holding a fake.
Also, the length of the PSA label is a dead giveaway about it being an original or a forgery. There are several instances of PSA graded cards with labels that don’t fit along the top section of the slab.
3. Personal Inspection
Unfortunately, buying cards within a PSA slab online will not give you the opportunity to inspect it before you buy it. This is why photos and questions will be essential to your pre-purchase considerations and vetting.
But, if you do get a chance to inspect it yourself, like when at a trading card convention or a store, it’s always best to do your own scrutinizing. Look for any awkward indications, like a misplaced label at the top edge and any stress cracks or appearances of opening.
4. Credible Assistance
When in doubt about the authenticity of a PSA case in question, get help from an expert. There are many people online and in-person who are more than happy to help you. Locating a trusted collector in your area known to authenticate graded cards is invaluable.
As you can see, it’s important to understand PSA cases along with properly identifying openings or fake cases. Unfortunately, there are many people who are all too happy to rip others off.
If you do notice anything fishy or funky about a slab you receive, like a PSA label that doesn’t fit at the top, it’s advisable to contact authorities. The best way to prevent fraud is to report it the moment you notice such a thing.
Although these suggestions here are just a primer, it will allow you to start being able to identify the quality and authenticity of a case. In the end, it’s imperative that you develop a discerning eye. It will go a long way in saving you many heartaches and hardships aside from wasting your money.