At Psychedelic Art Exchange, we see posters that arrive in just about every condition. Some pristine, some misattributed, even some that have been professionally restored. No matter the condition, getting your vintage concert posters CGC graded and authenticated only presents positive opportunities for you.
Let's take a look at what getting these posters graded means, and why any and all vintage concert posters you acquire should be CGC graded and authenticated.
This poster was sold to a consigner as "100% original and unrestored"; unfortunately this wasn't true.
1. CGC grading uncovers hidden restoration.
Collectors are willing to pay premium prices for 100% original material, in superb condition, with no restoration. Modern restoration techniques can be all but impossible to detect. Tears can be restored, pinholes filled in, and ink re-applied. With CGC grading, you can find out if the posters you acquired have been accurately represented.
These restoration techniques can significantly devalue vintage concert poster prices. You may not think it can happen to you, but every single day we have to break the bad news to collectors. The posters they bought, that they thought were "100% original", were anything but.
Most of these collectors take their lumps and treat it as a class at the school of hard knocks. Some collectors ask us to ship back the posters to them so that they can sell it in other venues where CGC authentication and grading isn't as important. Others, decide to leave it be. Those are the posters you see as restored in our auctions.
[POSTER IMAGE] This poster was sold to a consigner as an "original first printing"; it is not.
2. CGC grading discloses misattribution.
It can often be difficult to tell the difference between an original first printing and a reprint. Many times the differences can only be determined by a seasoned expert. The difference in value between the two can be monumental.
We believe it's better to be safe than sorry and that's where CGC grading helps. By determining the exact print release type, consigners can better understand the value of their collection.
For the consigners who discover that their "original first printing" concert posters aren't so original, they'll often sell them as reprints in our auction. The other consigners ask for their posters back so they can sell them through other avenues.
[POSTER IMAGE] This poster, while super clean, failed to get a 9.0 or better CGC grade. Our consigner originally purchased it as "dead mint".
3. CGC provides an unbiased opinion about the poster condition.
Like all collectibles, vintage concert poster value is primarily based on condition. A poster in excellent condition can be worth multiples of the same poster in a worse condition. Given the drastic price differences that variable qualities can bring, why not get an unbiased opinion from someone that doesn't have any skin in the game?
In every auction, we feature items that were initially sold as "near mint" or "mint", 9.0 and 9.8+ respectively on the CGC grading scale. While these posters may be very clean, some are still only graded as 8.0 or 8.5 by the CGC's conservative standards. Getting your poster graded by the CGC will at least assure that the premium you paid for your poster is what you bargained for.
4. CGC Provides an Immediate Boost in Value to your Collection.
Demand is rapidly growing for CGC graded material. Many of the collectors that we work with demand CGC grading and authentication on any potential acquisition. It's the same as in any other collectibles market. It's all but impossible to sell an item without third-party grading and authentication. Most collectors see no reason to risk their hard-earned money with low-quality, or un-graded works. This trend will only continue to grow with each passing day.
Hopefully, the posters in your collection are all accurately graded, correctly attributed, and free from undisclosed restoration. If so, then getting that CGC grading and authentication stamp of approval will immediately boost the value and liquidity of your collection.
5. CGC grading creates new opportunities.
Make no mistake about it, many collectors are thrilled to buy non-CGC graded material. Experienced collectors snap up gem-quality material from trusted and reliable sources they have cultivated over time. Even still, these collectors see the value in getting their works CGC graded and authenticated. Once the non-CGC graded posters are acquired, they're then sent off for CGC grading where they'll return worth an even higher value and liquidity.
This value increase is possible because a poster with no CGC grading can be acquired for less than a poster with CGC grading due to the risks outlined above. If you're an experienced collector that has sources to buy properly attributed material without CGC grading, and you have verified the attribution by submitting the material to CGC, then these sources provide lucrative arbitrage opportunities. Our advice: buy all you can while this window of opportunity remains open.
If you're a new, inexperienced, collector, then CGC third-party authentication and grading remains to be the best option to participate in this exploding new marketplace with confidence.
The Bottom Line
Submitting your posters for grading to CGC is an opportunity where you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. If your material has been correctly represented, you will enjoy an immediate premium that CGC grading commands. If you have acquired material that has been misrepresented, then it's better to know now, before you throw good money after bad.
CGC grading will keep you in a better position to take advantage of what many experienced collectors believe is the most lucrative and exciting collectible opportunity in the world today!
If you have vintage concert posters or handbills that you'd like submitted for CGC grading, we can take care of everything for you.