My name is Richard Morin. I’m a lifelong collector of trading cards, but when it came to getting them graded I was clueless.
I first began collecting cards when the first Yu-Gi-Oh! products hit the American market. I loved playing the trading card game and continued to stockpile cards as a kid. I still have my first edition Blue-Eyes White Dragon and first edition Dark Magician from the original starter decks.
As an adult, I also started collecting Pokemon cards to add to my collection. As a collector, I was aware of the graded-card market but had no idea where to start.
I knew I wanted my most valuable cards to be graded. I wasn’t necessarily looking to sell them, but rather to display them and preserve them.
That’s when I started doing research on different grading companies. There were the big guys that everyone knows, but the price points were out of my budget.
The idea of handing over my valuable cards to a complete stranger was also very frightening.
Through an acquaintance, I heard about The Grading Authority. They were a very new company at the time and had graded less than 5,000 cards by that point. Still, I was intrigued for a number of reasons.
First of all, the price was reasonable. I could get my favorite cards graded without breaking the bank. Then I saw the customizable labels. I was sold at that point.
For me personally, aesthetics are very important. The label design and free ability to customize colors to match the card was something I never even thought was possible in the grading process. As a collector who only wanted something awesome to display, I knew I had found my company.
I took the plunge and sent in my Pokemon cards. About a month later, I had my submission back in-hand. TGA made the process so easy and approachable; it was not the intimidating transaction I had expected.
I was so happy with the process that I sent in my vintage Yu-Gi-Oh! cards as soon as TGA launched their new perfect-fit, customizable Yu-Gi-Oh! labels.
As a New England resident, I’ve even had the opportunity to meet and get to know the staff at TGA and have submitted more than a half dozen orders with them. Their passion for card grading and desire to transform the industry for the better is palpable.
I did all of this realizing a TGA graded card doesn’t necessarily carry the same monetary value as the same card graded by some other companies — at least not yet. I wanted to do business with a company that claims to be for collectors, by collectors. That’s exactly what TGA is, and that’s exactly the kind of community they’re building.
It’s the kind of community I want to be a part of.