NOTES ABOUT NOTES
Grade vs Price - our comments
We have heard many comments over the past few months concerning the relationship of grade to price. It is an interesting point and there are many views - let us give you ours!
We believe that while there is obviously a very close relationship, we feel that grade is not the sole factor in pricing a note. Eye appeal counts for a lot, as does the originalness of the note. Pressing, repairing or processing notes certainly affect its price, also its grade. What we have seen happen is an inflation of the grade of a note in order to justify a certain asking price - IE: push the grade of an XF note in order to ask an AU price. This is where I disagree. Once a proper grade is assigned, the price might be that of the assigned grade, or even a grade higher of lower!
I believe in assigning a grade to the note - then assigning a price. If that price is commensurate with the grade, you're done. If you feel that the note is worth more than its assigned grade, then you need to explain why and give the buyer the necessary information to justify the price. Factors such as market rarity and collector demand certainly enter the equation, as does the relationship of published price guides to the real world. The grade should not be pushed, rather information provided to back up the price. This is what we have always tried to do and our customers seem to like our approach.
I am always interested in your feedback and welcome it. Please share your comments with us!
Update 5/18/05 I am proud to be a fold counter, the kind of person that seems to be looked down upon by several dealers. Examination of auction lots recently uncovered a note with 10-12 very light bends that was graded XF. To grade it otherwise would wrongly portray this note, according to the cataloger! Other notes with 3 folds were XF - how can these be the same grade? The look of the first note was very sharp indeed, but XF??? I am interested in your comments.