CGC Graded Concert Poster Market 2019 - What Collectors Don't Understand!

4 things every collector should know about today’s market.

The Famous “Vanessa” concert poster. Grande Ballroom, James Cotton / MC-5 Nov. 10+11, 1967. Many collectors believe the “Best of the Best”.

The Famous “Vanessa” concert poster. Grande Ballroom, James Cotton / MC-5 Nov. 10+11, 1967. Many collectors believe the “Best of the Best”.

The market for Vintage Concert Posters has become the most exciting collectibles market in the world today due to a a multitude of positive developments that has created a “perfect storm” for these historic works of art. Please reference previous posts for extensive detail and discussion.

Despite everything that Vintage Concert Posters has going for them, there is one HUGE overriding factor that has turned this market into an overnight success, 50+ years in the making. And of course, we’re talking about the introduction of independent third party grading by CGC.

Without CGC, we would not be witnessing the massive influx of new collectors into this market. These collectors are already experienced acquiring independently authenticated and graded rare coins, stamps, baseball cards, comic books, autographs, paper money, etc,. This experience makes their transition into Vintage Concert Poster collecting both comfortable and seamless.

This huge increase in demand has lead to record prices and appreciation for the finest quality and rarest pieces and a commensurate dwindling of the tiny available supply. The facts show that of the hundreds of price records that were set for Vintage Concert Posters in our auctions in 2018, well over 90% were authenticated and graded by CGC.

Despite the warm collector reception that CGC posters enjoy, there are 4 important facts about today’s marketplace that are not widely understood.

1) Not All concert Posters Are Eligible For CGC Grading.

This is the most common mis-conception in today’s marketplace . Currently, CGC only authenticates and grades posters that are listed in The Art of Rock by Paul Grushkin, or in Eric King’s Collector’s Guide to Psychedelic Rock Concert Posters, Postcards and Handbills.

King’s guide lists popular concert poster series from The Family Dog, The Bill Graham Series, The Grande Ballroom, The Neon Rose , and The Vulcan Gas. The Art of Rock lists several hundred other concert posters from various venues throughout the United States.

There are still a large percentage of posters, perhaps 35-45% (our best guess, only) that are not currently listed in these two reference books, and are NOT currently eligible for CGC authentication and grading.

CGC will be expanding their universe in the the future, which leads to another opportunity that requires more discussion at another time.

2) Psychedelic Art Exchange Has EVERY Eligible Poster CGC Graded Before It’s Sold or Auctioned!

Our mission at PAE is very simple, and very clear. We provide a safe and secure place to buy, sell, and learn about Vintage Concert Posters.

Everyone knows that the value of ANY given collectible is largely based on it’s condition. Small differences in condition lead to large differences in value.

This means there is an inherent conflict of interest between buyers and sellers. We remove this conflict of interest by getting every eligible poster CGC graded before we sell or auction it.

For buyers, this means you can bid with confidence, knowing that you are basing your purchasing decision on an unbiased third party opinion.

For sellers, it means enjoying the benefits of the huge demand and record prices that the market commands for CGC graded material. It’s a win-win situation for everyone concerned.

The reason we adhere to this policy 100% is because we don’t want to put collectors in a position of wondering “Why isn’t this poster CGC graded? What is the seller trying to hide?”

Of course, PAE also buys and sells concert posters that are not currently eligible for CGC grading. Our policy with these issues is to grade the posters on a consistent scale of 1-100, published in writing, on our website. In addition, every poster is backed up by the strongest guarantee, in writing, possible.

3) CGC Grading is FAR Stricter Than Most Collectors Realize.

PAE prides itself on offering the finest quality material available today. We have been high profile “condition freaks” from the very first day we opened our doors over 10 years ago.

That being said, CGC has given new meaning to the term “Strictly Graded”. It is our belief that CGC provides the absolute best value for your collecting dollar at every end of the condition spectrum.

In every auction we have savvy collectors picking off incredible quality posters graded 5.5 -8.0. Don’t let the numerical grade deceive you. These posters provide tremendous value and quality.

Likewise, every auction features posters graded 8.5 - 9.2 that are stone cold gems. We’re talking about super clean pieces free of nicks, cuts, tears, and pinholes. These are posters that used to be described… and sometimes still are… as “Dead Mint” before the introduction of CGC.

The bottom line is that if you are a collector that’s looking for the maximum bang for your collecting buck, take a close look at concert posters with slightly lower CGC grades. You’ll be blown away by the quality you receive in return for the funds paid out.

We’re confident abut this based on the steady stream of collectors that tell us how excited they are when they receive an item that greatly EXCEEDS their expectations.

4) CGC is Not Just About Determining Condition

While the numerical grade of a CGC concert poster is always the top subject of conversation, there is another equally important layer of confidence and protection that CGC offers, independent attribution and detection of restoration.

Before CGC, you really had to become your own expert to safely buy these posters. The law of the land was Buyer Beware.

Undisclosed hidden restoration and counterfeit posters was commonplace. CGC has solved all that. Now collectors can buy and sell with confidence. And the results speak for themselves.

John Bogle, the legendary inventor of stock index funds died tonight. His company went from zero to 5.1 TRILLION dollars under management ( Yes, TRILLION) based on a single simple idea. Bogle is quoted as saying,” It was never my intent to build a colossus. Turns out, when you do what’s right for investors, money pours in.”

At PAE, we try to follow this very same ethos. You have our word that in 2019 we will continue to work our hardest to provide you — and all collectors — a safe and secure place to buy, sell, and learn about Vintage Concert posters.

Onward!