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VGA owners prior to 2018, have you tried WATA?  

22 members have voted

  1. 1. What’s your VGA-to-WATA conversion?

    • 0% - yet to try WATA
      11
    • 25% - around 3/4 still VGA
      3
    • 50% - half and half, just like a lamb/chicken yiros combo!
      2
    • 75% - around 1/4 still VGA
      1
    • 90% - nearly full conversion, but some will remain VGA permanently
      1
    • 100% - the full conversion, any joys or regrets?
      1
    • Other - please leave comments
      3


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I thought it might be interesting to see what the actual trend is for VGA owners that have owned graded games prior to the inception of WATA. Specifically, roughly gauging on how many have fully transferred over to WATA amidst all this current hysteria, how many have kept full alliance with VGA (as of current), and those in between.

Any further comments welcome.

Edited by GPX
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I'm on the "Other" listing because I have used VGA in 2018 and plan to use Wata in 2021.

For me VGA was the main reason why I wanted to start a serious game collection, and has also become the reason why I had joined NA long before I rejoined this place. So any issues I might have with them is pretty much a trade-off because I got to meet you guys. Plus I like how they display when it comes to uniformed collections.

But I am also OK starting my collection with everything being graded by Wata. It is not the same but I doubt I will have what is needed to display Wii, etc. games when that time comes. Which has me feel OK collecting both.

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4 hours ago, ThePhleo said:

I’m exclusively WATA. I was always on the fence with VGA, but despite what popular opinion of them is on the forum, I still love the guys who run it and I respect their hard work.

Mind me asking what made you want to go exclusive on WATA, whilst sitting on the fence with VGA? Is it possibly due to the apparent NES dominance that WATA seem to have a stranglehold on the current market? 

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vga is rigged.  i submitted a game and got an 85. i deslab it and sell to bucky. he submits it and gets 85+. i had heard he was supposedly involved with the company in some fashion.  could argue the grades are close enough for it to just be natural variance but i think its too big of coincidence and have heard of similar stories of special treatment before.

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5 hours ago, Jayleonis said:

vga is rigged.  i submitted a game and got an 85. i deslab it and sell to bucky. he submits it and gets 85+. i had heard he was supposedly involved with the company in some fashion.  could argue the grades are close enough for it to just be natural variance but i think its too big of coincidence and have heard of similar stories of special treatment before.

This might be true, but do we know of any stories where if he resubmits the score remains the same or lower? Do all his resubmissions gets higher scores?

Your example of a small shift in score is something that can happen to any grading service: subjective differences, human error and whatnot. Expect the same for WATA, UKG etc.

Edited by GPX
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12 hours ago, Jayleonis said:

vga is rigged.  i submitted a game and got an 85. i deslab it and sell to bucky. he submits it and gets 85+. i had heard he was supposedly involved with the company in some fashion.  could argue the grades are close enough for it to just be natural variance but i think its too big of coincidence and have heard of similar stories of special treatment before.

Here is the thing. An 85+ is a super-minor infraction. If looked 85 and graded a 90, then you might have a valid claim. But in your case, the difference in grade is "Is that minor to very minor post-case removal wear?" versus "Is that minor to very minor damage done during shipment?"

Which has me say that your grader concluded the wear was very slight "shelf wear" versus Bucky's grader thinking that it was shipment-related wear. It's that minor in your situation, and is far from anything you should be angry over. Because it is at best a 2 point difference.

Edited by FenrirZero
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On 11/27/2020 at 5:42 PM, GPX said:

Your example of a small shift in score is something that can happen to any grading service: subjective differences, human error and whatnot. Expect the same for WATA, UKG etc.

A one grade variance whether up or down does happen. I would not say it's common, but I can first hand say that I have had grades changed by VGA before. I had a game I thought for sure was mis-graded, and I reached out to VGA, and told them I wanted to grade it again. They warned me that the grade could be lower, and I took the chance. I did not de-slab it, they did it for me and I paid the grading fee again, which was another ~ $80. Turns out I was right, and it came out one grade higher. I tried it with another game, but it came back the same grade.

Basically, what I'm saying is you take a gamble anytime you do this. You will lose the grading fees, and the grade might come back lower. But if you're really sure about it, it can work in your favor.

Having said this, there has been stories of Bucky getting special treatment from VGA, so I would not be surprised if the rumors are true. However, VGA is not going to risk their reputation for one relationship, so even if the rumors are true, the shift in grade would only be by one point. It's a known fact that he holds the record for number of VGA100 games amongst sealed collectors, in some cases on impossible systems, such as GB/GBA/PS1 not just modern consoles (which he has plenty). BUT, it should also be noted that he buys cases and cases of games, and has access to dealers/distributors so it should not be a surprise to anyone.

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8 minutes ago, tidaldreams said:

If it is, then why does he only sell ungraded games?

Rareucky's been collecting and selling games for over 15 years. He's sold plenty of VGA graded games, look at his feedback. The supply for games worth grading (pre-PS3/XBX era) has diminished significantly. Much of what is left is damaged items, and most of the graded games are in collector hands. If he grades damaged items, and they come back a low grade, it hurts his profit margin, and the ability to sell the game. So it makes more sense from a business standpoint to sell the game raw on the open market, and let the buyer decide if it's worth grading. 

Having said this, he's also graded many modern games, but some have sat for years without selling so the demand is not there (with a few exceptions). This is likely why he doesn't sell graded games anymore.

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2 hours ago, Amermoe said:

Rareucky's been collecting and selling games for over 15 years. He's sold plenty of VGA graded games, look at his feedback. The supply for games worth grading (pre-PS3/XBX era) has diminished significantly. Much of what is left is damaged items, and most of the graded games are in collector hands. If he grades damaged items, and they come back a low grade, it hurts his profit margin, and the ability to sell the game. So it makes more sense from a business standpoint to sell the game raw on the open market, and let the buyer decide if it's worth grading. 

Having said this, he's also graded many modern games, but some have sat for years without selling so the demand is not there (with a few exceptions). This is likely why he doesn't sell graded games anymore.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think you might be Rarebucky himself, making a post doing a self-biography..

🙂

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On 11/27/2020 at 11:00 AM, Jayleonis said:

vga is rigged.  i submitted a game and got an 85. i deslab it and sell to bucky. he submits it and gets 85+. i had heard he was supposedly involved with the company in some fashion.  could argue the grades are close enough for it to just be natural variance but i think its too big of coincidence and have heard of similar stories of special treatment before.

 

VGA is not rigged and certainly doesn't go to bat for Adam. Anyone who has known him over the last decade has heard him bitching about grades he gets back, all the time. He does have a huge, unprecedented high end collection of VGA graded games, but that's due to the sheer volume of what he sends, as this has been a second job for him for nearly two decades.

Slight variation happens all the time in any grading. Beckett has graded card review process where you can pay to resubmit your card to have it get a second look. Often times it doesn't change, but sometime it can be bumped up. Does this constitute as a "pay to win" scheme, or simply asking for a second opinion.

Recently I disagreed with a grade I received from Wata on a game that got 9.4 A++. So I took it out the case, bubble wrapped and sent back. Second time it got a 9.2 A+ 

That tells me 1: Grading can vary time to time, or 2: Their cases can damage games. Either one looks bad, but I still like Wata and will use them along with VGA.

TLDR: No grading is flawless and making up conspiracy theories to explain human fallacy is asinine. 

 

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I have to add that my biggest grief with VGA is the way they handle Japanese import games. Regardless of the print, if there is anything that makes it a variant, etc. they will just label it as if it was a standard Japanese version. Even if the game was exclusive to Japan. Which is one of the two reasons why I got rid of my previous collection.

But when it comes to WataGames there are numerous factors that currently limit what I can submit to them. They still do not grade DS and 3DS games, yet they are now open to grading Super Famicom games. And the only Japanese releases they are currently open to grading are ones that have matching U.S. releases. But even then the information on those titles are generally made for their U.S. release. With no clue if they will alter the info, or what is needed to submit a game that is not on their list. In my case this includes "Dragon Quest Monster Battle Road Victory" for the Wii.

In the end of it all I still hope to have Wata grade any non-portable Dragon Quest games I end up owning. CAS is a potential third option in the end as they are quick to reply and will help make sure you can get a specific item graded. But they are not a good fit for those who prefer their labels on the top. And do not have a big offering on how their cases look.

Either way, I like the way NES games look in both cases. And turnaround times are pretty similar for both in the end. So I am open to both. But officially, I am still leaning towards Wata because I do not want to order what is needed to securely display VGA graded PS2, Wii, etc. games. Especially if my goals happen to become a reality.

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7 hours ago, FenrirZero said:

I have to add that my biggest grief with VGA is the way they handle Japanese import games. Regardless of the print, if there is anything that makes it a variant, etc. they will just label it as if it was a standard Japanese version. Even if the game was exclusive to Japan. Which is one of the two reasons why I got rid of my previous collection.

But when it comes to WataGames there are numerous factors that currently limit what I can submit to them. They still do not grade DS and 3DS games, yet they are now open to grading Super Famicom games. And the only Japanese releases they are currently open to grading are ones that have matching U.S. releases. But even then the information on those titles are generally made for their U.S. release. With no clue if they will alter the info, or what is needed to submit a game that is not on their list. In my case this includes "Dragon Quest Monster Battle Road Victory" for the Wii.

In the end of it all I still hope to have Wata grade any non-portable Dragon Quest games I end up owning. CAS is a potential third option in the end as they are quick to reply and will help make sure you can get a specific item graded. But they are not a good fit for those who prefer their labels on the top. And do not have a big offering on how their cases look.

Either way, I like the way NES games look in both cases. And turnaround times are pretty similar for both in the end. So I am open to both. But officially, I am still leaning towards Wata because I do not want to order what is needed to securely display VGA graded PS2, Wii, etc. games. Especially if my goals happen to become a reality.

Have you tried emailing VGA before submitting your Japanese games? I've found them to be very helpful. I think for anything unusual extra communication is probably called for with any grading company. (Especially if it's in a foreign language.)

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36 minutes ago, Grondorr said:

Have you tried emailing VGA before submitting your Japanese games? I've found them to be very helpful. I think for anything unusual extra communication is probably called for with any grading company. (Especially if it's in a foreign language.)

In this case I did not see the point. And did not find out until they finally sent me the photo(s) I paid for. Plus after joining here I did further research and found out that them doing that was standard. Especially with that game in question since a Japanese seller had a "VGA 95" second print listed at a much higher price point above a "VGA 90" first print. With the difference being that a first print includes a sticker promoting a time-sensitive bonus item (or items) on it.

In all cases my conclusion is that they did it because it is easier to get information on U.S. releases than it is for Japanese, Asia, etc. releases. And with the way things are for them these days they are there to grade and preserve items, not "complicate" things by adding a library of information that might result in them slowing down their promised turnaround times. Which is something I understand because of a scenario I read on a Star Wars fan forum I used to like.

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3 hours ago, FenrirZero said:

In this case I did not see the point. And did not find out until they finally sent me the photo(s) I paid for. Plus after joining here I did further research and found out that them doing that was standard. Especially with that game in question since a Japanese seller had a "VGA 95" second print listed at a much higher price point above a "VGA 90" first print. With the difference being that a first print includes a sticker promoting a time-sensitive bonus item (or items) on it.

In all cases my conclusion is that they did it because it is easier to get information on U.S. releases than it is for Japanese, Asia, etc. releases. And with the way things are for them these days they are there to grade and preserve items, not "complicate" things by adding a library of information that might result in them slowing down their promised turnaround times. Which is something I understand because of a scenario I read on a Star Wars fan forum I used to like.

You're making a lot of assumptions, "I didn't think this, I assumed that." There is no magical database of Japanese variants, nor PAL not the infinite variation of EU countries. In many cases, you will know more about what you are collecting than anyone. If you want something specified you must specify it, it's why every grading form has such a section. And yes I also collect JP so this comes from experience.

IMG_20201003_170229_942.jpg

Edited by Startyde
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Member · Posted
11 minutes ago, Startyde said:

You're making a lot of assumptions, "I didn't think this, I assumed that." There is no magical database of Japanese variants, nor PAL not the infinite variation of EU countries. In many cases, you will know more about what you are collecting than anyone. If you want something specified you must specify it, it's why every grading form has such a section. And yes I also collect JP so this comes from experience.

IMG_20201003_170229_942.jpg

Damnit startyde, why you keep posting sexy pics? 

More please! 🤤

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On 11/28/2020 at 9:00 PM, Amermoe said:

Rareucky's been collecting and selling games for over 15 years. He's sold plenty of VGA graded games, look at his feedback. The supply for games worth grading (pre-PS3/XBX era) has diminished significantly. Much of what is left is damaged items, and most of the graded games are in collector hands. If he grades damaged items, and they come back a low grade, it hurts his profit margin, and the ability to sell the game. So it makes more sense from a business standpoint to sell the game raw on the open market, and let the buyer decide if it's worth grading. 

Having said this, he's also graded many modern games, but some have sat for years without selling so the demand is not there (with a few exceptions). This is likely why he doesn't sell graded games anymore.

That's him and he indeed sells VGA games just not as many as he keeps them mainly for himself it seems.  I have purchased a few VGA games from him through PayPal.  His collection is absolutely bonkers.

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On 12/1/2020 at 1:48 PM, Startyde said:

You're making a lot of assumptions, "I didn't think this, I assumed that." There is no magical database of Japanese variants, nor PAL not the infinite variation of EU countries. In many cases, you will know more about what you are collecting than anyone. If you want something specified you must specify it, it's why every grading form has such a section. And yes I also collect JP so this comes from experience.

Sexy game! But one little error on your end. If you knew me you'd know that I have outgrown the days I made assumptions. 😅

Mostly because I have a variation of Asperger's that doing just that an issue for me. Just like saying anything that might sound either combative or offensive needs to be removed, etc. (Current edit is that example.) It's one of those things that people ignore about me. 😅

As for VGA, the #1 fact they have given me is that their policies come first. Meaning that even though I did fumble when spelling 'Sugisarishi' (I listed it as 'Sugi Sarishi'), I made it clear that it was a first print in both the "variant" and "notes" portion of my request form.

Thus the conclusion I got is based on said policies. Which I am not mad at them for doing since they are being paid to just grade and encase the game I sent them. Something I am fine with. Because CAS is one of those companies that tried to be more and got in trouble in the end.

What ended up being an issue for me are e-retailers that put grades before rarity. A part of me feels like they use VGA's lack of interest in updating their labels (see CAS's labels as an example) as an excuse to do just that. It is why I got rid of my previous collection before starting over. 😩

As for "magical databases"... I prefer completists that focus on anything that I am currently interested in. Here is one of those examples: https://mobile.twitter.com/zation5

Edited by FenrirZero
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On 12/2/2020 at 8:26 PM, FenrirZero said:

Sexy game! But one little error on your end. If you knew me you'd know that I have outgrown the days I made assumptions. 😅

Mostly because I have a variation of Asperger's that doing just that an issue for me. Just like saying anything that might sound either combative or offensive needs to be removed, etc. (Current edit is that example.) It's one of those things that people ignore about me. 😅

As for VGA, the #1 fact they have given me is that their policies come first. Meaning that even though I did fumble when spelling 'Sugisarishi' (I listed it as 'Sugi Sarishi'), I made it clear that it was a first print in both the "variant" and "notes" portion of my request form.

Thus the conclusion I got is based on said policies. Which I am not mad at them for doing since they are being paid to just grade and encase the game I sent them. Something I am fine with. Because CAS is one of those companies that tried to be more and got in trouble in the end.

What ended up being an issue for me are e-retailers that put grades before rarity. A part of me feels like they use VGA's lack of interest in updating their labels (see CAS's labels as an example) as an excuse to do just that. It is why I got rid of my previous collection before starting over. 😩

As for "magical databases"... I prefer completists that focus on anything that I am currently interested in. Here is one of those examples: https://mobile.twitter.com/zation5

At the end of the day, I don’t think it really matters too much if a grading company mentions “first print”. A lot of the casual collectors likely won’t care. And for ones that do, then they’d likely know what a first print looks like without the need for the grading company to mention it. Also, if you plan to sell such an item, you can always list it as “first print” in your description with your reasoning.

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3 hours ago, GPX said:

At the end of the day, I don’t think it really matters too much if a grading company mentions “first print”. A lot of the casual collectors likely won’t care. And for ones that do, then they’d likely know what a first print looks like without the need for the grading company to mention it. Also, if you plan to sell such an item, you can always list it as “first print” in your description with your reasoning.

All I can say is that was my overall feeling when I was introduced to Heritage Auctions. But I am not one of them. 😅

I am one of those collectors that wants to have their "black label/Y-seam/error" copy of Final Fantasy VII be verified as such. Because that is where the fun in collecting post-NES era games lies for somebody like me. Especially when said 2017 game is found to be worth less graded than raw. And years later find out that sellers like RetroGameCabinetレトしま can make more if the game is graded higher even if it is not a first print with a time-limited bonus.

So all I can repeat is that I collect Japanese releases because I play U.S. releases (an translated ROMs if I am limited to that). And having my copy be given the same treatment as a U.S. release is why I am edging towards using Wata in 2021. But in regards to others, I will always recommend VGA to them. Simply because their preferences are not my own, and outside their past blunders I see no reason to question their grading and/or cases. 👍

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On topic: I’m still collecting VGA and actually converting the few WATA games I have to VGA.  The couple WATA games I have show some slight pressure on the corners of the game box.  I also don’t like the size of the box, which starts to be relevant when you have hundreds of graded titles.  There are many positives with WATA and I’m glad they are in the market, but some of their promises have yet to be fulfilled.  As a side note, the connection between Heritage Auctions and WATA is distasteful to me.  I would have preferred a truly independent marketplace.

 

Off topic: I used to live quite close to Adam (rarebucky).  During that era, I went to his house countless times and spent a bit of time with his collection.  I’ve never seen anything to suggest that he gets special treatment from VGA.  I’ve personally witnessed some of his titles come back with lower grades on resubmission.  As for Adam selling ungraded, I haven’t spoken with him recently, but he’s a VERY discerning collector.  If a game wont receive a sufficiently high grade, he doesn’t bother submitting the game for a grade.  He has an incredibly accurate eye for predicting what a game will grade, and (in my opinion) the ungraded games he sells fail to meet the condition standard he is seeking for his personal collection.  The volume of games coming through his house is so great that it just isn’t worth grading EVERYthing.

On another off-topic note, I just discovered the death of Nintendo Age, and I’m happy to see that we have a new home!

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22 hours ago, Wolf said:

On topic: I’m still collecting VGA and actually converting the few WATA games I have to VGA.  The couple WATA games I have show some slight pressure on the corners of the game box.  

Are you saying you believe the inner Wata liner is crushing the game? This has been my concern as the few Wata games Ive opened, it shocked me how tight the game was snug in the inside liner. Would be a shame to send years finding a mint copy fo a game only to have the grading damage it. Im not suggesting this is definitively happening, but it's a genuine concern. 

What IS 100 percent positive, is there is massive market manipulation between Wata and HA. HA has access to the census where the public doesn't. Ive also seen sellers with ties to Wata cite census information when, again, buyers do not. This is creating a gross uneven playing field. 

As for Adam, he's not selling graded games atm because he's seeing the market explode with new money. Why risk selling something for X when you can charge X times 10 in six months. He's seeing how this all pays out. 

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