Trading Card Grading
Below are the four primary card grading submission types for PSA.
The cost per card for our most frequently utilized service tiers is shown below. For cards with a maximum declared value of $1,499. REGULAR$ 100 /cardFor cards with a maximum declared value of $1,499. EXPRESS $ 150 per credit card Cards having a maximum reported value of $2,499 are eligible. EXTREMELY EXPRESS For cards with a maximum reported value of $4,999, the fee is $300 per card. REHOLDER$ 25 /card REHOLDER Tallboy cards with a maximum reported value of $4,999 are eligible for this promotion.
See the full range of prices
CardAutograph Dual Grading Service
There are two grades and one label. Receive an authentication certificate and a grade for your autographed trading cards, as well as a grade for the card itself. It is simple to send your autographed cards to PSA for evaluation. More information may be found here.
The Benefits of PSA Grading
PSA has created a worldwide grading system for trading card collectors that is widely recognized and accepted.
Trading Card PSA Price Guide
Both collectors and dealers benefit from the PSA-graded card pricing guide, which has been produced by the company to provide greater stability in the marketplace.
PSA surrounds each trading card in a tamper-evident, sonically sealed casing to prevent unauthorized access. These beautiful, durable plastic cases offer excellent protection against pressure and the majority of other types of harm. Once your cards have been encased, you may be confident that they will be protected from future wear and tear.
To assist card collectors, the PSA has established a Set Registry, and the possibilities for building unique and entertaining trading card sets are nearly limitless.
PSA can assist you in getting the most out of your cards. Cards that have been validated and graded by PSA fetch astronomical sums at auction.
We’ve Got the Facts!
Obtaining information about your favorite PSA-graded trading cards has never been easier than it is today. With PSA CardFacts ®, you can find expert narratives, collecting articles, prices, populations, and checklists all in one convenient location.
How to Get Cards Graded by PSA 2021 (The Defentive Guide)
If you have any questions or concerns about our PSA card grading guide, please contact us at [email protected] or send a direct message to the Gold Card Auctions Facebook page. PSA, which is an abbreviation for Professional Sports Authenticator, is a well-known name in the world of sports card grading. Despite the controversies around the company’s escalating rates, it provides a broad range of important services, such as:
- Single-card grading
- Unopened-pack grading
- Autograph authentication
- Price evaluations
- And other services are available.
For the sake of our investigation, we’re looking at how the PSA grades its playing cards. This method and its rewards will become more familiar to you as time goes on, and you will be better prepared to submit your own cards and packs to PSA for ratings and assessments. PSA Grading vs SGC Grading vs BGS Grading is a topic that has been discussed previously.
Is It Worth Getting Your Card Graded by PSA?
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2021 Bowman Draft Hobby BoxSHOP NOW Generally speaking, if you feel you have a high-value card in your possession, it is worth your time and effort to submit the card for a PSA grade. The following benefits accrue from having the PSA seal of approval:
- The ability to verify that your card is genuine and in excellent working order It increases the market value of your card. The ability to submit your card into the PSA Set Registry is provided. Authentication informs potential purchasers that your card is genuine. Ensures that your card’s quality is measured by an approved standard Makes it possible for your cards to compete with those of other vendors who have had similar cards graded by PSA. This membership gives you access to the PSA storage case, which is one of the most effective methods to store and display your cards.
Do some research on the card you are contemplating getting graded before you make a decision (read:Should You Get Your Cards Graded). If a card is valuable enough and in excellent enough condition, obtaining the PSA seal of approval may be well worth the expense of grading and certification. It’s Well Worth Your Time to Read Following that, the best Pokemon Booster Boxes are discussed. Must-Have Lamelo Ball Rookie Cards Among the Best Football Card Packs to Purchase
PSA Grading Cost
As of March 2021, the prices for PSA grading services have risen. Given the increase in tradingcard investment and popularity, as well as the sale of Collectors Universe, the sale of PSA’s parent business was a foregone conclusion. The rate for all types of PSA grading services has more than doubled or almost doubled in recent years. This was a significant development, particularly for individuals who rely on the PSA to grade vast sets of their cards. Having saying that, the pricing remain as they are.
This is the amount of money you anticipate your card will be worth after it has been graded by the PSA.
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $20 per card submission fee, with a ten-card submission minimum (please note that this price is only available to PSA Collectors Club members)
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $50 per card submission fee
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $100 per card submission fee
- $50 per card for cards priced at $499 or less (this is the pricing for non-collectors Club members)
- $50 per card for cards valued at $500 or more
- $50 per card for cards valued at $1,000 or more 100 dollars per card for cards with a value between $500 and $999
- 150 dollars per card for cards with a value between $1,000 and $2,499
- $300 dollars per card for cards with a value between $2,500 and $4,999
- $600 dollars per card for cards with a value between $5,000 and $9,999
Valuation of cards with a Declared Value of $10,000 or more qualify for PSA’s Premium grading choices, which are available only to members of the PSA. Based on the declared value of your card, these alternatives cost $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $5,000, or $10,000, depending on the amount you choose.
How to Submit Your Card To PSA
Your initial step should be to go to PSAcard.com. You’ll see a green circular button with the word “Submit” written on it in the upper righthand corner of the webpage (it’s hard to miss). Your browser will take you to a Sign-In screen when you click on the button. To access PSA, you’ll need to sign up for an account if you don’t already have one. Immediately following your sign-in, you’ll be prompted to fill out the following information:
- The sort of object you are sending (for example, a standard card, a giant card, packs, or other similar items)
- The service you are asking (grade, autograph review, authenticity review, or reholder)
- The date you are requesting the service
- And The Declared Value of the card(s) you are submitting is the sum of the following: Each card that you are providing should be described in detail
- Please provide shipping and billing information.
Having completed this step, you are now prepared to submit your card to the PSA for an official grade, or for any other service you want.
PSA Card Grading Locations
A PSA Dealer may assist you in preparing your card for grading and can also provide further assistance in person during the grading process. Please visit to locate a location that is convenient for you. Its headquarters are located at 10 Woodbridge Center Dr., Suite 701, Woodbridge, NJ 07095, and it employs around 100 people. The phone number for PSA Grading is 1-800-325-1121. It is possible to access the new PSA Grading web page by going to
Concepts to Understand Before Submitting Your Card
When submitting cards for grading, there are several common causes of misunderstanding, according to PSA. Specifically, two notions may be of interest to you in order to ensure that the grading process runs as smoothly as possible:
- Minimum Grade (explainer from PSA)
- Declared Value (explainer from PSA)
- Minimum Grade (explainer from PSA)
These principles, like so many other things in life, are simple enough to comprehend when given the correct instruction. PSA’s explainers should be of great assistance in this situation.
Steps to Take Before Sending Your Card In
If you are mailing in your card(s), PSA requests that you include two copies of your completed submission form with each card you send in. Print three copies of the document: two for inclusion in the bundle and one for your personal keeping.
Use one of the ways for cleaning your cards that will not cause damage to them if you chose to do so. Because it necessitates extreme caution, it may not be worth your time if you are afraid that you may inadvertently do any damage to the card.
How to Package Your Card
In order to protect each card, PSA suggests that it be placed in a flexible card pouch before being placed in a harder, semi-rigid plastic sleeve (which it conveniently sells on its eStore). It expressly indicates that you should not utilize screw-down or snap casings since doing so would cause the time it takes for you to acquire a grade to be delayed further. Assemble your cards by stacking them (inside their plastic wrappers) on top of one another. Place a piece of cardboard at the bottom of the pile to protect it from damage.
- The card at the top of the stack should match to the first item on your card submission form, as seen in the image below.
- Place a second cardboard barrier on top of your stack to protect it.
- Rubber bands may be used to hold the cards in place by wrapping them around the stack.
- Place your deck of cards in a cardboard box with bubble wrap, packing popcorn, or other materials that will keep the cards from moving around.
- Make sure to seal the box, add the shipping label, and also attach the Submission ID label that PSA will supply to the package.
Who to Send Your Card to (PSA Grading Address)
PSA is based in the Southern California region. Please use the shipping address and method that correspond to the official PSA submission addresses provided below, even if it means supplying information that is not particular to you. TOP WAYNE GRETZKY ROOKIE CARDS ARE IN THIS YEAR’S TREND. The addresses and delivery methods shown on this page may change at any moment. International submissions may also necessitate the use of specialized delivery methods. When submitting your cards to PSA, make sure to include the most up-to-date and customized information possible.
How the Grading Process Generally Works / How Long It Takes
In most cases, the level of service that you choose will be determined by the worth of the cards that you submit. This will have an influence on the amount of time it takes to grade your card. PSA will send you an email to advise you that your card has been received. Following that, it will:
- You must enter your order into the company’s grading system database. Create unique order numbers for each of your business cards. Update your Orders page to include more information about your contributions, if needed. Notify you if there are any faults or problems with your order (if there are any problems with your order)
- Stick stickers to the back of each card, which will allow PSA (and you) to track your academic progress over time. Calculate an approximate delivery date for your purchase
- Investigate each of your cards to guarantee its accuracy, and then give you an email stating that each card has been investigated and found to be accurate
- Identify any mistakes or cards that are not eligible for grading and notify you of them
- Sort your cards according to their value
- Create an official PSA Lighthouse Label for each eligible card and attach it to the card. Place your card and Lighthouse Label in the PSA case that has been trademarked
- Check the correctness of your card and grade by going through it again. Confirm the shipping details for your return
- Please get your card returned to you.
There is no way to predict how long it will take to grade your card with any precision. There are a number of variables to consider. Once your card has been received by PSA, order updates will be the most reliable method of estimating when the grading process will be finished.
Criteria PSA Uses to Grade Your Card
Until defects are introduced into the game, your card is deemed perfect.
The following are examples of flaws that might lower the grade of your card:
- The card has been miscut
- There is a flaw in the way your card has been produced
- Soiled cards
- Cards with frayed edges or corners
- Cards with stains on them cards that have imperfections, which are sometimes called as markings
- Out-of-focus images on greeting cards
Here are some of the key criteria that PSA utilizes to evaluate cards, including those that you may submit yourself.
How to get cards graded for free by PSA?
Contrary to common perception, PSA does not provide a free service for grading baseball cards. PSA Photograde, on the other hand, is a service that they provide. PSA Photogradeis a free tool that provides users with a visual tour of the PSAGrading Standards and how they relate to their cards, allowing them to obtain a better grasp of the standards.
PSA Grades Scale
PSA assigns grades to cards on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. Individual grades are as follows: 1 – Unsatisfactory (PR 1) 1.5 – Acceptable (FR 1.5) 2 – Very good (GOOD) 3 – Excellent in Every Way (VG 3) 4- Very Good-Excellent (out of 5) (VG-EX 4) 5 – Exceptional (EX 5) 6-Excellent-Mint condition (EX-MT 6) 7 – Almost Mint (NM 7) 8 – Near-Mint-Mint condition (NM-MT 8) Mint (number 9) (MINT 9) Gem Mint is at number 10 on the list (GEM-MT 10) It is reasonable to anticipate that the market value of your unique card will increase in proportion to your score.
Conclusion – You’reReady to Have Your Cards Graded
Regardless of whether or not you select PSA as your card grading service of choice, you now have all of the information you need to get the process underway.
The Best Grading Card Companies of 2021
Since their inception in the early 1990s, grading card firms have established themselves as a cornerstone in the trading card market. Due to the record demand for sports cards in the year 2020, the demand for grading services in 2021 is exceptionally strong, resulting in multi-month delays for most card grading services in the industry. No guarantee can be made as to the grade a card will receive, but a Gem-Mint or Pristine card will significantly increase the value of a trading card, causing card collectors and investors to submit thousands, if not millions, of cards each year for grading to increase the value of their collections.
My top selections are presented at the conclusion of this post.
Best Card Grading Companies in 2021
- Prices range from $20 to $250 per card, depending on the amount of service (see below)
- 1 to 10 on a grading scale with 1 being poor and 10 being flawless, including.5 points (e.g., 8.5). Service offerings include modern and antique card grading, authenticity, and comic book grading. Turnaround time varies and is now delayed until February 2021
- For more information, see Beckett Grading. Year of establishment: 1999
Beckett Grading Services, which was established in 1999 and has its headquarters in Yorba Linda, California, is one of the most well-known grading services in the trading card market. Both modern (1981 – present) and antique (1980 and earlier) sports cards are graded by Beckett, who describes his service as “a high-quality sports card grading service.” The Beckett “Black Label” is incredibly valuable in the trading card market, commanding exceptionally high prices. For example, in December 2020, a 2003 Topps Chrome LeBron James BGS 10 RC card sold for around $89,000.
- BGS-10-Pristine cards get the highest resale prices on the market. a well-known brand with a good reputation
- Inside the plastic casing, there is an inside sleeve.
- BGS 10-Pristine is exceedingly difficult to come by. Unlike other vintage card catalogs, this one is not as thorough as others. Turnaround times that are delayed (as of February 2021)
- Depending on the service level and order amount (see below), prices range from $6 to $20 per card. 1. Fair to Gem-Mint on a 10-point scale, with.5 points (for example, 8.5) being the lowest possible score. Check out GMA Grading for more information. Turnaround time: Varies and is delayed as of February 2021
- Services: card grading
- Year Founded: 2000
GMA Grading Services, which was established in 2000 and has its headquarters in Odessa, Florida, is an up-and-coming grading business. “Only $8 per card,” according to the GMA’s value proposition on its website. What’s the point of paying more?
“Cards for Sports and Non-Sports.” Because GMA does not have the same level of brand awareness as PSA and BGS, they are able to provide lower-priced grading services. I have not personally utilized GMA, but the firm maintains aTestimonials Page that has various testimonials from satisfied consumers.
- The cheapest price among the services evaluated
- Turnaround times for fundamental services are significantly faster than the industry average (as of February 2021)
- In comparison to certain rivals, brand recognition is weaker. Compared to PSA, BGS, and SGA, GMA-10-Gem-Mint cards are worth less.
- Prices range from $20 to $55 per card, depending on the level of service and the amount of the order (see below)
- 1 to 10 on a scale of one to ten (based on the information provided so far)
- Turnaround time: This varies (see below for further information)
- Card grading is one of the services provided. According to what I can learn, the company was founded in 2021.
Hybrid Grading Approach (HGA), which was established in 2021 and has its headquarters in Seymour, Tennessee, is a brand-new grading service. According to the company’s website, “HGA is transforming the business by introducing software that will allow users to scan, evaluate, and grade cards without the use of subjectivity.” I believe that technology will play a large part in card grading in the future, but this is a novel notion that will take some time to become widely accepted and implemented.
- Grading was made more objective through the use of technology, which increased uniformity and reduced subjectivity. Pricing is determined on turnaround time rather than card value
- Color-coordinated slab labels to match the team’s colors
- Technology that is new and untested
- A lack of a comprehensive card catalog
- The market value of the HGA 10-Gem-Mint is still unknown
- Generally, the lowest grading price is more than that of rivals (for example, $20 instead of $8-10)
- Prices range from $20 to $5,000 per card, depending on the amount of service (see below)
- The grading scale ranges from 1-Poor to 10-Gem-Mint, with.5 points (for example, 8.5) and qualifiers (for example, off center, staining, print defect) included. Turnaround time: Varies and is mainly suspended until May 2021, according to PSA Grading
- See also Modern and vintage card grading, unopened pack grading, autograph authenticity, original photograph authentication, ticket grading, and sports memorabilia authentication are some of the services available. The year when the company was established was 1991.
Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), which was founded in 2001 and has its headquarters in Santa Ana, California, is one of the most well-established and popular brands in the card grading industry. PSA has processed approximately 30 million cards and collectibles with a cumulative declared worth of over a billion dollars, according to the PSA website. PSA is well-known in the card grading market for its high standards. Collectors and investors routinely pay considerable premiums for PSA 10-Gem-Mint cards even compared to Gem-Mint rated cards from other grading agencies.
- PSA 10-Gem-Mint is valued more than any other ‘Gem-Mint’ grades available in the market. a well-known brand with a good reputation
- A large collection of modern and vintage greeting cards
- Grading has been suspended until May 2021. There will be no half-point grade between 9 and 10 (for example, 9.5)
- Prices range from $10 to $25 per card, depending on the level of service and the amount of the order (see below)
- 1. Poor to 10-Gem-Mint on a scale of 1-10
- Includes five-point values (for example, 8.5)
- Turnaround time: 2-10 days, with the possibility of delays, according to ISA. Grading
- Card grading is one of the services provided. 2010 was the year when the company was established.
international sports authentication (ISA) was established in 2010 and has its headquarters in New Hudson, Michigan. ISA is a new grading service in the card grading market that was founded in 2010. According to the ISA website, the firm was founded in order to give card collectors with a grade choice other than the 3 that was available at the time of its inception. Customer satisfaction is usually high when grading experiences include rapid turnaround, uniform grade distribution, and a high-quality product—all at an affordable price, according to the firm.
- In comparison to rivals, our costs are competitive
- Our turnaround times look to be less impacted in 2021
- In comparison to certain rivals, brand recognition is weaker. ISA 10-Gem-Mint grades are expected to capture lower values than rivals, however there is insufficient data available for my investigation to substantiate this hypothesis
- Prices range from $30 to $3,750 per card, depending on the quality of service (see below)
- 1 to 10 on a grading scale with 1 being poor and 10 being flawless, including.5 points (e.g., 8.5). Turnaround time: Varies and is currently delayed as of February 2021, according to SGC Grading
- Services include current and historical card grading, as well as uniform authentication. The company was founded in 1998.
SGC, which was created in 1998 and has its headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida, is a well-established grading firm with a long history. Despite the fact that it has been in operation since 1998, SGC is less well-known among current card collectors than PSA and Beckett. According to the SGC website, the company has “consistently established the industry standard in terms of consistency, integrity, and the overall quality of services.” This assertion is reinforced by the fact that card collectors have historically paid premiums for SGC 10-Gem-Mint cards.
On eBay, you can get Michael Jordan rookie cards.
- 10 Gem-Mint SGC cards are valued similarly to Beckett Gem-Mint cards and somewhat more than GMA cards. a well-known brand with a good reputation
- Vintage cards are especially plentiful in this extensive card database.
- SGC 10-Gem-Mint captures less value than PSA 10-Gem-Mint
- Yet, both capture value.
Comparing card grade market value
The market value of a card is determined by two factors: the company and the grade. In order to determine which card grading firm to utilize, it is necessary to understand the market worth of the card you intend to grade.
This may be determined by the company and the grade of the card. I did an investigation of the 2018 Panini Prizm Luka Doncic Base RC280 to see how much the grading company and grade affect the market value of a card. I used the following parameters to create my model:
- PWCC Market Price Research was used to determine auction prices exclusively. The time period during which the Luka Prizm base280 was transacted by the greatest number of grade business + grade combinations was identified. I used the month of September 2020. Ten transactions from September 2020 were included, and when sufficient data was available, I used the average
- Otherwise, I utilized less than ten transactions. Due to a lack of data, a grading company and/or grades were eliminated from consideration. Prices that are indexed against the PSA 10 price to make comparisons easier
Results of card grade market value analysis
|BGS 9 Mint||$390||10||0.30|
|PSA 8.5||No data available|
|ISA||No data available|
|HGA||No data available|
Despite the fact that this study is limited to a single card, there are numerous intriguing insights to be gained from this analysis:
- BGS 10-Pristine (BGS 10-Pristine) Graded cards are worth 3-4 times the value of PSA 10-Gem-Mint cards
- PSA 10-Gem-Mint cards are worth 3-4 times the value of graded cards. Rated cards from BGS, SGC, and GMA are valued at 1.5-2x the value of Gem-Mint grades (note: BGS 9.5 = “Gem-Mint”)
- GMA graded cards are consistently valued lower than those from PSA, BGS, and SGC
- And GMA graded cards are consistently valued lower than those from PSA, BGS, and SGC.
Items you may need before you submit cards for grading
Unfortunately, there are just a few elements you may require before submitting your cards for grading, and they are as follows: To purchase this item on Amazon, just click on the image.
- Penny sleeves are fragile, thin plastic sleeves that are used as a first line of defense against scratches, fingerprints, and any other form of surface damage on electronic devices. I always purchase Ultra Pro items since I have been satisfied with their products in the past. Semi-rigid card holder: These card holders give a second layer of protection for your cards. (Buy on Amazon.com) In the trading card market, two layers is not excessive
- In fact, it is typical procedure. Card Saver is the most well-known brand, and it is also the one that I use to store and mail my greeting cards. To protect my cards from damage, I use painter’s tape to attach a more firm type of protection around the plastic sleeves that they are housed in. (See Amazon for additional information on painter’s tape). Painter’s tape is one of my favorite types of tape since it is easy to cut into pieces with my hands and remove the tape off surfaces. (Buy on Amazon.) Bubble wrap (or other protective material): Bubble wrap (or other protective material) can be used to wrap your card holders as an additional layer of protection. I strongly advise adding an additional layer of protection, although bubble wrap is simply one method. I store my items in cardboard boxes and packing paper, although bubble wrap is very effective. (Purchase through Amazon.com)
When it comes to shipping, the most essential thing to remember is to make sure your cards are secured. I’ve sent a lot of cards using a mix of penny sleeves, semi-rigid card holders, painter’s tape, cardboard box pieces, and packing paper, and I’ve never had a problem with cards getting damaged in the mail yet.
Top picks for card grading companies in 2021
PSA, BGS, and SGC are the card grading firms that I believe will be the most successful in 2021. The reasons for choosing them are based on my concern for the market worth of my cards and my desire to be able to obtain the best possible prices from potential purchasers. Please bear in mind that my top recommendations are based on my own tastes, not on any statistical criteria. GMA may be the most cost-effective solution for you if you want your cards to be placed in a slab at the lowest possible price.
This year, I will most likely submit a handful of my business cards to HGA in order to learn more about the new technology.
That is by far the most significant component.
Should I Get My Cards Graded by PSA
Some individuals believe that having a card graded boosts the worth of the card. The fact is that some cards sell for less money after they have been assessed, even after paying to have them rated. Some people who are trying to sell their baseball card collections have been informed that “graded baseball cards are worth more money than ungraded baseball cards.” This is a point that professional card grading firms such as PSA and SCGBeckett love to make since it serves as a reason for charging $5 to $15 to grade an ordinary baseball card!
- As the value of the card increases, so do the fees and charges associated with it.
- Some cards, it turns out, actually sell for less money on the secondary market after their owners have paid to have them graded!
- Everything is dependent on the card.
- Having cards properly graded is a costly endeavor that may even detract from the overall value of the card.
- Because professional graders evaluate tougher than we collectors did 20 years ago, certain graded cards sell for far more money than they would otherwise.
- The practice of sending a card to be graded that the owner believes is in NEAR MINT condition and having it come back scored EXCELLENT is fairly typical.
This is especially true if they could have sold it ungraded as “NEAR MINT” for 75% more money. The majority of people who send a collection of cards out to be evaluated for the first time are surprised by the low grades that they obtain in return.
There are hundreds other cards grading lower and selling for a fraction of the price of that one card that rated a “10” and sold for thousands of dollars for that one card. PSA and SGC conduct creative advertisements in which they depict a $5 or $10 card that was graded a “10” and sold for hundreds of dollars, but the card was actually just $5 or $10. The advertisement is technically correct; nevertheless, the underlying reason for the high value of the card is that it is a fantastic card, not because it was graded by PSA.
- Stories like these are few and far between.
- It’s true that they’re both diamonds, after all.
- The great majority of the cards have a lower grade, and the values of the cards continue to decline from there.
- The professional grading industry is often seen to be fraudulent by many collectors.
- This particular process takes around a year and costs the owner thousands of dollars only for the card in question alone.
- Please keep in mind that we are completely “neutral” and unbiased when it comes to professionally graded baseball cards.
- In any case, we make money.
- Among the grading firms that I suggest are the PSA, SGC, and Beckett.
Many collectors prefer ungraded cards
Even if we purchase a card that has been properly graded, we nevertheless evaluate the card ourselves to ensure accuracy. For example, if PSA evaluated a card ExMt and we believe it should have been graded Nr/Mt, we will pay the price for the NrMt grade. If we agree with the grade, we may be required to pay a few dollars more (which is rarely more than the cost of grading!). The “under graded” cards are frequently taken out of the PSA case so that we may sell them for more money than they were originally worth.
- We may sell to both graded and non-graded card collectors due to the fact that we grade on par with everyone else.
- Most true collectors determine the condition of the card by inspecting it and comparing it to other cards in their collection.
- It has been discovered by Dean’s Cards that our graded cards sell at a slower rate than our ungraded cards.
- There have been instances when collectors have purchased a graded card from us and then requested that we remove the card from the case before sending it to them.
- Apart from that, the majority of folks want to really touch the card!
- It is true that you will earn a bit more money for a card that obtains a good grade, but that profit is swiftly offset by the value of your excellent cards that receive low scores.
- They are really beneficial when we acquire a pre-war collection of extremely valuable baseball cards.
It is occasionally worthwhile to spend the money to get a pre-war card validated (especially if it is worth thousands of dollars). As a result, the customer is certain that the card is genuine and real. I hope you find this material useful. Dean Hanley is the author of this piece.
Comprehensive Guide to Card Grading
It is the process of sending a trading card to a third-party agency in order to have it graded. The card is examined for validity and then graded on a scale of one to ten for its condition, as is customary. Finally, the card is awarded an overall grade, sealed in a tamper-proof container, and given a cataloged serial number, which completes the process. In addition to providing verifiable proof of authenticity, card grading also provides a system of accountability through an online database and eliminates the need for subjective condition classifications.
The Specifics of Card Grading
In order to get the most out of your grading assignment, you need be aware of a few things before submitting anything to a card grading company: knowing what cards to grade, choosing a grading provider, and understanding the mechanics of shipping and insurance.
What to Grade
Selection of the appropriate playing cards to grade is a very individual and subjective decision. It is possible to save money on your collection while simultaneously increasing the worth of your collection if you follow a few simple rules. For example, rating any one-of-a-kind card makes little financial sense, despite the fact that many individuals continue to practice this practice. The expense of shipping, grading, insuring, and returning a card is unlikely to improve the value of a card that is already extremely valuable by enough to cover those costs and make them worthwhile.
- Submitting historic cards for grading, in particular, might be a wise investment because of their high value.
- By eliminating the subjectivity of self-assessment, a failsafe method of ensuring that a card is genuinely in the condition claimed by the owner may be established.
- Many collectors make the mistake of neglecting these commons when dealing with older cards.
- Modern prospect and rookie signatures, especially in high-grade condition, are also highly sought for.
The best course of action when deciding which service to utilize is to conduct extensive research. Inquire with fellow collectors, dealers, and the owner of your local hobby shop about the products they use and why they use them. As of right now, there are numerous well-known and respected grading agencies in the hobby, including Professional Sports Authenticators(PSA), Beckett Grading Services(BGS), and Sportscard Guaranty (SGC). In order to grade a range of cards, each card grading firm has its own set of standards.
Collectors can also choose from a variety of various service levels.
There are still a lot of their cards available on the secondary market.
The rise in popularity of grading in the early to mid-1990s resulted in an unusual number of new grading firms being established.
While there are smaller, less well-known firms out there, it is strongly recommended that collectors exclusively entrust their collections to the three companies listed above: PSA, BGS, and SCG. Those are the businesses that have the finest reputation in the hobby.
The Cost of Card Grading
Even though different card grading organizations charge differently, as previously stated, they all charge in accordance with the following criteria:
- The total number of cards that were submitted
- The time frame in which you would need your cards graded and returned
Other elements that might influence the pricing of a service include:
- The monetary worth of the card Whether or if a card having an autograph should be authenticated in addition to being graded
- If the card is an oddball or an irregularly sized card, the following rules apply:
Also bear in mind that you will be needed to pay for both directions of shipment. When submitting to the company, be sure to include the right amount of insurance, delivery confirmation, and signature confirmation in your payment. In order to cover the costs of return shipment, each firm will have its own predetermined price structure. In most cases, this will include insurance. It should be noted that each major grading business exhibits at sports card and memorabilia events on a regular basis throughout the year.
A significant amount of money may be saved on shipping and insurance expenses.
How to Submit Cards for Grading
Before sending your cards in to be graded, you may want to make sure you have the following resources on hand:
- The following items may be required before your cards may be evaluated before they can be sent in:
While the specifics of the technique may differ from one firm to the next, the fundamentals are the same. They entail filling out a submission form and packaging cards to be sent to the grading center for evaluation. Before beginning the submission process, make sure you review the individual submission policies of each firm. However, the following are broad recommendations that may be applied to any company. As soon as you have finished the card grading submission form, prepare your cards for mailing by placing each one in a penny sleeve and then into a semi-rigid holder, such as those from the famous Card Saver series.
- Most grading agencies will not grade cards that are received in this manner, and will instead return them to you ungraded.
- This will ensure that they do not sag or bend.
- Check to see that the rubber bands are not too tightly wrapped.
- Rubber bands that are too tight may cause harm to your cards.
- Insert the card bundle inside the box and fill the remaining space with other items.
- Non-clear packing tape should be used to completely cover the box, rather than simply the box edges.
- To ensure that your submission form is accurate, keep a copy of it for your records.
- Aside from that, certain card grading businesses allow collectors to choose a minimum grade that is acceptable for their cards.
- Although the card has been processed, graded, and returned, the collector will still be charged the full cost of doing so.
This is an excellent customer service gesture that can also save money for collectors. Check the company’s website to see whether this is something they provide.
Receiving Your Order
When you receive your order, make sure to thoroughly inspect everything. Correspondingly, cross-reference the contents of the package with the packing slip and a copy of the original submission form. Verify that the cards have been correctly cataloged by putting the card number into the company’s database to ensure that the grade on the label corresponds to the card you have in your possession.
Storage, Archival and Display
Keeping and presenting your graded cards is made easier with a variety of alternatives available. Because of the size of an encased graded card, special-sized packaging are required. They range in complexity from simple corrugated cardboard boxes to ornate wood and velvet-lined archival storage boxes. The selection is based on personal preference and financial constraints. However, regardless of the approach you use, be certain that your graded cards are not able to slide into one another. Scratching is a common problem with the card capsules.
Exhibit cases that allow you to slide cards into locked trays, display in several rows, and may be wall-mounted provide an outstanding presentation for displaying any graded card collection.
Beckett Refer & Save
The Stamford Marriott is located at 243 Tresser Boulevard in Stamford, Connecticut, United States.
Submissions from the comfort of your own home
- 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 26, 2022 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 27, 2022
MARCH 4Friday, 2022
Valley Forge Casino Resort Convention Center1160 First AvenueKing of Prussia, PA 19406 United States Valley Forge Casino Resort Convention Center
Submissions from the comfort of your own home
- On Friday, March 4th, 2022, from 3:00 to 8:00 pm. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, March 5, 2022 (Pacific Standard Time). Sunday, March 6, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
MARCH 18Friday, 2022
555 N River Rd., Rosemont, IL 60018, United States of America Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Authentication of Autographs on-site Submissions from the comfort of your own home
- The time is 3:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2022. On Saturday, March 19, 2022, the hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, 2022
MARCH 25Friday, 2022
The MGM Grand Hotel is located at 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd. in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
On-site Autograph AuthenticationRaw/Graded Card ReviewAutograph Authentication
- From 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on Friday, March 25, 2022, you can get your work done! On Saturday, March 26, 2022, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, there will be no admission charge. From 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Sunday, March 27, 2022
Where to Get Cards Graded in Person & Why
Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate connections to eBay, Amazon, and other platforms throughout the text, as well as in the sidebar advertisements and in other places of the site. Because I am a member of the eBay Partner Network and other affiliate programs, I will get a compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my affiliate links. In the same way, as an Amazon Associate, I receive commissions from qualifying sales. Update as of July 2021: The Professional Sports Collectors Association (PSA) has stated that they will be grading cards in person at the National Sports Collectors Convention in 2021.
- “.all “End of Show” orders must be placed and received by Saturday, July 31, at 12 noon Central Daylight Time (CDT).” Orders for “End of Day” service must be received by 12 noon CDT in order to be processed the same day.
- PSA: Please review the price information on this page for “walk-through” services.
- I recently submitted my first playing card for grading, which was received well.
- I was the one who picked the card, and it was very spectacular; this was around two weeks before the MLB playoffs were supposed to begin.
- The value of a PSA 10 at the time was around $400 (why are graded cards worth more money?
- I was under the impression that I could send the card in via the express option (the cost of grading would be $70) and that I would receive the card back in time to profit on the value of the card if the White Sox advanced further in the playoffs.
- Just to put it simply, Alt (among other things) provides a new exchange where you can buy and sell cards.
- (Learn more about Alternative here.) If you’re interested in giving Alt a try, you can get a free $25 spending credit by visiting this referral link and creating an account.
- To cut a long tale short, the card gemmed, and I was overjoyed, but I had lost the window opportunity.
- I begin with that because submitting a card to be evaluated may be nerve-wracking, and the procedure, especially at this time of year, is fraught with uncertainties.
The culmination of all of this led to the question of where you could go to get your cards evaluated in person. Even if you already know the answer, which is something along the lines of “well, you can’t,” there are certain pearls that anyone who is thinking the same question should be aware of.
PSA In-Person Grading Options
If you go to the website, you can see a list of the shows that PSA will be visiting. This notice is located farther down the page: Grading on the job site — At some of the exhibitions listed above, one-day (24-hour) grading will be offered in the vicinity of the event. Please stop by with your cards and see what all the fuss is about with PSA grading! Turnaround times vary depending on demand; please consult with show personnel for the most up-to-date turnaround time. Please keep in mind that this is a preliminary timetable.
Many in-person shows have been postponed as a result of COVID’s continued presence, and even when events are permitted to go, you can expect lower attendance and a lower likelihood that the PSA will be present and accessible for in-person grading.
It also includes a list of the services that will be provided at each event.”
On the same resource page, there is a section that discusses how to make arrangements for dropping off goods at one of the PSA offices. It appears that the option may be restricted to the Woodbridge, NJ location, with the Southern California location accepting appointments only, which are limited and made on a case-by-case basis for high-value and high-volume submissions. The Woodbridge, NJ location appears to be the only location accepting appointments. Now, given our current 2020 scenario, I’m not sure how up to date this is, so it’s definitely better to contact and double-check your alternatives before proceeding forward.
One component of the same web page deals with the logistics of dropping off things at one of the PSA’s regional offices. Appointments are required for high-value and high-volume submissions and are only available at the Woodbridge, NJ site, with the Southern California office taking appointments on a case-by-case basis for submissions of low value and high volume. Given our present 2020 scenario, I’m not sure how up to date this is, so it’s definitely better to contact and ask about your alternatives before proceeding.
You can also visit their website.
Beckett Raw Card Review
For those who want to study their cards in person, Beckett offers a raw card review service, which is advertised as allowing consumers to have an idea of what their cards may be rated before submitting them to the company. “Offered at the Beckett booth at a trade fair near you!” is one of the selling elements and points of comparison amongst grading services.
Why Grade Cards in Person?
For those who prefer to evaluate their cards in person, Beckett offers a raw card review service, which is advertised as allowing customers to have an idea of what their cards would be rated before submitting them to the site.
One of the marketing aspects and points of comparison amongst grading services is that they are “offered at the Beckett booth at a show near you! “.
Should I Get My Vintage Sports Cards Graded?
Alternatively, Beckett provides a raw card evaluation service, which is billed as allowing consumers to have an idea of what their cards may be rated as before actually submitting them. One of the selling elements and points of comparison between grading services is “Offered at the Beckett booth at a show near you!
Let’s not go too far ahead of ourselves here: There are some exceptions to this rule. Card collectors who own vintage cards of Babe Ruth,Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, and Cy Young, as well as midgrade or better cards from sets such as the 1909-11 T206 or Excellent or better cards from the 1952 Topps Baseballcard set, may benefit from having their cards authenticated as genuine and unaltered, even if the cards are not in exceptionally high grade. There is little doubt that if there were a clear and fast rule, this would be a no-brainer, and everyone’s reaction would be the same every time.
Let’s not go too far ahead of ourselves here. It is possible to make an exception. It is beneficial to have your vintage cards authenticated as legitimate and unaltered, even if they are not in extremely high grade. Examples include Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, and Cy Young, as well as midgrade or better cards from sets such as the 1909-11 T206 or Excellent or better cards from the 1952 Topps Baseballcard set. In the event that there were a clear and fast rule, this would be a no-brainer, and the response would be the same each and every time.
Common novice collector misconceptions
- The loupe and the magnifying glass were obtained, and now I’ll be able to assess the state of my playing cards like an expert! “My cards haven’t been cut in half, and they haven’t been stuck in the spokes of my bicycle.” “They have to be in pristine shape!” “I’ll merely grade my cards and their worth (as well as my profit when I sell them) will treble (or triple)!”
Some tough love
We’ve seen individuals spend ridiculous amounts of money on LED magnifiers, measuring gadgets, and loupes that are powerful enough to distinguish between the sexes of fruit flies. These tools are fantastic if you know what you’re doing with them, but if you don’t know what you’re doing with them, they are no better than having a $10,000 box of mechanics’ tools if you have no idea how to fix a car. Something as simple as a wrench and some duct tape may be just as useful as more complicated tools.
So you’re looking to spend hundreds of dollars on loupes and lights?
In addition to being a waste of time, using a 10x loupe on every single card is completely unnecessary.
When you’re trying to discover precise details or when you’re seeking to eradicate anything, magnifying glass should be your best friend.
If you can’t notice a fault with your naked eye, there’s a good chance that the grader won’t be able to see it too. Rather than implying that you are OVERLOOKING a problem, the caveat is that you are unable to perceive it with the naked eye.
Factors to consider before grading
CONDITION: The most crucial element to consider is the condition. The value of over-produced cards in top grade will almost always increase if they are rated in excellent condition. When grading a card, there is often a value threshold at which the card’s worth does not alter or improve when graded. Our online grading guide will assist you in understanding how to grade your sports cards if you want to gain a general impression of the condition of the cards. AVAILABILITY: It is a straightforward notion based on the laws of supply and demand.
Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout will always be more appealing to the general public than Mickey Klutts and Dizzy Trout, despite the fact that they are not related.
It might take months, if not years, for this to happen.
A case study in value and card grading (as of August 2016)
Before you get all euphoric and believe you’ve got everything worked out, consider the following scenario, which illustrates how you’ll be squandering money if you don’t win the grading lottery. Pro tip: the majority of individuals do not possess the necessary vision or knowledge to win this wager. Upper Deck was released in 1993. SP Derek Jeter trading cards are quite popular in the hobby. They’re also quite sensitive to environmental conditions. They are a great illustration of how grading can be a losing proposition if you are not paying attention, are unclear of the condition, or do not respect and completely understand the process.
Three examples of SP Jeters from 1993 are shown here.
Second, in the middle, is a PSA 7 NM card that has been properly graded Near Mint and is expected to retail for around $125 when it is published.
If you are not going to score a PSA 8 (or higher) on the card, you are better off not grading it.
Because a raw NM card will sell for approximately the same amount as a graded NM card, and because you will not be required to pay the grading charge, which will be approximately $30.00 or more in grading and shipping fees, you should consider doing so (not including the expense of a grading membership).
Suppose you’re fortunate enough to receive an A+ to B+ grade, you’ll still have to reduce the around $30.00 in grading charges, resulting in a net profit of approximately $320 if all goes according to plan.
However, it is because of the PSA 9 and PSA 10 instances that so many people are clamoring to grade this card.
It’s possible that you’d be better off investing a few bucks in the lottery.
Learn about the marketplace and set reasonable expectations for yourself and your team. Inquire about things. Take the time to understand the responses. Prepare yourself and don’t be disappointed if, for example, you discover that your collection of 1987 Topps Baseball cards isn’t going to be enough to pay for your children’s college tuition. Just because a card in your collection is advertised for sale on eBay for $10,000.00 does not imply that it will sell for anything close to that much on the secondary market.
How much does condition matter?
PSA has graded these two 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball cards, both of which are seen above. One has a PSA 2 (which is considered a low grade), whilst the other has a PSA 8.5 (high grade) (a very high grade for this card). They may not appear to be very different, but the differences in values between them are, to put it mildly, considerable. The PSA 2 will have a value ranging from around $10,000 to $15,000. The PSA 8.5, on the other hand, will almost certainly sell for more over half a million dollars.
How to do research on eBay
The easiest approach to evaluate the potential worth of your card(s) or collection is to study closed sales on eBay (those that have concluded and have GREEN numbers – not closed auctions that DID NOT SELL). Being able to match the condition or extrapolate a valuation parameter will also assist you in arriving at a more accurate estimate of the worth of the asset. However, you must ensure that you are comparing apples to apples. If you are serious in learning the values of graded cards, there are several resources available.
Furthermore, the learning curve is not as straightforward as memorizing a multiplication table.
When it comes to age, it is generally accepted that the older, the better.
So, should you get your baseball cards or sports cards evaluated for grading?
Do not forget to get in touch with us when you’re ready to sell!