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.
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. In the event that you insist on having your cards graded, please do yourself a favor and submit only a small number of cards so that you can test the findings. Among the grading firms that I suggest are the PSA, SGC, and Beckett. The remainder are completely worthless.
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.
- As a result, the customer is certain that the card is genuine and real.
- Dean Hanley is the author of this piece.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Card Graded?
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. Please keep in mind that some of the information below may be out of current from time to time due to the constantly changing data and pricing from each of the card grading firms.
- Consequently, if you’re contemplating having your cards graded and assessing the expenses of each service, you should examine the websites of each provider directly for the most up-to-date information.
- To put it another way, you’re simply handing over the reins of what is most likely an extremely important card – either in terms of monetary worth or in terms of its value to your own collection, or both – to someone else to take care of.
- And we haven’t even gotten started on the long wait times and lack of transparency, which are particularly prevalent these days.
- Just to put it simply, Alt (among other things) provides a new exchange where you can buy and sell cards.
- Then, once you’ve made a deposit, you’ll receive $25 in promo credits to go toward the purchase of cards, and I’ll receive the same.
Having said that, grading cards may still be a pleasurable experience for certain people. Is it really necessary to have cards evaluated in the first place? The whole solution will take another day and more work, but cost is a significant factor in this equation, so let’s get started.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Card Graded?
The cost of getting a card evaluated relies on many different aspects, making it a tough subject to conclusively answer. Above all else, the firm with whom you’re grading the card will make the largest difference, since each has it’s own cost structure and distinct selling advantages. While this essay contains a great deal of information, you may just be interested in a few comparison points. To that end, here are some preliminary notes: From then, the pricing will be determined by the type of card, the required turnaround time, and a variety of other parameters.
- Beckett.com: Premium cards with no sub-grades are $125 each card, and Premium cards are $250 per card. More
- Public Service Announcement: Regular $100/card, Express $150/card, Super Express $300/card More
- The SGC takes 45-50 business days and costs $30 each card
- The SGC takes 1-3 business days and costs $250 per card. More
Continue reading, though, to learn more about the various charges and things to keep an eye out for throughout the process. So, with that in mind, the simplest approach to determine how much it will cost to get your card assessed is to begin by contacting the grading firm directly. In other words, decide which firm you want to grade your card and then research how much it would cost to get it graded. The question you might be wondering is, “Won’t cost be a major issue in determining which firm I finally choose to grade with?” According to my judgment, the answer is no.
- It’s possible that the physical appearance and feel of the case will be more important if you’re having a card graded because you desire aslab for maximum safe-keeping in your personal collection.
- In contrast, if you’re grading a card with the intention of reselling it, you might want to go with the firm that gives the highest resale value for that card, and the cost of grading isn’t as important to you in this case.
- This is a pattern that we can repeat indefinitely.
- And in that scenario, I might wonder why I even bothered to get the card evaluated in the first place.
- In addition, please keep in mind that the turnaround times given for the various firms are almost certainly all significantly affected right now).
PSA Grading Cost
To grade cards with PSA: (Please note that according to the PSA’s July Update, “July 1 has arrived, and as previously announced on March 30, we are restoring service levels on a tiered basis.”) Because of the results of a consumer survey, data analysis, and extensive deliberation, we have decided to be even more cautious than we had anticipated in March.
Express is once again available for $200 and may be found on the PSA Online Submission Center.” (More information may be found here.)
- $20/card (not currently available)
- Economy: $50/card (not currently available)
- Regular: $100/card (not currently available)
- Express: $200 (not currently available)
- Super Express: $300/card
- Walk-Through: $600/card (not currently available).
Keep in mind that, depending on your requirements, there are a variety of additional PSA services available. As an example, the cost of having a regular card or tallboy reslabbed, or as PSA refers to it, a “reholder” (placed in a new case), is $10 per card (turnaround times vary). As you can see from the options below, you can also select to have a card authenticated and slabbed, but not graded.
BGS Gading Cost
To grade cards with Beckett: (Please keep in mind that Beckett will halt any grading submissions other than those at the Premium Level. The consumer will get an ungraded refund of any items placed under the Express, Standard, and Economy levels of service.” This was done in an attempt to catch up on the backlog of cards that were waiting to be graded at the time of this writing. (More information may be found here.)
- In the economy, a $35 credit card is good for 30 days (not currently available)
- In the standard, a $50 credit card is good for 10 days (not currently available)
- In the express, a $150 credit card is good for 5 days (not currently available). Premium: $250 per card, turnaround time of two days (currently projected turnaround times)
It should be noted that costs are lower if you only desire one grade without any subgrades. In addition, you may come across BCCG cards, which are graded by Beckett but are not part of the BGS grading procedure. Learn more about what a BCCG 10 is and how it differs from other types of tests such as PSA, BGS, and others.
SGC Grading Cost
To grade cards using SGC, follow these steps:
- Amounts less than $1,500 in declared value: $30 per card, delivered in 20-25 business days
- Amounts less than $3,500 in stated value: $85 per card, delivered in 20-25 business days
- Amounts less than $7,500 in declared value: $250 each card, delivered in 1-2 days More information may be found on the website.
Read more:What Does the Letter “A” Mean in SGC Grading?
HGA Grading Cost
To grade cards using the HGA, follow these steps:
- Best Value: $20 per card, valid for 60 business days
- Popular: $35 per card, valid for 30 business days Very Fast: $50 per card, 10 business days (1-20 cards)
- Very Cheap: $50 per card, 10 business days (1-20 cards)
- The fastest is $75 per card, delivered in two business days (1 to 20 cards)
Other Grading Options
In spite of all of this, if you’re able to submit with a group of people, you may be able to negotiate a better price. For example, if you are a member of StarStock, you can submit your StarStock cards to PSA for grading. At $30 per card, you can get a 20-day Economy Service ($499 Maximum Declared Value Per Card), which costs $499 total. In addition, if you are not already a member of StarStock, you may earn $10 in free credit when you sign up with the code BallcardGenius and then make a $10 deposit; I will also receive $10 in free credit as a thank you in advance!
How Much Does PSA Grading Cost?
Depending on the worth of the card, its age, how many cards you’re submitting at once, how quickly you want your cards back, and a variety of other considerations, the cost of PSA grading may range anywhere from $20 per card to $10,000 per card or more. The cost levels associated with PSA grading are detailed in the table below. Please keep in mind that, as of June 2021, most of PSA’s services were temporarily discontinued as the firm tried to clear off a massive backlog of submissions. Towards the end of 2021, however, PSA declared that some of their most fundamental services will be restored.
Cost:$20 per card with a minimum order of 10 cards. The maximum declared value per card is $499. Turnaround time: not yet available
Economy (likely suspended)
Cost:$50/card The maximum amount that may be declared is $499. Time required for completion: 75 business days
Cost:$100/card The maximum amount that may be stated is $1499.
Return on investment (ROI): 75 business days (original service level — TBA as of January 2022)
Cost:$100/card The maximum amount that may be disclosed is $1,499 US dollars. Return on investment (ROI): 75 business days (Original service level — TBA by January 2022).
Cost:$300/card The maximum amount that may be stated is $4999. As of January 2022, the turnaround time is 2 business days (the original service level is TBA).
Cost:$600/card The maximum amount that may be stated is $9999. As of January 2022, the turnaround time is one business day (the original service level is still to be determined).
Cost:$1000/card The maximum amount that may be disclosed is $24,999. Typical turnaround time is one business day.
Cost:$1000/card The most that may be disclosed is $24,999 dollars. Return on investment in a single business day
Cost:$1000/card The most that may be disclosed is $24,999. Delivery time is one business day.
Cost:$5000/card The maximum amount that may be disclosed is $249,999. Typical turnaround time is one business day.
Cost:$10,000/card The declared value must be at least $250,000. Typical turnaround time is one business day. In order to have a better understanding of how much PSA cards are worth, we recommend that you read our instruction on how to utilize the PSA pricing guide. Of course, PSA rates objects other than cards, and they do a lot more than simply grade things. They also help people. Among their other products and services are:
- Authentication and grading of tickets
- Authentication and grading of packs
- Card authentication and grading Dual grading of the card and the autograph (for signed cards)
- Cards are reholdered (cards that have previously been PSA graded are placed in new holders)
- Dual reholdering of cards and autographs
- Reholdering of tickets
- Reholdering of packs
PSA’s service offerings and price alter from time to time, with the latter occurring more frequently. It’s always a good idea to visit theirservices website to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information possible. A “Collectors Club” is also offered by PSA, and you must be a member of this club in order to receive the “Value” pricing list seen above.
Should You Get Your Cards Graded?
Considering the fees shown above, is it worthwhile to get your cards graded or not? That is, after all, the million-dollar question. or, at the very least, the $20 question, depending on the service level you’re interested in obtaining. The answer requires its own essay, however the following things should be taken into consideration to assist you come closer to a decision:
- What do you *believe* your card would receive on a scale of 1-10? Be brutally honest, and then take a number or two off the top
- Would you be able to sell your card for more money if it earned that grade? You may always look at the “sold” prices on eBay (affiliate link) to get an idea of what people are willing to pay
- Approximately how much higher — or how much less — the prospective selling price may be than the price you paid for the card PLUS the cost of grading
- How difficult would it be to sell the card? What kind of commissions, shipping costs, and other expenses would you have to pay
- When you get your card assessed, what is your goal in doing so?
That last question is, without a doubt, the most significant of all. If you wish to have a card graded for purely aesthetic reasons, or for posterity purposes because you want to retain it for a long time, then the remainder of the bullet points above are likely to be irrelevant to your decision. Grading would increase your love of the hobby, and that is exactly what this entire thing is about, after all. If, on the other hand, you want to make a profit, you’ll need to figure out what a reasonable profit margin will be for you if you decide to have your card graded.
Is it necessary to have your card graded?
In the same way that any investment might produce attractive rewards, grading a card has the potential to pay out in the long run or to bite you in the rear end.
A paid membership to our Baseball Card Market Report weekly will also provide you with a complimentary copy of the book. (You might also be interested in our articles on BGS grading costs and SGC grading expenses. )
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?
The following are the best-selling hobby boxes: 1. 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.
After dropping off the box at your preferred shipper (using the shipping option you choose on the PSA website), you’ll be able to sit back and wait for your cards to be graded.
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.
Should I Get My Vintage Sports Cards Graded?
It’s one of the most often heard refrains around here. Whether it’s over the phone, at someone’s house, at a show, or right here in our office, the question “Should I have my cards graded?” is one that’s virtually always asked at one point or another. Sometimes the query isn’t really a question. “Well, then I’ll get my cards graded and they’ll be worth more!” says one player in a belligerent tone at times. The truth is that the response isn’t always the one that the questioner wants to hear. To the dismay of many new collectors, having cards graded does not necessarily raise the value of the cards in question.
*Please keep in mind that if you’re searching for an explanation of the grading system and its complexity, we have a separate page dedicated to that. Check check the article Everything You Need to Know About Grading Vintage Baseball Cards for more information.
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.
You should only have your cards graded if doing so would improve the value of the cards or make selling them more difficult. You should not get your card graded just because you believe it will increase the worth of your card. The expense of grading cards is not insignificant. Money that is sometimes not refunded since the grades awarded to the cards do not increase the worth of the cards in question. Trying to convey this to someone who believes they’ve figured out the card market by browsing eBay for a few minutes usually doesn’t go down well with the other person.
Knowing what not to grade may be just as beneficial as knowing what to grade, depending on the situation.
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!
When determining the worth of sports cards, the condition of the cards is critical. Many people who are trying to sell their cards are unsure of how to rate them, or, more significantly, how other people will evaluate them, which is understandable. It might be difficult to determine the condition of your cards, and thus, the worth of your collection. Collectors frequently rely on third-party graders, sometimes known as TPGs, to make a condition determination on their behalf. However, learning how to appraise condition for yourself is a valuable skill whether you’re selling or purchasing new material for your own collection.
When it comes to evaluating or grading cards, both modern and old cards are regarded similarly.
A vintage card, despite the fact that it may be more than a century old, is nonetheless held to the same exacting requirements as a card created today. We’ve included descriptions and samples of the qualities of each grade, ranging from MINT to AUTHENTIC, in the sections below.
MINT or MT (PSA 9 or SGC 96):
Conditions play an important role in determining the value of sports cards. There are many people who are trying to sell their baseball cards but are unsure of how to grade their cards or, more significantly, how others will grade their cards. Determine the state of your cards, as well as their monetary worth, can therefore be a difficult endeavor. To make a condition determination for them, collectors frequently use the help of third-party graders (TPGs). However, learning how to appraise condition for yourself is a valuable skill whether you’re selling or purchasing new material for your collection.
When it comes to evaluation or grading, both modern and old cards are considered similarly.
Following are explanations and samples of the attributes associated with each grade, from MINT to AUTHENTIC, listed alphabetically by grade.
Near Mint to Mint or NM/MT (PSA 8 or SGC 88):
A NM/MT card will look to the naked eye to be identical to a MINT card, but upon closer inspection, it may have somewhat less centering and a little touch of wear that may be apparent on a corner. NM/MT cards should be free of faults on the surface such as bends, creases, and stains on both the front and back of the card. All around, the centering ratio must be no worse than 60/40. Orientation and a little tilt Corner ticking and centering are quite light. Tick in the corner Corner wear is really little.
Near Mint or NM (PSA 7 or SGC 84):
When you first look at an NM card, it will appear to be brand new. Although there may be modest fuzziness in the corners and small color or print flaws, the centering must still be 65/35 or better all around, upon closer inspection. Transfer of a light print Minor blemish on the corner Corner ticking as well as centering Minor wear to the corners Corner wear is minimal.
Excellent to Mint or EX/MT (PSA 6 or SGC 80):
An EX/MT card, which is a more common “higher” grade for vintage cards, may have slightly fuzzy corners, color or print imperfections, a slightly skewed cut, or a slightly out-of-focus image, among other characteristics. The centering ratio must be at least 70/30 all around. Corner lift and light corner wear are both present. Corner wear is minimal. Corner wear is minimal. Corner crimping in the reverse direction
Excellent or EX (PSA 5 or SGC 60):
This is a more frequent grade for older cards than the previous one. The corners may show the beginnings of rounding due to normal wear and tear. It is possible that the sheen of the surface may begin to diminish. Cards should still have a centering ratio of at least 75/25, if not better. a significant deviation from the center Corner wear and a small amount of crimping at the corner wear on the corners Back wrinkles that aren’t very noticeable
Very Good to Excellent or VG/EX (PSA 4 or SGC 50):
It is normal for the corners of a VG/EX card to exhibit signs of wear and mild creasing along the edge. The centering ratio must be at least 80/20. On the back of the card, there may be a faint wrinkle or a slight crease that is visible. Cards with more major print flaws, as well as cards with wax stains, will fall into the VG/EX category.
Corner wear and a loss of surface sheen are two of the most common problems. Even wear on the corners Corner wear and the presence of a little foreign substance on the surfaceCorner wear and the absence of a shine on the surface Corner wear and a small amount of crimp
Very Good or VG (PSA 3 or SGC 40):
Generally, cards in Very Good condition will have minor wear and the edges may be rounded rather than square. In most cases, cards with a significant wrinkle or crease will be graded VG regardless of their other features. Similarly, this is often the highest grade awarded to any card that has a stain on the surface. Wrinkle on the front wear on the corners Corner wear is severe. crease in the back
Good or GD (PSA 2 or SGC 30):
Unusual wear and tear on a GD card includes rounded corners, several folds, a very minor rip at the borders, and tape residue on the reverse, among other things. It is rare to find a crease that fractures the surface (either on the front or back) that will grade higher than GD. crease on the front Scratches on the front surface and heavy corner wear Back crease that is rather severe.
Poor or PR (PSA 1 or SGC 10):
There will be substantial difficulties with a PR card, such as ink or pencil marks on the card, loss of paper from creases or discoloration, high wear from pins and tacks, tape or minor tears to the card. If a card has tape on it, or a pin or tack hole in it, it may be graded in any of the categories above, but the fault will restrict it to a PR rating. a lot of creases and wear pronounced crease Pinhole Writing on the back side of cards might be off center, from left to right, from top to bottom, or both at the same time.
- 0 percent to the left and 100 percent to the right of the center Miscut from the very top to the very bottom Half-points are awarded.
- Generally speaking, half grades indicate that the card possesses some of the features necessary for the following grade higher, but not enough to warrant a full grade award.
- Because of the fault, the value is often at least two classes lower than it should be.
- The following are examples of several sorts of qualifiers:
- (One or more borders are much bigger than the opposing border
- OC – off center.) The term ST refers to staining (which can be caused by chemicals such as wax, gum, water, or other things). Smears of ink, random areas of ink, “fish eyes,” and other printing flaws that occur during the manufacturing process are referred to as print defects (PD). The term “OUT OF FOCUS” refers to a picture that is out of focus due to registration or color application. MK – Marks – (pencil writing, ink stamps, or any other type of mark)
- The abbreviation MC stands for Miscut (a section of the card is missing or a portion of another card shows on a normal-sized card). The term TR refers to a card that has been trimmed (the card may have been cut, either gently or severely, to make it smaller or to improve its aesthetic). Original but changed, mended, or otherwise improved
- AUTH – Authentic (card is authentic but has been altered, repaired, or otherwise enhanced)
Pricing for Professional Grading: If you prefer to have your cards professionally graded, you can anticipate to spend at least $15 per card – this does not include shipping and handling charges. Prepare to spend between $50 and $300 per card if you have a particularly expensive one in your possession. The penalty for exceeding $10,000 in stated value is upwards of $700! PSAPSA is the largest participant in the sports card grading sector, with over a million members. They are the first grading firm in the hobby, having been established in the early 1990s and grading millions of cards since then.
In certain circumstances, PSA graded cards attract a higher price than other types of trading cards.
Costs and information about becoming a member a grading system Grading with the SGCSGC is similar to grading with PSA in that it specializes in grading old and prewar cards.
The company, which was formerly situated in New Jersey, has just relocated to the South Florida area.
Beckett is perhaps most known for their card pricing publications, but they also have BGS (Beckett Grading Services) for contemporary cards (1981 to present), as well as a section named BVG (Beckett Value Group) (Beckett Vintage Grading).
Please keep in mind that Beckett Collector’s Club Grading should never be used (BCCG).
Costs and information about becoming a member Should you have your playing cards evaluated by a professional?
For those wishing to sell their collections quickly, it is typically not necessary to pay for grading services unless the collection is of particularly high quality and dates back to before World War II, in which case it may be worthwhile.
For high-end cards, the main three grading businesses spend a lot of money promoting themselves as the sole alternative available to customers.
Many collectors prefer “raw” cards, which are cards that have not been encased in a protective plastic shell.
The condition of their own cards is frequently overestimated by inexperienced collectors, who then submit them for expert grading only to be gravely disappointed by the findings.
Make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
This question has now been given its own page on our website.
Are you looking to sell?
The first is to get the cards professionally graded.
In this instance, you’ll want to take your time choosing a grading service and deciding which cards you’ll want them to evaluate.
Sending them everyone away for grading is one option; sending only the top performers is another option.
Option number two is to just sell the collection in its unprocessed form.
This is a great choice for first-time collectors who are trying to dump their inventory of cards.
You’re not sure if you should grade or not.
We will evaluate them and get back to you as soon as possible. A professional grader from our company will even provide you with an estimate on a card of your choosing. We’ll show you current market prices and, if you’re interested, we’ll make you an offer within 24 hours.