Trading Card Grading
PSA accepts four different forms of card grading submissions, which are shown below.
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.
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.
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)
A flexible card pouch should be used to store each card, which should subsequently be placed in a harder semi-rigid plastic sleeve (which it conveniently sells on its eStore). It expressly specifies that you should not utilize screw-down or snap casings since doing so will cause the time it takes for you to acquire a grade to be delayed significantly. Stack your cards (while still in their plastic wrappers) on top of one another to create a pyramid. A piece of cardboard should be tucked in at the bottom of your stack.
- The card at the top of the stack should match to the first item on your card submission form, as seen in the illustration below.
- Overtop your stack of cardboard barriers, place another barrier.
- Rubber bands may be used to hold the cards in place as you play.
- With a cardboard box, cover your deck of cards in bubble wrap, packing popcorn, or other materials that will keep them in place.
- Completely seal the box, attach the shipping label, and attach the Submission ID label that PSA will supply you with.
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 popular belief, 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 service that provides users with a visual tour of the PSAGrading Standards and how they apply to their cards, allowing them to gain a better understanding 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.
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
On Friday, March 4th, 2022, from 3:00 to 8:00 pm, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, March 5, 2022 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, March 6, 2022.
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 may 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
Everything You Need to Know About Grading Vintage Baseball Cards
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.
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):
A MINT card will be a virtually flawless card that is as clean and crisp as the day it was printed, and it will be worth its weight in gold. In addition, there will be no surface imperfections such as wrinkles, bends, and staining on any side (front or back). With a ratio of 55/45 or better all-around, the picture will be centered inside the borders, and the corners and edges will be crisp and clean, much like a new business card. Corners that are sharp and the center that is centered 55/45Sharp corners and well centered almost 50/50Sharp corners and well centered nearly 50/50Sharp corners and well centered nearly 50/50Sharp corners and well centered nearly 50/50Sharp corners and well centered nearly 50/50
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 frequent “higher” grade for vintage cards, may have slightly fuzzy edges, color or print flaws, a little skewed cut, or a slightly out-of-focus picture, among other characteristics. The centering ratio must be at least 70/30 all around. Corner lift and minor 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. For example, a PSA 8 (OC) would have a value that is equivalent to a PSA 6 (OC) (or lower). 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.
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.
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!
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.
When you go into the Beckett offices in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, you will often be able to submit your grading order in person as well. It is stated on Beckett.com that there is no need to make an appointment and that you can simply drop by during normal business hours. Regarding turnaround time while grading in person with Beckett, “the Dallas office provides same-day turnarounds for customers who are interested in an expedited grading turnaround,” according to the company. Remember that COVID-19 has altered a lot of things, including the way a lot of businesses operate; always call beforehand to ensure that what is published on the website is still valid.
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?
To be quite honest, I believe a significant portion of this material is now out of date. In normal circumstances, you might argue that in-person grading is more convenient and provides a faster service, but with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of the United States, it’s difficult to say. Please revisit this page when in-person shows resume.
5 Steps To Grading Baseball Cards For Profit Through PSA And SGC
Since been burnt by the hobby many years ago, I must say that I have been a very hesitant convert to baseball card collecting. It’s possible that it was the 1953 Satchel Paige that cost me a couple hundred bucks. An unknown prior owner used a black marker to mask edge deterioration on the lower black corner of the piece, thereby destroying its value. It is now almost useless. In the early days of baseball card grading, I submitted a 1982 Topps Cal Ripken “Traded” rookie card to PSA, a third-party grader that was independent of the manufacturer.
I requested Jonathan Celona, an experienced and successful dealer forChampion Sports CardsCollectibles, to show me the processes of purchasing “raw” cards with upside potential with grading in certified, tamper-proof holders during this past summer’s massiveNational Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.
“Make money on the purchase, and cash in on the sell,” he counseled me at the time.
Celona ended up selling the Clemente for $4000 after turning down two bids of $3500 each.
After all, Mickey Mantle has been the most popular player since World War II, so I decided I couldn’t go wrong.
Topps’ collection was the last to be released, and it featured exquisite artwork from some of the country’s most talented animators.
I’d stick to a spending limit of no more than $500 each card, and stick to it.
The legends of baseball, such as Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, and Hank Aaron, continue to grow in stature.
The value of Bryce Harper’s rookie card has plummeted from $350 to less than $100 over the course of the past year, thanks to the Nationals’ much-hyped prospect.
Then Celona offered something to break the ice: “Ask the dealers about their day.” Examine the market to determine which items are selling well and which ones are not.
As a result, it pays to be on the good side of the dealer.
3)Get a sense of what you’re getting into.
Subscription: $49.VintageCardPrices.com, which provides an invaluable “real-time” monthly online guide for just $12.99 each month, is a great value.
4)Show the card to the public.
In order to facilitate removal of the cards, they are now protected in rigid, separate plastic sleeves.
To prevent damage to the cards, always handle them with clean hands with utmost caution.
Celona pulled an LED pen light from his pocket and turned it on.
“You need to look at the corners and see whether they’ve been recolored,” Celona said.
Instead of using a ruler, he just requested another card from the same set so that he could compare the two cards side by side.
There is substantial controversy as to whether the leading grading business, PSA, fetches greater resale prices than its primary competitors, SGC (Sports Cards Guaranty) and BGS (British Guaranty Services), or whether the two companies are equivalent (Beckett Grading Services).
“You are purchasing the card, not the holder,” he explained.
After that, I decided to go it alone.
So, how did I fare in the end?
Both Topps were rated 3 (Very Good), which means they are worth around $600 on eBay.
Try to keep the centering as close to 50/50 as feasible.
However, I did not earn a tidy profit, as Celona did with his Clemente, but I did not suffer a financial loss either, and I had a great time. According to Celona, “we sell pieces of cardboard printed with cartoons for thousands of dollars.” ‘What a wonderful nation we live in.’