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.
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?
Generally speaking, if you feel you have a high-value card in your possession, it is worth your time and effort to submit the card for a PSA grade.
The following benefits accrue from having the PSA seal of approval:
- The ability to verify that your card is genuine and in excellent working order It increases the market value of your card. The ability to submit your card into the PSA Set Registry is provided. Authentication informs potential purchasers that your card is genuine. Ensures that your card’s quality is measured by an approved standard Makes it possible for your cards to compete with those of other vendors who have had similar cards graded by PSA. This membership gives you access to the PSA storage case, which is one of the most effective methods to store and display your cards.
Do some research on the card you are contemplating getting graded before you make a decision (read:Should You Get Your Cards Graded). If a card is valuable enough and in excellent enough condition, obtaining the PSA seal of approval may be well worth the expense of grading and certification. It’s Well Worth Your Time to Read Following that, the best Pokemon Booster Boxes are discussed. Must-Have Lamelo Ball Rookie Cards Among the Best Football Card Packs to Purchase
PSA Grading Cost
As of March 2021, the prices for PSA grading services have risen. Given the increase in tradingcard investment and popularity, as well as the sale of Collectors Universe, the sale of PSA’s parent business was a foregone conclusion. The rate for all types of PSA grading services has more than doubled or almost doubled in recent years. This was a significant development, particularly for individuals who rely on the PSA to grade vast sets of their cards. Having saying that, the pricing remain as they are.
This is the amount of money you anticipate your card will be worth after it has been graded by the PSA.
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $20 per card submission fee, with a ten-card submission minimum (please note that this price is only available to PSA Collectors Club members)
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $50 per card submission fee
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $100 per card submission fee
- $50 per card for cards priced at $499 or less (this is the pricing for non-collectors Club members)
- $50 per card for cards valued at $500 or more
- $50 per card for cards valued at $1,000 or more 100 dollars per card for cards with a value between $500 and $999
- 150 dollars per card for cards with a value between $1,000 and $2,499
- $300 dollars per card for cards with a value between $2,500 and $4,999
- $600 dollars per card for cards with a value between $5,000 and $9,999
Valuation of cards with a Declared Value of $10,000 or more qualify for PSA’s Premium grading choices, which are available only to members of the PSA. Based on the declared value of your card, these alternatives cost $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $5,000, or $10,000, depending on the amount you choose.
How to Submit Your Card To PSA
Your initial step should be to go to PSAcard.com. You’ll see a green circular button with the word “Submit” written on it in the upper righthand corner of the webpage (it’s hard to miss). Your browser will take you to a Sign-In screen when you click on the button. To access PSA, you’ll need to sign up for an account if you don’t already have one. Immediately following your sign-in, you’ll be prompted to fill out the following information:
- The sort of object you are sending (for example, a standard card, a giant card, packs, or other similar items)
- The service you are asking (grade, autograph review, authenticity review, or reholder)
- The date you are requesting the service
- And The Declared Value of the card(s) you are submitting is the sum of the following: Each card that you are providing should be described in detail
- Please provide shipping and billing information.
Having completed this step, you are now prepared to submit your card to the PSA for an official grade, or for any other service you want.
PSA Card Grading Locations
A PSA Dealer may assist you in preparing your card for grading and can also provide further assistance in person during the grading process. Please visit to locate a location that is convenient for you. Its headquarters are located at 10 Woodbridge Center Dr., Suite 701, Woodbridge, NJ 07095, and it employs around 100 people. The phone number for PSA Grading is 1-800-325-1121. It is possible to access the new PSA Grading web page by going to
Concepts to Understand Before Submitting Your Card
When submitting cards for grading, there are several common causes of misunderstanding, according to PSA. Specifically, two notions may be of interest to you in order to ensure that the grading process runs as smoothly as possible:
- Minimum Grade (explainer from PSA)
- Declared Value (explainer from PSA)
- Minimum Grade (explainer from PSA)
These principles, like so many other things in life, are simple enough to comprehend when given the correct instruction. PSA’s explainers should be of great assistance in this situation.
Steps to Take Before Sending Your Card In
If you are mailing in your card(s), PSA requests that you include two copies of your completed submission form with each card you send in. Print three copies of the document: two for inclusion in the bundle and one for your personal keeping.
Use one of the ways for cleaning your cards that will not cause damage to them if you chose to do so. Because it necessitates extreme caution, it may not be worth your time if you are afraid that you may inadvertently do any damage to the card.
How to Package Your Card
In order to protect each card, PSA suggests that it be placed in a flexible card pouch before being placed in a harder, semi-rigid plastic sleeve (which it conveniently sells on its eStore). It expressly indicates that you should not utilize screw-down or snap casings since doing so would cause the time it takes for you to acquire a grade to be delayed further. Assemble your cards by stacking them (inside their plastic wrappers) on top of one another. Place a piece of cardboard at the bottom of the pile to protect it from damage.
- The card at the top of the stack should match to the first item on your card submission form, as seen in the image below.
- Place a second cardboard barrier on top of your stack to protect it.
- Rubber bands may be used to hold the cards in place by wrapping them around the stack.
- Place your deck of cards in a cardboard box with bubble wrap, packing popcorn, or other materials that will keep the cards from moving around.
- Make sure to seal the box, add the shipping label, and also attach the Submission ID label that PSA will supply to the package.
Who to Send Your Card to (PSA Grading Address)
PSA is based in the Southern California region. Please use the shipping address and method that correspond to the official PSA submission addresses provided below, even if it means supplying information that is not particular to you. TOP WAYNE GRETZKY ROOKIE CARDS ARE IN THIS YEAR’S TREND. The addresses and delivery methods shown on this page may change at any moment. International submissions may also necessitate the use of specialized delivery methods. When submitting your cards to PSA, make sure to include the most up-to-date and customized information possible.
How the Grading Process Generally Works / How Long It Takes
In most cases, the level of service that you choose will be determined by the worth of the cards that you submit. This will have an influence on the amount of time it takes to grade your card. PSA will send you an email to advise you that your card has been received. Following that, it will:
- You must enter your order into the company’s grading system database. Create unique order numbers for each of your business cards. Update your Orders page to include more information about your contributions, if needed. Notify you if there are any faults or problems with your order (if there are any problems with your order)
- Stick stickers to the back of each card, which will allow PSA (and you) to track your academic progress over time. Calculate an approximate delivery date for your purchase
- Investigate each of your cards to guarantee its accuracy, and then give you an email stating that each card has been investigated and found to be accurate
- Identify any mistakes or cards that are not eligible for grading and notify you of them
- Sort your cards according to their value
- Create an official PSA Lighthouse Label for each eligible card and attach it to the card. Place your card and Lighthouse Label in the PSA case that has been trademarked
- Check the correctness of your card and grade by going through it again. Confirm the shipping details for your return
- Please get your card returned to you.
There is no way to predict how long it will take to grade your card with any precision. There are a number of variables to consider. Once your card has been received by PSA, order updates will be the most reliable method of estimating when the grading process will be finished.
Criteria PSA Uses to Grade Your Card
Until defects are introduced into the game, your card is deemed perfect.
The following are examples of flaws that might lower the grade of your card:
- The card has been miscut
- There is a flaw in the way your card has been produced
- Soiled cards
- Cards with frayed edges or corners
- Cards with stains on them cards that have imperfections, which are sometimes called as markings
- Out-of-focus images on greeting cards
Here are some of the key criteria that PSA utilizes to evaluate cards, including those that you may submit yourself.
How to get cards graded for free by PSA?
Contrary to common perception, PSA does not provide a free service for grading baseball cards. PSA Photograde, on the other hand, is a service that they provide. PSA Photogradeis a free tool that provides users with a visual tour of the PSAGrading Standards and how they relate to their cards, allowing them to obtain a better grasp of the standards.
PSA Grades Scale
PSA assigns grades to cards on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. Individual grades are as follows: 1 – Unsatisfactory (PR 1) 1.5 – Acceptable (FR 1.5) 2 – Very good (GOOD) 3 – Excellent in Every Way (VG 3) 4- Very Good-Excellent (out of 5) (VG-EX 4) 5 – Exceptional (EX 5) 6-Excellent-Mint condition (EX-MT 6) 7 – Almost Mint (NM 7) 8 – Near-Mint-Mint condition (NM-MT 8) Mint (number 9) (MINT 9) Gem Mint is at number 10 on the list (GEM-MT 10) It is reasonable to anticipate that the market value of your unique card will increase in proportion to your score.
Conclusion – You’reReady to Have Your Cards Graded
Regardless of whether or not you select PSA as your card grading service of choice, you now have all of the information you need to get the process underway.
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):
It is normal for the corners of a VG/EX card to exhibit signs of wear and mild creasing along the edges. 80% or greater centering is required. On the back of the card, a faint wrinkle or a slight fold may be seen. Cards with more major print defects, such as wax stains, will fall into the VG/EX category as well. Loss of shine on the corners and abrasion on the surface wear on the corners is consistent Corner wear and the presence of a little foreign substance on the surfaceCorner wear and the absence of a gloss finish on the surface.
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.
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.
Beckett Refer & Save
The Stamford Marriott is located at 243 Tresser Boulevard in Stamford, Connecticut, United States.
Submissions from the comfort of your own home
- 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 26, 2022 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 27, 2022
MARCH 4Friday, 2022
Valley Forge Casino Resort Convention Center1160 First AvenueKing of Prussia, PA 19406 United States Valley Forge Casino Resort Convention Center
Submissions from the comfort of your own home
- On Friday, March 4th, 2022, from 3:00 to 8:00 pm. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, March 5, 2022 (Pacific Standard Time). Sunday, March 6, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
MARCH 18Friday, 2022
555 N River Rd., Rosemont, IL 60018, United States of America Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Authentication of Autographs on-site Submissions from the comfort of your own home
- The time is 3:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2022. On Saturday, March 19, 2022, the hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, 2022
MARCH 25Friday, 2022
The MGM Grand Hotel is located at 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd. in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
On-site Autograph AuthenticationRaw/Graded Card ReviewAutograph Authentication
- From 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on Friday, March 25, 2022, you 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
Comprehensive Guide to Card Grading
It is the process of sending a trading card to a third-party agency in order to have it graded. The card is examined for validity and then graded on a scale of one to ten for its condition, as is customary. Finally, the card is awarded an overall grade, sealed in a tamper-proof container, and given a cataloged serial number, which completes the process. In addition to providing verifiable proof of authenticity, card grading also provides a system of accountability through an online database and eliminates the need for subjective condition classifications.
The Specifics of Card Grading
In order to get the most out of your grading assignment, you need be aware of a few things before submitting anything to a card grading company: knowing what cards to grade, choosing a grading provider, and understanding the mechanics of shipping and insurance.
What to Grade
Selection of the appropriate playing cards to grade is a very individual and subjective decision. It is possible to save money on your collection while simultaneously increasing the worth of your collection if you follow a few simple rules. For example, rating any one-of-a-kind card makes little financial sense, despite the fact that many individuals continue to practice this practice. The expense of shipping, grading, insuring, and returning a card is unlikely to improve the value of a card that is already extremely valuable by enough to cover those costs and make them worthwhile.
- Submitting historic cards for grading, in particular, might be a wise investment because of their high value.
- By eliminating the subjectivity of self-assessment, a failsafe method of ensuring that a card is genuinely in the condition claimed by the owner may be established.
- Many collectors make the mistake of neglecting these commons when dealing with older cards.
- Modern prospect and rookie signatures, especially in high-grade condition, are also highly sought for.
The best course of action when deciding which service to utilize is to conduct extensive research. Inquire with fellow collectors, dealers, and the owner of your local hobby shop about the products they use and why they use them. As of right now, there are numerous well-known and respected grading agencies in the hobby, including Professional Sports Authenticators(PSA), Beckett Grading Services(BGS), and Sportscard Guaranty (SGC). In order to grade a range of cards, each card grading firm has its own set of standards.
Collectors can also choose from a variety of various service levels.
There are still a lot of their cards available on the secondary market.
The rise in popularity of grading in the early to mid-1990s resulted in an unusual number of new grading firms being established.
While there are smaller, less well-known firms out there, it is strongly recommended that collectors exclusively entrust their collections to the three companies listed above: PSA, BGS, and SCG. Those are the businesses that have the finest reputation in the hobby.
The Cost of Card Grading
Even though different card grading organizations charge differently, as previously stated, they all charge in accordance with the following criteria:
- The total number of cards that were submitted
- The time frame in which you would need your cards graded and returned
Other elements that might influence the pricing of a service include:
- The monetary worth of the card Whether or if a card having an autograph should be authenticated in addition to being graded
- If the card is an oddball or an irregularly sized card, the following rules apply:
Also bear in mind that you will be needed to pay for both directions of shipment. When submitting to the company, be sure to include the right amount of insurance, delivery confirmation, and signature confirmation in your payment. In order to cover the costs of return shipment, each firm will have its own predetermined price structure. In most cases, this will include insurance. It should be noted that each major grading business exhibits at sports card and memorabilia events on a regular basis throughout the year.
A significant amount of money may be saved on shipping and insurance expenses.
How to Submit Cards for Grading
Before sending your cards in to be graded, you may want to make sure you have the following resources on hand:
- The following items may be required before your cards may be evaluated before they can be sent in:
While the specifics of the technique may differ from one firm to the next, the fundamentals are the same. They entail filling out a submission form and packaging cards to be sent to the grading center for evaluation. Before beginning the submission process, make sure you review the individual submission policies of each firm. However, the following are broad recommendations that may be applied to any company. As soon as you have finished the card grading submission form, prepare your cards for mailing by placing each one in a penny sleeve and then into a semi-rigid holder, such as those from the famous Card Saver series.
- Most grading agencies will not grade cards that are received in this manner, and will instead return them to you ungraded.
- This will ensure that they do not sag or bend.
- Check to see that the rubber bands are not too tightly wrapped.
- Rubber bands that are too tight may cause harm to your cards.
- Insert the card bundle inside the box and fill the remaining space with other items.
- Non-clear packing tape should be used to completely cover the box, rather than simply the box edges.
- To ensure that your submission form is accurate, keep a copy of it for your records.
- Aside from that, certain card grading businesses allow collectors to choose a minimum grade that is acceptable for their cards.
- Although the card has been processed, graded, and returned, the collector will still be charged the full cost of doing so.
This is an excellent customer service gesture that can also save money for collectors. Check the company’s website to see whether this is something they provide.
Receiving Your Order
When you receive your order, make sure to thoroughly inspect everything. Correspondingly, cross-reference the contents of the package with the packing slip and a copy of the original submission form. Verify that the cards have been correctly cataloged by putting the card number into the company’s database to ensure that the grade on the label corresponds to the card you have in your possession.
Storage, Archival and Display
Keeping and presenting your graded cards is made easier with a variety of alternatives available. Because of the size of an encased graded card, special-sized packaging are required. They range in complexity from simple corrugated cardboard boxes to ornate wood and velvet-lined archival storage boxes. The selection is based on personal preference and financial constraints. However, regardless of the approach you use, be certain that your graded cards are not able to slide into one another. Scratching is a common problem with the card capsules.
Exhibit cases that allow you to slide cards into locked trays, display in several rows, and may be wall-mounted provide an outstanding presentation for displaying any graded card collection.
Sports Card Grading 101 Guide
So you’re interested in learning more about grading cards but aren’t sure where to begin? Our guide is here to assist you.
The Grading Companies
Beckett Grading Services (BGS), PSA, and SGC are the three most common businesses that grade baseball cards and other collectibles. In general, BGS is the chosen company for current cards, whereas PSA is the preferred company for older cards.
The Grading Scales
Beckett assigns grades to its cards on a scale from 1 to 10, with sub-grades in between (.5s). PSA grades cards on a flat 1-10 scale, while SGC grades cards on a scale out of 100, which they then utilize to provide a grade to the card ranging from one to ten. Cards are assessed according to the following criteria: centering, corners, edges, and surface texture. They assign a grade of 1-10 to each attribute, and then add those grades together to provide a final rating of 1-10 to the card. Anything with a BGS rating of 9 or more is worth book value or more, as a BGS 9 (also known as a “Mint 9”) is the state anticipated of the card when it is pulled from the pack.
This is the state in which the majority of collectors are interested.
Pristine 10s are extremely difficult to come by.
Putting Condition Into Context
The Company’s Brand This is the part that most folks are perplexed about. Expecting a good grade from some card companies is not only impractical, but it is also nearly impossible to achieve. A fantastic example of this is Derek Jeter’s rookie card from the 1993 SP set. Because of the card’s foil material, there were an absurd number of “out of the pack” defects. As a result, high-grade pieces fetch thousands of dollars, whereas mediocre pieces fetch much less. On the other hand, there are certain sets in which the majority of the cards come out of the pack in near-perfect condition, and these are called “perfect condition” sets.
If you want to have a better understanding of how to approach this, consider opening a deck of cards and imagining how the cards might fare over time (sleeving process, gentle bump to a corner or edges, moisture, etc.).
This does not indicate that older cards are less valuable; rather, it implies that less may be anticipated in terms of condition.
The older the cards get, the worse the state of the cards becomes. To do this, it is necessary to locate cards that have been carefully cared for and are in better shape than the usual.
What to Do When You Can’t See a Card in Person
When you can’t view the card in person, buying it online is the most difficult and risky option. If the scan of the card you desire to purchase appears to be concealing something or does not provide an exact or visible image, it’s time to close your eyes and start typing again. To clarify any issues you are unsure about, simply ask the seller a series of questions. A few examples of questions are presented in the next section.
- I noted that all four corners are crisp
- I believe that Is it on the card itself or on the card’s case
- Are there any obvious flaws in the card’s construction?
Now You’re Ready To Practice “The Eye of Collector”
This is a really straightforward procedure. We now understand the five major qualities that are utilized to grade a card, according to Beckett Grading Services.
- Centering: The width of the border is what defines the centering of the image. In an ideal world, the border size should be the same on the left, right, top, and bottom of the page. Sometimes determining the centering will not be as straightforward as checking for borders that are evenly spaced. The bottom line is that the card should appear to be well-balanced overall. If a card looks to be lopsided, this indicates that the centering is incorrect. Corners: This is likely the most essential and examined of the grading qualities since it is the most visible. Other worries can be alleviated by using a card with four sharp corners, which is especially useful on older cards. Examine all four corners of the card by first looking at the front of the card and then at the back of the card. This is the most effective method of double-checking. In the case of a corner with faults on both sides, it is not your imagination playing tricks on you. Occasionally, the ink, foil, or other circumstances might give the appearance of a weak corner, so always check the back of your print before printing. If one or two corners are an ugly to look at, you’re most likely looking at a card that will grade below 8.5 points. Despite the fact that little corner flaws, such as barely visible white, can make the difference between a BGS 9 and a BGS 9.5, they can also result in no difference. The four corners of a card are also vital to consider. Some brands, particularly those with dark or black borders, are notoriously bad at preserving the edges of their cards. At the same time, less is expected of these, so set your expectations accordingly to be lower. This is something else that graders check for at the rear. The edges should be crisp, and the color should be consistent throughout. Edges with dings, dents, or slight discolorations are considered imperfect. In the same way that corners aren’t the end of the world, barely visible white isn’t the end of the world. Surface: The state of the cardboard as a whole is referred to as the surface. Scratches on the surface of glossy cards such as Bowman Chrome, as well as fading signatures, might be a problem when using these cards. Aside from that, cards manufactured with foil material are more prone to little bits of foil falling off and producing white spots on the surface of the card. When it comes to older cards, the most common problems are creases and moisture damage. Many cards from the 1980s include ink smearing and stamp marks, which occur as a result of the card being run through a printing press. Many times, a crease is difficult to detect at first glance since the picture on the card might effectively conceal it
- Autographs: The grade assigned to the autograph has absolutely nothing to do with the grade assigned to the card itself. If the ink isn’t smeared and the autograph isn’t faded, the autograph will usually receive a 10 out of 10. All signatures that are evaluated must be “out of pack” autographs (not hand-signed or in-person). It is relatively simple to “eye grade” a signature
- Nonetheless, it is not recommended.
However, while the grading procedure is theoretically scientific, understanding how to look at a card relies more on your gut reaction than on any scientific method. If a card appears to be of high quality, it is of high quality. There is a fine line between having high expectations for the state of a vehicle and being obsessive about it being in flawless shape. Are you looking to purchase graded playing cards?
- On eBay, you may find popular PSA sports card auctions. View popular BGS sports card auctions on eBay
- View popular SGC sports card auctions on eBay
- View popular BGS sports card auctions on eBay
Make sure to go through our related resources for more information on grading and grading systems.
Other Card Grading Articles
- Choosing the Most Appropriate Company to Grade Your Sports Cards Guide to Card Grading in Its Completeness
- Instructions on how to grade your own sports cards and pre-grade your cards
Sports Card Grading
CSG provides outstanding sports card certification services by leveraging world-class knowledge, modern technology, innovation, and operational excellence to provide superior results.
Verify CSG Certification
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Confirm Package Delivery
What exactly is it? Your cargo has been delivered to our facility and is being kept in a safe location. Once the submission tracking tool has been accessed, it will show in the list of submissions. Your shipment has either not been delivered or has not been scanned by our team. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please return in a couple of days to see if anything has changed.
What is CSG Certification Verification?
This tool can assist you in determining whether or not your CSG holder is authentic and has not been tampered with in any way. Moreover, it might serve as a helpful beginning point for researching your CSG-certified sports card collection. Simply input a card’s CSG certification number (highlighted in the image) to verify the card’s description and grade in CSG’s database, as well as view photographs of the card taken by CSG, on the CSG website. You may also use your phone to scan the QR code that appears above the CSG certification number.
What is Confirm Package Delivery?
Input your package’s tracking number to see whether or not it has been delivered to CSG’s facilities in the United States.
Who We Are
Our staff of skilled and enthusiastic sports card graders has decades of combined expertise and is supported by cutting-edge technology. More information may be found here.
In addition to offering a great display, crystal-clear optics, and several security measures, the CSG holder and label are also extremely durable. More information may be found here.
Sports Cards We Grade
CSG rates baseball cards, basketball cards, football cards, and a variety of other sports card categories, including old and contemporary. More information may be found here.
It is the most stringent guarantee of authenticity and grade offered by any organization in the sports card certification market. More information may be found here.
Visit the CSG Chat Boards
Posting on the CSG Chat Boards allows you to communicate with other sports card collectors. More information may be found here.
Add CSG Card
Join CSG for free to add cards to your collection, keep track of your collection, and take part in the CSG Registry. More information may be found here. Already a member of CSGA? Log in to your account. Sign in with your email address and password.
Where to Get Cards Graded in Person & Why
Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate connections to eBay, Amazon, and other platforms throughout the text, as well as in the sidebar advertisements and in other places of the site. Because I am a member of the eBay Partner Network and other affiliate programs, I will get a compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my affiliate links. In the same way, as an Amazon Associate, I receive commissions from qualifying sales. Update as of July 2021: The Professional Sports Collectors Association (PSA) has stated that they will be grading cards in person at the National Sports Collectors Convention in 2021.
- “.all “End of Show” orders must be placed and received by Saturday, July 31, at 12 noon Central Daylight Time (CDT).” Orders for “End of Day” service must be received by 12 noon CDT in order to be processed the same day.
- PSA: Please review the price information on this page for “walk-through” services.
- I recently submitted my first playing card for grading, which was received well.
- I was the one who picked the card, and it was very spectacular; this was around two weeks before the MLB playoffs were supposed to begin.
- The value of a PSA 10 at the time was around $400 (why are graded cards worth more money?
- I was under the impression that I could send the card in via the express option (the cost of grading would be $70) and that I would receive the card back in time to profit on the value of the card if the White Sox advanced further in the playoffs.
- Just to put it simply, Alt (among other things) provides a new exchange where you can buy and sell cards.
- (Learn more about Alternative here.) If you’re interested in giving Alt a try, you can get a free $25 spending credit by visiting this referral link and creating an account.
- To cut a long tale short, the card gemmed, and I was overjoyed, but I had lost the window opportunity.
- I begin with that because submitting a card to be evaluated may be nerve-wracking, and the procedure, especially at this time of year, is fraught with uncertainties.
The culmination of all of this led to the question of where you could go to get your cards evaluated in person. Even if you already know the answer, which is something along the lines of “well, you can’t,” there are certain pearls that anyone who is thinking the same question should be aware of.
PSA In-Person Grading Options
If you go to the website, you can see a list of the shows that PSA will be visiting. This notice is located farther down the page: Grading on the job site — At some of the exhibitions listed above, one-day (24-hour) grading will be offered in the vicinity of the event. Please stop by with your cards and see what all the fuss is about with PSA grading! Turnaround times vary depending on demand; please consult with show personnel for the most up-to-date turnaround time. Please keep in mind that this is a preliminary timetable.
Many in-person shows have been postponed as a result of COVID’s continued presence, and even when events are permitted to go, you can expect lower attendance and a lower likelihood that the PSA will be present and accessible for in-person grading.
It also includes a list of the services that will be provided at each event.”
On the same resource page, there is a section that discusses how to make arrangements for dropping off goods at one of the PSA offices. It appears that the option may be restricted to the Woodbridge, NJ location, with the Southern California location accepting appointments only, which are limited and made on a case-by-case basis for high-value and high-volume submissions. The Woodbridge, NJ location appears to be the only location accepting appointments. Now, given our current 2020 scenario, I’m not sure how up to date this is, so it’s definitely better to contact and double-check your alternatives before proceeding forward.
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.