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 light corner wear are both present. Corner wear is minimal. Corner wear is minimal. Corner crimping in the reverse direction
Excellent or EX (PSA 5 or SGC 60):
This is a more frequent grade for older cards than the previous one. The corners may show the beginnings of rounding due to normal wear and tear. It is possible that the sheen of the surface may begin to diminish. Cards should still have a centering ratio of at least 75/25, if not better. a significant deviation from the center Corner wear and a small amount of crimping at the corner wear on the corners Back wrinkles that aren’t very noticeable
Very Good to Excellent or VG/EX (PSA 4 or SGC 50):
It is normal for the corners of a VG/EX card to exhibit signs of wear and mild creasing along the edge. The centering ratio must be at least 80/20. On the back of the card, there may be a faint wrinkle or a slight crease that is visible. Cards with more major print flaws, as well as cards with wax stains, will fall into the VG/EX category. Corner wear and a loss of surface sheen are two of the most common problems. Even wear on the corners Corner wear and the presence of a little foreign substance on the surfaceCorner wear and the absence of a shine on the surface Corner wear and a small amount of crimp
Very Good or VG (PSA 3 or SGC 40):
Generally, cards in Very Good condition will have minor wear and the edges may be rounded rather than square. In most cases, cards with a significant wrinkle or crease will be graded VG regardless of their other features. Similarly, this is often the highest grade awarded to any card that has a stain on the surface. Wrinkle on the front wear on the corners Corner wear is severe. crease in the back
Good or GD (PSA 2 or SGC 30):
Unusual wear and tear on a GD card includes rounded corners, several folds, a very minor rip at the borders, and tape residue on the reverse, among other things. It is rare to find a crease that fractures the surface (either on the front or back) that will grade higher than GD. crease on the front Scratches on the front surface and heavy corner wear Back crease that is rather severe.
Poor or PR (PSA 1 or SGC 10):
There will be substantial difficulties with a PR card, such as ink or pencil marks on the card, loss of paper from creases or discoloration, high wear from pins and tacks, tape or minor tears to the card. If a card has tape on it, or a pin or tack hole in it, it may be graded in any of the categories above, but the fault will restrict it to a PR rating. a lot of creases and wear pronounced crease Pinhole Writing on the back side of cards might be off center, from left to right, from top to bottom, or both at the same time.
0 percent to the left and 100 percent to the right of the center Miscut from the very top to the very bottom Half-points are awarded.
Generally speaking, half grades indicate that the card possesses some of the features necessary for the following grade higher, but not enough to warrant a full grade award.
Because of the fault, the value is often at least two classes lower than it should be. For example, a PSA 8 (OC) would have a value that is similar to a PSA 6 (OC) (or lower). The following are examples of several sorts of qualifiers:
- There will be substantial issues 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 on it, it can be graded in any of the categories above, but the fault will limit it to a PR rating. Wear and tear are really noticeable. a pronounced fold Pinhole Cards can have writing on the back that is not in the center, from left to right, or from top to bottom, or a combination of the three. 50% to the left and 50% to the right of the center. 55 percent to the left and 45 percent to the right of the center point. 60% to the left and 40% to the right of the center 30 percent to the left and 70 percent to the right of the center point. 80 percent to the left and 20 percent to the right of the center point. 90% of the top and 10% of the bottom are in the middle. 0 percent to the left and 100 percent to the right of center. Miscut Starting at the very top, Grades in half Half grades are available in addition to whole-number ratings, with values ranging from 1.5 to 9.5. Generally speaking, half grades indicate that the card possesses some of the attributes necessary of the grade level above it, but not enough to warrant a full grade. A qualification may be assigned to cards that have significant defects in addition to their numerical rating. In most cases, the fault causes the value to be at least two grades lower than it otherwise would be. Example: A PSA 8 (OC) would have a value that is very close to a PSA 6 (OC) (or lower). Qualifiers can be divided into several categories.
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.
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
PSA has created an uniform grading standard for trading card collectors that is well-known and respected across the industry.
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.
To assist card collectors, the PSA has established a Set Registry, and the possibilities for putting together fascinating and entertaining trading card sets are nearly unlimited.
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.
Get a better understanding of the art and science of professional baseball-card grading with Grant Zahajko, a sports memorabilia specialist on the ROADSHOW. Certainly, we see our fair share of sports cards at the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Sports Memorabilia booth, ranging from early 1900s tobacco cards to 1990s rookie cards of up-and-coming players, and even the rare 19th-century rarity or two. The box of baseball cards that almost every sports enthusiast who also collects has been hoarding for years, safeguarding and guarding those cards like they’re valuable treasures is something that almost everyone owns.
- Some lovely cards have arrived from visitors who have done their homework on the subject of values.
- Then there are those rare occasions when the rule is broken.
- Maybe a guest didn’t place their cards in the spokes of their bicycle and didn’t swap all of the big name stars with the bright youngster who lives down the street.
- Upon arrival, she unpacked a bag full of 1950s baseball, football and basketball cards, all of which were in excellent shape and were carefully categorized by year.
- Grant Zahajko, a sports memorabilia specialist from Green Bay, Wisconsin, assessed this collection of 1950s baseball cards during the ROADSHOW event in June of 2017.
- I needed to get through the luggage as soon as possible because it was a busy day at the Sports table, and there was a developing queue of people with their belongings.
- When we were chosen, I was given the task of narrowing the field down to three cards.
This is where the complexities of grading sports cards come into play the most dramatically.
The professional grading of sports and trading cards is done by grading firms, who assign a numerical grade to each item, similar to how coins and comic books are rated.
These businesses use expert graders who have received specialized training and experience in the grading of trading cards and collectibles.
The grading businesses post a population report on their websites so that everyone may see the results of previous gradings, which are split out by company, year, and player in each category.
This aids in the definition of the supply and demand aspects of collection.
The grading of cards and other collectibles helps to ensure that purchasers are getting a good deal on the item’s condition and authenticity.
Are there any scuffs or printing imperfections?
Is there any surface wear or stains from the wax?
Are the corners crisp, or is there fraying along the perimeter?
The color is affected by the grading as well.
Is the gloss original to the bottle?
Any additional damage or flaws on the card that are not unique to it should be reported.
As an example, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie cards graded Excellent 5 have recently sold at auction for between $22,000 and $43,000, depending on the condition of the card.
However, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards that were graded Excellent-Mint 6 have recently sold at auction for between $56,000 and $80,000, depending on the condition.
This card received a grade of 5.5 by the same grading service as these other examples and sold at auction for $84,000 in 2016.
The majority of Mickey Mantle baseball cards from the 1950s that I come across in the wild eventually grade between a 3 and a 5.
When I looked at the three cards, there was no doubt in my mind that, despite the fact that I am not a professional card grader, I was going to award a numerical grade to each of them.
My tablemate Leila Dunbar and I both examined the cards under magnification, and we came to an agreement on what we thought was correct.
Based on these numerical ratings, I valued the cards at $34,000 – $48,000, with a price range of $34,000 – $48,000 at auction.
Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about the outcome of the grading process; nevertheless, in the end, experience and expertise triumphed. Which cards earned what grades, and how did they do? You’ll simply have to wait and see what happens during the appraisal!
Two months after our visit to Green Bay, the store’s owner called me to inquire about selling her husband’s sports memorabilia. I flew to their house in Wisconsin and took the collection on consignment. I want to sell the collection someday. I physically sent the cards assessed on the show (the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson, and 1954 Wilson Franks Ted Williams) as well as a small package of additional cards to the graders in California, who were impressed with my work (PSA, aka Professional Sports Authenticators).
As a result, I was becoming a bit nervous because PSA is often regarded as the hardest graders in the industry.
Wilson Franks Ted Williams, PSA 4 — $2,783 Wilson Franks Ted Williams **Please keep in mind that these prices include buyer’s premiums, and thus represent the entire amount paid by the buyer.
Despite the fact that we came in at the low end of my auction estimate, we were still inside the range of the auction estimates I provided on camera for all three cards.
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 stiff, individual plastic sleeves.
To prevent damage to the cards, always handle them with clean hands and extreme caution.
Celona pulled an LED pen light from his pocket and turned it on.
“You need to look at the corners and see if they’ve been recolored,” Celona advised.
Instead of using a ruler, he simply requested another card from the same set so that he could compare the two cards side by side.
There is some debate as to whether the top grading company, PSA, commands higher resale prices than its chief 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 graded 3 (Very Good), which means they are worth approximately $600 on eBay.
Try to keep the centering as close to 50/50 as possible.
However, I did not make 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 country we live in.’
How to Get Cards Graded by PSA 2021 (The Defentive Guide)
If you have any questions or concerns about our PSA card grading guide, please contact us at [email protected] or send a direct message to the Gold Card Auctions Facebook page. PSA, which is an abbreviation for Professional Sports Authenticator, is a well-known name in the world of sports card grading. Despite the controversies around the company’s escalating rates, it provides a broad range of important services, such as:
- Single-card grading
- Unopened-pack grading
- Autograph authentication
- Price evaluations
- And other services are available.
For the sake of our investigation, we’re looking at how the PSA grades its playing cards. This method and its rewards will become more familiar to you as time goes on, and you will be better prepared to submit your own cards and packs to PSA for ratings and assessments. PSA Grading vs SGC Grading vs BGS Grading is a topic that has been discussed previously.
Is It Worth Getting Your Card Graded by PSA?
The following are the best-selling hobby boxes: 1. 2021 Bowman Draft Hobby BoxSHOP NOW Generally speaking, if you feel you have a high-value card in your possession, it is worth your time and effort to submit the card for a PSA grade. The following benefits accrue from having the PSA seal of approval:
- The ability to verify that your card is genuine and in excellent working order It increases the market value of your card. The ability to submit your card into the PSA Set Registry is provided. Authentication informs potential purchasers that your card is genuine. Ensures that your card’s quality is measured by an approved standard Makes it possible for your cards to compete with those of other vendors who have had similar cards graded by PSA. This membership gives you access to the PSA storage case, which is one of the most effective methods to store and display your cards.
Do some research on the card you are contemplating getting graded before you make a decision (read:Should You Get Your Cards Graded). If a card is valuable enough and in excellent enough condition, obtaining the PSA seal of approval may be well worth the expense of grading and certification. It’s Well Worth Your Time to Read Following that, the best Pokemon Booster Boxes are discussed. Must-Have Lamelo Ball Rookie Cards Among the Best Football Card Packs to Purchase
PSA Grading Cost
As of March 2021, the prices for PSA grading services have risen. Given the increase in tradingcard investment and popularity, as well as the sale of Collectors Universe, the sale of PSA’s parent business was a foregone conclusion. The rate for all types of PSA grading services has more than doubled or almost doubled in recent years. This was a significant development, particularly for individuals who rely on the PSA to grade vast sets of their cards. Having saying that, the pricing remain as they are.
This is the amount of money you anticipate your card will be worth after it has been graded by the PSA.
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $20 per card submission fee, with a ten-card submission minimum (please note that this price is only available to PSA Collectors Club members)
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $50 per card submission fee
- Cards valued at $499 or less are subject to a $100 per card submission fee
- $50 per card for cards priced at $499 or less (this is the pricing for non-collectors Club members)
- $50 per card for cards valued at $500 or more
- $50 per card for cards valued at $1,000 or more 100 dollars per card for cards with a value between $500 and $999
- 150 dollars per card for cards with a value between $1,000 and $2,499
- $300 dollars per card for cards with a value between $2,500 and $4,999
- $600 dollars per card for cards with a value between $5,000 and $9,999
Valuation of cards with a Declared Value of $10,000 or more qualify for PSA’s Premium grading choices, which are available only to members of the PSA. Based on the declared value of your card, these alternatives cost $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $5,000, or $10,000, depending on the amount you choose.
How to Submit Your Card To PSA
Your initial step should be to go to PSAcard.com. You’ll see a green circular button with the word “Submit” written on it in the upper righthand corner of the webpage (it’s hard to miss).
Your browser will take you to a Sign-In screen when you click on the button. To access PSA, you’ll need to sign up for an account if you don’t already have one. Immediately following your sign-in, you’ll be prompted to fill out the following information:
- The sort of object you are sending (for example, a standard card, a giant card, packs, or other similar items)
- The service you are asking (grade, autograph review, authenticity review, or reholder)
- The date you are requesting the service
- And The Declared Value of the card(s) you are submitting is the sum of the following: Each card that you are providing should be described in detail
- Please provide shipping and billing information.
Having completed this step, you are now prepared to submit your card to the PSA for an official grade, or for any other service you want.
PSA Card Grading Locations
A PSA Dealer may assist you in preparing your card for grading and can also provide further assistance in person during the grading process. Please visit to locate a location that is convenient for you. Its headquarters are located at 10 Woodbridge Center Dr., Suite 701, Woodbridge, NJ 07095, and it employs around 100 people. The phone number for PSA Grading is 1-800-325-1121. It is possible to access the new PSA Grading web page by going to
Concepts to Understand Before Submitting Your Card
When submitting cards for grading, there are several common causes of misunderstanding, according to PSA. Specifically, two notions may be of interest to you in order to ensure that the grading process runs as smoothly as possible:
- Minimum Grade (explainer from PSA)
- Declared Value (explainer from PSA)
- Minimum Grade (explainer from PSA)
These principles, like so many other things in life, are simple enough to comprehend when given the correct instruction. PSA’s explainers should be of great assistance in this situation.
Steps to Take Before Sending Your Card In
If you are mailing in your card(s), PSA requests that you include two copies of your completed submission form with each card you send in. Print three copies of the document: two for inclusion in the bundle and one for your personal keeping. Use one of the ways for cleaning your cards that will not cause damage to them if you chose to do so. Because it necessitates extreme caution, it may not be worth your time if you are afraid that you may inadvertently do any damage to the card.
How to Package Your Card
In order to protect each card, PSA suggests that it be placed in a flexible card pouch before being placed in a harder, semi-rigid plastic sleeve (which it conveniently sells on its eStore). It expressly indicates that you should not utilize screw-down or snap casings since doing so would cause the time it takes for you to acquire a grade to be delayed further. Assemble your cards by stacking them (inside their plastic wrappers) on top of one another. Place a piece of cardboard at the bottom of the pile to protect it from damage.
- The card at the top of the stack should match to the first item on your card submission form, as seen in the image below.
- Place a second cardboard barrier on top of your stack to protect it.
- Rubber bands may be used to hold the cards in place by wrapping them around the stack.
- Place your deck of cards in a cardboard box with bubble wrap, packing popcorn, or other materials that will keep the cards from moving around.
- Make sure to seal the box, add the shipping label, and also attach the Submission ID label that PSA will supply to the package.
After dropping off the box at your preferred shipper (using the shipping option you choose on the PSA website), you’ll be able to sit back and wait for your cards to be graded.
Who to Send Your Card to (PSA Grading Address)
PSA is based in the Southern California region. Please use the shipping address and method that correspond to the official PSA submission addresses provided below, even if it means supplying information that is not particular to you. TOP WAYNE GRETZKY ROOKIE CARDS ARE IN THIS YEAR’S TREND. The addresses and delivery methods shown on this page may change at any moment. International submissions may also necessitate the use of specialized delivery methods. When submitting your cards to PSA, make sure to include the most up-to-date and customized information possible.
How the Grading Process Generally Works / How Long It Takes
In most cases, the level of service that you choose will be determined by the worth of the cards that you submit. This will have an influence on the amount of time it takes to grade your card. PSA will send you an email to advise you that your card has been received. Following that, it will:
- You must enter your order into the company’s grading system database. Create unique order numbers for each of your business cards. Update your Orders page to include more information about your contributions, if needed. Notify you if there are any faults or problems with your order (if there are any problems with your order)
- Stick stickers to the back of each card, which will allow PSA (and you) to track your academic progress over time. Calculate an approximate delivery date for your purchase
- Investigate each of your cards to guarantee its accuracy, and then give you an email stating that each card has been investigated and found to be accurate
- Identify any mistakes or cards that are not eligible for grading and notify you of them
- Sort your cards according to their value
- Create an official PSA Lighthouse Label for each eligible card and attach it to the card. Place your card and Lighthouse Label in the PSA case that has been trademarked
- Check the correctness of your card and grade by going through it again. Confirm the shipping details for your return
- Please get your card returned to you.
There is no way to predict how long it will take to grade your card with any precision. There are a number of variables to consider. Once your card has been received by PSA, order updates will be the most reliable method of estimating when the grading process will be finished.
Criteria PSA Uses to Grade Your Card
Until defects are introduced into the game, your card is deemed perfect. The following are examples of flaws that might lower the grade of your card:
- The card has been miscut
- There is a flaw in the way your card has been produced
- Soiled cards
- Cards with frayed edges or corners
- Cards with stains on them cards that have imperfections, which are sometimes called as markings
- Out-of-focus images on greeting cards
Here are some of the key criteria that PSA utilizes to evaluate cards, including those that you may submit yourself.
How to get cards graded for free by PSA?
Contrary to common perception, PSA does not provide a free service for grading baseball cards. PSA Photograde, on the other hand, is a service that they provide. PSA Photogradeis a free tool that provides users with a visual tour of the PSAGrading Standards and how they relate to their cards, allowing them to obtain a better grasp of the standards.
PSA Grades Scale
PSA assigns grades to cards on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. Individual grades are as follows: 1 – Unsatisfactory (PR 1) 1.5 – Acceptable (FR 1.5) 2 – Very good (GOOD) 3 – Excellent in Every Way (VG 3) 4- Very Good-Excellent (out of 5) (VG-EX 4) 5 – Exceptional (EX 5) 6-Excellent-Mint condition (EX-MT 6) 7 – Almost Mint (NM 7) 8 – Near-Mint-Mint condition (NM-MT 8) Mint (number 9) (MINT 9) Gem Mint is at number 10 on the list (GEM-MT 10) It is reasonable to anticipate that the market value of your unique card will increase in proportion to your score.
Conclusion – You’reReady to Have Your Cards Graded
Regardless of whether or not you select PSA as your card grading service of choice, you now have all of the information you need to get the process underway.
Sports Card Grading 101
After it has been graded, this will protect the card from dirt, dust, and other forms of wear and tear, ensuring that the quality of the card remains the same. First and first, it’s crucial to understand that card grading is not a precise science. The final grade assigned to a card is decided by the professional opinion of a grader, even though the grading standards used by the main third-party grading agencies is largely the same (see below for additional information). The industry normally assigns grades to cards on a scale ranging from 1 to 10.
When you receive a grade of 1, it means that your card is in bad shape. A rating of 10 indicates that your card is in immaculate condition and that it could not possibly be any better than it now is. The four variables that influence the grade of your cards are as follows:
There are a lot of things that professional graders look at for each variable, on both the front and back of the card, including the following items: Corners
- Is there any kind of roundedness to the corners
- Is there a piece of paper missing from the corners? Whether or if there is yellowing around the edges. Are the corners skewed, even a little bit
- Ensure that the card’s edges (sides) are straight. What if there’s a perforation around the margins of the paper? Is there any bending or folds in any of the edges or corners?
- Is there any degradation on the surface of the card that is different from the original color of the card
- How vibrant are the colors, and how faded are they? Does the surface appear to have any particles or dust on it? Any printing issues on the card (for example, any black dots or lines that were mistakenly inserted during the card’s manufacturing process)? Whether or whether there are any wrinkles on the surface
- When seen from top to bottom and left to right, is the picture of the player centered within acceptable parameters? For example, the front picture of a 10 (Gem Mint) must fall between a 55/45 to 60/40 percent criterion, and the rear image must fall under a 75/25 percent barrier
In the section below, you’ll discover more thorough guidelines from different graders on the specific criteria they use to evaluate the cards. As you can see, different third-party services have slightly varied grading standards when it comes to the higher regions of the scale. Please keep in mind that card grading is not a precise science. Suppose you sent the identical card to four separate grading agencies and received four different grades in return. Numerous accounts exist of people mailing a card to an evaluation firm and then taking it out of the envelope and resending it to the evaluation company in question and receiving a different score than they anticipated!
It’s almost like a reliable source of information on the overall quality of your card.
Beckett Refer & Save
Niagara Sports Cards is located at 5154 Townline Road in Sanborn, New York 14132, United States.
Submissions from the comfort of your own home
- 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 18, 2022 On Saturday, February 19, 2022, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, there will be an open house.
FEBRUARY 26Saturday, 2022
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
The sports card industry is in the middle of its own Suez Canal situation
From 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on Friday, March 25, in the year 2022. On Saturday, March 26, 2022, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, there will be no admission fee. From 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm, on Sunday, March 27, 2022;
- Hajducky works for ESPN as a reporter and researcher. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University and has competed on the men’s soccer teams at Fordham and Southern Connecticut State universities. He is married and has two children.
- ESPN staff writer
- Graduated from Central Michigan University in 2011
- Joined ESPN in 2011.
WHEN Bradley Crenshaw sat behind home plate to watch his daughter’s high school softball game two weeks ago, he was in a good mood. The sky was clear, there were no clouds in the sky, and the temperature in Dallas had reached 70 degrees that day. The deep breath he took at the conclusion of another hard workday was just what he needed. Crenshaw is the proprietor of Dallas Card Investors, a firm that acts as a vital intermediary between collectors and the major card-grading services. His job is demanding and requires him to work long hours.
Crenshaw tells his customers whether it is worthwhile to go to the next stage in the grading process, and then either returns the cards back to the submitter or transmits them to a major grader for further consideration.
A card graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) is predicted by Crenshaw’s firm with an accuracy of 96 percent, according to the company.
There is a gold rush going on right now in the memorabilia sector, and obtaining an official grade from the industry’s premier grader, PSA Authentication and Grading Services, serves as the entrance fee into the major leagues of card collecting.
During the third inning, Crenshaw’s daughter, the team’s leadoff batter and center fielder, came to the plate.
His phone rang at that very moment.
The date on the calendar said that it was March 30, so it’s possible that this was some type of April Fool’s Day joke?
According to reports, the organization had a backlog of cards to examine just a few weeks after boosting fees per card, and there weren’t enough personnel to handle the volume of work.
In the collecting world, it was the equivalent of the Postal Service warning on December 15 that demand had risen to an unsustainable level and that the corporation could not keep up with the volume of Christmas package deliveries.
The texts and emails came in, reaching 50 by the conclusion of the game, from worried clients and colleagues who wondered how the industry would continue to function while PSA was absent for months.
I’m messaging and emailing people, trying to figure out what the problem is “Crenshaw expressed himself.
My wife would smack me to let me know the ball was headed her way in center field if the ball was hit in my direction and she was in center field.” Crenshaw estimates that he got between 200 and 300 texts over the course of the following 24 hours.
What would be the criteria for grading their cards?
Crenshaw had absolutely no idea what was going on.
In many cases, having a PSA grade assigned to a card based on the company’s 1-10 scale increases the value of the card by a factor of several hundred times or more.
It’s the ultimate thumbs-up – or thumbs-down – for the pastime.
Before the COVID-19 epidemic began, PSA was getting 500,000 cards every five days, which was more than the firm received in a three-month period before the pandemic began.
PSA stated in a statement that the firm has expanded from 421 people in January 2020 to 783 employees this March, which is still not nearly enough to keep up with the growth that has occurred over the previous 12 months.
“Given our mounting backlog, it would be hypocritical of us to continue to accept submissions for cards that we will be unable to produce in the near future,” PSA president Steve Sloan said in the letter to the organization’s membership.
During the previous two years, Rick Probstein’s auction firm has sold more than $120 million worth of cards on eBay.
“It’s the equivalent of Coca-Cola urging customers to switch to Pepsi for a few months,” says the author.
Because condition is a factor in determining value, submitting a card that is graded lower than a 9 may result in a higher submission fee for the individual.
“We receive thousands of entries on a monthly basis,” Crenshaw said of the number of submissions received.
This is the total amount for all of the firms.
“That is my main point of contention.
“I thought, ‘It’ll be good for them to catch up,’ followed by, ‘I wonder what SGC and Beckett and the new players are going to do,'” Vaynerchuk ponders.
He thinks that he has several hundred thousand cards that need to be graded at any given time.
PSA will be able to focus on the backlog and return the cards to their customers with gleaming new grades as a result of the halt in the inflow.
Not everyone, however, will be able to take advantage of this opportunity because not everyone involved in the pastime is a collector.
Shawn Henry is one of Crenshaw’s clients, and he is both a collector and a vendor of antiques and art.
During the wedding, one of his guests showed him a photo of his PrizmLuka Doncicrookie card on his phone, and he was informed that his discovery was now worth hundreds of dollars more than he paid for it originally.
He sold it for $8,800 and became addicted to the game.
The grading costs alone have cost him nearly $11,000.
“It’s tough because the markets are always fluctuating, and you have to timing your trades correctly.
“It’s awful because they’re a business, and they’re causing other businesses to stutter and the market to become more unpredictable.
He would not have sold all of those cards at once, and he would have saved some of them for his own collection as well.
The majority of this comes from basketball cards, specifically those of Zion Williamson and Ja Morant.
Having a graded card instead of a raw form allows people who resell the cards to earn a profit on their purchases.
Not every card is worth enough to warrant such a wide variance in pricing, but the gap may be significant in some cases.
In a recent auction on eBay, a raw, ungraded version of same card sold for $2,000, but a 9-graded mint edition of the identical card sold for $52,600 on the same day.
According to Probstein, “I mean, everything is dependent upon it.” “One thousand thousand bucks can be made or lost by choosing between a 9 and a 10.
It is the lifeblood of the organization.
Despite the immediate negative impact on the hobby during the first half of 2021, others feel that it is actually beneficial for the hobby to be less reliant on PSA in general.
It is an online marketplace and auction house that offers some of the most expensive cards in the hobby on a regular basis.
According to Craig, if PSA had not made substantial adjustments to its scale or suspended submissions, it would not have been able to catch up.
“It might develop into one of two things: either people opt to wait until PSA is back up and running before sending to them, or they elect to utilize Beckett or SGC,” Craig explained.
Beckett and SGC, two of PSA’s most significant rivals, are already dealing with backlogs of their respective projects.
Despite this, Beckett president Jeromy Murray is candid about what would be another another surprising event in the school’s history: He is concerned that his company will be forced to close in order to catch up.
“I’d like to avoid them at all costs.
“For the time being, our standard service has grown to six to nine months in length.
Yes, without a doubt.
The Certified Collectibles Group, which has been grading comic books and currencies since 1987, is the parent organization of the Certified Collectibles Group.
Because CSG was so well-regarded in the comic business, the company received a flood of sports card submissions for grading from its current comic clients almost immediately.
It is “impossible for me to see a scenario in which our rival can shut off submissions to a significant category of cards without it benefiting us,” Spiegel added.
It can only be beneficial to us.” Crenshaw has already established a new business account with CSG and has just completed his first bulk submission to the firm in order to take advantage of the chance to get cards in a timely fashion.
It must strike a balance between that concept and the reality that it must persuade new clients to put their faith in it when it comes to grading, and that cards rated by CSG may be worth as much as a card graded by PSA.
“A lot of money with their name on it is going to be required of them eventually.
It can be a taxing job; spending more than eight hours a day at a desk, staring at sports cards you don’t own, can be a grind.
As a result of getting such an up close and personal look at the pastime, graders get expertise that may be applied to earn more money than what the card-grading firms are willing to pay.
The discourse has also sparked curiosity about a more radical solution to the grading problem: perhaps robots will be able to save the day.
It’s difficult to get around the math of grading more than 100,000 cards every day with only human judgment.
When it comes to artificial intelligence grading, are we prepared? Probstein inquires. “That opens up an entirely new can of worms. How do you remove the element of visual appeal from the equation? That is a very large bungee jump. I’m not sure if the industry is ready for anything like that.”