I thought I was the first one with this great idea. I would buy raw cards on ebay, get them graded, and they will all be PSA 10’s. Then I will sit back and reap the profits. Well, that didn’t happened. After losing a couple of bucks, maybe a hundred or so, I came come up with a strategy that has worked for me. Again, I don’t get PSA 10’s 100% of the time, but I give myself a better shot at them. So what are some of the things I look for when buying raw cards?
The first thing I look for is centering. It’s the one thing that you can really look at online and know if it’s good or not. To make it easier on yourself make sure when you start out you find a card that has borders. You can take a look at the PSA 10 encased card and then compare it to the raw cards. The more you look, the better you will become at this. You will make mistakes in the beginning but just keep researching. If the price is much cheaper than that rest of the raw cards take a look at the centering! 9 times out of 10 that is why.
If you take the 1st picture you will see that left border is bigger than the right border. Also the top border is bigger than the bottom border. This would get a PSA 9. It’s not a card I would buy.
In this next card, the left to right is much better, ever so slightly off, but the top is slightly bigger the bottom. It’s not terrible. If all other factors are good then the biggest factor in buying this card would be the price. If a psa 10 graded card goes for $125-150 range and this raw card can be had for $40, I would take the chance. If this card is $75 I would look for a different card.
The next thing to look for is the corners. Darker corners sometimes blend into the picture, but also if the corner is white on the front of the card it would indicate that the corner is nicked or not 100% sharp meaning it’s not getting a 10. Most cards on Ebay you can zoom into the card, this is where you can get the best idea of the corners of a card. You looking for white or somewhat rounded looking corners. If you don’t see that then the card should be acceptable. With scans or pictures online you can’t always see 100% everything. Again, we are trying to increase your odds for getting a 10.
The picture below shows the bottom right hand corner of a card. It is sharp and really nice looking. This is a PSA 10 corner.
The top left corner is where we have a question. It doesn’t look as sharp as the bottom right hand corner. This is why it’s important to slow and look at all 4 corners. Looking at the full view all corners look great. But up close you can see there is an issue with this corner.
The edges and surface are the most difficult to determine thru pictures online. The edges may look jagged or fuzzy but it’s not a true indicator of problems. Surface issues may be the top loader or penny sleeve. If they aren’t in either it could just be fuzz on it. Chrome card scratches can be seen but you really have to zoom in to see anything. If your cards does have some issues on it and it’s a bowman chrome take a look at the video I created on How to clean bowman chrome cards.
So this is what I do when looking to buy raw sports cards to get graded for profit. Now I have decided to find a card for you all that I feel will get a PSA 10. You may see a white spot by the black part on the bottom right hand. I believe that it’s just bad lighting. The centering and corners are on point. It is 2018 Bowman Chrome Draft Grant Lavigne. Last sold PSA 10 $128.77, yes I see the one after that at $58.27, but did you see the one before that at $187.50? Buy Some Cards and Go Broke!