When you are getting back into cards you realize that getting your cards graded is more important than ever. Gone are the days where an ungraded card will get you top dollar. Collectors now like the comfort that PSA or Beckett graded card gives you.
Now, yes, their has been turmoil recently in the hobby with regards to grading, but it hasn’t slowed people getting their cards graded. Yet…
But how do you figure out which cards to grade or not? Will it greatly increase the value of my card or am I just throwing money away? Also, there is no guarantee that you will get a top grade. PSA 10 or BGS 9.5 are tough to get. If you don’t carefully inspect a card you can get a lower grade which will make the card worth the same as a raw card. I would say 40% of the time you won’t get a PSA 10.
Want to see how I check my cards out to make sure you give yourself the best shot at a PSA 10? Check out this Video!
Make sure you check your corners, centering (front and back), surface issues, and edges. When buying online compare cards to PSA 10 and BGS 9.5 and 10’s. Centering is one of the easier things to check online compared to the other 3 modifiers. If autograph’s are not clean and a little smeared that will affect the grade as well.
Look at the centering left to right, not PSA 10 worthy.
Now getting your cards graded can be expensive and take more than 3 months to get back! During that time a player can get hurt, be in a slump, or do something stupid that will lower their card values. He can also get hot and perform amazingly well which will make his card become more valuable. Well duhh…. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples to see if we should grade a card or not. We are going to figure $15 to get it graded by PSA and $25 for BGS auto card. I’m including shipping both ways. If it’s more for you just add to these numbers. Also eBay fees are 10% and pay pal fees are around 3%.
2019 Topps Series 2 Pete Alonso Rookie Card – Raw prices including shipping goes for $7.00 a card. We would submit this card for $15.00 so our total cost would be $22.00. Now a PSA 10 goes for $64.00 including shipping. Now take out any fees and that will be your profit. If you sell on eBay figure 13%. So in this example you would make a profit of $30.00. A PSA 9 has one sold at $15.00. You are pretty much breaking even. However, you would have had to wait a couple of months to get this card. In this example you would definitely grade this card.
2018 Topps Update Juan Soto Rookie Card – Raw prices including shipping are around $6-7 dollar so we will figure $6.50. A psa 10 goes for $35.00 shipped on average. Total profit would be $5.95. Now this is an average some cards sell for less. Would you wait a couple of months to make $6.00? You are still almost doubling your money so I would say you should grade this card. But if I were you I would get a lot of these cards because some will come back as a PSA 9 where you will lose money or break even around $15.00.
2013 Topps Update Manny Machado #172 – Raw Prices are around $5.00 including shipping. PSA 10 goes for $16.00 shipped. It would cost more to get this graded, then to actually just buy a PSA 10. I would say this is a good deal to just buy a PSA 10. PSA 9, well, it is a nice paper weight.
2018 Bowman Draft Chrome Casey Mize Auto – Raw Prices are around $75 including shipping. A bgs 9.5/auto 10 is around $180.00. I am not even going to do the math. You would definitely do this. But on prospects you should do a quicker turnaround because a couple of bad games may spell doom for a prospects chances. However, a bgs 9/10 will be harder to sell. I think you can still get $100 for this particular card, but their are no solds for it on ebay.
If you are fanatical about condition you may improve the 60% of your cards being graded PSA 10 or BGS 9.5. But always figure the worse case scenario, if I get a PSA 9 can I atleast get my money back? If not what tolerance do you have?
What about vintage cards? I believe you should grade them for two reasons. More often than not it will enhance it’s value and it will let you know if your cards have been altered or are authentic. Many of the alterations that happened to cards are vintage. Yes, it’s starting to creeping in big time for modern cards, but vintage cards is where cards can go from hundreds to thousands when graded a point or two higher. Again, take a look at ebay comps to gauge whether or not the condition of your card validates getting it graded.
Now, buy some cards and go broke!