Card collecting is fun. You get to chase your favorite players, fill out a checklist or even try to get a rainbow of parallels for a card that means a lot to you. But when you get that one big hit; you know, the one that leaves you staring after ripping through a hobby box and in awe as to what to do next. So, where do you go from there? Do you just leave the card in a one-touch and sitting on a stand at your desk? Do you neatly organize your cards and just have it sleeved in five rows with all the other cards from that set? Well, if you want to maximize your value with your biggest hits, the next step is to have your card graded. But where do you start to find where to get sports cards graded? What grading company is best for the card, or cards, that you want to get graded? Look no further, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about where to get sports cards graded and what to expect during the process.
Where to Start
When you send your cards into a grading company, you’re paying for them to not only let you know what condition the card is in, but also authenticate the card itself. They can let you know if the autograph is real, if the centering isn’t right or even if the card wasn’t printed by the original distributor (a fake card, if you will). When you take a look through all of the options for card grading, it can feel a bit daunting at first. Knowing where to get sports cards graded and understanding who you’re sending your cards to is the first step in increasing the value of your cards.
Let’s start with PSA, the leaders in third party authentication. If you have the following cards, PSA is the right stop:
- Vintage cards
- Highly sought-after RPAs
Holding the largest database on graded cards in the world, PSA is the most trusted for a multitude of reasons. One of the biggest benefits of using PSA to grade your cards is their attention to detail and scrutiny that they put cards under. Getting a PSA 10 GEM-MT is very difficult and even cards that come out of the back and sent immediately to them are not guaranteed this grading. They have services ranging from $50 all the way to $10,000.
PSA Grading Process: All you have to do is register your free account with PSA, fill out a 7-step questionnaire to gather all the basic information needed, complete the submission and ship! They’ll grade the card, provide a certificate number and send it right back to you. So if you really hit the jackpot, send your cards into PSA and see what grades you receive!
Beckett Grading Services
Another very trusted company is Beckett Grading Services (BGS). BGS is a great option for any and all cards, but sending in some of your newer items like Prizm, Select and Optic, is usually the best way to go. They have a more sensible price guide compared to PSA, so you’re not left paying too much to get your cards graded. Cards are also graded with half points, compared to PSA where every card is a whole number. This side of their final grading leaves a lot of room for grades to bump up or down a little bit. BGS determines where the grade lands based on an importance factor taking precedence over less important imperfections on the cards. This grading system is very complicated at first glance, but a read through on their FAQ a few times should clear up any confusion.
BGS Grading Process: To get your cards graded with BGS, you must fill out a submission form online, pay for your fees, insurance and shipping, and then you’re good to get them to BGS!
The increase in popularity of trading cards has created a higher demand in finding the right match for where to get sports cards graded to receive the best return on investment. If you’re looking to sell your card, we recommend investing in receiving a grade from PSA or BGS to increase the value of your card. Sit back and enjoy looking at your big hit in a stand on your shelf or explore the option of selling with a grade - either option is a great celebration of your hobby box experience!