How Do I Grade My Sports Cards?

How Do I Grade My Sports Cards?

Grading sports cards can be a useful way to determine the condition and value of your cards. By assigning a grade to your cards, you can get a better understanding of their worth and make informed decisions about your collection. In this blog post, we will explore the process of grading sports cards and the pros and cons of different grading companies.

What Is Sports Card Grading?

Sports card grading is the process of evaluating the condition of a sports card and assigning it a grade based on its quality. Grades are typically assigned on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest (mint) and 1 being the lowest (poor). Grades are used to determine the value of a sports card and can help collectors make informed decisions about their collection.

The Grading Process

The grading process typically involves the following steps:

  • Submitting your cards: To have your cards graded, you will need to submit them to a grading company. Most grading companies have specific submission guidelines and fees, so it is important to research your options and choose a company that meets your needs.

  • Inspection and evaluation: Once your cards are received by the grading company, they will be inspected and evaluated by expert graders. These graders will examine the cards for any defects or damage and assign a grade based on their condition.

  • Encapsulation: Once a grade has been assigned, the card will be placed in a protective case or slab. This case, also known as an encapsulation, is designed to protect the card and help preserve its condition.

  • Certification: The grading company will then certify the card and include a certificate of authenticity with the encapsulation. This certificate is proof that the card has been graded by the company and can be used to verify its authenticity and value.

Pros and Cons of Grading Companies

There are several sports card grading companies to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. Here are some things to consider when selecting a grading company:

  • PSA: PSA is one of the most well-known and respected grading companies in the industry. PSA is known for its thorough and accurate grading process, and its grades are widely accepted by collectors and dealers. However, PSA is also known for its high fees and long turnaround times, which can be a drawback for some collectors.

  • Beckett: Beckett is another popular grading company that is known for its accurate and reliable grading process. Beckett is known for its reasonable fees and fast turnaround times, making it a good choice for collectors who need their cards graded quickly. However, Beckett's grades are not always accepted by all collectors and dealers, which can be a drawback for some.

  • SGC: SGC is a lesser-known grading company that is known for its thorough and accurate grading process. SGC is known for its reasonable fees and fast turnaround times, making it a good option for collectors who need their cards graded quickly. However, SGC's grades are not always accepted by all collectors and dealers, which can be a drawback for some.

Conclusion

Grading sports cards can be a useful way to determine the condition and value of your cards. By understanding the grading process and the pros and cons of different grading companies, you can make informed decisions about your collection and get a better understanding of the worth of your cards. Whether you are a beginner collector or a seasoned pro, grading your sports cards can help you build a meaningful and valuable collection.