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Clks21

Is it really worth it ???

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considering getting cards graded but theres so many graders out there who is legit these days and who is not and whats a reasonable price for that can anyone help ?????
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  1. the 'stache's Avatar
    Hi clk21 ,

    I'll do my best to help you out here.

    The "Big Three" for card grading are Beckett, PSA and SGC. All are legit, and I personally wouldn't trust anybody else. All have established history within the sports card market. Who you go to really becomes a matter of preference, and can be influenced by what it is you are having graded. Many like SGC's slab for displaying vintage cards. PSA seems to be the leader in grading cards prior to 1980, and Beckett has become the go to for modern cards, as well as cards with a certified autograph.

    First, here's the websites for the 3 companies:

    http://www.sgccard.com/
    http://www.psacard.com/
    http://www.beckett.com/


    The PSA holder:



    With PSA, you have to register for for a "collector's club". Once this is done, and you have paid the fee, you are given a certain amount of free card gradings. The fees start at $110 annually. More on that here http://www.psacard.com/join/. Of the three, they are my personal favorite, and the only reason I don't buy more cards from PSA is that their slabs can be tampered with. The hard cases are sonically sealed, meaning sound waves are used to weld the pieces of plastic together. There are two main portions to the slab: the top portion contains a small card, or "flip", which provides details on the card contained within. The player name, card manufacturer, year, and any other card specific info are included, as well as a bar code specific to that card. The other portion contains the card itself. People have figured out how to tamper with these cases, which are clear when issued from PSA. They have discovered how to pop the slab, allowing them to remove the card, or the flip, and reseal them after inserting a fake flip, counterfeit card, or another of the same card of lower quality. PSA considers their slabs "tamper evident", in other words, they acknowledge they can be opened, but there should be tell-tale indicators of this. One is the "frosting" of the case where a break in was attempted. The clear plastic takes on the appearance of frosting, or becomes murky white. Also, they use specific typography in filling out the flip. The problem is that PSA has had different variations of flips, and sometimes it can be confusing. I have gotten pretty good at identifying tampered cases, but I'm certainly not an expert. If you are buying cards PSA graded, and ever have questions, best to ask someone here. If you are looking to grade your own cards, you need not worry about this obviously. But it is good to know as a consumer.

    The SGC Holder:



    SGC's fees are a little more straight forward, imo. They charge based on the value of the card, and how quickly you want to get it back. http://www.sgccard.com/grading_fees.htm They have the most attractive slab of all 3 grading companies in my opinion. They also custom fit their holders for cards of odd shapes. They will hold specials where you can get reductions on their fees.

    The Beckett holder:



    Finally, Beckett. Please be aware they offer three different services: Beckett Grading Services (BGS), Beckett Vintage Grading (BVG), and Beckett Club Grading (BCCG). I would not advise using Beckett Club. It's cheaper, but they don't spend the time really going over the card. It's fast food grading, imo. BGS and BVG, however, are very good. The cases used in each are like Fort Knox. You might be able to break it open, but look luck trying it. The slabs are thicker and heavier, however. As far as pricing goes, check this out: http://www.beckett.com/grading/compare_our_services

    Is it worth it? That's only a question you can answer. If you are looking to sell these cards, you will get more for a graded card than a raw card. If these are for your personal collection, the cases will protect them. But this all depends on how much you need graded, what your budget is for grading, and what the ultimate goal is.

    Good luck!!
  2. Clks21's Avatar
    thank you im an old school collector and really appreciate the time and effort you took to explain the differences and brands and thanks for the links ....good luck on your findings
  3. the 'stache's Avatar
    Welcome :)