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Thread: Is grading worth it?

  1. #1

    Is grading worth it?

    Hi there I recently got a couple very nice cards and I have never had anything graded before. I am looking to resell them and was wondering if it is worth it. Not sure how much grading costs or even how to go about it. All I know is I can see the difference in selling on ebay and such. A grade of 9 at $50 vs. a 9.5 at $150? Really? That much difference. Does it depend on the card to get graded? Print run? Type of card? Auto? Jersey? Any info would be appreciated. If you need more info from me, such as cards I'm interested in grading, let me know. Thanks, Kenny

  2. #2
    Graded cards are hard to sell unless they are over 45 years old.

  3. #3
    Grading can definitely make a huge difference in the eyes of many collectors. It assures that the card will remain in that condition for years to come. Some people are pretty worried about dropping the card, dinging a corner, etc., so if you have something that is in Gem Mint or Pristine condition it can very much be worth the investment to have it slabbed and graded.

    Case in point, and this is for a relatively minor player just to give you an idea of the impact a BGS 9.5 can have - I own I believe it's up to 5 copies now of the Josh Gorges SP Authentic RC. Got a couple via trade and bought a couple others for under $10 delivered. Well last year somebody on eBay posted up a BGS 9.5 in an auction listing. I checked the population report and since it's the only one, it is in a sense a 1/1 - I got in a minor bidding war with a guy and it ended up clocking around $25. That's 2.5x the going rate (more if you find someone selling them for even less than the $8-$10 you usually see them sell for) on a player that, while good at what he does and likely the next captain of the Montreal Canadiens, isn't exactly a hobby champion.

    A lot of the valued added to graded cards stems from the collectibility of the card to begin with. Getting an OPC retro parallel graded isn't likely to set anybody's world on fire if they see it. Getting an OPC Retro Blank Back parallel may add even greater value to an already hard-to-find card. To go even further, a top rookie card or super-rare insert (think the SuperFractors in baseball) will command a MASSIVE premium if it grades high. The ultimate example is of course the Gretzky RC - because high-grade copies of the card (legitimate ones, not laser-cut copies) are incredibly hard to come across, a card that comes out with even an 8 will get a big bump. The modern (post-lockout 2005) equivalent of that would be the Crosby YG or SPA FW (possibly lump The Cup in there too) that come back with a 9.5 or a 10. Raw copies can do very well of course, but a Gem Mint or Pristine card that will be preserved in that condition can get you a mortgage payment in a good hobby climate.
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  4. #4
    If you're getting modern cards graded, I'd stick to just the more popular rookie cards, like young guns, future watch, maybe Cup ARPs. Costs per card to grade vary depend on how many you have graded, plus you have to factor in the shipping and insurance charges, so you're looking at least $12-13/card if you submit a moderate amount.

    Also, be honest with yourself if you're going to grade them. If you can see more than two microscopic issues with it, it probably isn't worth getting graded. It also probably isn't worth getting it slabbed if it grades at less than a 9 (which I believe is an option you can include when sending cards in for grading), I've seen BGS 8.5s of modern cards sell for less than ungraded ones.

  5. #5
    I think if you are going to sell them then yes grade, if not it isn't a must.

  6. #6
    Because of rampant counterfeiting there are specific cards in this hobby I would never EVER buy ungraded (older rookies, Gretzky, Lemieux, Roy, Jordan, ect ect) regardless of grade. Hell I wouldn't even trust a Vezina rookie that looked like it'd grade a 2 unless it was slabbed a 2. So if you have cards of that nature I'd say grade them as raw ones are a pain to move as I am hardly in the minority.

  7. #7
    Just to play devil's advocate here.... I can't stand graded cards. I can tolerate a few slabbed ITG cards that have some nice old mem inside, but I have never considered grading any of my cards, and I can't stand the feeling I get when I find a card I'm chasing and it has been graded and that's one less card that I can go for. :P I don't like the disconnect it creates between me and my cards, like putting them inside a glass case and never being able to get inside.

    Whether a card is a 9 or a 9.5 or a 10 seriously means very little to me or my enjoyment for the cards I have.
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  8. #8
    For modern card dont graded anything else then rookie cards exept for Crosby and Gretzky that have a following even on base cards.

    Grading auto`s or jersey card isint worth it exept the 2 mention above.

    Grading Young Guns, Sp Authentic auto rc /999, Ice rc /99 of star player is really worth it whatever the haters say.Even lesser players i was suprize by my Burmistrov and Johanssen YG BGS 9.5 sales a few years back.

  9. #9
    If you have a higher mid end or top player and its a rookie card then yes get it graded. If you want to resell and you are sure its in good shape no visible damage then do it. If it grades 9 or lower you will most likely lose money if it grades 9.5 or 10 then you gain money. The only way I would grade something is for resell value.
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  10. #10
    It really depends on what they are, and what kind of condition they're in.

    If they're in good enough condition that you honestly think you'll get a 9.5 on them, or a 9 in some cases (don't ever expect a 10 going through Beckett, I think they've given out like 3, ever.) and they already have a decent resale value, then it's probably worth it.

    Just keep in mind that you will be adding $10-$20 in cost to you to have them graded, so apply that to whatever your bottom line is.

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