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Thread: Graded or Ungraded?

  1. #1

    Graded or Ungraded?

    I'd like to ask a question regarding collecting graded cards vs. non-graded cards, specficaly as it relates to resale value. If my intent is to hold a card for years to resell at a future date, should I be avoiding non-graded cards? I see many nice raw limited edition cards on Ebay that seem to command a high price, but I've always been reluctant to buy anything as in investment ungraded. I would love to hear your input. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    I think that there are 2 main advantages to graded cards. 1) The encasement helps to protect the card against the accidental ding, crease, or chipped edge. Some cards are notorious for having surface material that can chip away by just putting it in a penny sleeve...think 1993 Dominators. 2) You know that what you are getting is an authentic card as opposed to a counterfeit. Depending on the card, it may be very easy for counterfeiters to duplicate, especially as their technology improves.

    A big disadvantage is that you will probably pay more for a graded card than for the raw version. Like diamonds; those graded higher by a professional are worth far more. Looking at the POP report on the grader's site can help sometimes. If it looks like it's tough for the card you're eyeballing to receive a grade as high as the one you've found, then it may be worth the extra investment (since it is, after all, an investment).

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of graded cards for my PC. I have a few high-end cards that I will send off for grading mainly to protect them, and hopefully receive a high grade to improve their value if I ever decided to sell.
    Wanting to buy '96 Select Certified Mirror Gold baseball...commons & stars

  3. #3
    Really depends on the card. I want to say that graded is the way to go all the time but some cards you really shouldn't be grading for investment purposes years down the line.
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  4. #4

  5. #5
    Well personally I've never really seen game used cards go for more when graded as an investment purpose and many modern day inserts or autographs will do worse unless they are graded 9.5 or higher. But I figured you were talking about rookies or rookie autographs so that wouldn't apply to them but I wasn't sure so that's why I asked.
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  6. #6
    Maybe a middle ground?

    When I think of investments, I think of two things. First is the idea of buying low and selling high. Second is risk vs reward.

    With those two principles in mind, perhaps buy high grade raw cards at value prices (buy low). Then, send them off for grading (risk). Hold on to them until they are at their peak value (sell high), and get much more than the initial cost of the card plus grading back (reward).

    Just keep in mind that it takes a VERY discerning (and neutral/objective) eye to determine whether a card is worth the risk of grading.

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