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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    This is the exact question that I have. Is it worth it to get certain cards graded? If I have older cards that are not in the best condition, but still have good value, I am leaning towards not grading. But for newer cards that I have that are in great condition, sometimes I feel that it would be worth it if I got back a 10. But the cost of grading is so high, let's say I have a Jordan card that might be worth around 0, would it mater if it was officially graded or not? Is it worth the fees? Tough call I think...
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  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    I’m fairly new to the world of “adult” cars collecting. Over the course of a few breaks, I’ve come up with a couple of cards which I would consider getting grades and slabbed, but I’ve never been through the process before and I’m new to the whole process. What resources do you guys turn to, and what’s your decision-making process behind when you grade?

    FWIW, I think the three top contenders I’d be thinking about are a Brennen Davis wave refractor (/125) auto out of 2020 Bowman Sterling and Randy Arozarena’s cardinal rookie base cards out of 2020 Bowman and Topps Series 1.

    Well, I'm a hockey card collector so I don't know much about the cards you're referencing however when it comes to grading cards - especially modern cards - the player or set itself you plan on having graded only plays somewhat of a role in weather or not to have a card slabbed.. Obviously the sport itself plays no role, lol

    What I'm posting below in regards to grading is applicable for raw cards that have been purchased as singles and not pulled out of packs:

    1. First, you really have to consider grading fees, and turn around time.

    Recently PSA doubled their grading fees so it's now going to cost $20 bucks to get a card graded unless you're an exclusive member and grade in bulk, so if you're sending in a few cards keep in mind that you're generally not going to get that card back for 8-10 months. So that off the bat is something to really consider in the present day volatile card market.

    Also, let me point out that the best way to determine a cards value is by recent completed eBay sales. I would suggest ignoring Beckett because there is absolutely nothing objective about their assessed values, so eBay is without question the most legitimate and only resource you should be using to determine a raw cards value.

    With that said you should never get a modern era card which you purchased graded that is valued less than the grading fee itself + s/h + eBay fees unless you're 100% certain the card would grade a PSA 10, and there are few collectors out there could call a PSA 10 with certainty because there is no such thing as objectivity when it comes to grading - all graded cards were graded by individuals hence the cards grade will be subjective. And like I'll point out below in more detail, that there is no issue in being confident a card will come back a 10, but collectors should financially consider a card coming back a 9 to at least break even if they don't hit the lotto with a PSA 10. So you always want to consider what the card sells for or has been recently been valued at raw which for all intents and purposes will break you even if your card comes back a PSA 9. However from my perspective there really is no benefit in having a card that sells or is valued at $50-$75 bucks raw because the risk is just too high unless you're really good at grading raw cards and usually get the grade you projected - and if that's the case you can send in any card you want because you're a wizard, lol...

    So with that said if you purchased a raw card off eBay, card show or even the LCS in which you paid $25 bucks for and the card is generally valued at or sells on eBay for $25 raw, but you notice that PSA 9's sell for $50 and PSA 10's usually sell for $250-$300 bucks and you believe your raw copy has PSA 10 potential, then you must factor in the fact you already have $25 invested in the card right off the top, grading fees will be $20, plus shipping from both the seller to the buyer then to PSA combined is another $20 on average, however before you send the card to PSA hoping for that 10 you must factor that once you send that card off to PSA you will already have $65 invested in that card, so at that point it's either "boom or bust". I mean if your card grades a PSA 9, sure you will get $50 which is obviously twice what you paid for it, however when you factor in fees and shipping it's now $65, so you really lost $15 in the investment the second you sent the card to PSA. Now obviously cards go up and down in value so depending on where the card is at 8-10 months later after the PSA turnaround rate is complete you could have made a nice profit, lost money or the card could still be valued the same.

    Getting cards graded in which you pulled yourself

    Obviously, pulling a nice hit from a pack, box or case break is as exciting as you can get and naturally many collectors would like to get some of their hits graded, so when it comes to situations like this it's a totally different situation from a financial perspective.. I mean if you pull a $100 card from a $5 dollar pack, the notion of losing money is nearly impossible. However it's still possible but highly unlikely. When it comes to cards like this you can either have them graded or just sell them raw.. I firmly believe if you hit a nice card and it regularly sells for $100 raw, you should get it graded for a couple of reasons:

    1. The card is pack fresh, so you don't have to worry about a previous dealer or collector selling or trying to sell you a card that had previously been graded a PSA 8 but they cracked the slab and sold it raw in order to recoup their losses. And also you really do have a shot at a higher grade if you think the card has PSA 10 potential.

    2. You pulled the card from a $5.00 pack, so all you have into the card is $5 bucks.

    So in situations that that you very well could send if off to get slabbed and even if the card comes back an 8 which would be rough by any standards for a pack fresh card - but say it did you're still making a profit - just not as much as you otherwise would but still a profit. If the card sells raw for $100, a PSA 8 would probably sell for $75-100, your grading fees are $20, the pack was $5 so you're still making $50-$75 off the card, unless you break the slab or have the card resubmitted. I mean if you get a PSA 9 and that would at the very least cover the grading fees and still net you $100 bucks if not more, and once again a 10 and you've hit the lotto presuming PSA 10's sell for $750-$1000, and that was just from a $5 investment.. So I suppose my point is that when it comes to having cards graded - it's generally best if you send cards off to be slabbed if you personally pulled them..

    And look, collectors have to understand that there are plenty of dealers out there that do nothing but break cases, pull the best of the best cards they're certain will get 10's or at the very least 9's and then sell the rest of the cards raw.... Now I'm not even saying or implying that all raw cards out there are flawed - as a matter of fact the majority of the singles out there are absolutely suitable for PSA grading and many have a shot at a PSA 10... I mean I'd bet anything that here are 10x more PSA 10's out there that haven't been graded than not, I'm just saying there is always a risk - a small risk - that a card had been graded, cracked and sold as raw..

    Now of course vintage cards are a totally different story, and perhaps that is something I will go over another day.. However I will leave you with this handy grading advice"

    A card should grade to it's year...

    For example an average grade for say a card from 1985 should be a 8.5, a card from 1965 should be a 6.5 and cards that grade higher than their year demand premiums..

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