- Why grades are important for sports cards
- How to determine the grade of a sports card
- The different grading scales for sports cards
- The most important factors in determining the grade of a sports card
- How to properly store and protect your sports cards
- The benefits of having your sports cards professionally graded
- The drawbacks of having your sports cards professionally graded
- How to choose a reputable sports card grading company
- The costs of having your sports cards professionally graded
- The pros and cons of grading your own sports cards
A sports card can be graded on a number of different factors. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how to grade a sports card.
Checkout this video:
Why grades are important for sports cards
There are a number of reasons why grades are important for sports cards. First, sports cards that have been professionally graded are usually worth more than ungraded cards. This is because graded cards have been evaluated by experts and given a condition score that reflects the card’s overall quality. Cards that have been well-preserved are more likely to be in high demand among collectors, which drives up the price.
Another reason why grades are important is that they provide a way to standardize the value of a card. This is helpful for both buyers and sellers, as it gives everyone a common starting point when determining how much a card is worth. Grades also make it easier to compare similar cards from different sources, as you can be confident that cards with the same grade should be of comparable quality.
If you’re thinking about collecting sports cards, or if you already have a collection, it’s worth taking the time to learn about grading and how it can impact the value of your cards.
How to determine the grade of a sports card
Determining the grade of a sports card can be difficult, as there is no single, universally accepted grading system. However, there are a few steps you can take to get a general idea of the condition of your card and what its grade might be.
The first step is to identify any major imperfections, such as bends, creases, tears, or folds. These will significantly affect the value and grade of your card. Next, look for minor imperfections, such as stains, scratches, or nicks. These may not necessarily reduce the value of your card, but they will affect its grade. Finally, consider the overall condition of the card—is it well-centered? Is the print quality clear? Is the card bent or warped?
Once you have looked at the condition of your card, you can begin to compare it to cards of similar age and type to get an idea of what its grade might be. While there is no perfect way to determine the grade of a sports card, taking these steps will give you a good starting point.
The different grading scales for sports cards
When it comes to grading sports cards, there are a few different scales that you can use. The most common ones are the PSA and Beckett scale.
Gem Mint-10: A perfect card. Absolutely no flaws whatsoever.
Mint-9: A near perfect card with only very minor imperfections.
Near Mint Mint-8: A card with only a few very minor imperfections.
Excellent-Mint EX/MINT-7: A card with a few minor imperfections, but overall still in excellent condition.
Very Good VG/EX-6: A card with some wear and tear, but still in overall very good condition.
Good G/VG-5: A card with heavy wear and tear, but still in overall good condition.
Fair FR/GD-4: A card with significant wear and tear, but still in overall fair condition.
Poor PR/PR-1: A card in poor condition with major imperfections.
Near Mint NM or M 10: Like new with only trivial signs of wear if any at all; nearly perfect centering of both the front and back images; glossy surfaces (except for set break cards); sharp corners free of fraying or creasing; 90 degree corners on newer cards may show only minimal rounding; no stress lines; colors bright and vibrant (except for cards printed before 1980 when colors were readily susceptible to fading); light scuffing on edges barely visible to the naked eye; no cards may be graded higher—this is the highest grade possible; no foil stamped hologram on back may be present unless stated in description when applicable Example image Gem Mint GM 9.5 or 9: Near perfection; slight off center of front image 1 mm or less; slight loss of gloss on surfaces due to age of product not being handled carefully enough during packaging by manufacturer (must not obscure text or graphics); light scratches barely visible to the naked eye on surface caused by packaging process during manufacture not being handled carefully enough (must not obscure text or graphics); light wear on corners free of fraying or creasing 90 degree corners on newer cards may show only minimal rounding; colors bright and vibrant (except for cards printed before 1980 when colors were readily susceptible to fading); slight fading on edges detectable by close inspection under magnification 4x—10x Example image Excellent EX+ 5.5 or 6 : Slight off center of front image up to 3 mm allowed short side must not exceed 55% long side up to 40%; light loss of gloss on surfaces due to age of product not being handled carefully enough during packaging by manufacturer (must not obscure text or graphics); moderate scratching detected by close inspection under magnification 4x—10x that does not break color layer allowing white substrate to show through slightly allowed if non obtrusive ; moderate wear on corners free of fraying or creasing 90 degree corners on newer cards may show only minimal rounding detectable by close inspection under magnification 4x—10xbowed but lay flat ; colors bright and vibrant (except for cards printed before 1980 when colors were readily susceptible to fading) Excellent EX 5 : Off centered up TO 50% long side allowed short side must not exceed 60% OR 55% long side up TO 45% OR 50% long side up TO 40 %—whichever is applicable depending upon standard size measurements for specific sport ; moderate loss of gloss ON SURFACES DUE TO age OF product NOT being handled carefully enough during packaging BY MANUFACTURER (must NOT obscure text OR graphics) ; slight chipping detectable BY close inspection under magnification 4x—10xbowed but lay flat ; minimal corner fraying that does not extend past border line nor cause coloring outside perforation area if any exist(90 degree corners ON NEWER CARDS MAY show ONLY minimal rounding) heavy loss OF COLOR permitted ON EDGES Detectable By CLOSE INSPECTION under MAGNIFICATION 4x—10xbowed but lay flat ; some SCRATCHING DETECTABLE BY CLOSE INSPECTION UNDER MAGNIFICATION 4xy THAT does NOT BREAK COLOR LAYER ALLOWING white SUBSTRATE TO SHOW THROUGH SLIGHTLY ALLOWED IF NON intrusive Example image Very Good VG+ 3.5 : Off centered UP TO 60% long side ALLOWED short side MUST NOT exceed 65 % OR 60 %LONG SIDE UP TO 50 % whichever is applicable depending upon standard size measurements for specific sport NOTE This grade allows for MOREcentering ERRORS THAN THE GRADE BELOW IT DOES HOWEVER STILL fall WITHIN THE ACCEPTABLE STANDARD FOR WHAT defineS QUALITY CONTROL measures FOR THE majority OF manufactured PRODUCTS sold IN today’s marketplace including many other collectible items such as coins stamps die cast toys etcetera that are also measured using simil centering
The most important factors in determining the grade of a sports card
Sports cards are graded on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest possible grade. The most important factors in determining the grade of a sports card are the condition of the card and the rarity of the card.
How to properly store and protect your sports cards
Whether you just pulled a valuable rookie card out of a pack or you’ve had a cherished cards for years, it’s important to properly store and protect your sports cards. Here are some tips on how to grade and store your sports cards.
Sports cards can be graded on condition, meaning how well-preserved the card is. The better the condition, the more valuable the card is likely to be. To grade a card, start by looking at the front and back of the card for any signs of wear and tear, like creases, wrinkles, or fading.
Once you’ve determined the condition of the card, you’ll need to decide how to store it. Cards should always be stored in acid-free sleeves or protective cases to prevent further damage. If you plan on displaying your cards, invest in a frame that will keep them protected from dust and sunlight. Taking these steps will help ensure that your sports cards remain in pristine condition for years to come.
The benefits of having your sports cards professionally graded
The value of sports cards has always been directly linked to their condition, which is why many collectors choose to have their cards professionally graded. Grading provides an unbiased, third-party assessment of a card’s condition, which can help increase its value and make it easier to sell.
There are several companies that offer professional grading services, each with their own standards and fees. It’s important to do your research before choosing a company, as not all are created equal.
Once you’ve decided on a company, the process is relatively simple: you send your card (or cards) to the company, they grade it using their own standards, and then return the card (or cards) to you with a certificate of authenticity. The entire process usually takes 2-4 weeks.
The benefits of having your sports cards professionally graded are numerous, but here are some of the most important:
-It increases the value of your cards. Professional grading provides an accurate assessment of a card’s condition, which can lead to a higher resale value.
-It makes your cards easier to sell. Most buyers prefer to purchase graded cards because they know exactly what they’re getting. This can make it much easier to find buyers for your collection.
-It protects your cards from further damage. Once a card is graded, it is sealed in a protective case that will help prevent further wear and tear. This can be especially beneficial for older or rarer cards that are more susceptible to damage.
The drawbacks of having your sports cards professionally graded
There are many reasons why a sports card collector might choose to have their cards graded by a professional service. Grading can add enormously to the value of a card, and it can also provide piece of mind for the collector, knowing that their cards are protected from further damage. However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider before sending your cards off to be professionally graded.
The first thing to be aware of is that there is no guarantee that your card will come back in the condition that you sent it in. Professional graders are human, and mistakes can happen. In some cases, cards have been damaged during the grading process, or have been given a lower grade than they deserved. If you decide to have your cards graded, it is important to do your research and choose a reputable company with a good track record.
Another potential downside to professional grading is the cost. Grading services typically charge by the card, so if you have a large collection, the cost can add up quickly. In addition, once a card has been graded, it is difficult (and sometimes impossible) to undo. So if you later decide that you don’t like the way your card looks in its new plastic case, or you don’t agree with the grade that was given, you’re basically stuck with it.
Finally, it’s important to remember that grading is not an exact science. What one grader may consider a Near Mint condition card could be downgraded to Excellent by another grader. And even if two graders agree on a grade, there is still room for subjective interpretation. So although grading can provide helpful guidance when valuing a card, it should not be considered the final word on what a card is worth.
How to choose a reputable sports card grading company
With the current popularity of sports cards, many new companies have popped up offering to grade your collection. While this may be a convenient option, it’s important to choose a reputable company that will provide an accurate assessment of your cards. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a sports card grading company:
-Experience: Choose a company that has been in business for at least a few years and has established a good reputation.
-Accreditation: Make sure the company is accredited by one or more of the major sports card organizations, such as the National Association of Card Manufacturers (NACM) or the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA).
-Guarantees: Reputable companies will offer some type of guarantee, such as a money-back satisfaction guarantee or replacement guarantee.
-Fees: Grading fees can vary significantly from one company to another, so be sure to compare fees before you choose a company.
The costs of having your sports cards professionally graded
The costs of having your sports cards professionally graded can vary depending on several factors. Generally, the more popular the sport and the more valuable the card, the higher the grading fee will be. For example, a rare, vintage baseball card may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to grade, while a more common, modern football card may only cost a few dollars.
There are three main ways to have your sports cards professionally graded: by sending them to one of the major grading companies, by using a mobile grading service, or by taking them to a local appraiser. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the option that’s right for you.
The major grading companies are PSA and Beckett. These companies have been in business for many years and have established themselves as leaders in the sports card industry. They both offer services for individual collectors as well as for businesses that buy and sell sports cards. The fees for having your cards graded by these companies can range from a few dollars for common cards to hundreds of dollars for rare and valuable cards.
Mobile grading services are becoming increasingly popular among collectors. These services come to your home or office and grade your cards on site. This can be a convenient option if you have a large collection or if you live in an area where there are no local appraisers. The fees for mobile grading services are typically lower than those of the major grading companies; however, they may not be able to grade rarer or more valuable cards.
Local appraisers are another option for having your sports cards professionally graded. These experts can often be found at sports card conventions or through online directories. The fees charged by local appraisers are generally lower than those of the majorgrading companies; however, they may not have the experience or expertise of Classifiers from PSA or Beckett .
The pros and cons of grading your own sports cards
With the popularity of sports cards skyrocketing in recent years, more and more people aregrade their own cards. While there are some benefits to this approach, there are also some potential drawbacks that you should be aware of before you make a decision.
One of the main advantages of grading your own cards is that it can save you a lot of money. Professional card grading services can be quite expensive, so if you’re on a budget, doing it yourself can be a great option.
Another advantage is that it can be a lot of fun. If you’re a sports fan, it can be enjoyable to sit down and grade your favorite cards. It’s also a great way to learn more about the hobby and meet other like-minded people.
However, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider. One is that it can take up a lot of time. Grading your own cards can be quite time-consuming, so if you’re not prepared to commit the necessary time, it may not be worth it.
Another potential downside is that you may not always agree with the grades assigned by professional services. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re hoping to get your cards professionally graded at some point in the future.
So, what’s the bottom line? If you’re thinking about grading your own sports cards, weighed the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. If you have the time and patience required, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, if you’re not prepared to commit the necessary time or don’t agree with professional grades, it may not be worth it for you.