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Card Grading, & Is it for you?

The decision to grade your sports cards depends on various factors and personal preferences...

Michael Jordan 1992 Fleer #32 PSA 10

Some hobbyists may have no interest in grading, which is totally understandable and acceptable, whereas other hobbyists/collectors enjoy grading their cards for a variety of reasons.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to grade your cards:

Card Value: Grading is often recommended for valuable or rare cards, as it can provide authentication, increase their market value, and ensure their condition is accurately represented.

Card Condition: If you believe your cards are in excellent condition with minimal flaws, grading can help highlight their quality and potentially fetch a higher price in the market.

Long-Term Protection: Graded cards are encapsulated in a protective case, shielding them from potential damage, such as wear, fingerprints, or bending. This can be beneficial if you plan to store or display your cards for an extended period.

Authenticity: Grading services typically authenticate the legitimacy of cards, ensuring they are not counterfeit or altered. This can add peace of mind when dealing with valuable cards.

Cost Consideration: It's important to weigh the cost of grading against the potential value increase of your cards. Grading fees can vary based on the card's value, turnaround time, and grading company.

If you are wanting to grade cards, but don't know where to start, we would recommend consulting with an expert - or someone who has graded in the past - to see if they can provide some guidance.

There are some invaluable tools available to help provide confidence prior to submitting your cards to a grading company. Here are some of our favorites:

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20x Magnifying Loupe With Light - There are various options available, but the SUNJOYCO product works very well. Get a close-up (20x) view of your card's corners and edges, and you will see things on the card that cannot be seen with the human eye. This is one tool I use for every card that gets submitted!

Card Centering Tool - The centering tool helps determine if a card is centered left/right and top/bottom. As you know (or may not know), the grading companies each have an allowance for how off-centered a card can be to obtain a certain grade. Using PSA as an example, their website states:

  • To obtain a Gem Mint 10, "the image must be centered on the card within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse (back)."

  • To obtain a Mint 9, "centering must be approximately 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse."

Ultimately, the decision to grade your sports cards depends on your specific goals, the value of the cards, and/or your personal preferences. It may be helpful to research and consult with other collectors or experts in the field to gain further insights before making a decision.


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