Beckett & PSA Grading
One of the most influential trends of the last five years has been the advent of professional, or third-party grading. The reason for its popularity is simple: a card receiving a high grade from a reputable company such as Beckett Grading Services(BGS) or PSA often sells for considerably more than a card that has been graded. Not surprisingly, everyone is pretty happy with using a method that helps them make more money when they sell their collectibles!
So what’s the secret?
Grading involves submitting your card to an experienced professional. He examines your card down to the finest detail, inspecting corners, edges, centering and surface before assigning it a final score and encasing it in a plastic slab that will preserve the card in that condition.
The protection and preservation aspect is great, but more important is that an unbiased third-party sets the grade, which makes trading of cards sight-unseen over the Internet so much more palatable, as the buyer knows exactly what he’s getting, based on the reputation of the grading company.
So why should you consider having your cards graded?
Grading Cards Increases Value: Compare the secondary market prices of your favorite cards in raw (meaning: straight out of the pack) and graded forms. Graded cards are usually valued higher and, for the highest grades, much, much higher.
Preservation/Protection: Your graded cards are well preserved in a unique, protective cardholder. You won’t have to worry about them getting damaged.
Greater Resale Potential: On today’s secondary market, especially online where many collectibles are traded sight unseen, graded cards are easier to sell. With grading, collectors can be confident in the quality of the card being bought.
Authenticity: You can be assured that you have the real deal, and not a counterfeit. Some of the hobby’s most popular cards have been faked, but you can rest assured if you purchase a BGS or PSA card. As part of the grading process, BGS or PSA cards are routinely authenticated.
Tamper Proof: Once a card has been graded and slabbed by BGS or PSA, the integrity of the card is protected from all kinds of tampering. There’s no way to slip a card of lesser quality into the holder undetected, so the card you buy is the card that was advertised.
Display: The BGS or PSA cardholder is attractive, sturdy and stackable. It provides unobstructed viewing of your card from all angles.
What Do Those Numbers Mean?
BGS and PSA uses an easy-to-understand 1 to 10-point grading scale, with descending increments of one-half point (for example 10, 9.5, 9, 8.5, etc.) the only difference is that unlike BGS, PSA doesn't award a 9.5 grade. Those numbers also correspond with grades. Pristine (10) is the highest mark a card can receive. This is a card that is flawless under the closest examination. Very few cards receive this prestigious mark, so prices tend to rise astronomically for them on the secondary market.
Gem Mint (9.5) cards are also tough and very desirable, but are a little more attainable as they might have one very minor flaw. Mint (9), Near-Mint Plus (8.5) and Near Mint (8) are strong sellers as well.