Home Beckett Grading SGC vs HGA vs BGS vs PSA Grading (Ultimate Card Grading Guide)

SGC vs HGA vs BGS vs PSA Grading (Ultimate Card Grading Guide)

72

READ HERE FIRST (9/8/2021): This article is not up to date as the PSA and BGS grading companies are in a state of flux due to the intense popularity of the hobby.

We will wait another month, see how everything shakes out, and then provide an UPDATED SGC, PSA, BGS, HGA review and rank them one to four.

They continue to piss us off besides SGC.

As far as we lasted check SGC is the only shop without a crazy price tag or long wait. HGA “aka BGS redux” is taking cards but we cannot stand their submission process.

SGC GRADING IS OUR TOP CHOICE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Visit www.gosgc.com to submit cards to SGC

We just sent in a dozen and got them back 22 days later! Bravo SGC


 

Quick Answer Without Reading: When buying a rookie card or sports card 95% of the time pick we choose PSA 10 graded cards. PSA 10 graded cards are the optimal choice to maximize your return on investment (ROI) when it’s time to sell. Same when it comes to picking a grader. Although we normally do not recommend buying raw cards if you do send them to PSA. A PSA 10 card will be superior in terms of future ROI vs. BGS 9.5 or SGC 10.

Now on to the full PSA Grading vs Beckett Grading vs SGC Grading write-up.

The grading market continues to grow each year, with collectors and investors keen to find out the value of their assortment of expensive trading cards. Of the many grading options available, PSA, BGS, and SGC are three of the best and most reputable, but which should you choose, and what are the differences between the three?

Trending: Top-Rated Luka Doncic Rookie Cards To Buy Now

The modern card market is dominated by marvels like online auctions and virtual collections, but the process of getting an item graded is pretty much the same as ever. You’ll need to send over the cards you want to be appraised, and wait for a period of time while they certify the authenticity and quality of your items.

Beckett and PSA have been dominant for decades, with the former launched in 1984, and the latter founded in 1991. Beckett tends to be the preferred service for new cards, while PSA is an expert when it comes to vintage pieces. SGC has been around since 1998 and has become a viable third option following massive growth during 2019. 

But which should you choose? Here’s everything you could possibly need to know about PSA, BGS, and SGC, as we take an in-depth look at each of the grading services and what they have to offer. 

 

Quick Pros and Cons 

If you haven’t got time to be reading a massive review, we’ve condensed the main points down into a small section below:

 

PSA

Pros: The highest value of top grades out of the three 

Cons: the most expensive of the three options (PSA, BGS, SGC) 

 

BGS:

Pros: Looks good, especially the black labels, cost less than PSA 

Cons: More expensive than SGC, not as fast as SGC for premium tiers 

 

SGC: 

Pros: fast return, cheaper than PSA/BGS

Cons: SGC graded cards are not valued as high compared to PSA/BGS at equal grades

 

Who is PSA? 

PSA claims to be “the largest and most respected third-party authentication and grading company in the world for trading cards and memorabilia.” That’s reasonably fair, given they’ve certified over 40 million cards and collectibles with a cumulative declared value of over a billion dollars over the past 30 years.

They offer a cash-back policy that ensures the accuracy of the grade assigned to any card as long as the item remains in its tamper-evident case. If PSA concludes that the card in question no longer merits the grade assigned or fails their authenticity standards, PSA will either: 

  1. Buy the card from the submitter at the current market value if the card can no longer receive a numerical grade under PSA’s standards 
  2. Refund the difference in value between the original PSA grade and the current PSA grade if the grade is lowered. In this case, the card will also be returned to the customer along with the refund for the difference in value

They also offer information about pricing and the number of cards they have graded in the past, which can be viewed for free online. It helps the owner to make more of an informed decision, especially if it’s a rarer release.

Related: Should You Get Your Cards Graded

PSA is often the preferred service for vintage cards, which can be verified with a quick eBay search. For example, you might have heard of the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner which set a world record price for a baseball card when it sold for $3.12 million through Goldin Auctions. 

1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 White Border

It comes in a PSA sleeve, having earned a 5 grade from the service. There’s a reason why the owner chose PSA, as it’s almost impossible to get the highest ratings due to the meticulousness of their grading criteria. This means that PSA 10 copies tend to be worth more than the equivalent BGS or SGC card.

This is often true for any expensive vintage card, including Michael Jordan rookies, or the famous 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311.

 

PSA Grading Scale

PSA used to exclusively grade using whole numbers but changed to allow for half grades in February 2008. It’s especially important for high-end cards. They clarified that; “In order for a card to be considered for the half-point increase, it must exhibit qualities that separate it from the average card within the particular grade.”

“Since centering is so important and clearly visible to most collectors, the strength or weakness of the centering will have a significant impact on the final outcome.”

  • PR 1 (Poor)
  • FR 1.5 (Fair)
  • Good 2 (Good)
  • VG 3 (Very Good)
  • VG-EX 4 (Very Good-Excellent)
  • EX 5 (Excellent)
  • EX-MT 6 (Excellent-Mint)
  • NM 7 (Near Mint)
  • NM-MT 8 (Near Mint-Mint)
  • Mint 9 (Mint)
  • GEM-MT 10 (Gem Mint)

However, they only issue half-point grades for anything between PSA Good 2 and PSA Mint 9. The lack of a 9.5 rating can cause some disparity in pricing between 9 and 10 grades, but high-rated PSA cards are always sought after.

They also offer a range of Qualifiers to give you a better idea of what to expect. They are as follows:

  • Off-Center (OC) – They give some leeway depending on “eye appeal”, but an OC card always lowers the asking price. 
  • Staining (ST) – Staining will also diminish value, and it’s more prevalent with vintage cards. Print Defect (PD) – Generally this comes in the form of a small white dot, which is often known as “fish-eye” or “snow”. As you might expect, the slightest defect will stop cards from getting the highest grades. 
  • Out of Focus (OF) – Thankfully OF cards are rarely seen in new packs, as you’ll get a headache if you stare at one for too long. This will vastly lower the price. 
  • Marks (MK) – This could take the form of a signature which was added at a later date, but any card with “writing, ink marks, pencil marks, or evidence of the impression left from the act of writing” will ensure a card gets the MK designation. 
  • Miscut (MC) – A miscut focuses on the card itself rather than the image. If a portion is missing, or the card is oversized, it’s designated MC. The same is true if portions of more than one card are visible. They’re seen as the best choice for many older cards, in part because of the work they’ve done in the past.

 

How To Get Higher Graded PSA Cards (4 Tips) 

We’ve picked up a few tricks of our own over the years, which could potentially help to get a higher grade down the line.

  • Tip 1: When buying a raw card check the seller’s history and see if they previously sold or bought the exact card you’re buying… If so the odds are good that they sent it in for PSA Grading and received a sub-par grade, and are now trying to pass it off to you. 
  • Tip 2: Buy a high-caliber magnifying glass in order to check out every single inch of the card before you send it into PSA. You can eliminate a ton of unnecessary spending on cards that would never be graded PSA 10 or PSA 9 in the first place. 
  • Tip 3: Use a hard Ultra Pro Top Loader in combination with a Penny Sleeve as it will give the best protection for your card. We recommend cutting two pieces of cardboard around the card and wrapping the final coating in bubble wrap. Never use those long plastic sleeves (those are ugly as sin and offer horrible protection).
  • Tip 4: For the very best cards, we suggest requesting a PSA 9 grade or higher, and if that can’t happen ask for PSA to send it back ungraded

In reality, PSA grading can be a bit of a crapshoot. You can check the comments below to see issues some users have faced when sending cards to the service, while others have successfully managed to boost their cards to a higher grade with the methods seen above.

Whatever the case, a highly rated pre-1980’s PSA card will always be worth more than the equivalent SGC or BGS version.

 

Who is BGS?

Next up is BGS. They’ve been around since 1999, having been formed by the founder of Beckett Publications, which has been at the forefront of collectible news since 1984. In the here and now, the Beckett Grading Service (BGS) is definitely a leading name when it comes to the trading card business.

BGS is often the preferred service for newer cards, such as the latest signed autos. This is often due to their methodological approach to grading, as well as their fast turnaround times. 

It’s easier to flip a graded card, so it makes a lot of sense. Some collectors do use Beckett for older cards, thanks to their specialist BVG (Beckett Vintage Grading) service, while they offer a cut-price option in the form of a Raw Card Review.  

 

Beckett Grading Scale

As for the grading system, it’s similar to the PSA scale in terms of descriptors and numbers, but they have a number of extra grades for each of the half-points. (In fact, the Beckett Grading Scale and SGC Grading Scale are the most similar of the trio).

  • 1 – Poor 1.5 Fair
  • 2 – G (Good)
  • 2.5 –G+
  • 3 – VG (Very Good)
  • 3.5 – VG+
  • 4 – VG-EX (Very Good-Excellent)
  • 4.5 VG-EX+
  • 5 – EX (Excellent)
  • 5.5 – EX +
  • 6 – EX-NM (Excellent-Near Mint)
  • 6.5 – EX-NM+
  • 7 – Near Mint
  • 7.5 – Near Mint +
  • 8 – Near Mint-Mint
  • 8.5 – Near Mint-Mint +
  • 9 – Mint
  • 9.5 – Gem Mint
  • 10 – Pristine It’s reasonably extensive, and you’ll arguably have a better idea of the overall quality of the card compared to a PSA graded version

 

Beckett’s top-graded cards are identifiable at a glance thanks to premium-colored labels. A gold/black label on the front of the cardholder signifies the highest graded cards (9.5-10), while a silver label can be found on cards graded from 8.5 to 9.

A unique Beckett Grading Services feature comes in the form of a Report Card which provides specific grade details and leaves “no confusion as to why your card received its grade”. Cards are graded on four key categories: centering, corners, edges and surface. We’ll discuss each one below.

  • Centering – The centering considers how the image fits the card, and how it aligns with the border. Many older cards are poorly centered, so it’s one to look out for! This is judged by measuring the angle, and 50/50 centering is when the image is directly in the middle of the card. 
  • Surface – The quality of the surface. Wear and tear can cause creases and flaws, which are noted here. 
  • Edging – How well the edges of the cards align. White borders can blend more easily, making it slightly harder to detect any flaws. While edging is often seen as the least important factor, it still has a major impact on the overall rating. 
  • Corners – Some cards can be trimmed in an attempt to artificially boost the value, and it’s a common method of alteration. Sharper corners are more desirable, as they’re the most susceptible to wear and tear over the years.

They note that the overall numerical grade is not a simple average of the four subgrades. The lowest overall grade is the first category to observe because it is the most obvious defect, and the lowest grade is the most heavily weighted in determining the overall grade. In other words, poor centering will drag the overall rating down, even if the card is perfect in every other way.

Research into Beckett’s Black Box algorithm concludes:

“In summary: Corners are punished hardest, Centering next, Surface/Edges the least. How much the overall grade is higher than the worst subgrade depends on which subgrade is the worst, and also depends on how much the other three subgrades are better than the worst subgrade, measured by (the differential in subgrades).”

 

Beckett Raw Card Review

The Beckett Raw Card Review is an on-site service that allows collectors to get a quick grade. Results will vary as it can often be fairly subjective, and they won’t sell for anywhere near as much as a version properly graded by BVG or BGS. 

However, it’s great if you want a rough idea of what your card could achieve, or if you’re aiming to flip cards as quickly as possible.

 

Beckett Vintage Grading 

BVG allows for “1980 and prior sports cards to be graded with the respect and attention they deserve”. Their Vintage grading service is seen as a direct competitor to PSA, which traditionally handles older options. 

However, most collectors would probably prefer a PSA graded card, especially if it’s a rarer release. If the average difference in the sale price is 3-5%, that can work out to a significant fee at the upper end of the scale. Regardless, BVS cards are still extremely collectible. 

 

Who is SGC

Originally, this article looked at PSA and BGS, given their stranglehold over the market at the time. SGC has actually been around since 1998, but they’ve struggled to make a real dent in the market until recently. 

SGC picked up much of the slack when there was a backlog of PSA and BGS orders late in 2019, but they all had to cease grading due to forced closures in March 2020. 

They’re a cheaper option, but an SGC graded card is still far more valuable than the ungraded equivalent. Rather than a third wheel, it should be seen as another capable contender if you’re attempting to select a new grading service. 

 

SGC Grading Scale 

SGC uses a scale that eliminates the grades known as “tweeners”, while they claim that “no grading scale is more accurate or consistent.” A tweener is a card that is “in-between” two different grades. The SGC grading scale is as follows:

  • 1: This card usually exhibits many of these characteristics: heavy print spots, heavy crease(s), pinhole(s), color or focus imperfections or discoloration, surface scuffing or tears, rounded and/or fraying corners, ink or pencil marking(s), and lack of all or some original gloss, small portions of the card may be missing.
  • 1.5
  • 2
  • 2.5
  • 3
  • 3.5
  • 4
  • 4.5
  • 5: 80/20 or better centering, minor rounding or fuzzing of corners, roughness or chipping along the edge (no layering), one VERY slight surface or “spider” crease may exist on one side of the card, the gloss may be lost from the surface with some scratching that does not detract from the aesthetics of the card.
  • 5.5
  • 6
  • 6.5
  • 7
  • 7.5
  • 8
  • 8.5
  • 9
  • 9.5
  • 10 MT
  • 10 PR: A “virtually flawless” card. 50/50 centering, crisp focus, four sharp corners*, free of stains, no breaks in surface gloss, no print or refractor lines, and no visible wear under magnification.

You can find more detailed information about each rating here

 

PSA vs Beckett vs SGC: Pros and Cons 

Nothing in life is perfect unless you’re looking at Gem Mint cards! The truth is, there are pros and cons to consider with every grading service, so we’ve given a rundown of what to expect from each one.

 

Pros and Cons of PSA

Pros:

  • PSA are seen as the experts when it comes to older cards, especially for anything pre-1970’s. This has caused the price of older PSA cards to exceed their BGS counterparts, even if they have a similar overall rating
  • PSA can be trusted with the handling of high ticket items
  • They’re tougher on corners, especially for Gem Mint cards
  • They offer the PSA Set Registry, which enables you to track your inventory, costs, and populations, build and update sets, enjoy competition with others, meet collectors who share common interests, create a photo album of your collection, and share your sets with others. In addition, you can perform “What If?” scenarios to see how the addition of new items will change your set ratings. It’s great if you want a little recognition for your hard work, or if you want to keep track of your progress while collecting a set
  • PSA has processed over 30 million cards and collectibles with a cumulative declared value of over a billion dollars, so they know what they’re doing
  • Joining the PSA collectors club will give you access to bulk rates when selling cards

 

Cons:

  • A lack of a PSA 9.5 rating isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s painful if you think it should be a 10. However, it does raise the price of PSA 10 rated cards, and they’re highly sought after
  • The slab isn’t really eye-catching as they’ve opted for a plain sticker listing the relevant information. It doesn’t compare to Beckett’s options, especially if it’s a 10 grade
  • In some cases, the card isn’t secure inside the case and can move around if dropped or damaged. However, it’s unlikely to damage the card itself, which is good news
  • You won’t be able to add non-PSA rated cards to the PSA Set Registry
  • In the past, they were seen as leaders in authenticating, although their grading system has vastly improved in the recent years

 

Despite the various cons to consider, you can’t argue with the price of your average PSA 10 graded card. This is especially true for most pre-1970 cards and can be confirmed with a quick scan of recent eBay sales.

Trending: Top-Rated Jasson Dominguez Rookie Cards

 

Pros and Cons of BGS (Beckett Grading Services)

Beckett offers a range of niche services, hoping to position itself as the best grading company on the planet. Here’s what to expect from BGS and BVG cards.

Pros:

  • Beckett’s labeling is generally preferred, and it’s easy to see why when you compare their offerings to the PSA equivalents
  • They’ve seen a great option for newer cards
  • BGS is tougher on centering, especially for Gem Mint cards
  • Simple pricing structure 
  • They decided to release the Beckett Graded Registry in 2013, hoping to match up to PSA’s service with many similar features. You can compare cards with others, sort through your collection, and there’s also the chance to win prizes by competing against others in upload and set completion contests
  • Extensive subgrades allow the buyer and seller to have a better idea of the item, detailing everything from the value to any flaws clearly and concisely
  • The BVG service is ideal if you’d like to get a vintage collection valued
  • The Beckett grading population report is easy to navigate and use

 

Cons:

  • Beckett cardholders are larger than the PSA equivalent. This isn’t ideal if space is an issue, and it gets worse if you have a large collection
  • Some feel the grading system is too complex. While it’s great to have a lot of info about a card, there are so many variables that go into the BGS grading system. If you have a duo of 9.5s with slightly different grading stats, it’s not surprising if the price differs depending on what collectors value more
  • The special labels are a great touch, but they do have an unintended consequence. They make the silver tabs look second-rate in comparison, and you don’t want people making that connection while they’re looking at your cards
  • They grade autographs on a sliding scale. Many feel the player’s autograph should have only two options; real or fake
  • BVG doesn’t match up to PSA in terms of pricing 

 

Beckett decided to go down a different route to PSA, and it’s more reminiscent of SGC’s grading system.

[irp posts=”8534″ name=”Topps PROJECT 2020 – Print Run, Best 5 Cards, and Checklist”]

The positives definitely outweigh the negatives, while they offer superior labeling and lots of information about why a card received a specific grade. 

 

Pros and Cons of SGC

SGC runs a tight ship and they were seen as the go-to grading service during the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak. There have been a few growing pains along the way, but the pros easily outweigh the cons now that they appear to have sorted things out.

 

Pros:

  • Still, the cheapest service for grading cards, although prices have risen in recent years  
  • Simple design with great slabs 
  • Good customer service, offering quick responses and no-nonsense
  • Speedy card grading thanks to changes to their pricing system
  • Numerous satisfied customers 
  • A dedicated base of supporters

 

Cons:

  • They’ve recently changed their pricing system to a multi-tier package, which ups the price significantly 
  • Some users were left waiting for significant periods after they were overwhelmed midway through 2020
  • Lowest card prices of the trio 

 

The only real problem is a big one. No one likes to get less money for their cards when they are around the same grade vs the other shops (check out the best baseball card shops by state). However, we are monitoring this situation closely as we expect SGC to narrow the gap over the upcoming year as they gain more popularity with collectors. 

 

PSA vs Beckett vs SGC: Grading Reviews 

Is there anyone better placed to give their opinions about the three services than our readers? Here’s what you thought of PSA, Beckett, and SGC respectively. 

Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below! Which grading service is best for you, and why? 

 

PSA Grading Service Reviews

In general, PSA has a good reputation, although some users have faced issues in the past.

“PSA takes a lot longer than Beckett and other options (i.e. SGC) but in some cases, it is worth the wait as PSA 10 consistently sells for more than BGS 9.5 or SGC 10’s. Sometimes I use PSA, sometimes I use BGS, sometimes I use SGC, it just depends on the card” – Jake K. Chicago, IL

“I have a signed baseball with the likes of Mickey Cochrane, Rogers Hornsby, Bill McGowan, dizzy dean, and others. It’s PSA authenticated but my problem with it is they rushed the authentication. They stated the ball is mid 40’s and it was actually 10 years older. On the card, they didn’t even list all of the Hall of Fame autographs on it. How can you not list Goose Goslin, Schoolboy Rowe, and Tommy bridges? Other than that I haven’t had any other problems with either of the two.” Rolland W.

“PSA cards grade higher than BGS which we like BUT they take FOREVER (especially if the card is a patch/autograph. Just depends on the cards that we are getting graded.” Miles H. Boston, MA

“I prefer to use PSA. I just received my latest package back in late February. I like the eye appeal over the other companies. I like they are a trusted name once someone like me wants to resale. Not the cheapest or quickest turnaround times. But I know that going into it. Just look at the Lucky 7’s T206 owner. People use PSA because it’s a trusted source with the highest return on investment.” – Joe K. Norwalk, IA

“I prefer BGS due to subgrades. Plus as was mentioned in another comment, PSA will give a 10 to a card that’s really not a 10. You get truer grading with BGS although there’s definite objectivity in the grading which leads to some inconsistency.” – Sean R. Julian, PA

“I was big on BGS, but the more I’ve gotten back into the hobby, I prefer PSA. The smaller slabs make the cards easier to store. And I like that a 10 is a 10. You don’t have a 10 with different subgrades that make it a more or less valuable 10.” – Drake M. Ft. Smith, AR

 

PSA Graded Cards Storage: PSA has some pretty high-end storage boxes that are DRIPWORTHY (buy them here).

PSA Card Grading Locations: The following link provides the address of all of the PSA Grading Location Hubs (https://www.psacard.com/submissions).

 

Beckett Grading Services Reviews (Check Out Beckett UPDATED Turn Around Times)

Here’s what our readers thought of the various Beckett services they have used:

“Beckett Authentication offers a great combination of speed and reasonable prices. We have received a few Black Labels! We love the look of the Black Label 10s!” – Miles K. Miami, FL

“The Beckett grading in-person option was available at an event I attended… the line was long but went quick. The in-person grading process only took a few minutes from the time they got my card. Pretty cool option… Beckett should look into having this option at local card shows in major cities.” Mike S. – Kansas City, MO

“I would rate Beckett grading services a solid 9 out of 10. We use Beckett on the majority of our cards we get graded. Cheers!” Steve C. New Orleans, LA

“The only thing I dislike about BGS grading is if your card grades a 9.5 auto, 9 people look at the card like it’s a crappy auto. But really it’s not. Now PSA 10 equal to BGS there isn’t an auto-grade.” Chris G. – Westfield, Massachusetts

 

SGC Grading Service Reviews

SGC clearly has a devoted fan base who are quick to note the numerous positives:

“I actually prefer SGC to both the big boys. They’re cheaper and turn-times are quicker. They have really stepped up their game too.” – Mark Y. Clearwater, FL

“Quick and cost less vs PSA/BGS… what’s not to like here?” – Chris G. Denver, 

SGC Grading Logo 2021

“If it was up to me and not my wife we would ONLY use SGC… does anyone know a good divorce lawyer?” James C. Miami, FL

“SGC has the best looking slabs, the fastest time (my Ja Morant Auto RC came back in 1 week), and cost the least amount of the three? why are we even discussing this? SGC is a no-brainer… check please!” Tom M. Austin, TX

 

PSA Grading Fees vs BGS Grading Fees vs SGC Grading Fees

*This information is correct as of February 2021.

Each of the major grading companies has updated its pricing structure to match increased demand, as well as the unique challenges we face in a post-covid landscape. It’s worth noting that grading in bulk is sometimes much cheaper than paying for each card individually. 

As a rule of thumb, PSA is the most expensive, followed by Beckett, and finally SGC. Your own experiences may vary, depending on exactly what you want to have graded. 
They all have various special offers and deals available at any given time, so there’s a chance for further savings if you manage to take advantage.
All three have all split their services depending on the time it takes to return, as well as the value of the card/s. We’ve listed the typical grading fees for each service below.

 

PSA Grading Fees

We’ll start with PSA. Their base prices have been simplified, and are listed below.

PSA Grading Cost/Fees 

A number of their services were currently suspended, including Economy, Regular, and Express. (This is denoted by the red exclamation mark at the top.)

[irp posts=”5465″ name=”Babe Ruth Rookie Card: Value and Investment Outlook”]

This could be due to the number of cards they currently have, or just a temporary measure due to Covid restrictions.

Premium pricing options are up next:

how much is psa fees

Meanwhile, further savings can be achieved for Members of the PSA Collectors Club. They unlock PSA’s best pricing, plus access to Quarterly Grading Specials and other benefits.

They’re asking for a considerable chunk of cash, but they do give access to the best possible prices in many cases. It’s something to consider, while their Premium service is hard to beat in terms of return time. 

Must Read: Top Ted Williams Baseball Cards

(Unlike the others, prices have remained flat since the last time we reviewed their service, but they have clearly focused on premium customers.)

 

Beckett Grading Fees

In February 2019, Beckett Grading Services began to offer new service options and prices for standard grading submissions. 

They noted that “Beckett Grading was founded on offering subgrades on modern cards, charging one price for the grading (no matter the value of the card) and for offering an estimated turnaround time, all of which are unique in this industry. All of these options will remain and be offered for the premium service levels.” 

beckett grading fees

However, it’s worth mentioning that they have doubled the price of their Premium service since our last review, as it used to be $150 per card, while similar increases are seen across the board. (It’s still extremely cheap.)

Popular: Best Junk Wax Baseball Cards

More information in regards to Beckett Grading cost can be found online by visiting www.beckett.com/grading/submit

 

SGC Grading Fees

SGC used to offer a convoluted system with terms like ‘I Can Wait’ or ‘Need Them Now’. They’ve now switched to basing it on the card value, as well as the expected turnaround time. 

sgc grading fees

As you can see, they directly undercut PSA for more expensive cards, and offer an approximate turnaround time of 1-2 days for their more important customers. 

 

PSA vs BGS vs SGC: Wait Times

The worst part about grading is the wait times. Some users have been left for months with no update, which can be devastating if the price of a card is fluctuating wildly. 

The landscape has also changed following the outbreak of Covid-19. Fewer members of staff are allowed to work, and must be observed to be following any associated regulations. 

SGC saw more submissions after PSA and Beckett Grading were forced to briefly shut down operations early in 2020 due to government orders. However, SGC ended up backlogged, unable to deal with the combined customer base of Beckett and PSA.

Many collectors were burned during the early stages of the outbreak, as interest in the hobby grew, and staff worked fewer hours. (Each of the grading services also has a policy of not letting staff work for too long, as they need to concentrate fully on each card.) 

[irp posts=”16587″ name=”Cristiano Ronaldo Rookie Card – Value, Top 3 Cards, and Investment Outlook”]

All three offer estimated wait times, but these are more of a rough idea than a bonafide promise. As of February 2021, each of the services is slowly getting back up to speed and seems to have the situation handled.

Here’s what to expect from each service.

 

Current PSA Grading Wait Times

PSA wait times depend on how much you’re willing to pay. Possibly in an effort to avoid another backlog, they’ve blocked a few options, including Regular and Economy grading for the time being. 

  • Economy: Not available 
  • Regular: 25 business days 
  • Express: 15 business days
  • Super Express: 2 business days
  • Walk Through: 1 business day

Current Beckett Grading Wait Times

Beckett has increased the average wait time for each service level, while you’ll note that it’s 5-10+ days, so it could easily be longer. (At least they’re being honest.)

Current Beckett Grading Wait Times

 

Current SGC Wait Times 

SGC used to have no set deadlines for their economy tier, which led to people waiting forever as premium cards took precedence.

Trending: Top5 NBA Centers of All-Time Best Rookie Cards

As seen in the SGC Grading Fees section, they now have a basic turnaround time of 65-70 days, or you can pay more to have it delivered in a day or two.  

 

SGC vs PSA vs Beckett: Final Review (Who Wins?)

Who wins? Card grading is far from an exact science, despite what the likes of SGC, BGS, and PSA would have you believe.

PSA Grading: PSA tends to attract older high-end card collectors. The service has been solid for many years now but has faced some controversy as of late, although it is still a good option for grading you can rely on. 
Beckett Grading: Popular with younger card collectors and in particular autograph hunters. BGS fees and wait times are middles of the road, especially after the update to their pricing system.
SGC Grading: SGC has a new kid on the block feel although they have been around forever. We have an old Babe Ruth baseball card graded by them (SGC is very popular in regards to getting older super-valuable cards graded). 

After all, you could send the same 8 grade over multiple times if you’re hoping for an extra half-point, and it does work. (Of course, this could also lead to lower grades, and they get their fees regardless.)

The point is, different collectors will have a variety of experiences and preferences, so the honest answer to the question ‘who is the best grading service’ is that it depends

Are you selling a 1950’s RC, or it is the latest and greatest rare parallel? Do you plan to hold onto the card for years, or do you just want to get a graded version at the cheapest possible price? 

Each of the services employs some of the best experts in terms of grading, and they all tend to add to the overall value of a card. Some collectors will prefer ungraded versions, but it’s hard to beat a gem mint copy.

 

Here at GoldCardAuctions.com we use PSA Grading Services 95% of the time as we are always trying to maximize our return on investment and we suggest you do the same.

Just compare the prices of a 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck RC graded PSA 10 vs BGS 9.5. The PSA 10 graded card is much more valuable and it’s not even close.

Bottom Line: If you are buying a rookie card stick with PSA 10 in order to gain the greatest long-term value from your sports card investing portfolio. Cheers!

 

PSA/BGS/SGC Customer Service Options

Here are the contact details for each of the services. 

 

PSA Customer Service

 

BGS Customer Service

 

SGC Customer Service

  • Mail: 951 Yamato Road Suite 110 Boca Raton, FL 33431
  • Phone: 1.800.SGC.9212
  • Online: gosgc.com
  • Email: support@gosgc.com

 

Having trouble or have a question in regards to PSA, SGC, or Beckett grading, cost, or wait times? Email us at info@goldcardauctions.com or visit the Gold Card Auctions Facebook Page.

 

72 COMMENTS

  1. Good info. I’m on the bubble on whether to get some cards graded, let alone who to grade through, so this helps. The info on Beckett’s site seems marginally better than PSA (both seem lacking for someone new to the process). But, what seemed obvious to me was that there was a ridiculous amount of PSA 10’s for any given card (say, from 2019 Topps baseball), and maybe one or no BGS 10’s, when browsing listings on eBay. I can’t tell if it means BGS is stingier, or PSA is more lenient, or PSA is simply more popular. It also seems plausible that a BGS 9.5 may be as good as a PSA 10, but auctions suggest PSA 10 > BGS 10 (I’m sure there are many cases where that isn’t true).

    On a side note, your PSA vs. BGS Grading Cost section is incorrect; the price table shown for BGS is the return shipping costs, not the grading service level costs. Nonetheless, the costs add up quickly, and is a deterrent enough to not get cards graded.

    • thank you, Patrick… were going to have our leader author look into the correct you mentioned. We believe the order “generally speaking” from worse to best is BGS 9.5, PSA 10, BGS 10… but your 100% right in saying that in some cases this may be off… thanks for taking time out… cheers!

      • Actually the guy was dead on. I know of at least 4 times my local LCS submitted a tatis rc and it went from a 8 to a 9 and stayed there twice then turned magically into a 10

  2. Please check out my PSA complaint about grading at Newport Beach Ca. at the BBB site to maybe help you make a determination on grading choices

  3. I go with BGS with my newer cards.from 2001 and up.they surprised me on some of my cards I thought would grade low and cards from the 70’s I was disappointed.so I’ll stick with BGS.all ways there when I call Johnny on the spot.PSA wants your money no matter what.and iam not PWCC YOU KNOW.Auto or not I made good money with BGS.STAY SAFE MY FELLOW AMERICANS,

  4. It is an excellent article, thanks.I first experienced grading my cards thru BGS and SGC 20 years ago, and then pretty much stopped due to other things in life.I liked BGS best due their grading scale. I think I used SGC due to their lower costs for grading.I sold some and still have some. Very recently I sent some cards to PSA because their graded cards appear to fetch more money, although the cost is higher to grade on some cards. I am amazed that Beckett appears to fetch the most $ only for pristine cards. I guess that happens when your away for 20 years. It is extremely difficult to get a pristine 10 grade so no way am I sending my cards to BGS when a PSA 10 commands far more then a BGS 9.5—-which are suppose to be equals. If I was a new company starting today, I would keep the 10 as the normal top grade, but I’d have one more grade up for Pristine. Maybe just the word “Flawless” or “Flawless 10″….

  5. GMA needs to be highly considered in this discussion. I’ve used PSA BGS SGC and GMA. GMA is no different than the other 3 when it comes to grading. Yeah they get it wrong at times but so do the other 3. GMA is just as strict in grading if not more than the other 3. I do believe they have former PSA and BGS graders. Their slabs are no different than PSAs. At the moment nobody is touching their return times. I’ve seen a 600 card submission get returned in 14 days. All the negative talk about them online is from people who’ve never used them before. Only thing GMA doesn’t have is a registry which to me is no big deal. Resell value isn’t at PSA level but I’ve seen some cards sell at PSA value.

  6. have a 1991 classic best chipper jones error with no name on front and reverse is a totally of another player, card #, stats etc. It is in gem shape and was submitted to PSA. It was not graded but shows the card is a Misprint by PSA. With number/ barcode. But not in hard sealed case. I can’t find any info on this card at all. So is it one of a kind ? Are there more out there ? I would sure like to know.

  7. The huge difference is resale value. The value of an SGC graded card is not even close to BGS and BGS is less than PSA. The part that really seems criminal about SGC is they did their best to gather as many submissions as they could during the pandemic. When real customers start to leave negative feedbacks and reviews in regards to their experiences with SGC, you will start to read great reviews from very obvious fake names like, Joey Tribiani (the name of the guy from the Friends tv show)” Mr. Tribiani” is very well known for having some strangely high graded SGC cards and can easily be traced back to many “questionable” cards that “crossed over from PSA or BGS to SGC in much higher grades. You might also see positive reviews for SGC by people who have family members employed at SGC like Derek Grady(Mr Grady heads up Heritage Auctions and his son Tyler works at SGC) I ask the question, can SGC fairly grade cards that are being funneled to Heritage Auctions? That seems like a giant conflict of interest! Once it is out in the open about cards being funneled through Heritage and “Mr. Tribiani” people will view SGC in a much different light.

  8. Unfortunate but my experience as well myself, & If looking at items for sale, You can Easily see say the SAME Quality Card, but 1.5-2 grades higher at times! It’s not always that much of a gap, but In my experience, I’ve Rarely seen a GMA = a PSA or BGS graded cards Grade! Even if You cannot tell the difference at ALL! Just my experience as of now….✌🏼

  9. How long does the actually grading process take? Not there processing aspects, but just the grading of the surface, corners, edges, authentication and centering.

  10. Who has the money, or the quality of cards to justify resubmitting over and over! Wow. People have preferences, and that’s fine, but overall this article is an incredible and enjoyable primer comparing the 3 big options! Thanks for this!

  11. I recently dug out my 1970’s hockey cards and have submitted 10 for PSA grading. I have the 1979 opc complete set. I have seen a PSA 8 whose corners are decent and whose image is crap. I am not interested in good corners as much as I am interested in picture quality. I purchased a Gretzky rookie nm7 (oc) as the image was spectacular and corners were decent. Whereas I passed on a centered rookie Gretzky with decent centering and corners as the image was crap. I want to see the moment more than I want to see corners or centering. Just my preference. Centered, sharp cornered crap doesn’t do it for me. I have some baseball cards from the 1970’s too. Among them a 10 Pete Rose among other lesser cards. (So I think) I will send the baseball cards to PSA in a couple of years. I will also be improving the 1979 hockey set over that time. I am wary of buying non graded cards (fakes?) but at low cost will do it.

  12. This is a great thread – thank you! I’m looking for a little guidance: I’m the original owner of: 3 Gretzky rookies; 2 second yr; 1 third yr cards. 3 x Gretz second team all star 1 x goals leader; Mark Messier; Paul Coffey; Glenn Anderson; Jari Kurri; 3 x Ray Bourque; 2 x Mike Gartner; Peter Stasny; Dino Ciccarelli: all rookies. I might be one of those rare guys who’s mom didn’t throw out the cards. They’ve been packed away since I bought them. Based on all the research I’ve been able to do, they’re in excellent shape. Corners, edges, centering, colouring etc.

    Based on the cost scenarios for grading this might cost a few bucks. And, clearly, there’s some subjectivity in the grading which can impact value. And I’m super nervous about putting these in the mail – assume courier is better.

    Any advice on getting these graded and shipped is much appreciated.

    • I would probably go either PSA or SGC for those cards… if the card is super expensive get insurance on the package but PSA and SGC do a great job with secure packging… email us at info@goldcardauctons.com if you want to discuss further 🙂 … cheers!

  13. So I took out my collection of cards and priced them according to the current market price for the same cards online. The cards I have are all brand new condition and placed in protective cases. There is no reason I shouldn’t get a grade of 10 on any of the cards I have. My concern with sending in my cards to be graded is that 1. It’s going to be expensive 2. I haven’t seen any of the grading companies actual processes of grading the cards from start to finish. 3. I’m concerned about damage being done to the condition of the cards while having them graded.

    • Jeremy, your hesitation for grading is understandable, but I wanted to point out one flaw in your comment. Just because a card is in “brand new, protected” condition does not ensure it will get a 10. Unfortunately, grading takes into consideration several factors that are beyond your control – for example, the centering of the picture on the card and the quality of the print (such as print lines, dust marks, ink spread) can cause a lower grade and they had nothing to do with the customer. Just keep that in mind before strongly considering submissions.

  14. Here’s another point I feel you glossed over with SGC and didn’t even mention with PSA.

    Why are there tiers of grading costs based on the value of the card? Meaning, why is it $20 per card if the cards are values less than $500, but $75 per card if they are valued up to $2000? Isn’t the service the same? They are using the same grading techniques; the same grading scale; the same slabs. So why do I have to pay PSA more if my card is worth more?

    I wouldn’t expect a BMW to pay more at a car wash that I put my pickup through because it’s a more valuable car. We both got the same service. So why are we paying more for this one?

    Also, it was not mentioned, though I feel it should be listed as a con for both PSA and BGS (I’m unsure of SGC) that there is a minimum number of cards you must submit. For PSA, it is 20; so even if you send in the minimum number of cards at the minimum value, you
    still have to shell out $400 for some slabs.

  15. I just received 13 cards back from BGS and was extremely dissapointed as it took 77 days to get them back and I paid for the 10 day service. They also graded a 96-7 Finest Gold Refractor card that was pack fresh and never out of my possession as altered. Totally Impossible!!!

  16. Is there a preference between PSA and BGS when it comes to thicker relic cards and autographs? I’m getting ready to submit a bulk order for the first time to PSA, but I’m hearing BGS may be better suited for thicker cards. Thanks!

    • Hey Josh – BGS is more POPULAR when it comes to thicker relic type cards and autos… the ROI however is most likely greater if you don’t mind waiting longer with PSA (if the card in question is in mint condition)… cheers!

    • BGS is not as trusted for autographs as PSA is. Plain and simple, if you want more money and an easier sell for your item with less questions. PSA all the way.

  17. Imho PSA grading is a scam.

    I sent 10 cards, ranging from 1975-1979 and 1991, non of which met the minimum grade.

    Not even a Lindros card that never saw dust from date of purchase.

    $700 dollars for nothing!

    Be wary. Be very wary.

  18. I have a 1980 Miracle on Ice USA vs USSR Feb 22nd 1980 unused “Full ticket” that I purchased many years ago. I would like to send it in to one of the 3 grading companies but would like your advice on how to package it properly to ensure it is not damaged and which of the 3 companies you might recommend it to ship to. My goal it to have it professionally graded in case I ever want to sell it. Also do they appraise the value also when they grade the ticket or do they just assess a grade on it and mail it back? If they don’t assign an estimated value, where would I get this from? Website searches? I have never submitted a ticket or sports trading card previously for grading and value your input. My biggest fear would be that it comes back as a fake but I doubt that since I purchased it back in 2004 from a reputable auction or sports house site. Thanks Also it would be nice to get the card back to me in a reasonable time period. Not more than a couple months seems reasonable.
    Thanks! Mike

    • mmmmm don’t buy a raw card (PSA would be optimal)… don’t buy now… buy on eBay auctions, goldin auctions, or heritage auctions… email us at advice@goldcardauctions.com if you find one your thinking about buying and we will give you our opinion… cheers!

      • I also have a Jordan 1986 fleer rookie card. I am trying to do two things: 1. Confirm 100% that it’s genuine and not a reprint.
        2. If real for sure, how to decide what service to use to get it graded. Please advise. Thanks

  19. have (2) Roberto Clemente autographs in an autograph book I got for Christmas in 1963 and used thru 1960’s at our local Sports Night show to collect signatures. Total of over 80 in there and 16 are Major Sport HOF member plus multiple Olympians (Richards, Rudolph ect.) Thinking of taking to PSA in N.J. and removing the Clemente’s for Authentication and grading since JSA does not slab. Would you recommend grading also? Is it worthwhile to have JSA Authenticate first? They are appox. 2-1/4″ x 5″. And still intact in book. What are your recommendations please.

  20. Further to my previous post upon closer inspection some of the cards I received back from PSA are not the ones I sent in. I took pictures of my cards before I sent them in for grading.

    For example the Brett Hull card. His collar was black on the card I sent in, the card I received back the collar has shades of green. Not only that but one of the corners on the card I received back are in better condition than the corners on the card I sent in. In addition there is a short horizontal indentation on the left side of the card I received back that is not on the picture of the card I sent in.

    I can’t prove it at this point as time has passed but know it to be true.

    Not only is the grading a scam but they are thieves.

    Should I lawyer up?

    Be very, very, very wary.

  21. Hello, I have a lot of Kobe Bryant’s rookie cards that needs to be graded. I’m debating between BGS & PSA. I’m willing to spend express grading for both since these are Kobe’s rare cards. Any advice will do. Thanks

  22. Further to my previous comments,

    Upon closer inspection of all cards I submitted I found 8 of 10 to not be the cards I submitted by distortions on the returned cards not found in the pictures of my cards that were submitted, centering realignments, off center left of the returned card(s) when the pictures of the card(s) has them off center right or visa versa to a greater degree, repair of damage I did while preparing them for shipment (sliced a corner leaving a layer of the card hanging when inserting it in to the protective enclosure) and damage to corners on the submitted cards not present on the returned cards.

    Motive unknown, perhaps I received fakes in return.

    In any case lesson learned. I will not be submitting any more of the over 1,000 cards I have for grading. The ten card submission was a test as I had my suspicions when I saw PSA 9’s that were worse than my cards posted on Ebay. I Submitted my card(s) at Minimum Grade 7 and received no grade. PSA failed in flying colors.

    In my submission I told PSA that I trust their judgement. My trust was misplaced and worse.

    I will not submit any more cards for grading to anyone.

    Live and learn.

  23. This seems more like an advertisement for BGS and SGC. Your pro’s for BGS especially, as I consider some of those pros to actually be total cons. For instance “Beckett’s labeling is generally preferred”. Where ‘s the evidence for that? I totally disagree. Their cases have been know to change color over time for one thing and they are too big and take over the card too much. The PSA’s are simple, light-weight and sleek in comparison. BGS also overly grades in a very bad way, especially for centering. This is not a positive. Why would a ever so slight off centering unnoticeable to any naked eye keep a modern card from a perfect 10. It’s stupid, they undervalue a card in basically pristine condition, and they have also been proven to grade centering differently on the same exact card!! How can the same card measure differently for centering? They also seem to have authenticated about a million or more fake autographs.

  24. The most telling and important thing said in this whole write up is this, and it’s not even entirely truthful the way you put it. You say “This has caused the price of older PSA cards to exceed their BGS counterparts, even if they have a similar overall rating.”. While this is totally true, it’s not the entire truth. I have been selling cards for longer than any of these companies have been around, and I know two things for sure. PSA cards sell way faster, and they commonly sell for more money than any other companies cards no matter if they are vintage or modern cards. Everyone who sells both knows this is fact. It’s also the most important of all facts about grading because it’s all about getting value and maintaining value for your cards. Almost all of the top 25 highest selling sports cards of all time in every single sport from Baseball to Hockey to Tennis were graded by PSA. With a few very rare exceptions like that BGS 9 Trout that went for nearly 4 million. That card was a one of a kind however, that’s why it didn’t really matter that it was graded by BGS. That card did hold the all time highest selling Baseball card record for a few months, until a PSA Mantle recently beat it by well over a million.

  25. PSA is tougher on corners as most people know, and even this write up states this, so it’s impossible to say for certain. Anyone who says this BGS 9.5 would be a PSA 10 is full of it, (And there are a ton of these people in the collecting world who claim this kind of untruth.), and likely the person is just too cheap to pay for the better grading company. The truth is that if a corner is imperfect, the best a card can grade with PSA is a 9. An imperfect corner on a BGS card however can still grade a 10. This is fact, check it out for yourself.

  26. I have some 1986 Fleer basketball cards that I am trying to sell (most notably Barkley, also Bird, Mullin, and Parrish). It seems that grading is a must, especially with the Barkley card. Which service is best in this case?

  27. Grading is BS and has ruined the industry. Anyone who gets cards graded for them by another entity for money is a chump plain and simple. Wasn’t grading supposed to end the arguments and now the argument has moved to the graders. You fools, they are making millions on you and fools of you all.

    • Duck. I read your comment. Your 3rd sentence sums up the issue very well. The others just vented anger in my opinion. So kudos on #3!

      The real issue be addressed is what is killing the hobby. MONEY. PSA has now also raised their rates. Then they mention this million card jam. Hey PSA… how about this: Hire more staff to grade cards, stop stealing money. Stop doing business with PW, and stop manipulation what you think are 10’s for certain cards Henderson, Peyton, Bird/Magic RC.

      And while I’m on the subject: What the hell is this nonsense about “value” boys ( PSA, Beckett et-al)?? What are we so stupid for??? If I tell you a card is worth 499 I’ll never get a 7 let alone a 10!!

      Try this you card-grading -pythons: How about you charge a flat fee for every darn card out here and let the SINGLE STANDARD BE THE RUBRIC.

      PSA, Beckett are doing nothing but manipulating a wonderful market and what do we do… yep… we get led around by our dicks.

      One

      • PSA is manipulating the market. I can tell you a dozen ways how it’s being done and a give you dozen reasons why. I will never use these greedy dirtbags……. ever.

        In the attached image notice how poorly PSA did on the centering of these Jordan cards graded 10. My ungraded card is centered the best.

  28. I buy and sell many sports cards and right now my living room alone has over $25,000.00 worth of sports card in huge postal boxes. I have had some of my cards graded and used a few of the different companies. However when I visit a card grading site and they say, “We charge $100 a card,” they lost my business.

    I’m a senior on Social Security and I do my best to sell honest, fair and good priced cards, but how can you sell a graded 8, 9, or 10 card to any kid when you have to charge high prices?

    I just sold a Sidney Crosby autographed rookie on eBay for about $120.00 and I really wish I had more of his autographed cards and maybe next time if I get one I will have it graded. but then the starting bid would have to be $123.40…

    It sucks that so many companies charge so much to grade cards.

  29. You may want to update this again. Just as I was about to send a batch to SCG, I discovered that they raised their pricing … a lot! What was $25 per card for <500 is now $75! Yep, I confirmed it – they raised their price by 3 times as much, effective 1 April 2021. Needless to say I won’t be using SCG.

  30. Explain “max declared value” for submitting cards.
    I have a card that could be worth $10k-$25k. And I have a semi large collection (10,000 cards), in which I could easily see having graded up to 200-300 individually. Most in the late 60’s & 70’s.
    What service is recommended. Opinion please.
    Thanks

    • Hey Kurt… if you’re looking to get the max amount of money for them submit them to PSA (and don’t submit them all at once, break them down into pods submitting them 2 or 3 at a time).

      Alternative option… submit them to SGC as SGC has a good history with older cards… you won’t get as much money when going to sell however BUT it will cost less initially upfront and you will get them back faster than PSA… cheers!

  31. Ive got to agree with the guy that said yall are all chums and these companies are making millions. Thats just my opinion coming from a fresh set of eyes and it seems to me the graders have ruined the hobby.
    Exactly who is the person that is doing the grading and what qualifies them to even give a grade, is what I would like to know. Yall people have more money than brains to pay that kind of money to have a card graded and the fact that a card with a higher estimated value cost more to grade is totally insane. Who determines what that ESTIMATED value is? Estimated value from when, 5 years ago? last week? 5 years from now? And where does this magical value number come from? Wouldnt it suck if you paid $2,000+ to have a “rare” card graded and 6 weeks later some guy buys a storage unit at auction and finds 100 of those “rare” cars in mint condition and now your over valued “rare” card is not so rare or valuable. I was raised as something is only as valuable as the price someone is willing to pay, regardless of everything else.

    With that being said….I just inherited a HUGE massive amout of cards and such. By huge i mean atleast a 10ft Uhaul truck, if not a 14ft truck, packed to the ceiling full of 80s-90s sealed cases, sealed packs, team sets, promotional material, unreleased prototypes some unfinished and unnumbered, signed baseballs, bats, footballs, basketballs, individually unreleased one of a kind signed pictures & cards, limited edition items, uncut rolls of cards, baseball cards, basketball cards, winston cup nascar cards, hockey cards, magazines, collectors items, odd production cards such as Alf, MTV, Garbage Pale kids(my personal favorite), Beauty and the Beast, Starwars….and all kinds of stuff.
    My uncle that just passed away was a Buyer and then the V.P. Buyer of a large distribution company that purchased the inventory straight from Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer, Score…etc and was almost always sent prototypes, limited edition sales items, and special marketing material of the upcoming production runs from all of these companies for many many years.

    • Looking to sell it all? piece it out? sell some save some? let us know and then we can provide advice…cheers!

      • Its been a while since my original post. Ive just barely scratched the surface of all these cards during the past several months due to the fact that most of them are a 9hr drive north from my home, while the rest of them was at a vacation home that is a 6hr drive south from my home, and because I’ve only been able to devote 3 or 4 days at a time, every other week or so.
        I just opened 3 packs of 86 Fleer NBA cards and found a beautiful Jordan card, Bird card & sticker, Oakley, Akeem, and Ewing to name a few.
        To answer your question I believe Id like to sell it all or atleast most of it all due to I just dont have the space thats needed to properly store it all.
        Im sure you have access to my provided email address, feel free to email me.

  32. I recently had some cards graded with you folks and received 1 back that had a sticker on it that read ” MINSIZERQ “! I have no idea what that means as this was the first t6ime I have had cards graded. can you tell me what this means?

    • Were not PSA FYI …thank god lol… BUT… that means the card size requirement was not met and it was possibly trimmed

  33. Grading by a third party should not be a substitute for grading by the purchaser. Never buy a card or coin or anything just because a trusted 3rd party claims it is a gem 10. I think there has been way to much providence given to these grading companies. Oddly enough it seems like the larger clients who run thousands of cards thru end up with a lot more higher grades than the small collectors receives. One thing that could be developed would be an online grading filter or application that could easily check centering and corners. Surface and color may be more difficult, but at least it would provide some method of grading without relying on a third party.

    • agreed. Wait a year and HOPEFULLY, this will all sort itself out… too much money going around not too

  34. I just received two shipments of graded baseball cards back from PSA in June (2021), about 170 cards total. I am a dealer and can say without any doubt that PSA has increased their grading standards substantially just since last year. My last shipment in 2020, more than 200 cards and a mixture of 1970s/1980s cards, were all graded 8-10. The current shipment had no 10s and only two nines. There were many cards graded at 5 or less. One 1978 card was graded 3 where I cannot find a flaw, let alone flaws to reduce it to a 3. I have graded the condition of photos and cards for a living for the past 25 years, and the grading on the cards I just received back is inexplicable. Is it the result of the new software PSA purchased? Does it not work? I don’t know. I do know I will be looking elsewhere for grading in the future. I likely can get cards graded 3-5 notches higher by other grading firms based on what I just received back from PSA. Fortunately I paid the old grading prices on these cards.

    • Hey James… all great points… our advice is to wait a year and let everything shake out. All the grading companies are in a stats of confusion as they were not prepared for this huge influx of cards as a result of the hobby coming back (and becoming a hedge investment against traditional forms).

      Up until the last year, PSA was our go-to as they were reasonably priced and the ROI for a PSA 10 grade was number one in the hobby (we didn’t mind the long wait as long as they came within 6 months as most did.

      Now we have HGA, higher prices, and reports that PSA is grading harder (they may have actually confirmed this themselves if anyone knows?).

      So the grading industry is in a state of flux and will take maybe up to a year before we can figure out the details… the biggest being which grading company now provides the most bang for the dollar in terms of ROI. Were willing to wait a little bit longer if that means our ROI will be greater.

  35. You analysis is concise and very well written, like all the excellent information here. When you all update this article, could you add a section in the PSA portion around Crossover Grading? I personally have about 8 Beckett graded cards that I would like to submit for a PSA Crossover, but have trepidations on how they are evaluated. For instance, would PSA ever go over your minimum grade? Go from a Beckett 7.5 to an 8 for example? Seems like a weird arena and I see cards that I think should be a higher grade with PSA, particularly cards before the 1990’s.
    Not sure if that is an offline conversation, but would love some advice there.

    • Hey Aaron thanks for reaching out and you can always email info@goldcardauctions.com questions. But yes the entire sports card grading arena is a cluster F*** right now and that’s putting it lightly. They are so far behind available technology it isn’t funny. If PSA or Beckett isn’t already investing/creating an online grading system that will not require the use of people to grade cards or physical cases someone else will in the next 3 to 7 years. We can talk more offline. thx!

  36. Thank you very much, I did send an email to the advice alias and forwarded that on to the info email box. I agree completely on the grading arena, just absolutely crazy how it all has developed. I was loyal to Beckett for many years, liked the slab and subgrades, and the fact I could drop them off in person. Had a couple cards come back as altered that I pulled from packs, and then PSA graded them no problem. Both came out as 8.5’s. That changed me over to a PSA loyalist, just hate waiting a year for cards. Look forward to the offline conversation

  37. Hey I’m looking at a few baseball prospects rc auto cards, I’m wondering what an estimate value would be for a Chrome 1st rc auto gold refactor (#/50) if the prospect turns out to be a few time all-star? Ungraded and graded (9 or 10)

    Thank you!

  38. I agree 100% with you Gold Card Auctions!! SGC all the way right now, at first glance they would have been my second choice behind PSA, they’re pricing and wait time is absolutely ridiculous!
    PSA has a New CEO who’s come out on record saying he was going to make immediate changes (improvements), I haven’t seen any!!

    I would love to see everyone band together and ONLY use SGC Grading services

    • PSA ugh… wouldn’t be fun if there was a tool to measure 10,000 psa 10 grades vs 10,000 sgc 10 grades in terms of conditions against each other? PSA 10 would have to win 75% to justify the value difference imho

  39. you can all say what you want and have your own opinion but i don’t agree that psa is better than bgs. maybe in older vintage cards. I say many many many collectors are simply brain washed that psa 10 are the best. I disagree as i have seen many psa 10 that are not centered. Hence why a BGS 9.5 or even better a BGS10 is better. BGS gives you subgrades and if you do not grade well on all levels then why should the card be a 10? Sorry but BGS for me.

    • Hey David… we will provide our favorite grader once all of the graders are functioning at full capacity again. For now we are using SGC 🙂

  40. I found the following on an eBay auction. What do you guys think?

    “PSA has hired a ton of new graders to catch up back logged submissions. And WOW, I can tell. I’m done with this hobby, PSA has gotten over on me for the last time. FLAWLESS cards coming back as 5’s, 6’s, 7’s. GEM MINT cards coming back as 8’s and 9’s. Yet the “Wal-Mart of sports cards” is still seeming to get cards with dinged corners, chippy edges, and print dots graded as PSA 10’s. I’m out. Gonna eat this loss for the last time.”

  41. Alot of great info and insight from everyone. I used BGS for the last 10 plus years. I found over the the last couple of years that their labels are very inconsistant and cut off center, creased,etc and don’t show as clean as they once did.That along with the insane costs of their grading I didn’t feel their product was worth it anymore.I’ve switched to SGC this year and couldn’t be happier .Consistant grading, clean labels,quick turn around time and the cost make it definitly worth while to try if your someone looking for another great option. I think SGC over the next year will continue to become more and more acceptable to everyone looking to purchase graded cards. While their cards right now don’t sell for just as much as PSA or BGS you certainly will net more money regardless based on the savings from their cost of the grading service and leaves you with alot less exposure.Nothing better for the consumers then good competition.

  42. BGS should be #1. PSA 10 is GEM-MINT so is a BGS 9.5 GEM-MINT. BGS has 2 more tiers. A pristine 10, then there is Black Label 10. A black label 10 is all 4 subgrades are a 10. When it comes to selling BGS should always outsell PSA, but it doesn’t because all the celebs/important people go with PSA and that brings in the hype and you know people love hype. A BGS 9.5 is the same as a PSA 10.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here