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?
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View the Most Popular Rookie Card Auctions ➡ View the Most Popular Autograph Card Auctions ➡ View the Most Popular Sports Hobby Box Auctions ➡ View the Most Popular Sports Trading Card Packs ➡ View the Most Popular PSA 10 Graded Card Auctions ➡ View the Most Popular RPA Card Auctions ➡ View the Most Popular Sports Trading Cards ➡
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:
Pros: The highest value of top grades out of the three
Cons: the most expensive of the three options (PSA, BGS, SGC)
Pros: Looks good, especially the black labels, cost less than PSA
Cons: More expensive than SGC, not as fast as SGC for premium tiers
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:
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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:
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.
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(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.”
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.)
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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.
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 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.
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
- Phone: 1-800-325-1121 or if outside the United States call (949) 833-8824
- Mail: PSA, P.O. Box 6180, Newport Beach, CA 92658
- PSA Grading Form: www.psacard.com/submissions
- PSA Collectors Club: www.psacard.com/join
BGS Customer Service
- Phone: 1-972-448-9188
- Email: email@example.com
- Beckett Grading Specials via the Beckett Grading Services Club: www.beckett.com/grading/bgs-club
- BGS Grading Form: www.beckett.com/grading/submit
- Beckett Grading Locations
SGC Customer Service
- Mail: 951 Yamato Road Suite 110 Boca Raton, FL 33431
- Phone: 1.800.SGC.9212
- Online: gosgc.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having trouble or have a question in regards to PSA, SGC, or Beckett grading, cost, or wait times? Email us at email@example.com or visit the Gold Card Auctions Facebook Page.