SPORTS CARD INVESTORS! Be Careful Who GRADES Your CARDS
April 22, 20214 min read
Be careful who you grade your sports cards with.
It seems like every month a new card grading company comes on the market.
HGA took the market by storm with the color matching slabs.
CSG comes out with $8 submissions.
I believe this to be a good thing. Anything that gives sports card collectors or investors more options I am all for.
However, outside of the cost to grade a card, there are a few things you should consider before deciding who to grade your next card submission.
Today I will be giving you 5 things to consider before selecting your next card grading company.
Again, these are just my own thoughts to give you some things to think about. Always do what’s best for you and your collection.
#1 – First, let’s talk about selling online.
If you like to get cards graded and sell them online this segment will be for you.
In the autograph industry we have certain authentications that are not accepted on certain platforms such as eBay. You cannot sell items with those authentications on their website.
The autograph industry is riddled with fake autographs and fake COAs and there are items with certain COAs that you can’t sell on eBay.
eBay is always taking steps to protect their customers and to make sure they are getting authentic items.
They have done this recently with shoes.
Authenticators verify the box, sizing labels, soles, stitching, logos, heel tabs, laces, everything about the shoe and then place an authentication tag on it.
Will they at some point ban these non-traditional card graders?
The traditional ones being PSA, BGS, SGC. I see CSG becoming part of that group simply because of their parent company CGC is well known in the comic book grading industry and is already accepted by eBay.
What will you do if eBay bans certain graders from there platform and you have all these cards graded by companies not on the approved list?
Something to consider.
#2 – Let’s talk about consistent grading.
We all want cards to be graded as they should be. Consistent and fair.
This comes down to having graders who know what they are doing. Who have seen a million cards of all types. Know what to look for. Have a great feel for card grading.
I am not saying PSA has the best graders in the world nor am I saying that a new company has the worst graders. Each will have their faults and make mistakes.
What I am saying is when you choose to spend your hard-earned money on a grading company, something to consider is how good are the graders? Is their reputation consistent? Are they fair? Is their brand worthy of me sending them my cards?
I do understand that some of us are just collectors and don’t care about selling our cards right now. We want the best looking or the most affordable slab.
But at some point you might consider selling some.
I am all about giving you options. When you go to sell your cards, reputation and branding matters. Deciding which of the grading card companies meet those expectations for you is an important step in deciding who to send your cards to.
#3 Let’s talk about slab design.
I believe this to be a very important part of choosing who you want to grade your cards. After all, you have to look at the slabs and they should be aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Fortunately, in 2021 we have a ton of options that suit all sorts of tastes.
You have your traditional slabs like PSA and SGC, then you have your new and flashy slabs like HGA.
This is one you will have to go with your gut on. Who cares what someone in some card forum says about grading card ABC slab design. If you like the slab design then go for it. You will be very happy with your collection when you enjoy looking at not just the cards but also the slabs they are in.
#4 Security and authenticity of the slab is paramount now, probably more than ever.
When there is big money to be made fraud always follows it.
How easily can this grading card company’s slab be cracked or faked?
No company is immune to this as we saw with BGS just a few months ago where they had some apparent fake slabs pop up with some very expensive cards in them.
How ahead of the curve is your grading card company? Do they take this serious? What sort of measures are they taking to prevent this? All things to consider when choosing a grading card company.
#5 Will this grading card company be in business in 10-20 years?
Running a business is TOUGH sledding. Especially one that requires you to provide your expertise and have top notch customer service. You have to hire knowledgeable graders and be consistent with your grading. On top of that, you have to build a brand and build a following.
I can name dozens of autograph companies that were here one day and gone the next.
Will some of these card grading companies fail? Absolutely. Who will it be? Time will tell. But how bad would you feel knowing you got a bunch of cards graded by one company and then went to sell them in 10-20 years and they were no longer in business. How would that affect your card’s value?
All things to consider when you send in your next card grading submission. Again, always do what is best for you, your collection, and your budget and trust your instincts.
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