Who Should You Use to Grade Your SPORTS CARDS in 2022? Watch Before Your Next Submission
January 28, 202210 min read
So who should you be grading your cards with in 2020? Now we're going to talk about what I would be considering the big four today and some positives and some negatives on each one of them, the big four being PSA, BGS, SGC, and then also CSG. So the alphabet soup of car grading companies. Now who you're going to choose to grade is going to depend on what your end goal is and also the types of cards that you're granting. Are you grading high end cards, low tier cards, or are you just grading cards for your collection?
So the goal of today's topic is to give you things to think about. I'm just going to share my experience and kind of what works for me, and hopefully that helps you along this path of grading cards.
So first off, let's talk about PSA very briefly here. They recently dropped their regular price to a hundred dollars a card. Still not what collectors want. It's just so funny to watch these Instagram pages and people just complaining about what some other company is doing. I just don't get why people choose to spend their time complaining about stuff like that. I mean, there are so many other options out there, PSA doesn't really care about your opinion. They're going to do what they want to do. They consider themselves kind of the rolls Royce of card grading. And I would agree with them at this point but you know, spending a hundred dollars to great a card, that card better have some significant value to it once graded. There's no point in sending in obviously LeBron James, 10, 11, 12 year cards, no point you're not going to get any value back out of it.
So you gotta be sending in your high tier stuff. But PSA's king right now, PSA's king, PSA's making big moves and acquisitions with Genemint and then also they picked up Card Ladder recently. So PSA seem to be doing everything right at this point. They're slowly clearing up that backlog and their values of there cards or are holding up very, very high. I mean, there's a lot of people that collect PSA out there. Right now on eBay, you can type in PSA and see how many cards they've graded that are currently for sale. It's 775,000. That's a lot, that's more than any of the other three combined. So that's the big thing about why you should be using PSA if you choose to.
Is there just a lot of people that collect there slabs. It's just the way it is. They've been around for quite a while. They are well-known for being, I guess you could say accurate card graders. They made mistakes too, but when PSA says something is a 10, most people believe that to be a very solid grade.
So their cards hold value. Speaking of that, LeBron James cards 221, the last PSA 10 sold for 3,550 bucks, PSA 9, $736. So keep those figures in mind as we kind of go through the other three here, so you can kind of compare and see what the values are holding at, but again, I got nothing, no beef with PSA.
If they feel like they're the top dog and I believe they are, by all means, keep doing what they're doing. There are obviously some very smart people there. They know how to run that business. They've made some big acquisitions and they're doing things well. So again, no hate on PSA. I mean, if you don't want to pay the price, you use one of these other three guys.
Let's move on to BGS now, full disclosure, I'm not a BGS guy. I don't use BGS for anything. So take what I'm saying about BGS with a grain of salt. I've got nothing against BGS. I just don't have a ton of experience with them cause I don't use them. I use the other three more than I use BGS, but right now on their website, you can grade a card with no sub grades, which is what people really like about BGS is those sub grades, for 125 bucks. So that's more expensive than PSA right now and they have got a big backlog too.
So they're just working their way through that. You guys comment below, let me know if I'm wrong on this take here. I could be wrong, but I just get this feeling that BGS is just getting left behind. It just doesn't seem like they are making any moves. You never really hear about them doing anything or a big card that's been selling lately. I know a lot of older card collectors have been using BGS for quite some time. They love the sub grades. They love the autograph grade, the way it's all set up in the slab. I get it. I really think BGS does a good job of being fairly accurate as well.
They're well known for being a good card grading company. They've been around for a long time. But it just feels like they're just not advancing their business like PSA is, or like any of these other two guys are right now. I don't know, I could be wrong on that. That's just my take, their website just seems very outdated. Like it just doesn't seem like they're getting with the times of 2022, but you know, they are very popular. Right now on eBay there's 158,000 BGS cards. So again, they do sell, very popular. But at the current prices right now, you might as well just be using PSA for your higher end stuff.
Depending on obviously which card you're going to be doing, you'd have to crunch the numbers and figure out which one would be better for you. But again, I just don't have a good feeling about BGS. I think they're going to be number four here in the next couple of years. That's just my take on that one, but it's going back to that LeBron card number 221. There's no BGS 10s out there. So the last 9.5 was for $1300 and of course that can vary depending on what the sub grades are, and a BGS nine for $800. So fair prices for BGS right there, but are they becoming number four here? I think it's going to happen, not in the next couple of years, but fairly soon after that, if any of these other two companies can keep stepping up.
All right. Let's move on to SGC also known as the tuxedo slab. I really liked those tuxedos labs, man. They're just very, very slick. I love what SGC is doing. Just slow, consistent growth. Trying to take care of the customers, trying to be as accurate as they can with their grades. You know, they've got a very good vintage reputation. So you'll see a lot of SGC cards kind of outperform PSA's or at least be neck and neck on the vintage stuff and by vintage I'm not talking about kobe Bryant, 1996. I'm talking about the Babe Ruth cards and all those kind of guys. Right now, they've got 61,000 cards graded on eBay. So not bad, but keep in mind, SGC has been around for a couple of decades. So is that a good number, bad number? I don't know, but just keep that in mind. Right now on their site, you can get a card graded with a value of under $1,500 for 30 bucks.
That's pretty good, 45 to 50 business day turnaround time. Their values, they're behind PSA and BGS on probably most cards, maybe neck and neck with BGS on some of them, but they do hold there own. Speaking of the LeBron James card we've been talking about here. The last SGC 10 sold for $2025, 9.5 for $815, and an SGC 9 for $650. So it was a 40% less or so, so again, PSA still king but I think SGC is still very undervalued in my opinion and here's why. They've got good customer service, they've got fair pricing and turnaround times, I personally happen to like their slab.
I think it just got lots of room for growth and I think you can grade higher end cards with them and not feel like you're totally getting crushed on the grading pricing. It's just a solid company to use for some high end vintage. And then also your kind of medium tier cards where the $30 grading price makes sense. Again, always crunch the numbers before you choose who to grade your cards with. But I like SGC. I think they're going to do very, very well here in the near future.
Moving on to number four, and that's CSG. Currently right now, CSG has been grading cards for a little over a year. Got 42,000 cards on eBay right now, 42,000. Now a lot of that has to do with that they were doing bulk service pricing when all these other guys weren't in the last year or so. So they've kind of had a little bit of a headstart on that, but only 19,000 behind SGC has been around for a few decades, and I just sent in another bulk pricing order to CSG a couple weeks ago, right now for 50 or more cards, bulk service, you can get them for it's like $10.80 a card. Again, no sub grades, which I really don't care about those. I'm not a huge fan of those mainly because I'm just getting low tier cards graded that I can offer out to customers. So, you know, mom's buying it for her son or whatever it is, you know, low tier $2, $3 cards that I'm getting graded. And with that pricing right there, you're going to be at $15 all in graded. Think about that. That's is awesome pricing. You can find a low tier LeBron James, Steph Curry card, whoever it is that you think is a good seller, buy those for 2, 3, 4 dollars and get them graded and you're being a 15 bucks. I mean, man, that is just fantastic pricing. Plus their website is very easy to use, much easier to use now than when they first came out.
So when you fill out your form to send them the cards, which is always the biggest pain. It's actually fairly easy to find the cards that you're looking for. I didn't have to enter in any cards. They had all the cards that I was sending it already in their database. And you can actually, I believe you could type in the card number too. So it made it super easy to do it. I was really impressed. I was dreading. I put it off for probably three months about sending these 60 or so cards, just cause I didn't want to do the database stuff.
But they're doing fairly well here and let me give you some reasons why. First off, let's talk about there the LeBron James card example. CSG 9.5 last sales, $1,050. CSG 9 for $900. So very similar to the other guys that we've been talking on this list, here's a couple of good things right here.
Their parent company, CCG, they were bought by Blackstone who I'm not going to act like I'm a very familiar with who these people are. Now I know who the people are, but Blackstone, I never heard of them until researching for this and find out they had been purchased here, for over $500 million.
So the investors include JZ. We all know him. Michael Rubin, who was essentially the founder a Fanatics and a couple of other solid guys here. So they've got some smart guys in there that know how to run businesses. We're talking about these guys are running $16 billion businesses. Like Michael Rubin is, I mean, that's legit. They're not little small mom and pop things like mine right here.
So I had an issue with one slab where they swapped the labels around and I contacted them bound. They sent me an overnight ups label and I sent it off to them and I got it back within a couple of days of switching out the labels. So that was super easy. I've reached out to the customer service because their website was down for a second while I was trying to upload those cards, they wrote back and said, yep, they were having some issues, got a fix. No problem.
So, I mean, again, I really liked the customer service in that pricing. What's the downside to CSG? Well the value's just not there yet. That's totally understandable. There's no way any card grading company is going to come on to the scene and be able to take advantage of PSA and be crushing them. It's just not going to happen right now, but I do see them off here in a little bit. And the reason why is people need to get those low tier cards graded. There's definitely money to be made there, and people have lower tier cards that they just want to get in a slab. They're not going to be essentially selling them, but they want to have their favorite LeBron James cards in a slab and CSG fits that bill. Now, a downside of CSG is a lot of people, don't like their green slabs. I get it. They do look good with some certain cards. I've been talking about the golf cards or any team that has a green color in their jersey, but again, people need to find places to get their low tier cards graded.
Most of us, 99% of us that are buying cards are not spending a thousand plus dollars on cards. Everything is low tier. Don't let the internet fool you. Most people are not collecting and selling high end cards. Most of us are everyday average Joes who maybe want to pick up a couple of cards for our collection, or pick up a gift for a buddy.
We want to spend under a hundred bucks under 50 bucks, if possible. I think that's where CSG comes in because you can get cards graded and sell them for under 50 bucks. And that's just huge. Especially as the other card grading companies are holding their prices high. I mean a hundred plus bucks for PSA to great a card it's expensive. You gotta be very picky about what you send them, but again, it's more and more people start collecting CSG. Right now they're very far behind PSA, as far as in the number of cards graded, you will start to see their value start to go up, and especially as people get more confident in their grading.
CSG is going to be making mistakes sometimes, but from what I've seen out there, they're either going to fix them or they're going to recognize them and make sure they don't happen again. Think they have some solid graders over there. People that know what they're doing. I know for the cards that I've sent off to CSG they've been tough grades. I've gotten a couple CSG tens out of the few hundred that I've graded. Most are rough, maybe it was just type of cards I was sending them, but I think that the grading is tough at CSG. So we may see how that plays out here in the future. But I really liked CSG definitely suggest you guys give them a shot here.
This is not a paid promotion. I would strongly suggest given CSG to try save up for $50. Do the bulk service and see what happens for you. So hopefully you guys have some luck there, but hopefully this brings a little clarity for the 2022 year on who you should grade.
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