Hi, today i am writing a guide on GRADED cards and the different companies out there and their various credibility in the secondary market; i.e. EBAY.
First of all, let me first of all tell you that if you are new at the whole graded card market, this is the "safest" way to trade on EBAY because a "non-partial" third party has graded and "encapsulated" the specimen that is for sale. They have also assigned each specimen with a specific numerical grade (different companies use differing but similar scales). I will get into this "scales" later.
The Different Companies
Second of all, there are certain companies that are known within the hobby as the reputable grading companies. If you are new to this market you will want to only deal with these companies and avoid the rest like a plague.
- (BGS, BVG) (not BCCG)-Beckett is the industry standard when it comes to sport card garding. that is a given and people in the hobby respect this grading company. So much so is the prices realized for high graded specimens. I am not talking about BCCG which is done by BEckett but has a lot lower standard of grading. BGS and BVG until recently uses a 10 point grading system with half point increments. BGS also features "subgrades" for CORNERS, SURFACE, EDGES, and CENTERING. I'll keep it short so if you still have questions go to the BECKETT website and click on grading for a more in depth explanation of terms and standards.
- PSA (Proffesional Sports Authenticator) - This is also an industry giant when it comes to grading and authentication of sports card and memorabilia. This is one of the most respected grading companies in the market and have very strict standards. PSA uses a whole number grade and a scale which goes from 1(poor) to 10(gem mint) . Realized prices for sought after high grade specimens by PSA regularly get super high sales prices at market. That being said if you are a beginner at this stick with BGS BVG or PSA
- GAI (Global Authentication INC.)- GAI is becoming a force to be reckonned with in the grading world. This company boasts the only ones that grade and authenticate unopenned packs and boxes. This sector of the market is solely theirs. As far as grading cards GAI in my opinion is a very strict and reputable grader but I notice at market the high graded specimens regularly lag in realized prices in comparison to BGS and PSA. That being said this company is great to invest in if you plan to "cross over" the card. "crossover" means that you buy a card graded by a company and have another company open it up and regrade it. GAI features a grading scale from 1 (poor) through 10 (perfect) and half point increments in between.
- SGC(Sportscard Guarantee Co.)- This is in my eyes the industry standard for pre-war cards and vintage pre1960 cards. This company is becoming a force in the vintage card market with a reputation for impecable standards and garnering high respect within the hobby. SGC uses a slightly different scale. 10(poor) to 100(perfect) and increments in between it. It takes some getting used to but just try to picture it as if there is an extra zero on the end and it is very similar to the rest of the BIG 4.
These are the only 4 companies that i recommend that you buy from. These four are the industry standards.
Beware of these
That being said there are hundreds of other "grading" companies out there. next i will list companies to avoid and if applicable reasons you should avoid them.
1. GEM grading- this company is notorious for grading trimmed and altered cards. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
2.Graded Rookies Authenticated-(GRA)- This company is a guy who grades the cards himself and assigns a ten to them to try to garner higher market prices. Trust me when I say he gives them a 10. I will give a $100 dollars to anyone that can find a graded card by this company that is anything other than a 10. To top it off the cards are not encazpsulated but put in a screwdown holder. This guy is shady.
3.PRO, GEM ,GEM ELITE, and any body other than the four companies that i mentioned at the begginning of this guide.
Thanks for reading and vote if this guide was helpful.