Wednesday, February 1, 2023

To Grade or Not to Grade

 When I really got back into the hobby I had no idea about grading cards and the different grading companies. Like most Americans these days, I turned to Google, which led me to YouTube, which led me to watching, I don't know, how many different videos on grading. 

Like the majority of collectors, not seen on YouTube, I am on a very fixed budget when it comes to collecting baseball cards. I don't do this for a living and after my original attempt to make a buck(see my first post!), I collect because its fun and something that keeps me involved with baseball, its past and I can share it with my sons and grandsons. So, spending a good amount of money to get cards graded doesn't make sense to me. Also, buying graded cards costs a lot more and that doesn't make sense to me either. 

Now as I understand it, there are three reasons to get a card graded. First, to authenticate the card as real and unaltered. Second, to give the card a grade that everyone can agree on and third, to protect the card in a case. Let's take these one at a time.


This one makes sense. Especially with all of the people out there willing to cheat someone to make a quick dollar. I get this one. Now, I recently read the book Spotting Fakes by Ryan Nolan. I only read the baseball card portion because, I only collect baseball cards. I thought this was a well written and very informative book and I highly recommend it for collectors. Now I'm not saying that I can recognize a fake from an original, but if I'm spending big bucks on a card I'm telling you I'm checking that card out really good. I'm also telling you that I'm not buying that card online. I want to see it for myself. I have even watched videos where cards that have been graded and then regraded come back as altered or fakes. I do believe that this is a rarity though. All of that to say, this is the one reason I see to get a card graded. 

Card Grades

This one I don't get. I'm the one who's acquiring a card, so I'm the one that gets to say if I think the "grade" of the card is a 10 to me. Even the guys I've watched have said the grades don't matter if you like the look of the card anyway. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard on YouTube videos people complaining about the grades of the cards when they get them back(which, by the way, takes way too long as best as I can tell!). Even better, they are going to resubmit it to another company to try and get a better grade...even more money spent. It's all about eye appeal to the one acquiring the card and not about some number some person who you don't know puts on the card. 

Protect the card

This one doesn't make sense to me either. For a whole lot less money and a lot quicker time, I can get a case to protect the card. There are all different cases to choose from too. I have even seen videos of people cracking the cases without much effort to get the card out in order to resubmit to another company. 

One last thing and I kind of already mentioned it, is the cost. I have never submitted a card for grading and at this point I don't see it happening. The main reason is the added cost. I'd rather spend that money on more cards! 

I didn't write this to bash those collectors who are into getting their cards graded. The great thing about collecting cards is you get to do it your way and you don't have to conform to everybody else. I do hope someone reads this and can share their opinion on grading cards to teach me something that I don't know. I'm open for discussion!



Isaiah 40:31


  1. I've never had much interest in acquiring graded cards or sending anything off to be graded. To each their own though!

  2. It's not for me either, but it doesn't seem to be going away, so what do I know! :)

  3. Yeah, Graded or encased cards for that matter.....not my thing. If I get one because is was a super sweet deal, I break it out. Welcome to the blogosphere. Be blessed.

  4. Welcome to the blogosphere! Grading isn't for everyone. I wasn't a fan for over a decade, but eventually I started adding a few to my collection. In fact, I added two this past week. Originally it was for authenticity only... but now I like to get PSA 10 Topps flagship rookie cards of my favorite players.

    1. I don't know that I will ever do it, but do you send cards off to get graded or acquire the cards already graded?

    2. I've never sent anything in to get graded, but I will at some point. I have a few vintage cards I'd like to get checked for authenticity. Every graded card in my collection was purchased... with the bulk being purchased back in the early 2010's. There was a short phase where a few dealers were clearing out the inventories, so I bought a ton of graded stuff (a lot of which was even cheaper than raw copies).

  5. I'm not a huge fan of grading, either, outside of authentication. For that purpose, it is a good thing to help keep counterfeits out of the hobby. In other instances, I think it just unnecessarily drives up the price of cards.


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