Do a quick Google search on grading baseball cards and you’ll get way more information than you probably need.
But nonetheless, it’s become an important part of the hobby, especially when it comes to buying and selling. The days of going to your local bricks and mortar sports card store are long gone sad face to buy that fresh pack or box of cards and ensure the quality is up to par.
Today, most of the transactions are done online through various websites like eBay, COMC, and the proliferating number of ‘breakers’ out there. The drawback of course is that you can’t closely inspect the condition of the cards until it arrives in the mail.
Hence, the importance of purchasing graded cards done by companies we trust will undergo a rigorous process in determining the quality of the card.
A lot of the details can be found in this lengthy eBay article called Everything you need to know about grading baseball cards. But if you just want to know the basics, look below.
- Several reputable grading card companies currently exist with their own grading standards.
- Grading is based on four characteristics.
- Centering – is the image of the player centered within the border?
- Corners – how crisp are the corners (or conversely, rounded/fuzzy)?
- Creases – are the creases visible? (some creases can be hard to see from a digital photo)
- Surface – are there any wrinkles, scratches on the card? Is it warped?
Some will argue that grading cards is highly subjective and those companies that offer the service make a lot of money from it. But I’m not sure there’s a better alternative to ensuring the quality of a card when the main avenue of purchasing cards is through online means.
Bottom line: Graded cards gives you the peace of mind when purchasing one for your collection. As a seller, if the card is in great shape, it will increase the value of the card.