Long time no see guys in my blog. Before we go to this topic – should I grade my cards? You may want to think, “why I want to grade my cards?”
Consideration – should I grade my cards
- I want to get a better value for my cards
- I want to store the condition of my card through a slab
- I want the card to be more beautiful looking
I want to get a better value for my cards
First you will want to know the value for your cards before and after grading. You can check this information in ebay. Type the exact name and version of the card (say base set / fossil / jungle / rocket or so).
However, due to limitation of the photo to be uploaded in ebay, you may not compare the exact price of the exact card due to various conditions of the cards. Generally, cards are distinguished broadly as gem mint, mint, near mint, light played, moderately played and heavily played / damaged. The condition across the scale can vary a lot, especially for gem mint (meaning there is basically no flaw on it like a gemstone).
Different grading companies, PSA / BGS / CGC etc, have their own standard and generally Grade 1 stands for poor and Grade 10 stands for Gem mint. You may check their site for their standards. Say, PSA 5 stands for an excellent condition (corresponds to light play / moderately played in my opinion).
After grading, the counter-party / you will have a better understanding on the condition of the card because there are usually guarantees of those grading companies on the cards on the condition and when you sell the graded slabs the buying would be relying on the grading company’s reputation and guarantee when he/she decides to buy your card or not.
Therefore it would be important how to estimate a grade of a card. Otherwise, if you have a raw card being of better value than a graded card of your estimation, then it may not be a good idea to grade a card.
Further consideration is, grading costs money and takes time. You may take a look of the price scale of the companies ranging from US $15 upwards for a single card. This is not inclusive of shipment in and out your country to USA. Even if you don’t mind about the costs for grading, you may mind a lot of uncertainties in transporting the cards in and out, such as loss of shipment and damage of shipment and delays causing your worrying.
The paramount consideration of many people may be that grading (especially the cheap ones) takes a long long time, say at least half a year to 1 year or more. When you get your cards back, the market would have changed. For instance, during 2021, the pokemon card price has decreased bit by bit after the hike in late 2020. Those being graded in early 2021, may be better off being sold as raw card that time.
Pokemon card is now like commodities like gold / silver / bitcoin and has a fluctuation of price. And you probably want to sell them as quick as possible if you are in sudden need of cash. You don’t want your cards, i.e. your valuables to be outside your control and even outside your country while being graded.
Example – Alakazam light played
Let’s say you have a light played alakazam. in around early 2021, the price you can get (hypothetically) are estimated to be HK$150 for a raw card. You see a PSA 6-7 alakazam in ebay selling at HK$400 at that time. Your costs for giving it to PSA would be, say US$20 for a value grade (waiting for almost a year).
Your total costs in grading would then be HK$150 + US$20 (around HK$155) + HK$20 shipping (say you also grade other cards and so you average out the shipping costs as this) = HK$325. So it looks like its a deal to grade it as it could possibly be HK$400 in ebay if you sell it now.
But wait, you haven’t factored in the waiting time and fluctuation of time. And supposedly you get it early next year after grading it becomes HK$100 then awww damn! You lost HK$225 and a year of waiting time!
This is a good illustration on if you are only for value, whether you should grade your card or not.
Of course, price may be more stable for charizards, shadowless, 1st edition or gem mint cards due to their low population count. So the above example is only an extreme example, which you should also take into account.
I hope this article helps you to think about whether you should sell your cards!
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