How to Get My Football Cards Graded
Football card collecting is a popular hobby enjoyed by many enthusiasts around the world. If you have a collection of football cards that you would like to protect and potentially increase in value, getting them professionally graded is a great option. Grading your football cards not only provides an unbiased assessment of their condition, but also adds credibility and value to your collection. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get your football cards graded:
1. Research grading companies: Start by researching reputable grading companies in the market. Some well-known companies include Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Beckett Grading Services (BGS), and Sportscard Guaranty (SGC). Each company has its own grading standards and fee structures, so make sure to compare their services before making a decision.
2. Choose the cards you want to grade: Select the football cards you want to get graded. It’s recommended to start with cards that are likely to have higher value or sentimental significance. Rookie cards, autographed cards, and vintage cards are often popular choices.
3. Organize and protect your cards: Before sending your cards for grading, ensure they are properly protected. Use card sleeves or holders to prevent any damage during transit. Organize your cards in a way that is easy to identify and track.
4. Determine the grading level: Most grading companies offer different grading levels, such as basic, standard, and premium. The level you choose will determine the level of scrutiny your cards will undergo, along with the associated fees. Consider the value and condition of your cards to determine the appropriate grading level.
5. Fill out the submission form: Visit the grading company’s website and fill out the submission form. Provide accurate information about each card, including its player, year, manufacturer, and any special attributes like autographs or memorabilia.
6. Package your cards securely: Place your cards in a sturdy shipping container, such as a cardboard box or bubble mailer. Use padding or packing materials to ensure your cards are well-protected during shipment. Include the submission form and any necessary payment.
7. Insure your package: To ensure the safety of your cards, consider purchasing shipping insurance. This will protect you in case of loss or damage during transit.
8. Send your package: Ship your package to the grading company’s designated address. It’s recommended to use a reliable shipping method with tracking, so you can monitor the progress of your cards.
9. Await grading process: Once your cards reach the grading company, they will undergo a thorough evaluation process. This involves examining the condition, authenticity, and other attributes of each card.
10. Receive your graded cards: After the grading process is complete, you will receive your graded cards along with a certificate of authenticity. The cards will be encapsulated in a protective case, which provides both physical protection and an enhanced presentation.
11. Preserve your graded cards: Safely store your graded cards in a cool and dry environment to maintain their condition. Avoid exposing them to excessive sunlight, humidity, or temperature fluctuations.
12. Track the value of your cards: Keep an eye on the market value of your graded cards by regularly checking online auction sites, price guides, and sports card forums. This will help you gauge the potential appreciation in value of your collection.
13. Consider reselling: If you decide to sell your graded cards, there are various platforms available, such as online auction sites, sports card shows, and specialty dealers. Research the market and choose the best avenue to maximize your return.
14. Enjoy your collection: Whether you collect football cards for investment purposes or simply for the joy of the hobby, remember to enjoy your collection. Display your graded cards proudly or share them with fellow collectors to ignite conversations and camaraderie.
Common Questions about Getting Football Cards Graded:
1. How much does it cost to get a football card graded?
– The cost varies depending on the grading company and the level of service you choose. It typically ranges from $10 to $50 per card.
2. How long does the grading process take?
– The turnaround time can vary, but it usually takes several weeks to a few months.
3. Can I grade my cards if they are damaged?
– Yes, you can still get damaged cards graded. However, the condition of the card will significantly affect its grade.
4. Do grading companies offer regrading services?
– Yes, most grading companies offer regrading services if you believe your card has been assessed incorrectly.
5. Can I submit cards that are not in perfect condition?
– Yes, grading companies evaluate cards in various conditions. Cards with minor flaws can still receive a respectable grade.
6. Can I get autographed cards graded?
– Absolutely! Autographed cards are highly collectible and can be graded to authenticate the signature.
7. Are vintage cards graded differently?
– Vintage cards are often graded on a different scale due to their age and rarity. Make sure to check the grading company’s guidelines for vintage cards.
8. Can I submit cards directly to a grading company or do I need a membership?
– Most grading companies allow direct submissions from collectors, but some also offer membership programs with additional benefits.
9. Can I track the progress of my submission?
– Yes, grading companies usually provide online tracking services where you can monitor the progress of your submission.
10. How do grading companies determine the grade of a card?
– Grading companies assess various factors, including corners, edges, centering, surface condition, and any imperfections.
11. Can I get my graded cards re-encapsulated?
– Yes, most grading companies offer re-encapsulation services if you want to change the protective case of your graded cards.
12. Are graded cards more valuable than ungraded cards?
– Generally, graded cards are considered more valuable due to their authenticated condition and the trust they inspire in potential buyers.
13. Can I sell my graded cards to a grading company?
– Some grading companies offer buying services, but it’s often more common to sell graded cards through other channels like auctions or dealers.
14. Can I get non-sports cards graded?
– Yes, grading companies accept a wide range of card types, including non-sports cards.