The Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), the world’s largest third-party authentication company, is widely known to avid sports card collectors for grading sports cards.
With the growing need to authenticate sports cards, prevent the fraudulent sale, and ensure sellers get value for their cards, the PSA grading services have been critical to the sports card collection hobby.
Despite the immense role PSA plays in sports card sales, the idea that your card, which may be worth a fortune lay in the hands of a third-party, can discourage some sellers from using PSA grading services.
Hence, the reason for this article.
We’ll give important reasons why PSA grading services have to be used on sports card sales.
But before we delve into that, here’s what you need to know about grading services.
In grading a card, various levels are assigned to the card based on the card’s condition.
A card in excellent condition gets assigned one of the highest grading Levels, and thus it’s most likely to cost more than other cards in a less attractive state.
Though a card’s condition affects its value, you should note that a card’s demand is the primary determinant of a card’s value.
Table of Contents
PSA Grading Levels
MINT or MT (PSA 9 or SGC 96)
This level is assigned to a card in perfect condition.
The card will look very neat, clean.
The card will be free of stain, creases, bends, and any flaws on both the front and back.
The corner of the card and its edges will have to be clean and sharp.
The card’s image will have to be centered within the card’s borders at a ratio of 55/45.
Near Mint to Mint or NM/MT (PSA 8 or SGC 88)
A card in this condition may appear to be a PSA 9 or SGC 96 card, but you may detect flaws upon careful observation.
There may be little wear on the corner of the card and an issue with centering, which is not to be more than a ratio of 60/40.
Despite that, the card should not have stains, bends, creases, or surface flaws on both the back and front.
Near Mint or NM (PSA 7 or SGC 84)
You may mistake a card in this condition for a new card.
But upon observation, issues with print and colors, you may notice fuzzy corners.
Centering would have to be no worse than 65/35.
Excellent to Mint or EX/MT (PSA 6 or SGC 80)
This level is the level—the most higher-grade vintage card is graded.
The card may have print and color issues, a slightly out-of-focus image, and fuzzy corners.
The centering of the card would be around 70/30.
Excellent or EX (PSA 5 or SGC 60)
This is the level most vintage cards are graded.
Cards graded in this condition have surface gloss and light wear, which may cause rounding.
The card will have a centering around 75/25.
Very Good to Excellent or VG/EX (PSA 4 or SGC 50)
Cards graded VG/EX have creasing, which may be light or minor on the card’s reverse.
The centering of the card would be around 80/20.
Cards with wax stains and print issues are usually at this level.
Very Good or VG (PSA 3 or SGC 40)
This grading is for cards with strong creases and wrinkles.
The card may also have moderate wear and will have to be rounded.
A card with string creases would be graded a VG, no matter how well it excels in other aspects.
Good or GD (PSA 2 or SGC 30)
A card in this condition would have a slight tear on the edges, several creases, residue of tape on the reverse, as well as rounded corners with a significant amount of wear.
Any card with a ruffle that breaks the surface on the back or front would not be graded higher than this level.
Poor or PR (PSA 1 or SGC 10)
Any card graded would have lots of issues at this level.
These issues have to do with tears in the card, stains, pencil or ink marks, rack or pinholes, creases, and heavy wear.
Now that we know PSA’s grading levels let’s delve into why you shouldn’t hold back from using the renowned grading service provider.
Video: PSA Card Grading Tips
Reasons to Use PSA Grading Services
1. Card Authentication
The sports card collection hobby is filled with several counterfeit cards.
Many reprints sold at a lower price, which are meant to be an alternative to these valuable cards, can be presented as the real deal.
Mainstream companies like Topps sometimes print these reprints, but they are marked to differentiate the original card.
Third-party manufacturers sometimes get different reprints, such as the Renata Galasso reprint of the 1933 Goudey set, which was done in the 1980s.
The reprints may not be marked from the original cards, but you can tell by the image featured on the card’s back.
Though reprints are not created with malicious intent, it’s best to be wary before purchasing any card.
Also, there is a sports card made to look like the original card but are not.
These cards are counterfeit and are often the replicas of highly demanded cards such as the T206 Honus Wagner, Michael Jordan rookie card, Ty Cobb tobacco cards, and the 1952 Mickey Mantle card.
Your card is sure to be graded with PSA grading service and proven to be original, giving buyer confidence.
Holding on to your cherished sports card makes it vulnerable to damages, which could reduce its value or damage the card.
This damage could be as minor as a slight crease or wear and tear.
No matter how small the damage may be, it could reduce the value of your card by thousands of dollars.
But PSA sturdy plastic used for holding sports cards offered protection from this damages.
The protection is limited.
The card may crack should an enormous amount of force is applied to the card.
The card is also vulnerable to discoloration, as the plastic is UV-resistant.
But, if you plan on storing your sports card in ordinary conditions, it should be held by the PSA.
One fun aspect of the sports card collection hobby is interacting with individuals who share the same passion for collecting sports cards as yourself.
When you use PSA grading services, the PSA will add you to the set registry, and you’ll meet collectors who have the same taste just as you do.
When you get added to the set registry, you’ll show off pictures of your collection and contact others in the set registry.
You’ll be able to view the images of other collector’s collections; this means you may complete a set, as many collections are completed by trading between members of the set registry.
Though you may not see all collectors’ collections or interact with everyone on your set registry, the experience would be fantastic.
4. Display Easily
With PSA grading services, you’ll be able to display your card without the risk of any damage being done to it.
The see-through design, PSA holder provides, makes card observation safe and uncomplicated.
It also displays the necessary information about the card.
Whoever is viewing your card can instantly know what card it is, and if it happens they need the card to add to a set, you easily find a buyer.
There are also several great ways to show your cards.
You can show your cards with individuals stands or shelves and cases.
Racks and cases are ideal for displaying your collection.
5. Easy Storage
When you make use of PSA grading services, your card is stored with the PSA holder, which is ideal for storing cards.
The PSA holder has four indented edges, which makes it easy to stack cards upon one another.
The holder prevents cards from sliding and slipping.
Though PSA holders have had various designs over the years, you can be sure that manufacturers have always improved storage.
As more people foray into the sports card collection hobby, PSA grading services’ benefits would become essential to the pursuit.
The trust several sports card collectors have for PSA grading services should be a big motivator to make use of the service.
Yet to make up your mind?
We hope this article does help.