Graded magic cards

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James_Hetfield2
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Graded magic cards

Post by James_Hetfield2 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:39 pm

Hey All,

I have a few summer/alpha cards that I am considering getting graded. I can't make up my mind though.

Guess I'd like to hear peoples thoughts/experiences with grading.

BGS seems to be the most respected. PSA is an option.

I have to admit I'm scared that the cards could be damaged during grading. Or even stolen/replaced. The package has to be made out to Beckett Grading. Obviously it cant be that risky, but the concerns are there.

Cost is going to be around $100 to get a few cards graded. The one summer dual isn't perfectly centered, has one small small white ding on the edge, and a print spot. I'm sure probably won't make a BGS 9. Will a BGS 8 bring any kind of premium to a summer card?

Discuss!

Hayden
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Post by Hayden » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:12 am

One of the greatest values that grading offers is that it proves authenticity. These days with more and more fakes on the market (some of them are amazingly realistic) a PSA/BGS graded card gives that much more security to the buyer (on top of seller reputation, and other proof of authenticity claims a seller may make).

As a buyer/collector/seller I personally put a higher value on graded cards primarily for the fact that they have been authenticated. (at least in theory - I have yet to hear of a faked PSA/BGS card)

Also, grading adds that much more protection for your own storage of the card (although taking up way more room lol). When was the last time you accidentally nicked an edge of a sweet old Mox while taking it out of its sleeve to scan for someone (for example)... would that happen with a graded/encapsulated card - not so much.

One of these days I will probably send a lot of my own Summers and vintage stuff to be graded as well. I think the cost and trouble pay off in the end.

As for the choice... PSA vs. BGS - I see it like this:
BGS is known for their slightly tighter grading standards (a BGS 9.5 would probably be a PSA 10). But most people know this and bid accordingly anyway (ie bid a bit higher for BGS cards then their equivalent PSA graded counterpart - a BGS 9 > PSA 9).
On the other hand PSA is more known and that may translate into higher customer base. Which in turn means higher demand which could result in higher sales. Which kinda counters my own point above lol.

Overall both are good. I personally have collected many cards from both grades. To some it may come down to personal preference. But note there are some other graders out there (at least there were last time I checked) but I would not stray from PSA/BGS personally.

I hope this helps.

tap4black
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Post by tap4black » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:13 am

Both companies offer positives and negatives, you just need to weigh which works best for you if you decide to send them in.

For me, BGS offers the best holder and the subgrades are a big plus. Their cards also tend to garner a little premium for 9's and 9.5's and a substantial premium for 10's as they definately have a tighter grading scale. On their downside, their website is a piece of s**t as you cannot look up sets to check population (They do not even have a working link to MTG).

PSA's biggest advantage is their set registry which gives you instant access via PM to potential buyers/traders. They also tend to let a little bit of subjectivity into their grading. A pack fresh card that is a tad offcenter (60/40) but has perfect corners and full gloss can still receive a top grade which is a good thing if you plan on selling your cards at some point in the future. Their biggest downside is the fact you have to join (or know a member) to send in cards. Their holders are also quite cheesy compared to the BGS slab.

To date I've sent in over 2500 cards to PSA and a couple hundred to BGS and have never had a card damaged by them or in transit. I've seen mislabeled cards from both BGS and PSA but both companies fix the problems for free so no real worries there. I've never seen a counterfeit in a slab from either BGS or PSA but I've seen them in SGC and GAI holders so I'd not even consider those 2 companies. I even sent copies of authentic Alpha and Beta cards to SGC so they would have something in hand to compare cards to if they had questions. This was after buying a rebacked mox SGC slabbed off Ebay a few years ago.

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phiswiz
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BGS registry

Post by phiswiz » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:15 am

I keep pestering them to get their Magic in an easy to access pop report/set registry and I finally got a "soon" out of them.

What mainly drew me to BGS instead of PSA when I first started getting cards graded was the fact that I didn't have to go through a store or pay for a grading membership (I don't know if PSA still does this). BGS has no such fees, all you have to do is fill out a form and send them in.

The only way to get a pop report currently for Beckett is to look it up by card # and then you can find out how many of that card have been graded and what grades they have gotten.

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l0qii
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Re: BGS registry

Post by l0qii » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:14 am

phiswiz wrote:I didn't have to go through a store or pay for a grading membership (I don't know if PSA still does this).
They don't make you go through a store anymore, and the membership includes 6 free gradings for 1 year membership (12 for 2 years), which at regular price would cover the entire cost of membership.

tap4black
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Re: BGS registry

Post by tap4black » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:23 am

phiswiz wrote: The only way to get a pop report currently for Beckett is to look it up by card # and then you can find out how many of that card have been graded and what grades they have gotten.
AKA, P.O.S. website. It's been the same since I first graded with them 6+ years ago. They are more concerned with their marketplace than bringing the site up to date with useful information that a Magic collector can use. You'd think the fact that PSA has graded over 25,000 MTG cards and there is a thriving registry community for them would be a hint but they choose to ignore it.

-----------------------

PSA does still require a membership but as Tim mentioned, you receive free grading certs that negate the cost. This membership also gives you instant access to their online pop report that is a breeze to use.

Grading Fees tend to favor PSA if you are sending in cards valued at under $500 and shift towards BGS for higher dollar cards as they have a set fee structure regardless of the cards value.

I am in no way BGS hater but they really need to jump into the cyber generation and make some information available before I would even consider using them again.
#2 All Time Finest PSA Alpha Set, GPA of 9.64, now retired and re-graded via Beckett. BGS GPA 9.40 after shipping off several pieces to JM!

Current Alpha Rare count = 1500+!

James_Hetfield2
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Post by James_Hetfield2 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:28 pm

I did notice the suckage of the BGS website.

You guys convinced me. I'm going to send my cards in to BGS (I like the BGS holder). I will post back with my experience and what grade my cards come back as.

Do you insure your cards or require signature tap4black?

tap4black
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Post by tap4black » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:34 pm

James_Hetfield2 wrote: Do you insure your cards or require signature tap4black?
BOTH! The +/- 1% of the value it costs to insure a package that can be worth in the thousands is cheap peace of mind.

A little tip if this is the first time you are sending in cards for grading. Go out and buy yourself a cheap 10x magnifying glass from your local coin shop (around $10). Sit down with the cards under a good light source and really look them over. If you spot a nick on a corner or a dinged edge, consider not sending the card in (unless you are more concerned about having the card authenticated and not the grade). Trust me when I say that if you can spot a small flaw under 10x, you can bet the graders will.

As friendly as the company may seem, the graders are NOT your friends! Do not give them an easy reason to mark your cards down by sending in subpar items. You may have high aspirations for having that card come back a Gem Mint 10 but you need to be BRUTALLY honest with your own assessment of a card or your in for a very rude shock.

Or you could just send them in and hope :-D
#2 All Time Finest PSA Alpha Set, GPA of 9.64, now retired and re-graded via Beckett. BGS GPA 9.40 after shipping off several pieces to JM!

Current Alpha Rare count = 1500+!

tap4black
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Post by tap4black » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:36 pm

Forgot to add, Good Luck!
#2 All Time Finest PSA Alpha Set, GPA of 9.64, now retired and re-graded via Beckett. BGS GPA 9.40 after shipping off several pieces to JM!

Current Alpha Rare count = 1500+!

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