Sports Card Grading Services for Basketball Cards

When collectors look through the many graded cards for sale they will often see PSA, BGS and other initials in the card description. These are the grading companies that collectors use to give an expert opinion on a card's condition.

Professional Sports Authenticator, or PSA, will authenticate and grade cards as well as game-used items like baseball bats and gloves and other memorabilia. The first thing that happens when the card is evaluated by PSA is they make sure it is the real thing. PSA examines the card to see that it isn't counterfeit or has been confused with a similar card, as the card companies do put out reprints that are close to the originals. PSA then says they check for “doctoring”, which is when someone has tried to hide a blemish on the card. Some people try to color over the edge of the card to hide wear while others will cut a card along one side to make it look like the card has better centering or to hide wear.

To grade the card, PSA checks all aspects of its condition. The centering, the corners and edges, the surface of the card, any creases, these and other areas of the card are evaluated and a numerical grade is given to the card. The card is then locked in a plastic holder, so when collectors look to buy the graded card they will know they have the exact card that was graded. For most collectors, or even groups of collectors, it makes sense to send cards in bulk to PSA. Sending one card to be graded costs around $17, while the bulk service is cheaper but you must be a Collectors Club member to utilize that service.  Annual memberships start at around $100 but come with a few goodies and some free vouchers.

PSA will also authenticate and grade unopened packs. If there is one thing collectors are never certain about it is whether a vintage pack has been carefully opened and resealed, with good cards taken out and cheaper cards put in it. PSA will give their expert opinion that the pack has never been opened, so the resale value should be much better as possible buyers will bid high if they think there is a chance to get a mint star or rookie card and not a bunch of commons.

Beckett has several different options for grading. There is BGS and BVG, and several other services. Beckett Grading Services, BGS, is for newer cards and Beckett Vintage Grading, BVG, is for cards made before 1981. Beckett has various options for the cost of the grading, depending on how many cards are sent in and how soon the collector needs them.

Collectors often have a hard time figuring out what company to use. PSA is popular with vintage card collectors, and the Beckett card magazines are often focused on new cards so collectors of current players do often choose Beckett for grading.  SGC, Sportscard Guaranty, is another option and they grade everything from today's cards to sports cards from the 19th century.

When choosing a grading company, it makes sense to research the prices their graded cards sell for and to use the one that is best for your specific card while also keeping the company’s pricing structure in mind.

1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Yankees RC Rookie HOF SGC 50 PSA 5? Looks Nicer!
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1988 Fleer PSA 9 Sticker #7 Michael Jordan
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2013-14 National Treasures Swatches Dominique Wilkins 1/1 Laundry Tag BGS 9.5
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1992-93 Fleer Team Leader set. Jordan BGS 8.5, 9 x3 subs!! Pack fresh!!
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1988-89 Fleer Basketball Set 1-132 PSA 9 + 10 Complete
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1993 - 94 MICHAEL JORDAN Fleer Living Legends # 4 BGS 8.5 !!!!!
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2009 Contenders Stephen Curry Rookie Ticket BGS 8.5 Auto 10
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Isaiah Thomas RC Auto 2012-13 Panini Threads Kings Rookie BGS Graded 9.5 Gem 10
Isaiah Thomas RC Auto 2012-13 Panini Threads Kings Rookie BGS Graded 9.5 Gem 10 $39.01 (10 Bids)
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1988 Fleer PSA 9 Sticker #1 Mark Aguirre 1/9
1988 Fleer PSA 9 Sticker #1 Mark Aguirre 1/9 $511.81 (4 Bids)
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1961 Fleer #8 Wilt Chamberlain RC PSA 7 (Centerd-Looks Undergraded)
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1996 TOPPS STEPHON MARBURY #177 ROOKIE CARD TIMBERWOLVES KNICKS PSA 10 GEM MINT
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1969 Topps #25 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar RC Lew Alcindor PSA 8 NM-MT
1969 Topps #25 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar RC Lew Alcindor PSA 8 NM-MT $4,800.00
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1996-97 TOPPS CHROME KOBE BRYANT #138 ROOKIE RC BGS NM-MT 8 w/ TWO 9.5'S
1996-97 TOPPS CHROME KOBE BRYANT #138 ROOKIE RC BGS NM-MT 8 w/ TWO 9.5'S $299.00
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DAMON STOUDAMIRE 1997/98 UPPER DECK DIAMOND DIMENSIONS 13/100 BGS 9.5 GEM POP 1
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03/04 2003 2004 Topps Chrome Carmelo Anthony Xfractor PSA 10 #/220
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1969 TOPPS BASKETBALL #20 JOHN HAVLICEK ROOKIE CELTICS PSA 9++ WITH 10 QUALITIES
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1969-70 TOPPS #25 LEW ALCINDOR ROOKIE RC SGC 55 VG/EX+ 4.5 HOF WELL CENTERED
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Bill Russell 1957 Topps Rookie #77 ** PSA 3 ** NBA/Celtics Legend
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