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.

1969 Topps #4 Darrall Imhoff PSA 8 NM-MT Philadelphia 76ers
1969 Topps #4 Darrall Imhoff PSA 8 NM-MT Philadelphia 76ers $0.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 6d 4h 9m
2004 SP Authentic 14 Lebron James PSA 9 MINT Cleveland Cavaliers Basketball Card
2004 SP Authentic 14 Lebron James PSA 9 MINT Cleveland Cavaliers Basketball Card $32.98
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $32.98
#120 psa 6 SPUD WEBB RC 1986 87 FLEER fleer ATLANTA HAWKS
#120  psa 6  SPUD  WEBB   RC  1986  87  FLEER  fleer    ATLANTA  HAWKS  $1.88
Time Remaining: 5d 3h 27m
BGS 9.5 2018-19 Contenders Draft Mo Bamba Cracked Ice 10 Auto Tough Grade /23
BGS 9.5 2018-19 Contenders Draft Mo Bamba Cracked Ice 10 Auto Tough Grade /23 $299.99
Time Remaining: 29d 20h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $299.99
2005-06 Chris Paul SP Game Used Gold RC #/25 BGS 9.5
2005-06 Chris Paul SP Game Used Gold RC #/25 BGS 9.5 $2.25 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 3h 39m
1985 Star Gatorade Dominique Wilkins #8 BGS 8.5 NM-MT+
1985 Star Gatorade Dominique Wilkins #8 BGS 8.5  NM-MT+ $2.25 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 3h 13m
1969 Topps Basketball #34 Henry Finkel Boston Celtics PSA 7 NM
1969 Topps Basketball #34 Henry Finkel Boston Celtics PSA 7 NM $2.25 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 4h 9m
MONTA ALLIS 2005-06 SP AUTHENTIC RC AUTO AUTOGRAPH #0676/1299 BGS 9.5/10
MONTA ALLIS 2005-06 SP AUTHENTIC RC AUTO AUTOGRAPH #0676/1299 BGS 9.5/10 $9.99
Time Remaining: 29d 19h 41m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99
1986 Fleer Charles Barkley #7 PSA EX 5
1986 Fleer Charles Barkley #7 PSA EX 5 $9.99
Time Remaining: 4d 5h 31m
1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Bulls Rookie PSA 8
1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Bulls Rookie PSA 8 $1,799.99
Time Remaining: 29d 21h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $1,799.99
1990 Kenner Starting Lineup Michael Jordan PSA 10 GEM MINT
1990 Kenner Starting Lineup Michael Jordan PSA 10 GEM  MINT $229.00
Time Remaining: 9d 21h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $229.00
1998 98-99 Finest Refractor Dirk Nowitzki PSA 10 RC Rookie Mavericks HOF Pop 26
1998 98-99 Finest Refractor Dirk Nowitzki PSA 10 RC Rookie Mavericks HOF Pop 26 $149.95
Time Remaining: 29d 2h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $149.95
2002-03 Hoops Hot Prospects #34 Michael Jordan HOF Wizards PSA 10 GEM MINT
2002-03 Hoops Hot Prospects #34 Michael Jordan HOF Wizards PSA 10 GEM MINT $0.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 6d 4h 15m
1993 Topps Gold #199 Michael Jordan Bulls HOF PSA 10 GEM MINT POP 18
1993 Topps Gold #199 Michael Jordan Bulls HOF PSA 10 GEM MINT POP 18 $3.25 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6d 4h 15m
2001-02 Fleer Force #61 Michael Jordan HOF Chicago Bulls PSA 10 GEM MINT
2001-02 Fleer Force #61 Michael Jordan HOF Chicago Bulls PSA 10 GEM MINT $2.25 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6d 4h 15m
Walter Dukes 1961-62 Fleer SGC 80 Ex Nm #11 Pistons
Walter Dukes 1961-62 Fleer SGC 80 Ex Nm #11 Pistons $8.99
Time Remaining: 5d 4h 10m
1994-95 Emotion #100 Michael Jordan HOF Chicago Bulls PSA 10 GEM MINT
1994-95 Emotion #100 Michael Jordan HOF Chicago Bulls PSA 10 GEM MINT $2.00 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6d 4h 14m
1985-86 STAR #33 JAMES WORTHY SP BGS 9 1/7 9 9.5 9.5 9 LAKERS SET BREAK
1985-86 STAR #33 JAMES WORTHY SP BGS 9 1/7 9 9.5 9.5 9 LAKERS SET BREAK $0.01 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 7d 5h 10m
2002-03 Flair #69 Michael Jordan HOF Washington Wizards PSA 10 GEM MINT
2002-03 Flair #69 Michael Jordan HOF Washington Wizards PSA 10 GEM MINT $6.00 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6d 4h 15m
1993-94 Topps Gold #384 Michael Jordan HOF Chicago Bulls PSA 10 GEM MINT
1993-94 Topps Gold #384 Michael Jordan HOF Chicago Bulls PSA 10 GEM MINT $6.50 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6d 4h 15m

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