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.

Michael Jordan ERROR BGS 9 10 Auto 1994-95 Collector's Choice 23 Gold Signature
Michael Jordan ERROR BGS 9 10 Auto 1994-95 Collector's Choice 23 Gold Signature $795.00
Time Remaining: 29d 22h 41m
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2009-10 Topps #319 James Harden Rookie RC PSA 10 GEM MINT
2009-10 Topps #319 James Harden Rookie RC PSA 10 GEM MINT $149.00
Time Remaining: 28d 21h 53m
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2012-13 Panini Prizm #201 Kyrie Irving Rookie RC Green Prizm Refractor PSA 9
2012-13 Panini Prizm #201 Kyrie Irving Rookie RC Green Prizm Refractor PSA 9 $319.00
Time Remaining: 28d 21h 52m
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1987 Fleer Michael Jordan #59 PSA 7
1987 Fleer Michael Jordan #59  PSA 7 $80.00
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2012 Panini Prestige DeMARCUS Cousins PSA 10
2012 Panini Prestige DeMARCUS Cousins PSA 10 $25.99
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1986 Fleer #23 Walter Davis PSA 8 NM-MT
1986 Fleer #23 Walter Davis PSA 8 NM-MT $11.69
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JIM BOEHEIM SYRACUSE 2010 UPPER DECK AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED PSA/DNA SLABBED CARD
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1986-87 Fleer #41 Dave Greenwood PSA 9 MINT
1986-87 Fleer #41 Dave Greenwood PSA 9 MINT $17.00
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2009-10 Panini Limited Phenoms James Harden Rookie Jersey #/299 BGS 9.5 Auto 10
2009-10 Panini Limited Phenoms James Harden Rookie Jersey #/299 BGS 9.5 Auto 10 $229.00
Time Remaining: 28d 21h 53m
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2005-06 Topps First Row #GG Gerald Green Rookie BGS 9 10 Auto 41/190 *
2005-06 Topps First Row #GG Gerald Green Rookie BGS 9 10 Auto 41/190   * $29.99
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2012 Panini Contenders DeMARCUS Cousins PSA 10
2012 Panini Contenders DeMARCUS Cousins PSA 10 $29.99
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1993 Fleer Rookie Sensations Tom Gugliotta PSA 8
1993 Fleer Rookie Sensations Tom Gugliotta PSA 8 $4.99
Time Remaining: 15d 6h 47m
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1994-95 Emotion Card #28 Grant Hill PISTONS Z23720 - BVG NmMt+ 8.5
1994-95 Emotion Card #28 Grant Hill PISTONS Z23720 - BVG NmMt+ 8.5 $6.00
Time Remaining: 20d 19h 20m
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BRYCE HARPER 2012 Bowman Baseball Orange Prospect Card #BP10 167/250 BGS 9 MINT
BRYCE HARPER 2012 Bowman Baseball Orange Prospect Card #BP10 167/250  BGS 9 MINT $64.50
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COREY SEAGER 2013 Bowman Draft Baseball 1st Chrome Prospect Card #BDPP108 BGS 9
COREY SEAGER 2013 Bowman Draft Baseball 1st Chrome Prospect Card #BDPP108  BGS 9 $36.50
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2013 Panini Titanium Anthony Davis PSA 10
2013 Panini Titanium Anthony Davis PSA 10 $29.99
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PSA/DNA Autograph Signed 1994 Upper Deck SP Charlie Ward Rookie Knicks FSU*
PSA/DNA Autograph Signed 1994 Upper Deck SP Charlie Ward Rookie Knicks FSU* $29.99
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JOSE FERNANDEZ 2011 Bowman Sterling Baseball Prospect Auto Autograph BGS 9.5 10
JOSE FERNANDEZ 2011 Bowman Sterling Baseball Prospect Auto Autograph BGS 9.5 10 $29.50
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CLEM HASKINS PHOENIX SUNS 1970-71 TOPPS ROOKIE SIGNED PSA/DNA SLABBED CARD
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1993 Hoops #MB1 Magic & Bird PSA 8 NM-MT
1993 Hoops #MB1 Magic & Bird PSA 8 NM-MT $6.99
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