April 2, 2014

My first attempt at grading cards

I made my first attempt at grading cards several months ago.

I call it an attempt because I didn’t go as well as I hoped. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed though because I didn’t grade the card to sell. These cards are not leaving my collection, and I had them graded to put in protective cases.

However, I still wanted good grades!

I thought I looked over the cards well, checked centering, the corners and edges. I didn’t see any marks on the surface. I thought I had 9s or better.

Turns out, it takes better eyes than I have to find good grades.

The only one I knew wouldn't get a top notch grade is the card pictured above. The 1993 SP Rookie Card is a must-have for Derek Jeter collectors, but when I took this card out of the protective casing I bought it in, I noticed surface scratches. In this case, I just wanted the "authentic" label on it so it could protect the card. 

Here are some of my other grades. 

This one received the best grade of all the Jeter RCs I sent in. 

This one really hurt. I felt I definitely had a 9 on this one. But, I didn't notice a slight surface wrinkle on the back of the card, which pushed the grade way, way down 

Not all my graded cards were of Jeter. Here are two Rookie Cards, a 2001 Upper Deck MVP Ichiro and a 2001 Bowman Jose Reyes. 

I saved the best for last. 

I do have a second batch of graded cards. I did slightly better on those, but that's for another post. 


  1. The only card I've ever sent in to be graded was the 93 SP Jeter. I showed it to a couple people at my LCS first to get an opinion. They thought it would get a pretty good grade, especially since the corners were as good as you'll ever see.

    It came back an "8"

    The lowest mark was for the corners.

  2. An 8 is really good for that card. It's a card that is condition sensitive.

    Trade ya? :)

  3. If I still had it, you'd already have it.

  4. I was going to ask why you sent to beckett and not psa.... but then the light bulb went on....

    still, a nice collection.

  5. It is obvious why your cards didn't get as good a grade as you expected. It was your first time sending card in. The more you send the better your grades will get. It is no coincidence that your second batch did better than your first. It is one of the reasons I don't grade cards anymore.

    I used to see cards and an investment. Me and 3-4 other guys were sending cards in a few at a time and not getting good grades. We were all going to stop grading cards. But then there was this special one time at like Christmas or something where if you sent X amount in the grading price got cut way way down. The problem was you had to send 100 cards in. So the 4 of us decided to go in together to come up with 100 gradable cards. So we nitpicked out collections and still came up short of 100. So we cracked open all the ones we didn't like the grading on sent them back in. Every single one of those cards came back with a higher grade most of them came back 10s. After that all our cards got graded together.

    If it was me after I sent in a few more batches, crack those cards back open and try again and your grades will go up.

  6. Sweet cards ...too bad for the low grade, better luck next time!

  7. You're learning though! It's an expensive lesson that many people have gone though :) At least they're in cases now. Thanks for sharing! - Chris Ashworth