How Much Does It Cost To Grade A Card PSA
Collecting sports cards has been a beloved pastime for decades. Not only do collectors search for valuable cards with limited print runs or featuring star players, but they often desire to have their cards graded. Card grading confirms the card’s authenticity, certifies its condition, and provides an objective gauge of its worth. One of the most popular and reliable card grading services is the Professional Sports Authenticator, or PSA. However, potential customers often ask, “How much does it cost to grade a card PSA?” This article will seek to answer that question and provide useful information about the PSA grading process.
The PSA Grading Process
Before diving into the costs, it’s worthwhile to discuss the PSA grading process. Understanding the steps and protocols that PSA follows gives collectors a better appreciation for the service behind the fees.
The PSA grading process has six steps:
6. Quality control
The first step is pre-screening, where PSA checks the condition of the card to determine if it is suitable for grading. If the card meets the threshold criteria, PSA will move on to the authentication step where they verify the card’s authenticity. Then, PSA evaluates the card’s condition, grading it from a 1 (Poor) to a 10 (Gem Mint). PSA encapsulates the card to protect and preserve it and applies a label with the card’s grade and description. Lastly, PSA’s quality control inspects the card again to ensure that all grading standards have been met.
PSA Services and Fees
PSA offers various grading service levels and turnaround times to accommodate different needs. However, PSA’s most popular grading service is its Standard Authentication and Grading. This service provides a thorough evaluation of each card’s authenticity and condition. Collectors who utilize this service can expect to pay the following fees:
– $20 per card for a service level of 45 business days
– $50 per card for a service level of 20 business days
– $100 per card for a service level of ten business days.
The higher fees for quicker service levels are due to the additional expenses associated with expedited processing. For collectors who need even faster service, PSA also offers Express and Super Express services with prices fluctuating depending on the turnaround time. Additionally, PSA provides a range of value-added services, including:
– Reholdering (encapsulation replacement): $10 per card
– Review (a second graded evaluation): $10 per card
– Eye Appeal (grading a card’s appearance): $10 per card
PSA Special Services and Fees
PSA also offers special services for more specific grading needs. These services can add extra costs beyond the Standard Authentication and Grading fees. Here are some examples of PSA’s special services:
– Autograph Authentication: $20 per autograph
– Autograph Dual Authentication: $50 per autograph
– Autograph Grading: $20 per autograph
– Dual Grading (two cards encapsulated together): $25 per card
– Oversized Cards (such as memorabilia cards): Prices vary.
For collectors looking to get the most out of their graded cards, they may also consider PSA’s Registry Program, an online database that celebrates collectors’ graded cards with high or complete sets. Registration is free, but there are associated fees if you choose to get competitive with other collectors.
Now that we’ve reviewed how much it costs to grade a card with PSA, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions.
1. Is grading my card worth the cost?
The answer depends on a few factors, such as how much the card is currently worth, the condition of the card, and if the card might increase in value after grading. If you have a card you believe is worth several hundred dollars, then investing in PSA grading could be a wise choice.
2. What cards are worth grading?
Generally, you should look to get more valuable and rare cards graded. Cards in pristine condition will also benefit from grading. However, if a card is already at a lower grade and unlikely to increase in value with a higher grade, then grading the card might not be worth the cost.
3. How long does the PSA process take?
After PSA receives the card, the speed of the process depends on the grading service level you choose. PSA’s Standard Authentication and Grading levels typically take between 10 to 45 business days. PSA’s Express and Super Express services have faster turnaround times but come at a higher cost.
4. Can PSA grading be fraudulent?
While PSA is reputable, it is still possible for fraudulent cards or attempts at altering a card’s condition to occur. To ensure the safety and accuracy of the grading process, PSA has several security measures and methods of independent verification.
5. Does PSA grading impact a card’s value?
Grading can impact a card’s value positively or negatively. High-grade cards typically fetch a higher price, but a card’s overall value still depends on other factors, such as rarity, age, and market demand.
In conclusion, PSA offers a reliable card grading service well worth the price for collectors. The main service, Standard Authentication and Grading, costs $20 to $100 per card, while additional services and special services can lead to added fees. Understanding the grading process and fees can give collectors a better idea of what to expect and how to enhance their card collections’ value. Ultimately, the decision to grade a card is up to the collector based on their card’s worth and collecting goals.