Sports Media

Sports Card Graders

(Image via psa.com)

Sports Card Graders Are Such a Massive Scam

Sports Card Graders
(Image via psa.com)

Sports Card Graders Are Such a Massive Scam

I love collecting baseball cards. I’ll collect cards for all sports, but baseball cards make up the majority of my boxes and binders. It’s been odd seeing where the hobby has gone in the last few years. I never did it for money or as a “retirement plan” or anything like that – I just like collecting cards. These days, it seems like most people just want to do it for money. Everyone wants the PSA 10 rookie cards. That brings me to my main point: sports card graders are such a massive scam.

These sports card grading companies like PSA and Beckett have set themselves up as the backbone of the hobby. Your cards don’t really have a value to most people unless they’ve been graded. What a joke. In my book, there’s two possible grades for a card: good condition and bad condition. Who cares if it’s a PSA 9 or PSA 10? If it’s in acceptable condition, it should carry its value for anyone who isn’t a snob.

Why Is This So Needlessly Expensive?

Plus, grading cards costs an obscene amount of money. PSA charges $20 per card for their bare-bones service, but requires a minimum submission of 10 cards. So you’re already dropping $200 at minimum to get cards graded. For premium grading services, collectors are looking at hundreds of dollars for a single card before factoring in the exorbitant shipping costs. Don’t ask me what the difference between the basic and premium service is, because that honestly seems like a scam too. Seriously though, why do they need $600 to examine a baseball card and tell me if it looks good? That’s so ridiculous. It will never make sense.

The added problem with these grading prices is that they drive the prices of cards to such an insane high. When someone has invested that much just to get a card graded, they want a return on their investment, even though the price they paid to get the card graded is probably more than the card is worth in the first place. I really think sports card graders have completely distorted the hobby and the market. There shouldn’t be a need for PSA or Beckett. As long as a card isn’t bent or damaged in some other way, it’s good. End of discussion.

***

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