How Much Does It Cost To Get Baseball Cards Graded? (Price Estimates)

As the demand for well-preserved and authenticated cards grows, the practice of grading baseball cards has gained prominence. 

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of baseball card grading, exploring the costs associated with the process, providing insights into the best grading services available, and addressing frequently asked questions.

Things You Should Know Before Getting Your Cards Graded

The process of baseball card grading involves sending your cherished cards to a professional grading service, where they will be authenticated, evaluated, and assigned a grade that reflects their condition. 

This not only adds significant value to your collection but also offers protection and authenticity for your beloved cards. 

card collection

The industry’s most reputable grading services include Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Beckett Grading Services (BGS), Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG), and Sportscard Guaranty Corporation (SGC). 

When considering the cost of grading your baseball cards, it’s crucial to understand that the price can vary depending on several factors. 

These factors include the chosen grading service, the card’s value, and your desired turnaround time. On average, you can anticipate paying around $15–25 USD per card for standard grading services. 

However, if you possess particularly valuable cards or are eager for a faster turnaround time, the cost can escalate accordingly.

Robin Roberts card

Furthermore, it’s important to be aware of the time it takes to receive your graded cards. Once you send your cards to a grading service, the typical processing time is around 2 months, during which your cards will be inspected, graded, and eventually returned to you.

Exploring the Best Card Grading Services

Selecting the right grading service is crucial to ensure the credibility and legitimacy of your graded cards. Below, we provide an overview of some of the leading grading services in the baseball card industry, along with their associated costs:

1. Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA)

Renowned for its authority and reputation, PSA stands as one of the most recognized grading services in the industry. The cost of grading through PSA varies based on factors such as the card’s value and the level of service you require. 

For standard services, you can expect to pay around $15–25 USD per card. However, if the card you’re submitting is valued at over $500 USD, the cost can rise to $75 USD or more.

Roberts 1951

2. Beckett Grading Services (BGS)

BGS employs a comprehensive grading system that evaluates various aspects of your baseball cards, including centering, corners, edges, and surface condition. 

The cost for BGS grading starts at approximately $16–18 USD per card if you submit a batch of 10 cards. Should you prefer a faster turnaround time or wish to submit a smaller number of cards, the cost may range from $22–40 USD per card.

3. Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG)

Although a newer player in the grading industry, CSG has rapidly gained popularity for its reliable services. Grading through CSG is generally more affordable, at $12 USD per card if you submit a batch of at least 25 cards. 

For standard services with smaller submissions, the cost falls within the range of $15–20 USD per card.

Durocher 1953

4. Sportscard Guaranty Corporation (SGC)

SGC is celebrated for its efficient and straightforward grading process. The cost for grading your baseball cards with SGC typically ranges from $18–24 USD per card.

Understanding the Baseball Card Grading Process

The baseball card grading process involves several key steps:

  • Selection: Begin by carefully selecting valuable and well-preserved baseball cards that you believe warrant grading.
  • Grading Service: Choose a reputable grading service and complete a submission form detailing the cards you intend to send.
1953 Stengel
  • Packaging and Shipping: Package your cards meticulously to prevent damage during transit and ship them to the chosen grading service.
  • Inspection and Grading: At the grading service, your cards will undergo inspection, during which factors such as corners, edges, centering, and surface condition are evaluated. Based on this assessment, a grade is assigned.
  • Encapsulation: Once graded, your cards are encapsulated in protective plastic holders to safeguard their condition and prevent tampering.
  • Return Shipping: Finally, the grading service returns the graded cards to you, completing the process.
Gilliam 1954

Is Grading All Your Baseball Cards Worth It?

While grading your baseball cards can substantially enhance their value and provide authentication, it might not be necessary for every card in your collection. 

Cards that are already in pristine condition or hold considerable historical or monetary value are ideal candidates for grading. However, for common or low-value cards, the cost of grading may outweigh the potential increase in value.

The Broader Implications of Baseball Card Grading

Beyond the cost and logistics, the practice of grading baseball cards has broader implications for the collecting community. Grading can influence the market value of cards, affect the scarcity of high-grade cards, and even lead to debates about subjectivity in assigning grades. 

While grading offers protection and legitimacy, it can also shape collector behavior and impact the way collectors perceive their cards.

Mays 1954

Exploring Alternatives to Grading

If you’re undecided about grading your cards or are seeking alternatives, consider the following options:

Card Grading Apps

These apps offer unofficial grading based on uploaded images. While not as authoritative as professional grading services, they can provide a general idea of your card’s condition.

PSA Photograde

Card collection 2

This tool allows you to compare your card’s condition to graded versions in the PSA database, providing a rough estimate of its grade.


1. Is grading worth it for all baseball cards?

Grading is a decision that should be carefully considered, especially when it comes to determining whether to grade all your baseball cards. 

The worth of grading varies depending on the cards’ individual characteristics and your collecting goals. Grading tends to be most beneficial for cards with higher value or historical significance. 

These cards, when graded, receive an official assessment of their condition, authenticity, and grade. The grading process adds an extra layer of protection and can significantly enhance the market value of these valuable cards.

However, for common or low-value cards, the cost of grading might outweigh the potential increase in value. It’s essential to take into account the grading fees and the potential resale value of the graded card. 

Some collectors choose to prioritize grading cards with emotional or sentimental value, irrespective of their market value, to ensure their preservation and authentication.

2. How much does it cost to grade baseball cards?

The cost of grading baseball cards can vary widely based on several factors, such as the chosen grading service, the card’s value, and your desired turnaround time. 

On average, for standard grading services, you can expect to pay around $15–25 USD per card. However, if the card you’re submitting holds a higher value, the grading fee could increase. 

Grading services often offer different pricing tiers, including express services for faster turnaround times, which come at a premium cost. It’s important to note that the cost of grading should be weighed against the potential increase in the card’s value after grading. 

While grading can enhance the card’s market value [1], it’s essential to assess whether the potential appreciation justifies the initial investment.

3. How long does it take to get graded cards back?

The turnaround time for receiving your graded cards can vary depending on the grading service, their current workload, and the level of service you choose. 

Generally, the processing time ranges from a few weeks to a couple of months. On average, you can anticipate that your cards will be returned within approximately 2 months from the time you submit them to the grading service.

For collectors seeking quicker results, some grading services offer expedited services for a higher fee. It’s recommended to check the specific turnaround time estimates provided by the grading service you choose and factor in this timing when deciding which service to use.

4. Are there alternatives to professional grading?

Yes, there are alternatives to professional grading for collectors who want to assess their cards’ condition and potential value without committing to the formal grading process. Here are a couple of alternatives:

Card Grading Apps: Several mobile applications allow you to upload images of your cards and receive unofficial grading estimates. While not as authoritative as professional grading, these apps can give you a general idea of how your cards might be assessed.

PSA Photograde: This tool, provided by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), enables you to compare your card’s condition to images of graded versions in the PSA database. It helps you estimate your card’s potential grade based on visual similarities.

These alternatives can be useful for collectors who want to make informed decisions about grading without committing to the formal process. However, it’s important to remember that the official grade assigned by a professional grading service holds more weight in the collector’s market.


The decision to get your baseball cards graded is a significant one, bearing potential rewards for collectors and enthusiasts alike. As you navigate the costs associated with grading, keep in mind the potential increase in value and protection that this process offers. 

Opt for a reputable grading service that aligns with your needs, and relish the elevated value and authenticity that come with owning professionally graded baseball cards.


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