Here is how we do it!
The overall numerical grade is not a simple average of the four report card grades. Beckett Grading Services uses an algorithm which determines the final grade using the 4 sub grades on the front label of the card holder. The lowest overall grade is the first category to observe because it is the most obvious defect, and the lowest grade is the most heavily weighted in determining the overall grade.
Centering = 9.5
Corners = 9.5
Edges = 9
Surface = 8
Final grade = 8.5
The reason that this card received an 8.5 is that even though the Surface grade was an 8 (the lowest grade overall), the 9.5 grades on Centering and Corners were strong enough to bring it up a full point to reach the 8.5 level.
Another example :
Centering = 9.5
Corners = 9.5
Edges = 8.5
Surface = 9
Final grade = 9
Upon first glance, it may appear that this card should've received a grade different than a 9. The most this card could receive was .5 (or one-half grade) above the lowest sub-grade. The Edges were the lowest in this case, hence, the card received the overall 9 grade. Even though Centering and Corners received grades of 9.5, a key point to remember is that the minimum requirement to receive a grade of Gem Mint is to have at least three grades of 9.5 and the fourth to be no less than a 9.
Also, please note that the final grade rarely, if ever, exceeds two levels above the lowest of the four characteristic grades. For example, if a card has characteristic grades of Centering 10, Corners 6, Edges 10 and Surface 10, the final grade will be a "7" (of which is exactly two grading levels above the lowest characteristic grade).
We offer this service at a number of shows that we attend across the US.
For mail-in orders, please read rules below.
How to Submit Your Graded Card Review Order
Additional Notes about the GCR Service:
If a card appears to be altered, restored, counterfeit, etc, you will be charged the review fee and the card will be returned in the original holder along with an explanation. On occasion, a flaw may be completely hidden by the existing holder, and once cracked out, the card cannot be crossed. This is exceedingly rare, however, and BGS will not grade or remove a card from the submitted case unless we are reasonably confident that the card will reach the minimum grade you have requested.
Our graders will give the card the grade it deserves but will not grade the card less then your minimum grade. For example, if you request a minimum grade of 9 and the card will actually grade out as a 9.5, you will receive a 9.5.
-As always, if you have any questions regarding the GCR service or any of our other services, please contact BGS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-448-9188.
One of the basic features of BGS is ease of use. There are no clubs to join. And you're not asked to send in 20 card lots to get the lowest level of service. Everyone can be a part of BGS. Submission forms are available as follows:
They can be downloaded or printed out online from this web site.
Here are the steps to send cards:
Beckett Grading Services (BGS) offers the following levels of service and quantity discounts: Cost is per card. Choose one level only.
|Grading Pricing Grid||
Please note there is a $2 surcharge for grading certified autograph cards.
Our Guarantee: Beckett Grading Services will provide collectors with the finest, most thorough, consistent and accurate grading efforts available in the industry. Disputed grades on cards are limited to typographical errors on the label (i.e., the wrong set name).
Turnaround Time: This is the time in which the cards are in our possession at the Beckett Grading Services facility (time in transit, weekends and holidays are excluded) and begin the first business day after your order is received. Failure to meet our deadlines will result in a customer refund.
Beckett shall not be deemed to be in default of or to have breached any provision of this guarantee as a result of any delay, failure in performance or interruption of the Services, resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, acts of civil or military authority, civil disturbance, war, fire, floods, epidemics, quarantine restrictions, strikes, freight embargoes, transportation contingencies, shortages of facilities, fuel, energy, labor or materials, or laws, regulations, acts or order of any government agency or official thereof, other catastrophes, delays of subcontractors or suppliers arising from unforeseeable causes beyond the control and without the fault or negligence of either the Contractor or the subcontractors or suppliers, or any other circumstances beyond Provider's reasonable control. In the event of any such delay or failure, the parties shall defer performance of the Services to a date and time mutually agreeable.
Deadline date: The deadline date is the date your order is scheduled to leave Beckett Grading Service. Beckett does not guarantee the actual delivery date. **Please note that there is no guaranteed turn around time for BCCG orders.
Beckett Grading Services will use standard Federal Express 2-day shipping unless otherwise marked. Feel free to use your existing FedEx account number if you do have one. FedEx cannot deliver to a US Post Office box - a street address is required. Shipments require signature upon delivery.
Priority Overnight: Air service typically delivered by 10:30 AM the next business day to domestic U.S. destinations; by noon, 4:30p.m. or 5 p.m. in remote areas; by noon or 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. 2-Day: Air service typically delivered by 4:30 PM (business address) or 7:00 PM (residential address) in two business days to domestic U.S. destinations. Express Saver: Delivery to businesses by 4:30 p.m. and to residences by 7 p.m., in 3 business days typically. Available to and from all U.S. states except Alaska and Hawaii. Ground: Generally, 1-5 business days within the contiguous U.S.; 3-7 business days to and from Alaska and Hawaii.
FedEx Shipping Fees
|Cards||Next Day||2-Day||Express Saver||Ground||Global Express
(International Orders Only)
BGS reserves the right to change carriers without notice.
Insurance cost applies to any carrier and is based upon the declared value of the package.
International customers have two options. We can send the shipment to a U.S. location and the customer can arrange shipment from there. To do this, use the shipping tables above to calculate the shipping cost and include payment with the service fee. Be sure to provide a U.S. destination address on the submission form. The other option is to receive the shipment via USPS Global Express. The recipient would be liable for the cost on any applicable customs, duties and taxes. These fees can be substantial and we encourage you to investigate the costs before sending the submission. Please indicate which of these options you prefer on the shipping line (line 6) on the front of the submission form.
Our Population Report is available at no extra charge. Cards graded by Beckett Grading Services can be verified on our Graded Card Look Up site. Grade breakdowns, searches by set and by player name are available. It is updated daily allowing for the most timely information in the industry. Click here to take a look!
The BGS holder will feature the following elements:
Click here for a list of shows we plan to attend in the near future. All shows, dates and activities listed are subject to change without notice.
When submitting at a show, please be sure to fill out a submission form completely and that you verify the cards submitted with that submission form. Beckett will not be responsible for orders/cards that are lost, damaged, etc once they leave the Beckett booth so please verify your order before you walk away from the booth or from the BGS employee. You will be required to sign your submission form to verify the cards you received are the cards you submitted.
We strive for customer satisfaction and do everything possible to remove the stress of sending cards in for grading. For this reason you do not have to contact us prior to submitting a lot of 100 or more cards. Simply send your cards in with the required documentation and we will take care of the rest.
The peel or no peel debate has been waging since the inception of the protective coating. One unknown factor has been that of the long-term effects of leaving the peel on. These coatings were never intended to remain on the cards long-term and only time will tell how well they will hold up, whether the cards are professionally graded and sealed or 'raw'.
In terms of the grading of such cards by BGS, it is impossible to grade the surface beneath the coating. Thus, the coating itself must be treated as the surface and graded accordingly. Because these coatings are sometimes scratched, bubbled, or flared, unpeeled cards usually receive lower surface grades than peeled cards. On the other hand, graded non-peeled cards typically command premium values over peeled cards in the same condition.
As in the past, we will continue to monitor secondary market values for all significant trading cards, whether they're professionally graded or not. Pricing coverage for graded cards within our price guide magazines will be dictated by the marketplace, including all significant grading services. We will stay true to our vision of providing collectors with the finest pricing references available for card values no matter what form the card takes. We will, however, provide pricing on all graded cards that warrant market attention.
We will provide collectors with the finest, most thorough, consistent and accurate grading efforts available in the industry. Disputed grades on cards are limited to typographical errors on the label (i.e., the wrong set name).
Only "Beckett Certified Graders" are allowed to grade cards in BGS. Each grader must pass a certification training program based upon some of the hobby's finest sources in grading, tampering detection and counterfeit prevention.
Beckett Grading Services can grade virtually any card from any set. For a listing of odd sized cards that we can grade, click on one of the links below.
We are able to grade thicker cards up to 6.5mm (1/4").
Star Basketball Cards:
Beckett Grading Service will grade individual Star basketball cards from 1983-1986, excluding the "Best of the Best" and "Magic Johnson" sets. Beckett reserves the right to pass on grading any Star basketball card, for any reason, and will refund all grading fees on cards that are deemed as "Service Unavailable." Beckett will not grade any Star basketball sealed bags. Star grading will be done in our Dallas offices only unless pre-approved by Beckett Show Management prior to each show.
Beckett Grading Services will grade cards with "certified autographs". That is, cards issued by major manufacturers that carry additional design elements indicating the manufacturer has certified the autograph of the card. The autograph itself will not be authenticated, but will be given a separate numerical grade based on the quality of the ink signature. There is a $2 additional charge per autographed card.
Minor League Cards:
Beckett Grading Services will grade most Minor League cards up to 9" by 11.5".
**Also, cards showing evidence of counterfeiting, tampering, or restoration will be charged the full amount according to the service option selected and will not be cased in the graded card holder.**
Beckett Grading Services will grade cards with "certified autographs". That is, cards issued by major manufacturers that carry additional design elements indicating the manufacturer has certified the autograph of the card. The autograph itself will not be authenticated, but will be given a separate numerical grade based on the quality of the ink signature.
In grading the autograph itself on a card, the key feature being examined is the production quality and clarity of the signature (and other after-market ink, such as hand serial-numbering or inscriptions). This does not take into account the legibility of the player's autograph; rather, it involves aspects such as bubbling, smearing, positioning/location, etc.
The autograph subgrade will stand alone and play no part in determining the overall grade. Generally speaking, autograph flaws will only deduct from the autograph grade. For example, a card that was signed and immediately smeared will get a lower grade on the autograph, but the surface will not be affected. An exception to this rule would be if the autograph flaw affects both the signature quality and the card itself; for instance, a signed cut that creases the surface and also smears the autograph. The best rule of thumb is that any flaws related to the actual ink of the autograph will normally be deducted from the autograph grade, while other flaws generally are taken into account on the surface grade. When the signature is on a sticker or cut, and the sticker/cut itself is creased (or torn, stained, etc.), this is taken into account in the surface grade. Excess glue bleeding onto the cut is also counted against surface. If the flaw also damages the autograph itself, both the surface and autograph grade may be lowered.
**Please note that the cost for certified autograph grading is an additional $2 per card and is required on all certified autographed cards.**
Stacking is the ability to enter multiple copies of the same card into a registry. You can do this by going to My Graded Card Registry and then clicking on Add New Graded Card Registry. Once you have named your registry, you will need to check the box next to Enable Card Stacking. And remember, once you enable stacking, there is no way to disable this function. Click on the Choose a Player or Set for this Registry button, and then pick your sport, player, set, etc and click Go! Select the set you wish to enter cards into, and begin entering your BGS serial numbers.
Once you have enabled the card stacking feature for your registry, there is no way to disable this feature. But you can delete the entire registry by going to My Graded Card Registry, and clicking on Delete Registry.
There is no limit to the number of cards you can stack, as long as you are stacking the same exact card.
When you choose to create a registry with stacked cards, the cards can feature any BGS or BVG grade.
Go to My Graded Card Registry and click on Add/View cards for the set you wish to view. Once that set appears, choose Show All Cards In Registry as your viewing option. This will display all cards in your registry including those that are stacked.
Q. What can you grade?
A.Almost any photographic images up to 8.5" x 11" from any era, including original snapshots, Polaroids, Cabinets and other mounted photos, movie stills, news agency photos, wire photos, etc.
Q. How do you designate types of original photographs?
A.On a Beckett label, you will find Type I, Type II or Type III listed to describe the type of photo in the encapsulation. A description of the 3 types is as follows:
An original photo printed from the original negative contemporary to the time the photo was taken.
An original photo printed from the original negative at a later time period. An example would be a photo of Babe Ruth originally taken in the 1930's but printed in the 1970's.
An image of a photo. This would not be considered to be an original photo. An example would be a photo taken of a photo of Babe Ruth from the 1930's. This type of photo may be contemporary, or be many generations away from the original, but in either scenario it is not considered an original photograph. The more times it has been printed, the lower the image quality. Beckett does not attempt to distinguish the number of generations of a Type III photo.
Q. What is the difference between a wire photo and a news service photo?
A. "Wire photo" has become a generic term for any type of news service photo. In reality, what many call "wire photos" are actually "news service photos." A news service photo is a photo that was available for use by newspapers. The news service would license the use of the image to the newspaper. The newspaper, in turn would not only pay for its use, but also credit the news service alongside the image. These are original photos, normally either a Type I or Type II. There are some legitimate news service photos that are classified as Type III photos. These will be evident by the image quality among other characteristics. News service photos will often be found with a paper label on the reverse. This label will usually have some information about the subject matter of the photo as well as date and place. Sometimes this paper label can be found hanging from the photo in order for the caption to be read from the front side of the photo.
While a wire photo is a type of news service photo, its origins are different. The product of the wire photo process or telephotography is called a wire photo because of the way it was transmitted to newspapers or agencies. Think of a type of fax machine. On one end an original photo is scanned. On the receiving end a photo is printed out once the information has been received across the phone lines. The first news-related wire photos began in the 1930s. A wire photo will not have a paper label on the reverse. The caption will be a part of the photo image. This is from where the paper caption was placed on the original photo when it was scanned by the wire machine. The end result is a photo of the photo with the caption paper now a part of the image.
Q. How do you take into account editorial markings?
A.Many news service and wire photos will be found with markings on them. These marks are called editorial marks. These marks are often times cropping marks where someone was directing where the photo should be cropped for use in the newspaper. Other markings can be masking which is where a background is painted over in order to lighten it. Sometimes other people in the photo can be painted out completely! Think of masking as a primitive "Photoshop." There can also be hand written notes such as measurements and names. Generally speaking, these marks were intended to be there as the photo was a piece of production and the markings are a part of production. These markings will not affect the overall grade except when such markings damage the physical photo. An example would be if writing on the back of the photo was applied so hard that the pressure caused damage to the front surface. This would affect the grade. Additionally, if markings appear to have been added later, such as a fan or collector buying a news photo and writing "Babe Ruth" on the front over his picture, that would deduct from the grade. Because it is actually unusual to find a news service photo without editorial markings, Beckett Grading will label an unmarked photo as "Editorially unmarked."
Q. How will the item be labeled?
A.Because photographs are so unique, there is no universal database as there is for sports cards. Every photograph must be labeled individually. When a major photographer is known, such as Conlon or Burke, that will be added to the label. New Service photos will note the name of the issuing agency and the date (either a given date from the caption, or a date range from the era those agency's photos were issued). Snapshots will only be given a date if one is clearly obvious. Eras will be given if appropriate (i.e. "1880's Original Mounted Photograph". Whenever possible, subjects will be listed on the label. However, these must be very easily and undoubtedly identifiable. Submitters are encouraged to send copies of their own research to aid in identification, but as a rule, Beckett will not provide in-depth research to identify subjects. In these cases, a generic label or one reading "Subject Unknown?" will be used.
Q. What if my photograph has been cut down?
A.Many photos, both news-issued and snapshots, were trimmed down to fit into frames or to notate cropping for newspaper use. Because these have been altered, they would be labeled as Authentic-Altered and cannot receive a numerical grade.
Q. How do I submit?
A. You may use the standard BGS Submission form. Please be sure to note on the form whether you want the photographs graded, or just authenticated and encapsulated. The charge is the same, but many people choose to only have their item authenticated simply because preservation and presentation are their primary concerns, and many photographs naturally grade quite low.
BCCG-graded cards (Beckett Collectors Club Grading) are completely separate and vastly different from the premium BGS- or BVG-graded cards. We can assure you that the same consummate care in handling is followed and consistent industry-leading quality of grading is applied to each and every card. As a result, BCCG-graded cards provide an eye-catching secondary market alternative to other graded card products, reaching a wider audience of fans and collectors. It features a modified numerical grading scale, with each level representing a range of standard conditions (Mint or better, Near mint or better, Excellent or better, etc.).
Furthermore, BCCG-graded cards are perfect for beginning or veteran collectors. Cards of a wide variety of star players are available in BCCG slabs. BCCG-graded cards are a perfect fit for the new collector who wants to be sure he's getting an excellent product from a trusted hobby source.
We also understand the importance of protecting your cards. Every BCCG-graded card is sealed and protected in a superior clear plastic holder whose design is based on the top-quality Beckett Grading Services (BGS) holder. Each holder features a white BCCG label with assigned grade, card serial number and precise card description obtained directly from Beckett's all-inclusive online database of sports cards. A fast and easy BCCG Card Lookup is available for card verification at the No. 1 online source for card collecting products, services and information BCCG has several different characteristics when compared to our BGS/BVG services. The BCCG service does not offer the four category (corners, centering, edges, and surface) break down on the backs of each of the cards. The BCCG service also does not have the half point grading scale which you see in the regular grading services - it is a more simplified grading scale that offers whole point grades only. The cases for BCCG cards are thinner than the BGS/BVG cases and there is no inner sleeve in which the card placed in before being inserted into the holder. Please be assured that our regular graders do grade all BCCG cards so you will be getting a professional Beckett Grading Services opinion from a qualified Beckett grader.
At this time, BCCG is only able to grade cards of standard size and thickness. For vintage cards (1980 and older) the book value (ungraded price based on the Beckett price guide) can not be more then $300 in value if you wish to have the card graded by BCCG.
In order to have cards graded by BCCG, you will simply need to fill out a regular BGS submission form. Please make sure you note that you would like the cards graded by the BCCG service. The return shipping and insurance costs are the same as they are for BGS. There is no guaranteed turn around time for BCCG.
After four years of garnering opinions from BVG customers, there has been one overwhelming request: convert BVG to a single grade system without subgrades. We are happy to announce that on November 1st, 2005, we will be taking this new step.
For most, this is a welcome conversion, while others of you may wonder how less can somehow be more. On modern cards, a subgrade system is critical in determining the exact breakdown of a card's highlights as well as its faults. It's rare that a single subgrade be considerably lower than the other three on most modern cards. On a vintage card, a single fault in one area (highly off-center, heavy surface print defects, excessively rounded corners, etc.) is much more common. While subgrades did point out the best aspects of a vintage card, many times they focused attention on that one critical flaw that stood out most glaringly on the Report Card. Moving to a single grade system will better allow a vintage card to stand on it's overall positive aesthetic merits instead of drawing excess attention to its lowest subgrade.
Beckett Vintage Grading services is the way to have a vintage card graded. The service recognizes the difference in production technologies between modern and pre-1981 cards, especially in the condition of the cards' surface and edges. Cards produced earlier than 1981 are generally recognized as "vintage" cards by most dealers and collectors.
Beckett Vintage Grading (BVG) will grade cards produced in 1980 and prior and can grade cards up to 9" x 11.5" in size.
For a listing of odd sized cards that we can grade, click the desired sport relating to the card you wish to submit:
Validation helps to prevent registry fraud, and is also a handy tool if you end up registering some of your graded cards, and then selling them to someone else later.
Here's how it works: If you enter a serial number into one of your registries, the system will validate whether or not that specific card belongs to that registry's set. If it does, the card will be validated. However, if you enter a serial number into one of your registries, and that specific card exists in ANOTHER USER's registry, the software will send an email to the other user asking him to RELEASE the card from his registry. When he does, that specific card will then be validated into your registry.
Currently we do not offer a way to add an image to your specific graded card entry. You can add an image of your card to the image gallery associated with the raw card.
Search for your card in the main search, or find it in My Organize and click on the card description. From the detail page, you will see the stock photo image on the left-hand side of the page.
Look for the icon in the lower right hand corner of the stock photo. Click on the icon to open the Image Gallery.
Click on the Upload button. You can add a caption if you would like, indicate if it is an image of the back of the card, then click Select to browse your computer drive for the image of the card. When you have entered all of your information, click Upload Image.
When other members click on the icon to see the Image Gallery, they will be able to view an image of your card.
To change a card from a graded card to a raw card, simply go to Organize, find the card, and click on the '...' button next to the grade. From the next window, uncheck 'Graded Card' and click Save. This will turn the card back into a raw card and remove it from the registry.
To completely remove the graded cards (or any card) that you have added to Organize, go to Organize, open the collection and locate the card(s).
Put a check mark next to the card(s) and click the Actions button. Select the option to move the card(s) to Trash.
Open your Trash folder, select the item(s) again and click the Actions button. Select the option to Empty Trash. You will be asked if you are sure you want to do this, because once it is removed from Trash, you cannot undo the action. If you are sure, click OK.
The card will no longer be in Organize.
To participate in the Beckett Graded Card Registry, you must first become a member of the Beckett Graded Card Registry community. It's FREE and EASY.