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GRADING FAQ'S

About Beckett Grading

  • How Final Grades are Determined

    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.

    Example :
    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).

  • Re-grading Cards from Other Grading Services

    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

    1. Start with a standard BGS submission form. Fill out the submission form just like you would on your ungraded cards. If you do not require a minimum grade, you may write "No Minimum Grade" on the top of the form. Otherwise, please list next to the "Declared Value" area the "Minimum Grade" you would like on each card, or each line of the submission form. The minimum grade you list is what our graders will use to determine if the card you have submitted needs to be removed or not. If our graders are not confident that your minimum grade will be reached, it will not be removed from the original holder. It will be returned to you with a note describing why the minimum grade was not reached.
    2. For pricing, please calculate $10 per card for the review fee ($7.50 per card if submitting 4 or more cards).
    3. Select the service level (turnaround time). When your cards are reviewed, any cards crossing over will be graded and processed under the turnaround time selected. Your credit card will be charged for the selected service level, plus a $3 cracking fee per card. You MUST pay for the GCR service with a credit card. The reason for this is that if the minimum grade is reached, you will be charged additional fees for case removal and the standard grading fee. An invoice will be mailed back with the order to show you the exact fees you were charged. If the minimum grade is not reached, you will only be charged the review fee.
    4. After your submission form is completed, please package your cards, the submission form, and a signed copy of the waiver form and send the cards to us. You may ship them through any service you would like, but we highly recommend you insure your cards.

    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 grading@beckett.com or 972-448-9188.

  • Submitting Cards

    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:

    1. Obtain a submission form online or in our magazines.
    2. Enter all of the information required. Do no write in the box marked "BGS use only". Instructions for each section are linked to the sub form on the web page.
    3. Make sure you have the current grading, shipping and insurance costs. You may do this by the web page or by calling 972-448-9188 and selecting the relating option.
    4. Package your cards. Please do not send your cards in "screw down" type holders. We strongly suggest placing the card in a penney sleeve and then into a semi-rigid holder. This will provide the optimum protection for your card while it is in transit to Beckett Grading Services.
    5. Choose a form of payment: check, money order or credit card. We accept Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express. (Please do not send cash)
    6. Ship your cards to the address at the top of the form.

    Checklist

    1. Have I completed the correct form for sports cards (BGS or BVG)?
    2. Am I using the current grading service costs? (The web site is the most current!)
    3. Have I packaged my cards as BGS suggested?
    4. Am I sending cards BGS will not grade?
    5. Have I included full payment?
    6. Have I included all of the cards I listed.
  • Service Level and Fees

    Beckett Grading Services (BGS) offers the following levels of service and quantity discounts: Cost is per card. Choose one level only.

    Service Levels

    Grading Pricing Grid
    1-50 cards
    51-99 cards
    100+cards
    2 Day Guarantee (Premium Level)
    $40/card
    $35/card
    $25/card
    5 Day Guarantee (Premium Level)
    $30/card
    $25/card
    $20/card
    10 Day Guarantee (Premium Level)
    $20/card
    $18/card
    $15/card
    Non-Guarantee Service
    $10/card
    $9/card
    $8/card

    Beckett Grading Service Level Options and Choices

    Premium Service Levels (2, 5, and 10-day)- This service is required on all cards that are valued at $500 or more (ungraded, high Beckett book value). Cards submitted under any of the premium levels will receive guaranteed turnaround times and sub grades on all modern cards.

    Non-Guaranteed Service Levels- This service level is not valid on any cards that are valued more than $500 Beckett (ungraded, high book value). This service level will not provide sub grades on modern cards (1981 and newer) that are deemed to receive a grade of 8 and below. Sub grades may be obtained for these cards at an additional cost. This service level does not offer a guaranteed turnaround.

    Beckett Grading reserves the right to upgrade cards to a premium level based on value. Please check any Beckett Magazine or online price guide to see the value

  • Guarantee

    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. A list of Beckett closings and holidays can be found at www.beckett.com/grading. Guaranteed deadline dates are valid on full priced, premium service levels only and is not valid with any orders containing discounts or promotions. Failure to meet deadlines on all full priced, premium leveled services will result in a full 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, orders submitted to BAS, or grading orders submitted under the non-guaranteed service level. Estimated shipping dates will be listed online for these services.

  • Shipping and Insurance Charges

    Beckett will not ship to a P.O. Box. A physical address is required on all return shipments. Beckett Grading Services will use standard Federal Ground 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.

    Next Day: 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)
    1-10 $50.00 $35.00 $25.00 $20.00 $50.00
    11-20 $60.00 $40.00 $30.00 $22.00 $60.00
    21-50 $75.00 $50.00 $40.00 $25.00 $85.00
    51-75 $90.00 $60.00 $50.00 $28.00 $102.00
    76-100 $100.00 $70.00 $55.00 $32.00 $135.00
    Per 100 $125.00 $80.00 $60.00 $42.00 $170.00

    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

    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.

  • Population Reports

    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!

  • Beckett Grading Slab Features

    The BGS holder will feature the following elements:

    1. Each card is protected by a crystal clear archival inner sleeve to prevent the holder itself from damaging the card. Each card will be virtually free of internal movement.
    2. Each card edge can be fully viewed from the side, an industry first.
    3. A label will run partially across the top of the holder. Each label will feature the set name, the grade and a specific id and a bar coded serial number.
    4. Extreme precautions have been taken to prevent counterfeiting of the label and the holder.
  • Submissions at Trade Shows

    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.

  • Graded Card Pricing Information

    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.

  • Disputing a Grade

    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).

  • About the Graders

    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.

Grading Cards - BCCG

  • About BCCG Card Grading

    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.

  • Cards BCCG Grades

    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.

  • Submitting Cards

    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.

Grading Cards - Vintage (BVG)

  • How Final Grades are Determined

    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.

  • About Beckett Vintage Grading

    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.

  • Cards BVG Grades

    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:

    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Football
    • Hockey

Graded Card Registry

  • About Validation

    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.

  • Adding Images

    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.

  • Benefits of Entering Cards

    1. As you build your registries, they will become a detailed and visual showcase of your collection to other collectors all over the world.
    2. As a graded card collector, you are an upper echelon hobbyist. The prestige of organizing your cards in an online registry is free and available to anyone owning a BGS graded card.
    3. Organize your graded card collection. Sort your cards by final grade, subgrades, total score, etc. Know what you have, and know what you need.
    4. Reward your hard work by entering your set and player registries into competition against others building the same sets. (this option is currently not available)
    5. Your privacy is important to you, so most of the default settings in your preferences lean toward minimum disclosure for you and your collections.
    6. With Beckett Graded Card Registry, your collection of graded cards are accessible from any computer, world wide, 24/7.

  • Deleting Registries

    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.

  • Entering Cards

    It's easy!

    • Login to Beckett.com
    • Add the card to My Organize if it is not already in a collection.
    • Go to My Organize.
    • Open the collection or find the card in Recently Added.
    • Click on the ... box to select the grading company and enter the grade and serial number. If it is a BGS or BVG card, you will need to validate the serial number before saving. Only enter the serial number and not comments into the serial number field.
  • Participation Requirements

    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.

Grading Cards - BGS

  • Cards BGS Grades

    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.

    1. Baseball
    2. Basketball
    3. Football
    4. Hockey

    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.

    Autographed Cards:

    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.**

  • Certified Autograph Cards

    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.**

Registry Stacking

  • About Card Stacking

    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.

  • Disabling Card Stacking

    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.

  • Registry Limits

    There is no limit to the number of cards you can stack, as long as you are stacking the same exact card.

  • Stacking Guidelines

    When you choose to create a registry with stacked cards, the cards can feature any BGS or BVG grade.

  • View Options

    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.