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Of the major grading companies, BGS currently offers the cheapest card grading service, which is $18 to grade a single card at the “Base” level. This is $2 less than CSG’s “Economy” level, $5 less than PSA’s “Value” service, and $4 less than SGC.
So, while you can’t get cards graded for free, prices are lower than they’ve been in quite some time.
Now, with that said, there are some caveats and things to consider. One, this $18 BGS grading is for a rating without subgrades. While the other mentioned companies don’t grade with subgrades, this is the BGS differentiator, so it feels like we aren’t comparing apples to apples by quoting the cost without subgrades.
Thus, if you were to include the stipulation that a card graded by BGS must have subgrades, the cost would be $22, making CSG the cheapest grading option by $2.
Second, if you want to grade cards in bulk, you can find cheaper options—BGS can be $16/card without subgrades if you submit a 10-card minimum.
The fall of Beckett has been very interesting to watch. There was once a time when people would crack PSA 10s to grade with Beckett.— Zach Whitmer (@zachwhitmer) January 5, 2023
They are now in third behind SGC in my opinion.
Grading stats via (@gemrate) pic.twitter.com/1CbuAsfN1w
Again, these are the most popular card grading services out there; each with its own specialties, turnaround times, slab designs, and other unique offerings.
Are there other options? There are, and if they aren’t among these top four, you’d expect them to be much cheaper, right? ISA is also $18, but HGA $25. GMA is a low $15/card, but again, requires a 10-card minimum.
At this point, I can launch into cheaper isn’t always better, nor is it always worse. There are a number of things to consider when grading cards, and much of it might come down to personal preference. If you’d like to continue with additional resources, I recommend these: