What is Beckett Raw Card Review?

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I’m convinced we are never going to run out of card grading topics to talk about. There are just so many companies, variables, and questions, but also importantly, interest.

As more and more people come into the hobby, those are new eyes looking at the same things we are all accustomed to, but differently. So, even if it’s an established practice and one that we’ve all accepted for years, there is still room for the “why?”

That all can’t start though without first defining the basics and developing that foundation of understanding so that new questions can be propped on top of it.

What is Beckett Raw Card Review?

Beckett Raw Card Review is an in-person review service that allows you to get on-site grading feedback without submitting cards for encapsulation. Many collectors use the Beckett Raw Card Review service either as a pre-grading step to get an idea of what their cards might grade before submitting them to BGS, or to simply increase the value of a raw card without having to go through the grading process.

How Much Does Raw Card Review Cost?

According to the Beckett services and pricing page, raw card review is not currently available, and is thus not priced:

Here is some info from SportsCollectorsDigest.com, though, about the pricing structure at the most recent National:

“BGS’s pricing structure for The National is as follows:

Raw card review:

• In-line service — $50 per card, $75 if subgrades are requested before grading.”

How Do You Know if a Card Has Been Reviewed?

If you are looking to buy a card that has gone through the review process, the way you can tell whether or not the card has been reviewed – and what raw review score it received – is by looking to the seal that is affixed to the top of the card’s Card Saver.

For instance, here is a Juan Soto 2018 Topps Update card I recently purchased on COMC.

2018 Topps Update Series - [Base] #US300.1 - Juan Soto (Vertical, Blue Jersey) [BRCR 9.5] - Courtesy of COMC.com

In this case, the card was given a raw score of a 9.5, and you can see it was sealed with a label adorned with the grade and serial number.

How Likely Will the Raw Score Translate to the Actual Grade?

It is my understanding that if you submit a card for Raw Card Review and receive a grade, that grade isn’t guaranteed if the card is submitted for encapsulation. That said, I’ve personally never gone through this process, so I’m not at all sure how accurate that statement might be, and you’re best off to contact Beckett for the facts.

AllVintageCards.com mentions “There are no guarantees that the card will warrant the same exact grade if you submit to Beckett for official grading. There is a good chance it will earn the same grade, but I’ve talked to card collectors that have seen a worse grade than expected.”

What are the Benefits?

As stated on their site, “Beckett on-site review services allow our customers to find out what grades their cards deserve before they submit them to BGS or BVG.” Going back to the point above, with this statement in my opinion, it does feel that the grade you receive during the raw review is the grade the card “deserves” before being submitted to BGS.

Now, can cards and holders be tampered with or run over by a skateboard? Yes, of course, so again, not sure how much of a benefit that might prove to be.

Either way, I could also say a benefit would be that the Raw Card Review process can increase the value. On the other hand, without knowing the true cost, that point is also up in the air.

So, above all else, the main benefit is probably getting an idea of what you might expect a card to be graded, and quickly, without having to pay for encapsulation and then wait however long to receive it back (and potentially provide peace of mind that the grade should be around the raw score).