Your collection has a certain value in your eyes, but to be sure that it’s fully protected if life deals it’s worst, you can get a concrete number assigned to your cards, comics, video games, movies and music, among other collectibles. Though we’re Pokémon fanatics at Protect My Collection and Zinc, our well-rounded knowledge of all things TCGs allows us to set values for and insure other collections too, like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragon Ball, Final Fantasy, MetaZoo, Flesh and Blood, Digimon, and Magic The Gathering. Here are a few other resources to check, and thoughts to think when you’re working at valuing your collection. First off, let’s define terms. RAW: a card that has never been professionally and officially assigned a “grade” or rating based on condition and other factors GRADED: a card that has been assigned a rating on a graduated scale, taking into account overall condition along with more specific and nuanced criteria All that blah blah aside, a graded card is naturally worth more than a raw card, because its condition and market availability have been acknowledged by a respected authority in the industry. And their judgments hold weight in both what you can hope to sell a card for, and how much protection you’ll need. A few specific criteria that can affect the grade, or ultimate value, of your card(s) might include the quality of the centering, corners, edges, and surface. And as with just about anything that’s collectible, rarity or scarcity also plays a part. It could be in perfect condition and grade 10, but if the market is glutted with that card, well then naturally the value falls. We all know that principle of supply and demand, right? It applies to trading cards too. Should You Get Your Cards Graded? It’s far easier to properly protect your collection with the right level of insurance if you know what it’s actually worth. But as is to be expected, there are differing opinions here. We won’t get into the fray, but we will present the arguments. First off, grading protects your investments, which, let’s be clear, can be sizable. A graded card is laminated in plastic––a “slab”––and so protected from many of the hazards that come with improper storage or accidents. That one factor preserves value and could ease your mind a bit. Grading can also be a good initial investment for cards you think might go big later on, as you can ride that wave when it comes without any wait time. And simply put, graded cards are just worth more in the end. There’s also no guesswork involved when it comes time to sell––you know what they’re worth. Since grading companies can also authenticate autographed cards, then you can be sure that what you have is legit. Once a card is graded, it’s also part of the company’s database which makes replacement that much easier if it’s ever stolen. On the other side of the table, some folks who like to make quick flips with their cards prefer to sell raw. Collecting is booming and that can mean a serious backup at grading companies. Card values are volatile by nature, so some might prefer to just get out there and sell without waiting for grading and possibly missing out on a price spike. Other folks might not want to shell out the cash for grading, or they might not want a less-than-perfect grade attached to a card. “One of ones” are another conundrum, since there can’t be a card worth more than the one you own, so does grading only benefit you if it’s a 10, or could it act as a seal of authenticity, whatever the grade? Only you can decide. Whatever path you choose, it’s always a good idea to do some homework and determine the going rates for cards like yours. If they’re what’s considered low-end cards and demand is low, then grading might not make sense. That said, today’s low-ends can be tomorrow’s most coveted, so weigh your options carefully. Card Grading Companies Whether you prefer sports cards or non-sports trading cards there are several great companies out there that can help out with grading needs and autograph authentication. Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) and Beckett's Grading Services (BGS) are commonly known and widely respected, but every collector needs to do their homework and choose the grading authority that best fits their collection. For personal recommendations, get in touch with Will and the team at Protect My Collection by Zinc. Things can move fast in this industry, and besides, we’d like to get to know you anyway. Zinc vs Risk (Spoiler, we always win.) No matter your collection preferences, your cards need protection, no doubt. Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you, and when it does, your trusty pals at Protect My Collection and Zinc will be right here to smack it back. Learn more about all the types of collections we insure, and get to know our team––reach out today!
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