HOW DO YOU GET BASEBALL CARDS GRADED FROM PSA

PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) is considered the premier third-party grading service for sports cards. They have graded billions of cards over the past 30+ years and helped establish the modern sports collecting industry. Here are the basic steps to send cards in to PSA for grading:

Set up a PSA account. You will need to create a user profile on the PSA website where you can track submissions, check status, view grades, and more. This is also where you will submit order details.

Decide on a service level. PSA offers several service levels that determine turnaround times and costs. Most common options are economy (2-4 months), standard (1-2 months), and express (2-3 weeks). Always check the website for up-to-date timelines as they can fluctuate.

Inventory and prepare your cards. You’ll want to closely examine each card under good lighting for any flaws, fingerprints, etc. Use a soft cloth to gently wipe down surfaces. Consider sending in batches of 5-10 cards to save on submission costs that have per card fees.

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Secure cards with toploaders or sleeves. Place each card into a penny sleeve or ultra-pro toploader for protection during transit and handling. Make sure barcodes, labels, or identifying marks are not covering surface areas.

Assign grades (optional). For higher tier service levels you can provide a grade estimate, but this is not required. Leaving the grade unestimated is fine too and is how most economy submissions are handled.

Complete order and pay online. Follow submission wizard to enter card/player details, service level chosen, and payment info. Most use credit cards. PSA also accepts bulk order files for larger submissions.

Package cards carefully and ship. Secure cards together in aTeam bag or similar. Add padding to reduce movement. Ship in a rigid mailer or box through tracked carrier like USPS Priority or UPS. Insured shipping recommended over $500 declared value.

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Wait for the grade return! You’ll receive email notifications as cards progress through photo imaging, grading, QC processes. Check status on PSA website with your account login. Return shipping is included in submission fee.

Receive back your graded cards! Each one will be encapsulated in a tamper-proof plastic holder displaying the grade, unique ID number. Cards can immediately be resold or stored long-term in their new protective case.

There is a bit more complexity if sending rare, valuable cards that require special handling or signature verification services. But the bulk of mainstream sports card submissions follow the basic process above. Proper packaging and prep is key to avoiding damage in transit. Be sure to check PSA guidelines specific to your submission type and declared value. Most standard modern cards take 2-4 months to grade using economy or standard service levels once received.

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Some additional tips – consider submitting cards from the same set together to potentially receive a set grade bonus. Cards must be in absolute gem mint condition to achieve the elusive PSA 10 grade. Be prepared for potential grade disputes – PSA is usually very consistent but resubmit option exists if you truly disagree. And research “swap” services from some third party companies if wanting a different holder design like one touch magnetic cases.

Properly submitting your cards to the experienced grader at PSA is the best way to professionally authenticate, attribute and encapsulate and cards in your collection. Their population report data provides invaluable insights into rarity and increases the value and liquidity of your graded sportscards long term. With some planning and care in packaging, the PSA grading process is straightforward and worth it for serious collectors and investors in the industry.

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