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August 24, 2007 1:30 PM   Subscribe

Where in Chicago can I have old baseball / sports cards graded for condition, and how much can I expect to pay for this service?

I have some old baseball cards along the lines of Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, etc. I would like to sell these on eBay. While browsing the completed auctions for price estimates, I noticed cards that had "grades" on them with official looking barcode printouts were getting much more money than similar quality cards without grades. So I'm looking into how much that service costs. Anyone know where to have this done in Chicago?


How are cards like these generally shipped through the mail? Just plastic sleeves in an envelope?

Would taking these cards to a dealer be a better way of selling them? Or would I get less than on eBay?
posted by white light to Work & Money (6 answers total)
RE: Dealer vs. Ebay, if they're graded accurately, you can usually get more from Ebay than from a dealer. After all, the dealer can only pay you an amount that will still allow them to make a profit on it.

For card grading, if it's anything like comic books, it might be rather expensive. You might want to check to see what the various cards are going for in different conditions on ebay (or in a price guide). On ebay, you could even check the finished auctions for the professionally graded vs. non-professionally graded and it should give you an idea of whether it's worth the cost of getting them graded.
posted by drezdn at 1:59 PM on August 24, 2007

Many of the high end ones on eBay, like 1954 Topps HENRY HANK AARON #128 - ROOKIE - PSA 7 CARD are graded by PSA. They go through local dealers; there is a list on their page. $10 for cards since 1972, $15 for any card worth under $500. Prices go up fast as the value does.

eBay also has a page on grading.
posted by smackfu at 2:18 PM on August 24, 2007

Also, on eBay, a non-official grade is worthless. Everyone thinks their cards are mint or near-mint, without even knowing what those terms mean. So, similar grades aren't very similar at all.
posted by smackfu at 2:24 PM on August 24, 2007

I lived around the corner from Yesterday for many years. I am hopeful it's still there - it's right down the street on Addison from Wrigley Field. If you're interested in finding out the value of your cards or how to find the service you're looking for, I would bet you these guys would know.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 6:23 PM on August 24, 2007

"Mr. Mint" is on one of the morning radio shows a lot, whenever they have questions about the value of sports items (the Bartman ball, etc.). I have no idea if he's any good, but it looks like he's going to be in Rosemont in November.
posted by la petite marie at 8:04 PM on August 24, 2007

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