I've talked about grading cards before, but it's been a while. I don't think my tune has changed too much, except I have been a buyer of grading cards more recently. Personally I feel there are only 2 companies you should consider when you want to send cards in.
What company should you send your cards in to be graded? & How much does it cost?
BGS - Beckett Grading Services - Price List & Submission Form This company has a real nice holder, and they break down each grade from corners, surface, edges and centering. They also offer authentication of autographs on cards, magazines and other items.
PSA - Professional Sports Authenticator - Price List With this company, you get about everything that you do with BGS, but with a simpler and more classic case. The price is about the same as BGS - so it's a toss up depending on what you like about each company.
The bottom line is to save the most money, you should send in 100+ cards and wait 45+ business days to get them back. However, not all of us has that kind of money (or that many cards) so I suggest you experiment with the 10-20 day services and see how it goes.
What kinds of cards should you send in to be graded? As for the kinds of cards you send in, I tend to lean toward 'vintage' or pre 1960ish cards. I wouldn't just send in any old card, find the ones that appear to be in mint condition - as these have the best chance of coming back 7, 8, or 9. Cards graded 8 or above tend to go for a solid premium for most vintage commons/stars. New or modern cards really won't escalate in value too much, unless they come back Gem Mint 10. However, value doesn't have to be the only reason you send modern cards in. For one, it almost ensures the card will stay in that condition + it's just fun trying to see if you can get a Gem Mint card!
I encourage you to experiment a bit with one or both companies, for the price - you really can't go wrong sending in a small package of cards to be graded. Make sure you read through all their material on packaging and where to send the cards. Also remember that you are paying postage & insurance both ways ... and that can add up.
Here Are The Results From Our Fan Forum Members BGS Send In!
We do talk a bit about 2011 Topps Update Baseball. This set is pretty cool, about what we normally see from Topps. I like the Jumbo Patch All-Star relic cards #/6 - there seems to be a large set checklist of these and it would be fun to try and bid on your favorite player.
Some bits of news include Carson Palmer going to the Raiders for at least a #1 & #2 NFL Draft pick!! This probably works out for both teams, but the Bengals sure do get a great price for a QB that isn't as good as Andy Dalton (a 2nd round pick).
Also, I'm pretty bummed out the NBA can't seem to get things going in their labor talks, but sometimes things have to catch fire in order to cool down. Lets just hope we have basketball by December now.