HGA Greatest Grading Fails

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 A red hot sports card market in 2021 saw many new companies spring up and attempt to woo collector interest. 

Sports card grading company Hybrid Grading Approach (HGA) is one of them, and it's been a bumpy ride so far.

Here are the greatest mistakes so far in HGA history.

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Fake Tom Brady Autograph

HGA authenticated a 2008 Topps Finest printing plate that had a fake Tom Brady sticker autograph applied to it. 

They Use Glue Stick

Instead of using an Ultrasonic Welder to seal your grading case, eBay user GymRatCards identified that HGA uses glue.

Do you really want your precious cards exposed to such a substance?

Fake Wayne Gretzky Rookie

Ryan Nolan, author of the book Spotting Fakes, identified two fake rookie cards graded by HGA. 

Fake Mario Lemieux Rookie

The second of two fakes spotted by Breakout Cards.

HGA Will Slab Anything

Just send HGA a card, real or fake, and they will put it in a "PC" slab they offer. 

Super confusing and dumb to say the least. 

Fake Patrick Mahomes Autograph

HGA graded a card with a fake Patrick Mahomes sticker autograph on it. 

Fake Desert Shield Stamps

At least five 1991 Topps Desert Shield fake stamps were identified by 3124508 on COMC.

Used Copyrighted Artwork

HGA used copyrighted artwork on this Tua Tagovailoa label.

Cringe "AI" Video

HGA released a video to tout their supposed use of Artificial Intelligence to graded cards.

By and large the video is mostly cringe worthy. 

Shady HGA Math

On many labels, the math that HGA uses to calculate the final grade has been less than stellar. 

The Tua Tagovailoa below has all sub-grades of 9.0 but the card oddly received a final grade of 9.5.

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About the author 


  • Where is the revolt on the card companies using stickers for autographs? Where is the feedback to them to get the autographs on the card, and then make sure that they are all numbered.

  • Wow.. Most one sided idiotic story ever written without any proof. This is the type of stuff that is written when the big boys feel threatened. You can list out mess ups from EVERY grading company…. especially in their early stages. Laughable.

    • My sentiments exactly!! I just submitted 2,745 Vintage Star Wars cards with HGA because after careful and thorough research I found them to be a company that takes pride in having integrity with their customers. PSA and Beckett are completely overrated and HGA clearly produces a superior slab in every way possible. Seems like this negative information about HGA is sponsored by its fearful competitors. Did the person(s) writing this slanderous content get financial kickbacks from PSA, Beckett or CGC ?? I’ve heard more negative things about those so called “top grading companies”. HGA is the best in every way hands down. Take your fictitious slander down because nobody believes it!!! #HGAforlife

      • True it’s a new company there will be one or two missteps that they already figured out I agree and Beckett and PSA are the most Shady companies out there Beckett always been shady with their pump n dump working with Upper Deck to overprice cards like Ken Griffey Jr rookie then printed a million of them and flooded the market. PSA been buying trimmed and alt cards
        making them 10 and selling it in their golden auctions they own to be honest the whole grading card companys needs to be regulated. PSA manipulated the market with their tens and shill bidding. the whole Market is a joke and people are dumb thinking that every card is going to be a 10 and asking ridiculous money for a card because of PSA 10
        .30 years I’ll keep my cards ungraded and I will buy one here and there but I’m not paying premiums I have an eye I can tell what’s good and what’s not. Grading cards hurt the hobby I just made it a resellers in a high-end collecting money making BS autographs and low numbers are like art piece Investments nowadays that will kill the average person pocket

  • Their AI is fake, they don’t have an actual AI program. All they do is use Epson scanners to put the card in their system the graders never see it. They haven’t had any Covid problems, they have had money problems and fired almost all of their staff. Their grades are fake. No one actually knows how to grade. They fired everyone that actually knew anything. They only keep pretty girls and old men so they can cheat on their wives. ALL OF THEM CHEAT ON THEIR WIVES. Tyler, AJ, Austin, Jordan all the “upper management is a joke. They created a college frat house environment and steal your cards. That’s literally all they do!!! This is the truth. No I’m not angry I want to stop their lies. They are selling you a product that doesn’t exist! Buyer beware.

    • “Not angry” Ha!!! You’re the epitome of angry!! How did you acquire such private information about a companies policies and procedures ?? Either you’re a disgruntled former employee, someone who works for their competitors or a whining collector who didn’t get the grade they wanted from HGA. Either way your full of crap!! Go peddle your lies somewhere else!! HGA is the best card grading company hands down!! And no I don’t work for them I’m just a loyal customer!!

  • People are a bunch of idiots who deal withe squestionable Fly ny niijght customers.

    They proablry are the same dumbass who spent money on cards and will find they lost money on purchase HA HA.

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