How to Get Your Baseball Cards Appraised Locally & Online
Everyone hopes they have a rare gem of a card in their collection, but how can you know for sure? You can get an approximate price by looking up similar cards on a number of websites, but for high-value cards, that won’t be enough. Getting your cards appraised by a trustworthy service is the only way to determine their true value.
So how do you go about getting your baseball cards appraised? The process is a bit more complicated than simply Googling or surfing eBay, but there are several options. In this post, we’ll cover all of the bases of baseball card appraisal online and in-person, as well as the purpose it serves.
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Should You Get Your Baseball Cards Appraised?
You might be wondering how professional card appraisal is different from self-valuing your collection and whether it’s worth the expense. In many cases, you probably don’t need to go through the extra steps to get your cards appraised, particularly if the costs of appraisal services outweigh any potential profits from selling your cards. However, if your search for card prices shows that you could have some high-value items, you’ll typically need to have them examined by experts before any sale — this protects both the buyer and seller. After all, just because you think that Derek Jeter rookie card of yours is in gem mint condition doesn’t mean it actually is.
Typically, appraisals come in the form of official certificates clearly identifying and stating a card’s value. Even if you don’t plan on selling any time soon, it’s still useful to have the most valuable items in your card collection appraised. This can help determine coverage for homeowners or rental insurance, as well as having it insured if and when it’s ever shipped.
Where Can I Get My Baseball Cards Appraised?
Once you’ve determined that it’s in the best interests of your collection to get your most desirable cards appraised, the next step is finding a place to do it. No matter where you live, you likely have local options, and you can always turn to reputable online services as well. Be wary, though: The increased popularity of card collecting has also resulted in a higher level of fraud, particularly during the pandemic. Anyone offering quick and easy appraisal services — or trying to buy your cards as well — should be approached with caution.
What Services Should I use For Baseball Card Appraisal Online?
When it comes to online card appraisal, the gold standard is Professional Sports Authenticator, also known as PSA. PSA offers both grading and appraisal supported by verified market data, and because it has no vested interest in the value of your card, it can be trusted to give you accurate results. PSA does require grading, but offers both services, and the cost is determined by the estimated value of the card. One important thing to note: PSA doesn’t appraise anything worth under $2,000, so that’s a good baseline to keep in mind as you’re going through the appraisal process.
If your card has been signed by the player, Beckett Authentication Services offers appraisals for single-signature and multi-signature items. Beckett is more geared towards single cards than collections, and also offers Rookie Certification, certificates of authenticity, and grading services.
Finally, if you’re in a hurry to sell, Just Collect can speed up the process by appraising your cards and making an offer in one fell swoop. Because Just Collect is more focused on buying your cards, the appraisal itself is free, but the company is backed by decades of experience and over $20 million worth of sports cards and memorabilia transactions. This could be an option if your cards are in the range of hundreds of dollars, rather than thousands, but be aware that Just Collect does not offer grading or certificates of authentication.
How Can I Find Baseball Card Appraisal Services Near Me?
If you’d rather get your cards appraised in person, here’s how to find local resources:
- Ask your local card shop: Many collectible card and memorabilia shops provide appraisal services, so your favorite spot should be your first stop. Even if they can’t appraise your collection themselves, they may be able to point you towards other appraisal businesses in the area.
- Attend trade shows: Sports card and memorabilia shows frequently take place all over the United States. You’ll often find representatives from major appraisal services on the floor, so if you’re wary about mailing your cards, this could be a good alternative.
Check the PSA dealer directory: Professional Sports Authenticator has a helpful list of retail, wholesale, and appraisal companies throughout the US.
Baseball card appraisal can be an overwhelming process, but for especially rare and high-value cards, it’s a necessary part of the process. Whether you’re buying, selling, or just trying to determine your collection’s true value, consider the appraisal services listed here and choose the one that best suits your needs.