Baseball Card Grading Services
When buying a classic Babe Ruth baseball card, you will need to pay close attention to how the card was graded. Are you relying on the seller's EX+ description of the card? Or is the seller offering a card that has been graded by a reputable grading service? The right grading service can offer a consistent grading scale that allow buyers to know exactly what they are purchasing.
Below is a list of the four most commonly used card grading services. When purchasing that 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey card, your safest bet is to purchase only cards that have been graded by one of these companies. Treat grading services as a type of currency - you are generally better off keeping your assets in Dollars or Euros than Pesos or Rubles.
BGS - Beckett Grading Services - started by Beckett Magazine, BGS is known for carrying very high standards in its grading. A BGS "10" rating (a rarity) will usually outsell a "10" from any of its competitors. BGS rated cards are not too common among vintage Ruth cards.
PSA - Professional Sports Authenticator - PSA is the most widely used card grading service. You will likely notice that a majority of graded listings on ebay have been graded by PSA. They have deep experience in grading vintage cards and are a good bet for consistent grading in classic cards.
SGC - Sportscard Guaranty Corporation - SGC grades cards on a scale of 10 to 100. This scale provides buyers with a concise scale to distinguish "tweener" cards that may fall between a NM+ and a NM/MT. SGC is a very popular choice among collectors of vintage pre-1940 cards.
GAI - Global Authentication Inc. - GAI also grades on a 10-point scale. They are the newest of the major grading services and deal in a broad range of sports and entertainment memorabilia authentication.