Very often the same questions are repeated over and over again so we figured why not just post all the answers so we can just lead people here to answer what they want to find out. This FAQ will always be added to based on the state of the industry.
Q1. How do I check sales prices of items sold as best offers on eBay? A1. Go to the sold item and copy the item number. Once the item number is copied open another tab on your browser and go to www.watchcount.com. Paste the item number and hit enter. Your final sales price will appear.
Q2. Is a BGS 9/10 worth more or less than a BGS 9.5/9? A2. This is upto the buyer. Personally I would prefer a BGS 9.5/9 because I care more about the condition of the card than the auto. Others will say the exact opposite. You need to answer this one for yourself.
Q3. How much does a 9.5/10 or a 10/10 increase the value of a raw card? A3. In general, a BGS 9.5/10 will create a 50% value increase over a raw card. A BGS 10/10 will typically add another 50%-200% to the card. Remember that these are generalizations. Above and below the $100-$1000 range these increase and decrease respectively. A black label BGS 10 (All sub grades as a 10) also adds to the value because it is in essence a "perfect" card and they are EXTREMELY rare.
Q4. How do I decide between BGS and PSA? A4. BGS is well known for being the go to modern card grading company while PSA is known for vintage cards. Anything pre-1980 is considered vintage and you get a larger premium for grades on those cards. That premium trickles up throughout the 80's and 90's but it is more of a personal preference at that point. Also, BGS is the only company that actually grades the autograph on cards with certified auto's. This causes some folks to value a BGS 9.5/10 greater than a PSA 10 on modern cards.
Q5. What is the proper way to ship a card? A5. The proper way to ship a card is to place it in a penny sleeve and then in a top loader. Go out and buy yourself some blue painters tape so there is no sticky residue that ruins the top loader and potentially the card. Put a little piece of blue painters tape on the top loader to keep the card from falling out. Place the top loaded card in a team bag with some decoys or low value base cards on either side (2 or 3 on each side or a small piece of cardboard should do). Place the card in a bubble mailer and you are good to go.
Q6. When purchasing Bowman Chrome Autographs, how can you properly predict the value of each color? A6. The most common method to make sure you are paying a safe value for something more than a base autograph is to use a multiplier. The multipliers that we recommend are: Refractor (1.5x base), Blue Auto /150 (3-4x base), Gold Auto /50 (8-10x base), Orange Auto /25 (12-15x base), Purple Auto /10 (18-22x base), Red Auto (35-45x base), Superfractor Auto 1/1 (100x base). There are other colors out there and sometimes the other colors have weird numbering. It is recommended to always defer one level down in value for those cards. For example a Black Auto /35 would be comparable to the value of a Gold Auto /50, but a Black Auto /99 would be comparable to a Blue Auto /150. While these multipliers work well with Bowman Chrome every product is different so this is just a basic guideline and specific to autograph cards. For non-autographed refractors it is generally accepted that a base auto will be about the same price as a gold refractor non auto /50.
Q7. Why do cards sell for so much less than Beckett says they should? A7. Beckett pricing became basically obsolete when eBay came around. Average sale prices on eBay have basically become the hobby wide accepted value of a card. Most cards on eBay sell for a fair share less than Beckett. If trading some folks still use Beckett values.
Q8. What is the difference between a top loader, a semi-rigid, and a magnetic holder? A8. All three of these are meant to protect your cards. To us, the safest way is to put your card in a penny sleeve and top loader. This thicker plastic protection will stop nearly anything from ruining your card. Since it is in the penny sleeve the card won't get damaged by the plastic. Next best would be a semi-rigid which are exactly what they say they are. These are less firm plastic holders that some folks think are easier to get the cards in and out of. These are very safe for the cards and both major grading companies (BGS and PSA) recommend sending your cards to them in these types of holders. Magnetics are the most expensive and your cards definitely look best in them when being displayed. Unfortunately your cards don't go into a penny sleeve first (or else they wouldn't fit) so the surface, edges, and corners of your card are subject to direct contact to the plastic. This can lead to scratching and damage to your cards. Shipping in these is heavily frowned upon as the cards may leave in mint+ condition but arrive damaged due to bumping around during shipping. Of course the best way to protect your cards is to get them graded and encased by one of the companies mentioned above.
Q9. How do I know the "right" product to buy? A9. There is no right or wrong product to buy but there are different reasons to buy each product. First and foremost it is recommended to stick to fully licensed products. These products will show the team logo, use the team name and have a picture in the team uniform. Some companies hold exclusive licenses from the league in specific sports (EG - Topps/Bowman has an exlusive MLB license). If you don't see a logo or don't see a team name (EG - It says New York Baseball Team instead of New York Mets) then the product is not licensed by the league. The long term value of licensed products is stronger than unlicensed products. For baseball stick to Topps and Bowman. For football and basketball stick to Panini products.
Q10. What size top loader or magnetic holder do I need for my thick card? A10. Well first of all if you are going to use a top loader (recommended) you need to get thick card penny sleeves. These sleeves are easy to find and using them will prevent corner damage when putting them in the penny sleeve. In order to determine which size top loader or magnetic holder you need just pile cards on top of each other next to your card. Each standard paper card is 20 pt. thick. EG - If you have a card that is 6 standard cards thick you will need a 120 pt. holder.