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Buy graded or buy raw and send to grade

NGS428NGS428 Posts: 2,235 ✭✭✭✭✭

I am working to complete a set which requires some topps base Ken Griffey Jr cards. I am looking for PSA 10.

Most of these cards range from $50 to $125 from online dealers. They are in the range of 2001 to 2008. Would it be worth it to buy raw and submit or will that more than likely cost me more in the end? I know there are a lot of factors at play here. But I would guess that a few of you have made that decision before.

Pops are currently around 15 to 45 for each of these cards in PSA 10. A high percentage of the cards are grading a 10, so it seems like the dealers are just trying to score high by the prices I see.


  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,109 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's hard to buy raw and submit if you must have a 10. It is possible and might even be fun, but also could be VERY frustrating. Often there seems to be no difference between a 9 and a 10 other than the price.

    Are you in a hurry? If time is part of the equation, I would just buy already graded cards. If you are patient, try buying raw and submitting. Unless you have a very good eye you could end up with a bunch of 9's that have little value if any.

    One more option is to buy nice looking 9's if you can get them cheap, crack and (re) submit.

    Personally, I would buy the already graded cards, I am not patient if the cards are available.

    good luck with whatever you decide and have fun collecting!

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • NGS428NGS428 Posts: 2,235 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, patience is part of it for sure. Thanks for the comments.

  • MCMLVToppsMCMLVTopps Posts: 4,561 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A few things to consider...the cost of the grading, the cost of the shipping (one card is $18), and how keen is your eye to think you have a raw Rookie that will grade a 10. You can roll up expense after expense when your submissions come back less than a 10. Then, you have a handful (maybe a big handful) of cards under a 10.

    Maybe better off to buy one already in a PSA 10 slab, pay the $4 to ship from seller and you have what you seek. and, at a reasonable expense.

  • jackstrawjackstraw Posts: 3,748 ✭✭✭

    I subbed a perfect 2003 Topps Griffey completely expecting a 10 and got the 9 so I pretty much gave up after that. It will probably cost more subbing yourself..

    Collector Focus

  • NGS428NGS428 Posts: 2,235 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jackstraw said:
    I subbed a perfect 2003 Topps Griffey completely expecting a 10 and got the 9 so I pretty much gave up after that. It will probably cost more subbing yourself..

    Thanks for the example. I could certainly see that happening to me!

  • dictoresnodictoresno Posts: 1,002 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I try not to sub anymore unless I have to. I don’t like the gamble, however I’ve scored a few 10’s from raw. And this was before I really inspected cards and used a loupe. Got lucky.

    If there’s a card I want, it’s cheaper and quicker to just buy it graded. No risk involved and no wait.


  • LarkinCollectorLarkinCollector Posts: 8,975 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In some cases that's true, in others buying raw and subbing is the only way to make a card fit in the budget. I wouldn't have spent the money to buy a PSA8 Arnold Palmer RC (last one went for over $1300 at PWCC), but buying the Bancroft Tiddlers booklet for $200 and self-subbing I'm now a proud owner of one.

    There are many other cards I collect I've never seen available graded, so self-subbing is the only option.

    For Griffey base cards specifically (and pretty much all 80s/90s/00s base/common cards), I agree on waiting until one is available and buy it in the grade you want.

  • NGS428NGS428 Posts: 2,235 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the continued feedback. Seems like we have consensus.

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