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Collecting Tips: Condition/Grading

What about card condition? I have found that there are as many collectors interested in lower graded cards very good and even poor to fair - as there are those who limit their collections to excellent to mint and higher. Your buying power increases markedly if you choose to collect lower graded cards 25 percent or less the prices of near mint cards -- and your selection is probably greater. There is a market, a strong one, some would argue, for cards with rounded corners and creases. Just make sure you are not paying top condition prices for them. Many people want a piece of history someone they identified with perhaps as a young fan and don't care at all that the condition is not pristine.

Grading of cards is subjective, even by those who charge a significant amount of money to grade them professionally. If your interest is only in investing, you might want to consider that option. Be aware, however, that professionally graded cards generally sell for higher prices than you find in catalogues. There is no guarantee that if you elect to sell graded cards you have purchased that you will be able to recoup the money you paid. The advantage is that they have been graded by a third party, which can lend credibility if someone is buying sight unseen.

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by Richard Armstrong

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