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The Difference Between Beckett Grading and HGA Card Grading

Beckett Grading is among the companies that dominated card grading. However, HGA (Hybrid Grading Approach) is gaining traction. This newcomer seeks to make itself a name along grading greats.

Essentially, HGA Card Grading works like Beckett Grading and other dominant players in the card grading industry. Just like Beckett Grading, customers submit their sports cards for assessment. HGA returns them in sealed plastic slabs with grades on the labels displaying their objective rating on the cards’ condition.

But how does BGA Card Grading differ from Beckett? This post examines how these two card graders differ. Keep reading to learn more.

1.   Card Grading Scale and Requirements

While both companies grade cards based on their conditions, they differ slightly. They assess cards based on the conditions of their corners, surface, edges, centring, and autograph (if applicable). Eventually, they add these individual scores and average them to create an overall card grade on a scale of 1-10.

Beckett Grading

 Poor  Good Very Good Very Good/Excellent Excellent Excellent-Mint Near Mint Mint Pristine

HGA Card Grading

10: Flawless 10: Pristine Mint 9.5: Gem Mint 9.0: Mint 8.5: Near Mint/Mint+ 8.0: Near Mint/Mint 7.5: Near Mint+
A flawless card A nearly perfect card A near-perfect card with a barely noticeable tiny flaw Four sharp corners Barely perceptible signs of handling Well printed and preserved Higher-end quality with a touch of wear
7.0: Near Mint 6.5: Excellent/Near Mint+ 6.0: Excellent/Near Mint 5.5: Excellent+ 5.0: Excellent 4.5: Very Good/Excellent+
Bordering on Near Mint+ Some obvious wear and possible scratch Clearly frayed or fuzzy corners and a noticeable scratch Two or more evident corner flaws Obviously handled. Four fuzzy corners Loss of lustre, but printing remains intact
4.0: Very Good/Excellent 3.5: Very Good+ 3.0: Very Good 2.5: Good+ 2.0: Good 1.5: Fair 1.0: Poor
Serious surface issues Significant wear Yellowing, discoloration, out of focus Excessive wear Badly scuffed, stained, or scratched Badly mishandled Catastrophic flaws

card grading scale

2.   Prices

a. HGA Card Grading

While you might expect many pricing differences between HGA Card Grading and Beckett Grading, you might not find much. HGA Card Grading uses a digital grading method but doesn’t save you much money when using its services. Its prices range between $20 and $55 per card. This pricing aligns with Becket Grading’s range of $10 to $40 for normal cards.

  • Fastest: (2 business days) – $80 per card
  • Very Fast: (10 business days) – $55 per card
  • Popular: (30 business days) – $40 per card
  • Best Value: (60 business days) – $60 per card

b. Beckett Grading

Beckett Grading offers its services in four pricing tiers. Their rates are as follows:

  • Economy: $10-30 per card. Sending over 100 cards at once costs $10 per card.
  • Standard: $15-40 per card, depending on your card volume.
  • Express: $40-100, with a 5-day turnaround.
  • Premium: Costs between $50 and $125 per card, depending on a card’s perceived value, and has a 2-day turnaround.

NB: You incur additional to cover autograph verification, oversized items surcharges, return insurances, postage, and tax.

3.   Speed

HBA Card Grading differs from Beckett Grading in its turnaround period. During the pandemic, it leveraged its technological base to maintain short turnarounds. It can deliver cards in as few as two business days.

4.   AI Integration

Technology is another front that distinguishes these two card graders. HGA Card Grading beats Beckett Grading and other famous firm’s hands-down on this front. Its grading systems use Artificial Intelligence (AI). It uses software tools to determine each card’s grade programmatically.

Its AI-empowered tools scan cards at an ultra-high resolution and then analyze the resulting images for the usual card qualities. These qualities are edge and corner sharpness, print quality, and surface gloss. This area allows this newcomer to excel in an area where bigger and older companies like Beckett Grading have experienced many challenges.

5.   Card Visual Appeal

Card visual appeal is another front that differentiates HGA from Beckett Grading. Its graded cards stand out visually from Beckett Grading’s cards. This superior visual appearance clearly shows who graded a particular car because it uses colour-coordinated slabs. For example, when you submit a card, it returns with its grading swath at the top of the holder, showcasing red layer swaths on top of its woodgrain.

card visual appeal

Final Thoughts on Beckett Grading and HGA Card Grading Services

HGA Card Grading is a newcomer in the card grading industry. Its business model is essentially like Beckett Grading. The two firms evaluate cards for their conditions and grade. They encase the cards in slabs marked with their grades before returning them to submitters.

However, they differ on other fronts, like turnaround speed, cards’ visual appearance, pricing, and technology. We hope these differences will help you make an informed decision. Do you have cards you wish to grade? Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation and quote.

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