To grade or not to grade in terms of preserving condition

Hey, there!

I’ve always thought that grading was not for me. It is expensive and I don’t really care about monetary value for reselling, as I’m only a collector. I don’t plan to sell my collection. However, I’ve recently bought a PSA card because I’ve been waiting for this card to pop on ebay for ages, and the only copy that I’ve seen so far was a PSA 9 copy.

The thing is that once holding a PSA card in my hands, I quite liked the feel of it. I like how “professional” it looks and the clarity of the case compared to sleeves (I double sleeve for humidity).

I’m considering grading my cards vs keeping them double sleeved in an Ultra Pro pro binder. My main concern about my cards is preserving their condition throughout time, as I plan to own them for life (I hope hahaha).

In an area where humidity is extremely high (like 80/90% in summer), where do you think cards will preserve their condition better, in a PSA case or double sleeved in a binder?

@alicia, binders work quite well for preservation, and they have the added benefits of

  1. You can flip through the pages
  2. You can have a bunch of cards on one page
  3. They look fantastic
    But if you’re set on grading, I’d buy a card from each company (cgc, bgs, sgc) and decide which one you like best. I’d also recommend a dehumidifier as cards can still warp in a psa case
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I store many relatively expensive, very minty cards in binders and I have zero worry about their conditions degrading. If you prefer having the cards in a binder and you’re storing them correctly, then I don’t see a reason to get them graded.

Definitely get a dehumidifier, though. 80-90% humidity is way higher than it should be for optimal card storage. Try to get below 60%.

Thank you both @kingboo64, @zorloth, for your advice. If the PSA case does not offer much more protection compared to a binder… I guess I’ll stick with my binders for now.

I’ve checked dehumidifiers on Amazon, but I’m not really keen on having an electrical machine on all day. Is there any difference between using a dehumidifier and using silica packs?

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No problem. Silica packs are only going to work if you put the cards in a small, enclosed space (i.e., a deck box). A dehumidifier is going to be ideal if you want to store the cards in binders.

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@alicia silica packs work better for small sealed off spaces as they have a finite ability to remove moisture and then they become saturated. Think of the places you see them in packaging foods etc. The energy input into a dehumidifier (and subsequent pouring out the liquid container) makes it an “infinite” moisture remover. They really are the only option if you are trying to dehumidify large spaces.

A middle ground would be something like the “rechargeable” dehumidifier canisters. If you search that on Amazon you will see what I mean. They usually have a sight glass and the pellet color will be orange when dry and blue when saturated. To “recharge” them you pop them in the oven for a set amount of time which drives the moisture off. These work great with smaller semi-sealed environments like safes or totes but wouldn’t do much of anything in large open spaces like an entire room.

The other option you can look into is a dry cabinet for storing your binders

I second this. Bad old pic here but this is one I have. The way I store it can fit six to eight binders. It reduces from 60-75% in the summer to 45%.

Do you happen to remember what model forspark that is?

@nish item number FSDCBLK100b

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Oh my god, I’m doing so wrong the part of card preservation. I only had some silica packs in my closet where I store my binders together with my clothes… I guess I’ll really have to check all the options you gave me in this post. Thank you very much to you all. I really dislike it when cards bend because of humidity. THANK YOU SO MUCH

PSA cards do offer really solid protection though. Binders are safe, but a PSA case will be safer long term.

Yeah but bgs cases are better strictly storage speaking, they’re way thicket and they have a sleeve

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Also wanted to mention buying a humidity reader, you can find ones on Amazon. This will allow you to be more precise about exactly what temperature/humidity your cards are preserved at. Generally 30-50% humidity is acceptable from what I’ve read online as it pertained to document preservation which I assume is similar to cards haha. Good luck!

I’d suggest avoiding the really cheap meters you can find on Amazon, eBay, etc. Their measurements will be pretty bad and perhaps entirely useless.

I have this one and I’ve been very happy with it:

I think I’m going to stick with binders for the time being. Maybe at some point I’ll grade some cards with PSA or CGC. I’ll have to buy a CGC card to compare their cases and see which one I like the most. Right now they’re expensive for me and turnaround times (at least with PSA) are way too long. I worry about upcharges as well since the cards I’d like to grade have increased quite a lot in value lately.

After having read your advice, I think I’m going to go with this:

1- Placing binders inside these bags to “protect” them against fire (more or less), and I’ll throw some silica packs inside:ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=bolsa+ignifuga&qid=1610530888&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExNFpQV1AxT0k5NDRXJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUExMDI1MDg4ODhKSURCRVI3RDE4JmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAxMjk2MDkxVDlUUlpEMzFaMU1BJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

2- Then, I’ll buy a rechargeable dehumidifier. I’ve seen the electrical ones but I don’t want to depend on an electrical device. I move quite a lot and leave my cards at my parents’ so I don’t really want them to pay for that cost. I’m also worried about electricity and fire, since we’ve recently had a fire in the flat below us because of an electrical device.

3- Place the bags with my binders and the silica packs inside a closet with the rechargeable dehumidifier.

4- Buy a humidity reader to compare results inside the closet before and after dehumidifier.

I really hope this will be enough to preserve their condition :blush: