Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Learn about rarity, unusual swccg items, and more!
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stephengascrub
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Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by stephengascrub »

With the recent pandemic, we all have seen prices on SWCCG cards go crazy the past few months. Whether or not that’s going to stay is hard to tell.

It does have me wondering about something, graded cards. Do people think this will be a thing?

Right now I saw this on eBay, and I actually don’t think it’s that crazy of a price:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Star-Wars-CCG ... Sw~O1esYKa

Assuming graded cards become a thing, what cards PSA/BSG 10 do you think will be a thing?

Japanese Mains *
All Main Characters
Iconic R3 Cards
URF’s *
UR *
AI’s
Foil Imperial-Class Star Destroyer *
Foil Corellian Corvette *
Foil Darth Maul with Lightsaber
Foil Qui-Gon with Lightsaber
Any others?

The cards I put asterisks by are the only ones I think would ever be worth grading, but now I don’t know.

I think the stimulus checks and people being at home definitely has played a part in this, but it has gotten me thinking.

In 2001-2002 an Alpha Black Lotus was probably $1,000. Now it’s probably what? At least $50,000?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddi ... 2000_2007/

Obviously that hasn’t happened with LSJK and Emperor’s they aren’t 50 times as expensive as they were once the price settled after decipher went out of print ($50, ignoring the period where everything was dirt cheap and people panicked/got out of the game).

It also hard to see the demand for SWCCG ever rivaling MTG. Star Wars is an bigger overall IP, but the number of people who dabbled in Star Wars in 1998-2001 is probably over 10 times the amount of people who care about the gam today. Magic meanwhile has exploded.

So while there are a limited number of Star Wars cards, there’s more to go around per capita then there are with the famous reserve list MTG sets.

Plus, I don’t think our player base is going to spike beyond a certain point, even if you’re the most optimistic person in the world. I’d love to see 50 people at a local, or 500 people at worlds, or a 1000 players completing 12 games each month in the OCS.

So I don’t know. It’s hard to wrap my head around this. I can’t imaging ever spending $1000+ on a single card. For instance, I don’t have the R3 foils or a foil Corvette, or most Japanese mains. I’d love to, but I can’t justify the price.

I think the most I ever have spent on a card was slightly over $100 for a LSJK and $100 for a Palpatine when I got paid pretty well to be a research assistant two summers. And a Maul, YA (AI) for $90 because that image is just sick.

But if ungraded cards like that are going for twice that now, I know a market for graded cards is coming. People with more energy and initiative than me who have multiple Lukes and Emperors have to think if an ungraded Luke is $200, could a PSA 10 get me $1000? Would someone actually buy it? Even if only 1 of my 12 Luke’s could get that, after recouping expenses I could sell it and buy 4 Luke’s bringing me to 15, etc.

So I’m curious what other people think and where they see this going? I’m just a casual who has played this game for 22+ years now.


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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by arebelspy »

How much does it cost to get a card graded?

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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by stephengascrub »

arebelspy wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 12:17 am
How much does it cost to get a card graded?
It costs about $15 to get a single card graded. I don’t really know how much it runs per card if you sent a bunch.

I do know it’s very hard to get a 9.5 or 10 with companies like BSG or PSA, so sometimes for MTG and Sports cards it’s better to not bother.


With MTG (the closest analog) most people would rather have raw cards than a card with a grade of 7.5 or 8. For one, it’s not really feasible to play with graded cards. Secondly, and I’m presupposing here, it’s probably cheaper to get a card that isn’t graded that is near mint from someone then a card that is graded as a 7 or 8.

That’s about all I know. I’m sure Tom Haid, Robbie Hendon, or someone else in our community knows a lot more.

I only know a bit from having thought about selling my dad’s football and baseball cards. Unfortunately he collected during a period right after a bunch of famous players had their rookie cards (Koufax, Aaron, Mays, Mantle, etc.) and stopped right before Nolan Ryan (the year before!!!). So I’ve been on the fence if I want to bother with cards that are worth $$$ but not huge $$$$.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by Holla_Ackbar »

One aspect of why people get mtg cards graded is that there are a lot of really good fakes out there. Some people get them graded to turn around and break them out of the case and play with them. SWCCG doesn't have that problem right now, but if cards get expensive enough people will eventually try to fake them.

SWCCG would have likely become just as expensive as vintage mtg/pokemon/yugioh if the game were still in print today. This game was basically 2nd to mtg as the most popular ccg in the 90s, and actually outsold mtg some years. In order for swccg prices to match those, there would almost assuredly need to be a re-launch of the game.

I'd still expect swccg prices to continue to trend higher. People who played this game as kids are now in their 30s or 40s and have more disposable income. That's not to say that prices couldn't go down from current levels in the short-term, but I'd almost guarantee a LSJK or Palpie is higher 5 years from now.

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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by ConnorPsh »

I know I would like to get all my high-end cards graded at some point, but decipher cards are just incredibly difficult to get the highest grades on.

Like I want a 9.5 or a 10 premiere Vader, however the cardstock and general lack of quality control on premiere makes that incredibly difficult. I pulled a limited premiere Vader pack fresh a few months ago, however it actually has a printing error on the art, some white dots.

Centering is also a problem to worry about. My foil correllian corvette is slightly miscut to the right. Definitely not gonna be a 10 in that department.

Regardless, these kind of things actually make grading for those high grades even more collectable! I think we will see an uptick in grading, but it won't be as often as you'd see MTG or Pokemon doing it.

I still think a limited black label gem mint Darth Vader, or a Japanese one too, would be one of the most rare, sought-after cards. So much of premiere was played without sleeves, and it shows. Mint Darth Vaders are very hard to come by.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by rhendon »

stephengascrub wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 2:20 am
arebelspy wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 12:17 am
How much does it cost to get a card graded?
It costs about $15 to get a single card graded. I don’t really know how much it runs per card if you sent a bunch.

I do know it’s very hard to get a 9.5 or 10 with companies like BSG or PSA, so sometimes for MTG and Sports cards it’s better to not bother.


With MTG (the closest analog) most people would rather have raw cards than a card with a grade of 7.5 or 8. For one, it’s not really feasible to play with graded cards. Secondly, and I’m presupposing here, it’s probably cheaper to get a card that isn’t graded that is near mint from someone then a card that is graded as a 7 or 8.

That’s about all I know. I’m sure Tom Haid, Robbie Hendon, or someone else in our community knows a lot more.

I only know a bit from having thought about selling my dad’s football and baseball cards. Unfortunately he collected during a period right after a bunch of famous players had their rookie cards (Koufax, Aaron, Mays, Mantle, etc.) and stopped right before Nolan Ryan (the year before!!!). So I’ve been on the fence if I want to bother with cards that are worth $$$ but not huge $$$$.
Sports cards are probably more preferred to have graded. You don't really play with them.

When you grade a card, you pretty much limit the market to collectors rather than both collectors/players.

A lot of people think it is worth it to get MTG cards graded but a lot of vendors will just bust them out and sell them for people to play with. I've seen vendors at GPs and other big events will buy a graded power 9 card, bust it out of the holder and put it in case to sell. They'll get more interest in the card being playable than in a sealed case. Especially, if they already have a few graded ones at higher values to sell to collectors.

Most Star Wars cards (this also applies to MTG cards from same period as SWCCG) do not come out of the packs in mint condition. A lot of times they were damaged in some way in the distribution/creation process. These cards also had a lot of printer issues as well which affects their status.

As far as $$$ value after grade, it is entirely dependent on collectors and the desire for that full mint set, or full mint of the high cards. We're seeing some weird price spikes with cards currently. Not entirely sure why. With GEMP being the place to really play, and people will play far more on GEMP than in person going forward, I'm not sure why the spike is really happening. Most players on GEMP won't ever travel for the big events, so at any small local, regional, etc they could just use the p word for cards. At the big events, people will let you borrow them. I'm guessing more people have disposable income now because they can't go out and drink, eat, do whatever people blow money on and can spend it on some cards.

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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by arebelspy »


rhendon wrote: When you grade a card, you pretty much limit the market to collectors rather than both collectors/players.
Explain.

If I'm a player buying a card, I'm indifferent to the grade, but sensitive on price. If it's a collector, I care about the condition.

Grading it at most would push it to a higher price, but wouldn't make it lower (by limiting your pool of buyers to only collectors) because if it was the lowest price, a player would buy it to play with.

You aren't limiting your market, that I can see.

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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by rhendon »

arebelspy wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 2:51 pm
rhendon wrote: When you grade a card, you pretty much limit the market to collectors rather than both collectors/players.
Explain.

If I'm a player buying a card, I'm indifferent to the grade, but sensitive on price. If it's a collector, I care about the condition.

Grading it at most would push it to a higher price, but wouldn't make it lower (by limiting your pool of buyers to only collectors) because if it was the lowest price, a player would buy it to play with.

You aren't limiting your market, that I can see.
Rarely does grading the card not push it to a higher price range. In MTG, where this discussion is most relevant with actual real world experience than just theory, grading non power 9 cards, grading non-mint or as close to mint Alpha, Beta cards isn't worth it. This can also apply to other higher end cards as well. It really does limit the market because it attaches that premium to a card that a player isn't likely to seek, unless desperate.

Now I did say non power 9 and non-alpha/beta. This is because grading a card does something else rather than just determining condition. It has an independent source verify that authenticity of the card. In a world where cards are being faked all the time, having that peace of mind that someone else verified it and is putting their reputation on the line matters. Like I won't buy any high end MTG card from someone I don't trust. Its not worth it to get burned. I'll pay, even as a player, a higher premium for that peace of mind that what I'm getting is real.

In SWCCG, we don't really have that fakes section that MTG does. I also don't know if the grading a card will carry that same premium that it does for MTG cards. It may not, and if it doesn't, then you're correct that it won't limit the market. If it does though, then yes it does limit the market. Why pay an extra premium for a mint Prem Darth Vader when even a damaged one at usually 40% of the cost will do?

So yes, while you are logically correct, rarely have I personally seen a graded card not carry some additional cost or premium attached to it. I've seen a graded 7 card cost more than me looking at the same card elsewhere and seeing it in better condition but it isn't graded.

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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by quickdraw3457 »

Where and how does one go about grading cards? Do you have to mail them in to one of the major grading companies? Do they have reps at local area events like cons to do it? How long does it take?

How much risk is there in mailing them? It's possible the mail damages or even loses it and it would be so nerve wracking to worry about that or think it may have affected your grade.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by The Franchise »

If i get my whole trm deck graded can i play with it in the graded plastic holders?

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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by rhendon »

quickdraw3457 wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 3:21 pm
Where and how does one go about grading cards? Do you have to mail them in to one of the major grading companies? Do they have reps at local area events like cons to do it? How long does it take?

How much risk is there in mailing them? It's possible the mail damages or even loses it and it would be so nerve wracking to worry about that or think it may have affected your grade.

1. Usually you go to their site and register.
2. Yes.
3. Not usually.
4. It depends. They have membership levels to turn around cards quicker. I've also had a friend send in his Dragon Ball Super Secret Rares and it take 3+ months to get them back.
5. The same as if you mail anything else.
6. Yup. Just as if you mail anything else. You can insure it though.

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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by ConnorPsh »

The Franchise wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 3:36 pm
If i get my whole trm deck graded can i play with it in the graded plastic holders?
Lol you probably could provided you had a random way to shuffle it. If I recall, there's a guy in the magic community who has an entire PSA 10 graded deck or something like that
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by Shadow 14 »

Holla_Ackbar wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 3:18 am
One aspect of why people get mtg cards graded is that there are a lot of really good fakes out there. Some people get them graded to turn around and break them out of the case and play with them. SWCCG doesn't have that problem right now, but if cards get expensive enough people will eventually try to fake them.

SWCCG would have likely become just as expensive as vintage mtg/pokemon/yugioh if the game were still in print today. This game was basically 2nd to mtg as the most popular ccg in the 90s, and actually outsold mtg some years. In order for swccg prices to match those, there would almost assuredly need to be a re-launch of the game.

I'd still expect swccg prices to continue to trend higher. People who played this game as kids are now in their 30s or 40s and have more disposable income. That's not to say that prices couldn't go down from current levels in the short-term, but I'd almost guarantee a LSJK or Palpie is higher 5 years from now.
I agree with all that.

Due to our limited player base there is a difference to MTG etc. now. We will never reach those numbers, because there are just no gazillion of new players that came year after year for 20+ years. The general value is still certainly going up, especially on rarer cards.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by Holla_Ackbar »

Having cards graded also removes the subjectivity of card condition. I've bought a lot of cards that were advertised as NM/M only to receive them and they clearly show signs of play. It's not a huge deal as there's not a ton of price difference right now based on card condition. But if prices ever get really high, there's going to be a big premium for true NM/M cards.

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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by AdmiralMotti89 »

I think the idea of authenticity related to grading is an interesting one. With the increase in prices, I have had three major issues with other buyers/sellers in the past month where I think previously I have had maybe one a year on average.

Couple that with the rumors of "high-quality" fake URs as previously mentioned, I think the fact that there is now "serious money" in SWCCG, I wouldn't be surprised to see a bunch more graded cards. Hopefully some of them will be Gem Mint Run Luke Run to drive the price down.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by ConnorPsh »

AdmiralMotti89 wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 11:07 am
Hopefully some of them will be Gem Mint Run Luke Run to drive the price down.
It's been a tough decision between buying a LSJK or that run Luke run. I mean it's GEM MINT!

But yeah authenticity, as discussed, is the real reason for grading in the magic world and that could definitely transfer to here as well.

Now I don't collect Pokemon anymore, but I've got some of the earlier sets and was looking if I should grade any cards I've got, and found that collector's in that area basically grade any and every higher-end card they've got, and it returns a 10 most of the time because it's brand new. Now this is mostly collectors, but I can see SWCCG collectors (like myself) buying/grading cards just for the added collectbility. The only thing is I still can't seem to tell how many people here play the game, and how many only collect because that makes a difference in this avenue.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by muttzen »

For grading, the biggest two companies are PSA and Beckett. Personally, I would go for PSA, since they usually fetch a higher price, may let through less fakes, and don't introduce too many "numbers" for decision fatigue. (It's why costco is successful, reduces the variables people have to consider). People think they want more details, but in the end they really don't...

Anyhow, if you were submitting say to PSA, you can go...

https://www.psacard.com/

And just make an account and submit, now for economy pricing, I think its around 20 dollars per card, for each card valued up to 500$, but if you wanna go whole hog... you can sign up for a subscription, and do bulk submission. This will cost only ~ 9 dollars per card, but max declared value per each card must be less than 100$, and you must submit ~50 cards minimum I believe, or is it 100 now?

You ship it to them... and then you wait a while... then you get your delicious slabbed cards.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by ConnorPsh »

I'd be torn between PSA and BGS. The extra sub-categories BGS introduces seem to add extra collectbility the higher each category goes. Plus, I feel the slabs look a bit nicer. Maybe that's just be though.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by quickdraw3457 »

muttzen wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 5:37 pm
For grading, the biggest two companies are PSA and Beckett. Personally, I would go for PSA, since they usually fetch a higher price, may let through less fakes, and don't introduce too many "numbers" for decision fatigue. (It's why costco is successful, reduces the variables people have to consider). People think they want more details, but in the end they really don't...

Anyhow, if you were submitting say to PSA, you can go...

https://www.psacard.com/

And just make an account and submit, now for economy pricing, I think its around 20 dollars per card, for each card valued up to 500$, but if you wanna go whole hog... you can sign up for a subscription, and do bulk submission. This will cost only ~ 9 dollars per card, but max declared value per each card must be less than 100$, and you must submit ~50 cards minimum I believe, or is it 100 now?

You ship it to them... and then you wait a while... then you get your delicious slabbed cards.
Thanks for this breakdown! So... if I'm talking about a single non-swccg card, worth well more than these thresholds (say in the thousands), what would change in the process? When I looked it seemed to be more expensive the more valuable the card is. Kinda makes sense, but also kind of a bummer.
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Re: Graded Star Wars CCG Cards

Post by muttzen »

quickdraw3457 wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 6:00 pm
muttzen wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 5:37 pm
For grading, the biggest two companies are PSA and Beckett. Personally, I would go for PSA, since they usually fetch a higher price, may let through less fakes, and don't introduce too many "numbers" for decision fatigue. (It's why costco is successful, reduces the variables people have to consider). People think they want more details, but in the end they really don't...

Anyhow, if you were submitting say to PSA, you can go...

https://www.psacard.com/

And just make an account and submit, now for economy pricing, I think its around 20 dollars per card, for each card valued up to 500$, but if you wanna go whole hog... you can sign up for a subscription, and do bulk submission. This will cost only ~ 9 dollars per card, but max declared value per each card must be less than 100$, and you must submit ~50 cards minimum I believe, or is it 100 now?

You ship it to them... and then you wait a while... then you get your delicious slabbed cards.
Thanks for this breakdown! So... if I'm talking about a single non-swccg card, worth well more than these thresholds (say in the thousands), what would change in the process? When I looked it seemed to be more expensive the more valuable the card is. Kinda makes sense, but also kind of a bummer.

Yep you got it.

https://www.psacard.com/pricing

Since the card is valued higher, the cost is higher. My understanding is that this also covers some kind of insurance in case the card gets damged or lost.

From PSA:

The Declared Value you provide establishes:

the maximum item value in the event of a claim connected with that item while at PSA,
the maximum item value for shipping insurance purposes, and
the appropriate Service Level and Service Level price.



Also to submit cards, one needs to use cardsaver 1 instead of toploaders. But I can't seem to find them on amazon now... they must have all gotten sold out?


edit: looks like people are scalping em on ebay...

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... 1&_sacat=0
can I has urf?

mark m.

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