Difference Between A Graded And Ungraded Card
Collectors often consider sending their cards to third party grading companies, such as PSA, Beckett, BVG or SGC. This process offers a stamp of approval that a card is authentic and meets certain standards for its condition. PSA and similar companies charge a fee per-card for grading and there can be a long turnaround time. Collectors need to weigh whether the cost of grading and the turnaround time are worth the investment.
Often, a raw card and graded card will sell for almost the same price. A collector is most likely to see a return on the investment of grading if their card is in extremely good condition - MINT or better - and is a star card. Getting lower-grade and/or common cards graded may not be worth the investment of time and money.
See below for the difference between an ungraded Mickey Mantle card (left) and a PSA graded Mickey Mantle (right).