Last Updated On: September 8th, 2023
“Goofy.” “A scam.” “Completely meaningless.”
Unless you’re a rodeo clown or Bernie Madoff, those descriptions are pretty harsh. Unfortunately for one (now defunct) card grading outlet, these reviews are unnervingly common. BCCG grading – the grading service to which those reviews belong – was developed as a cheap alternative to grading and slabbing cards.
The only problem? The grades that came back for cards were incredibly suspect.
In this post, we’ll walk through BCCG grading, examining its reputation, demise, and how BCCG 10 cards compare to other services like PSA and BGS.
We’ll also answer whether or not BCCG cards are even worth buying, the successes and failures of crossing them over to other grading companies, and what to look for when confronted with a potential BCCG card purchase.
Table of Contents
BCCG Grading Overview
Let’s start by clarifying one thing from the top: BCCG is not a scam. BCCG – which stands for Becket Collector’s Club Grading, was launched to be a lower-cost alternative to getting cards graded. As you might have surmised from the full-name, BCCG was developed by Beckett and designed only for large-quantity/bulk submissions.
According to Beckett, BCCG grading differs from BGS in the following ways:
It features a modified numerical grading scale, with each level representing a range of standard conditions (Mint or better, Near mint or better, Excellent or better, etc.). … The BCCG service does not offer the four category (corners, centering, edges, and surface) break down on the backs of each of the cards. The BCCG service also does not have the half point grading scale which you see in the regular grading services – it is a more simplified grading scale that offers whole point grades only. The cases for BCCG cards are thinner than the BGS/BVG cases and there is no inner sleeve in which the card placed in before being inserted into the holder.
Of that info, one of the most important bits is the condition scale. A BCCG 10 is only branded “Mint or Better,” which contrasts sharply with PSA 10s being “Gem Mint” and BGS 10s being “Pristine.” Instead, BCCG grading operates within an expansive range, as we’ll get to below.
BCCG is not the Same as BGS or BVG
Even though it was started by Beckett, BCCG grading is not the same as BGS or BVG, both of which Beckett describes as its “premium” grading brands. BGS is one of the “big three” card graders, along with PSA and SGC, while BVG was developed as a specialty grading service for pre-1981 cards. For a full list of grading services and finding which is best for you, check out our comprehensive guide.
BCCG’s Reputation in the Marketplace
If you read this article’s lead-in, then you probably have an idea of where BCCG’s reputation stands in the hobby. BCCG is the Charlotte Bobcats of grading services.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a handful of fun alt-names developed by hobbyists: Bad Cards Can Grade, Beckett Causing Crap Grades, Bad Centering Called Good.
Here’s why those names apply: depending on who you ask, BCCG grading is anywhere from 2-4 grades off of what a card would be given by more reputable card grading services. The lack of subgrades doesn’t help, either, with collectors only left to speculate why (or why not) a card earned the grade that it did.
Ultimately, PSA, BGS, and SGC are at the top of the pyramid when it comes to sports card grading. And way off, in the lowest-quarter of the lowest quarter of that pyramid, is BCCG. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch – but as we’ll see later, BCCG is responsible for some horrifically erroneous grades.
That said, BCCG is still a Beckett brand. The folks at Beckett know how to properly care and slab a card, even if the grading itself is off. Further, the slab at least makes it easier to judge the card’s merits based on eyeball test alone, which can help you judge how reliable a BCCG grade actually is.
Is BCCG Grading Still offered?
No, BCCG grading is no longer offered as an option to collectors. It’s unclear when officially Beckett stopped offering BCCG, but it’s been at least since the summer of 2020.
It’s also not clear why specifically Beckett discontinued BCCG, but all of the bad publicity likely didn’t help much. In addition, it’s possible that, as the hobby grew in the build-up to the pandemic, more scrutiny was cast on the grading service. That negative publicity very likely could have had a cascading effect on BGS; rather than trying to make money with a product folks didn’t love, it’s possible Beckett scrapped the brand entirely to save its own skin.
Want more Sports Cards content? Subscribe to the blog! (opt out anytime)
That said, Beckett does still offer a lookup tool for BCCG-graded cards (be sure to select the correct radio button for the service), so it’s possible to ensure that a BCCG graded card is authentic. Even though BCCG is no longer with us, its spirit lives on. BGS offers two different grading services today – one with subgrades and one without. The latter option is several dollars cheaper than the former (Base-level grading with subgrades costs $22, while the same service without subgrades costs $18).
BCCG Grading Scale
The table below is designed to address scale and not crossover value. For instance, while a BCCG 10 is “Mint or Better,” PSA “Mint” cards are considered a 9 grade, with 10 grade considered Gem Mint.
|BCCG Scale||BGS Equivalent||PSA Equivalent|
|N/A||BGS 9.5 “Gem Mint” or 10 “Pristine”||PSA 10 “Gem Mint”|
|10 “Mint or Better”||BGS 9 “Mint” or Better||PSA 9 “Mint” or Better|
|9 “Near Mint or Better”||BGS 8 “Near Mint” or Better||PSA 7 “Near Mint” or Better|
|8 “Excellent or Better”||BGS 5 “Excellent” or Better||PSA 5 “Excellent” or Better|
|7 “Very Good or Better”||BGS 3 “Very Good” or Better||PSA 3 “Very Good” or Better|
|6 “Good or Better”||BGS 2 “Good” or Better||PSA 2 “Good” or Better|
|5 “Poor or Better”||BGS 1 “Poor” or Better||PSA 1 “Poor” or Better|
BCCG 10 “Mint or Better”: How Does it Compare?
BCCG 10 cards, as the table explains, are given a “Mint or Better” condition label by the brand. If we approximate that out to other brands like BGS and PSA, that could fall between a 9 or 10 grade when crossed over.
But that’s a big “could.” Some collectors have had luck crossing BCCG 10 cards into PSA 10s, but it’s a rare occurrence. For instance, a BCCG “Mint” 10 grade might have a few nicks in the corners or a rough centering. In order for a card to get a Gem Mint grade from PSA or BGS, those errors should be virtually nonexistent.
A general rule of thumb is that a BCCG grading is 2-3 grades higher than what it would earn at one of the “Big Three” grading brands. That might stink for modern cards, where condition can drastically alter a card’s value. But what about vintage cards that are already rare to begin with? If, say, a 1970s basketball card comes out to a BCCG 9 or 10, you still have a seriously valuable card on your hands, simply given the card’s relative scarcity.
Are BCCG Cards Worth Buying?
Here’s the oft-repeated key to remember when purchasing graded cards: buy the card, not the slab. In many cases, your eyes will tell you more about a BCCG card than the actual grading.
Pay attention to the card’s centering – is it visibly off-centered? If so, then the BCCG 10 card is definitely not a PSA 10 in the making. Are the corners nicked? Edges sketchy? Are there any creases?
The plus side of BCCG grading being so distrusted by the hobby is that the graded cards themselves usually do not command premium prices. You probably want to treat a BCCG card like a raw card; hopefully the card’s price reflects that.
In treating BCCG grading as if the card were just raw, it’s important to remember to do your homework. Maybe that means researching online to get comps for the same card ungraded. Or perhaps you go to a local consignment shop or pawnshop to get their take. Also check out similarly graded cards from services like PSA and BGS to compare.
Card Grading Crossovers
One potential avenue to seeing decent returns on BCCG cards is through the crossover process. Grading crossovers are when you submit a graded card to another (or the same) grading service. For instance, you may have a BCCG 10 card; crossover grading would be submitting that card to PSA to see if it will score a high grade and ideally increase in value.
Crossover grading is a way for card flippers to make money on lower-cost graded cards. The idea goes that if you have a high-graded card from a less reputable brand, you may be able to buy it cheap, submit it to PSA, BGS, or SGC, and double your money with a high-grade from one of those brands.
There are a few ways to go about crossover grading. On one hand, you could “crack open” the slabbed card and resubmit the card for crossover grading as a raw card. This functions the same way as submitting a raw card for grading.
Want more Sports Cards content? Subscribe to the blog! (opt out anytime)
On the other hand, you can submit the card in its slab for a crossover grade. But beware – PSA will only inspect the card in its slab. When you submit a card for crossover grading, you designate the minimum grade you would accept the card back from PSA. If PSA determines the card is at that minimum level or higher, they will crack open the original slab and place the card in a PSA slab. Oh, and you’re still being charged regardless if it meets the minimum grade you specified.
Anecdotally, we’ve heard that it’s much harder to crossover into a minimum grade when the card is still slabbed. None of the grading companies can confirm, but that’s the word on the street. Crack and submit might be your best play.
Can a BCCG Graded Card Crossover to PSA or BGS Similarly?
Alright, at this point you’re probably thinking there’s no way on God’s green earth that a BCCG 10 could crossover to PSA or BGS with a similarly high grade. It’s the risk you run when buying a BCCG card and attempting a crossover. But it’s not impossible.
Successful Examples of BCCG Crossovers
Thankfully, card flippers love bragging about their success stories and we have several successful BCCG crossover stories.
The first one we’ll highlight is an excellent example of using the eye-test when thinking about purchasing a card with a BCCG grading. Check out this 2003 Topps Chrome Refractor #111 LeBron James rookie card in BCCG 10 condition:
Ask yourself: what looks off about this card? Anything catch the eye? The corners and edges look fairly clean. The surface, eh, hard to tell exactly, but looks pretty good. But what about the centering? The left edge of the portrait seems much further to that side than the right.
And on a crossover grade, that proved to be completely true. The “centering” subgrade earned an 8.5, the lowest of any categories for this card. Nonetheless, we can call it a success because it still graded out to a BGS 9 Mint!
A few other success stories can be found on YouTube. One we’ll highlight is from Frosty Feet Cards, who submitted a 1992 Topps Gold Shaquille O’Neal rookie card in BCCG 10 condition to PSA. Skip ahead to 5:50 to see how the crossover grading turned out.
Unsuccessful Examples of BCCG Crossovers
It’s a bit trickier finding concrete examples of folks having unsuccessful BCCG crossover stories with pictures (collectors often dump value-less cards off on eager relatives rather than post them online). That said, we have a few horror stories from the web worth noting. Here are a handful:
I’ve TRIED to cross two BCCG to PSA. One a BCCG 9 Stallworth rookie=PSA 5.. The other a BCCG 9 Bowman Chrome McNabb RC=PSA 7.. I gave both cards to my 6 year old nephew.. Very tough call…User cspeier on Collector’s Forums
I have only bought one card in their slab and it was a 9. Although I had heard stories about them I figured at worst the card would be an 8. Card was awful. I would be surprised if it graded a 7. Surface scratches and a dinged corner. Will not buy another.User RITM on Freedom Cardboard Forums
Finally, user Hammered on Collector’s Forums successfully crossed just one of seven BCCG 10 cards to a Mint (or better) from PSA — not a great outcome. He or she took a measured risk, however, and had this to say:
I submitted 7 BCCG 10s to PSA some time ago because I was curious about the same thing. One got a 9 (a Jerry Rice rookie), all the others got 8s, one got EOT or MINSIZE can’t remember. The results were about what I expected. I got the BCCG 10s for a good deal though, so a couple were actually worth more as PSA 8s than what I paid
Where does all of this leave us with BCCG grading? For starters, there are still plenty of BCCG 10 listings on eBay – some 18,000. But if you wade into these murky waters, use extreme caution. Sometimes, excellent deals can be found, as evidenced in the successful crossovers listed above. But the risk is still there, as demonstrated by our unsuccessful crossover examples.
Currently, BCCG grading is best used as a boom-or-bust option for investors looking to flip cards or those who don’t want to pay premium prices for a slabbed card to add to their personal collection.