Part of what makes trading cards so exciting is that you are taking a glimpse at the halcyon days of the sport or game. Rarer and more valuable cards are typically older, often first-edition, and come with a sense of nostalgia you cannot find with newer cards. Buying trading cards is incredibly exhilarating, but there are right and wrong ways to go about it, and if you continue reading, you can learn the pros and cons of buying raw versus graded card packs.

The Grade

Part of what makes buying graded card packs so advisable is that the packs themselves have a certain amount of value, and the graders can recognize that. Different grading services like PSA will authenticate and grade these packs, and while they may have less value than what they potentially hold in the pack, they are still valuable. The only con of this grade is that it makes them more expensive when compared to a raw pack.

Raw packs that aren’t graded by one of these services can also hold those same valuable cards, but you are taking a risk when they are raw. Raw means that the cards in the pack could potentially come damaged, or the seller could run a scam and have already taken valuable cards out of the pack. It could also be 100 percent authentic, but you can never be as confident as you can be with a graded pack.

The Money

With everything mentioned above, it is always preferable to get graded packs. There is more security involved, but that security comes at a price. The biggest pro for raw cards and card packs is that they will be cheaper than their graded counterparts. The grading process isn’t inexpensive, and sellers can place a much higher value on that pack when something comes back rated a 10 or something close. That price is a symbol of security for many, but part of the joy of trading cards is taking those risks and seeing what they get!

Risk, Risk, Risk

Raw cards and packs are cheaper, but the risk is more significant. Technically, you can get hundreds of raw and graded packs, never get a good pull from a graded pack, and hit the jackpot numerous times with your raw. It’s the risk that everyone must take when dealing with trading cards.

However, with raw packs, you also face the risk of unreputable sellers scamming you by pawning off damaged packs as high-quality. They could have already opened the pack, looked through the cards, and sealed it back up. These are the risk of buying raw packs.

Knowing the pros and cons of buying raw versus graded card packs is essential to ensure you get the cards you want for the best value. If you know where to look, buying graded cards and card packs is one way to be safe, but buying raw packs can still be safe. One way to be secure is to join a case break instead of investing in loose cards. At JRI Cards, we have football case breaks and many other card breaks where you can enjoy opening packs with other card collectors and be safe about it too!