Originally Posted by bucksfan2
Check Ebay. In all reality I think that is where you will find the actual price for baseball cards. It doesn't really matter what Beckett or a card shop says, it matters what Joe Schmoe is willing to pay for it.
Since I asked this question in July, I stumbled across a great site for anyone interested in buying graded cards. It's called VintageCardsPrices.com.
It lists every card that has recently been sold on eBay and the average price paid. For example, I'm in the process of upgrading my first set collected, the 1978 topps set (see my avatar to the left). I am completing the entire set in PSA graded 9 and above (at this point my set ranks 25th on the PSA set registry). If I go to Vintage card prices.com, I follow the links to the 1978 set and there it has all 726 cards in the set listed. Off to the side, it will have an icon for every particular graded card in that set that has a current eBay auction. You can either click on the auction and it takes you straight to eBay so you can bid or you can click on the card and it will show the last 20 or so auctions for each category (PSA 8, PSA 9, PSA 10, BGS 9.0, BGS 9.5, etc.) with an average auction price for the last 5 auctions. It has really helped me to gauge what my top bid should be. Using that guide, I recently bought a 1978 Pete Rose (PSA 9) for $10. It is booked for for $25 and I think I may have been one of the lowest winners for that card in sometime.
I agree eBay pretty much should be used as a price guide over any Beckett or even PSA's SMR (Sports Market Report), but it would be impossible to follow every auction without a tool like VCP. I would highly recommend it to anyone that buys graded cards. I think it costs $10 per month, so it would only be useful if you figure you can save $10 a month using it. One card (like my Pete Rose) may save you the $10.