So to a new collector, what should a person know about AFA grading? How much does having something graded actually jack up the price ... i know its relative to the grade but still. Also, the main question i have is this:

What is the criteria they have for grading an item ... obviously its card, bubble/window and figure but what takes away value, what adds value? Price tags ... do they take away value? Punched vs Unpunched .. does that add value? Is the card the most important thing judged? How come sometimes i see a card rated AFA Y70 card 70/bubble 80/ figure 85. Why isnt all the numbers avg'd togeather. Can someone please explain this whole grading thing to me. I have aqquired several really good condition cards that i am considering for grading but from what i'm reading ... could getting a grade like a AFA65 hurt the value of a card as opposed to just not grading it or does it always increase value?

I guess i have tons of questions and not quite sure who to word them all, so if anyone can shed some light on this, i would be greatly appreciate it, thanks again fellow .org'ers