Coin Shops want to grade and sell graded coins because they can sell them for more. Plus they make the perception that graded coins are worth more .. well, they put more money into them thus raise the price. Profit could technically be much more than just the raw coin alone, well worth the risk of the grading costs. TPGs want you to grade your coins because .. well, that's how they make their money !! Now buying authenticating to the well experienced collector may add no value (see Kurt above). But to the newbie looking at eBay and 5 examples of a 1970 S Doubled Die; one slabbed and four raw. They look at them and don't really know how to identify a REAL DD. So they see one for $1.50, $19.95, $500, $250 and one slabbed PCGS MS66 DD for $279. See CT for examples of newbies posting 1970 S DD examples that are just regular cents. Which one do you buy? Which one are you sure is a real DD ? But the backend question is ... are you buying this coin to (a) collect or (b) to hopefully flip some time and make a PROFIT. If it's (a) then all is good. Buy the slabbed one. If it's (b) then don't buy ANYTHING ( as a newbie). If you buy something for (a) and sell it later you should know that you may not get your money back. I'd like to say go to a LCS/Coin Show with Cash Only and try to haggle. But if a newbie one doesn't know the actually good price for a particular coin. So we get back to the reason for (a) .. to collect for the enjoyment of it, or does one think of it as an "investment" Total sale price is irrelevant although one can lose 10% from eBay (that apparently also includes 10% against shipping charge), plus they charge you to use their reduced shipping form. Plus 4% for Paypal. If you are in a hurry to get the money it will cost you another 1%+. When thinking of profit, then one has a different mindset, and one MUST know all their costs along the way. An LCS has a store, lights, people, property taxes, sales taxes and other overhead taxes and costs. A home based coin company has primarily website, and other overhead costs. You have to learn to sell to the end collector. Not anyone that is going to resell it, as they will offer you a price and not pay top dollar because the more they pay, the less profit they make. Prices are all over the place. The quicker you want a return on your "purchase" the less money you'll make. Then there are places like Etsy where some ppl are totally clueless. Places where dealers are who will pay less, way less than you want. Pawn shops, etc. You have to search out the venues in which you can maximize your potential profit .. a never ending search. I don't get my coins slabbed unless for authentication or to make sure I buy something that I'm unsure of if highly faked. Why ? I know when it's time to sell I'll probably not get the premium back unless it's a more rare. For instance a few of my slabbed that I went out of my way to buy an authenticated one: 1955 DD Cent umm .. I think that's it. I have other slabbed that I've bought at what I considered good prices but I wouldn't have otherwise bought slabbed. But on my radar are also early US coinage which if slabbed would be fine. To your other questions and statements: "more experienced collectors of American fiduciary instruments" - I was unaware coin resellers had to abide by fiduciary rules. If they don't, then there 'ya go as that is not part of the equation. also .. "you must grade to sell" - Did you buy it raw? That would disprove that as someone sold it to you ungraded. Any coins damaged, cleaned, etc etc will not be sent in for grading. "grade you coins as a hedge against inflation" - that's a new one. What about deflation, or just a plain economic collapse ? "have your coins graded to be sure they aren't counterfeit" - you need to either buy already authenticated so you know you haven't BOUGHT a counterfeit coin. Or you learn, and learn, and learn the identifiers of that particular coin if they are counterfeited. If you are authenticating after potentially buying a fake then you've already lost $$$. Learn and study .. don't make yourself a self-imposed Enron.