Prepare To Be Disappointed With Your Grades
It is really difficult to get cards graded 9s or 10s. Especially on older cards. Cards need to be centered perfectly. The have to be cut perfectly. They cant have dings to the corners, or white edges, or surface scratches. There can be no roughness on the face or edges. Look closely at the holofoil artwork for Any Scratches. Turn the card over, and look for any whiteness around the blue edges.
Many older cards you might think are perfect seem to come back as 7s or 8s. 10s basically have to be protected from the get-go taken directly from a booster pack and highly protected immediately. Most people werent doing that 20 years ago. Ive sent in about 30 cards myself and maybe got two to three cards rated 10. And these were all cards that went right from boosters to binders .
You should understand that 7s and 8s and 9s are still really good scores though! Those are Near Mint or better! Whether its comic books, coins or Pokemon Cards the higher the score, the better the selling price.
For reference here are actual average sales prices on 1st Edition Base Set Charizards on eBay March 2021
PSA 10 $311,800 Mar 2021BGS 9 $64,000 Feb 2021PSA 8 $25,000 Mar 2021PSA 7 $15,000 Mar 2021BGS 6 $14,500 Feb 2021PSA 5 $9,000 Mar 2021PSA 2 $4,000 Mar2021
How Much Does It Really Cost To Have A Pokmon Card Graded
Youll see prices ranging from $9 to $500 to get a single Pokémon Card Graded. Prices do go down if you send cards in bulk though. And if you plan to get a lot of cards graded there are reduced rates and/or monthly specials for members. On average plan on about $15-30/card once you pay for shipping both ways
Theres also another catch you should be aware of. You have to declare the value of the cards for insurance and authentication. The bulk rate just applies to less valuable Pokemon cards. If you have a 1st Edition Charizard that you think is worth $25,000, the grading on that one card will cost you more. Thats because the grading companies need to get more insurance for your card in case something happens to it under their care. This is usually well documented at each grading companys site.
How To Grade Pokemon Cards With Psa If You Live In The Uk
As PSA is based in the US, international shipping can be an expensive and uncertain path for UK-based collectors.
Unfortunately, a very well trusted service here in the UK called Graded Gem, has ceased their relationship with PSA.
However there is another trusted company called Ludkins Collectables that Im looking forward to using when PSA reopen for bulk submissions.
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Variables That Can Affect A Cards Value
1. The Grading Company
PSA is the king of Pokémon card grading with BGS a close 2nd. Both companies command top $ for their graded cards and have proven that grades do matter in the Pokémon realm, with a BGS 9.5 1st Edition Charizard selling for nearly $73,000.00 in July.
2. Supply of the card
Pokémon cards have low populations compared to sports cards. The number of graded cards can be the biggest indicator of value, but some cards, such as Pikachu or Charizard, have insane demand regardless of populations. Supply is outmatched by current demand, and after two decades since these cards were produced, that wont change. Check the PSA 1999 Pokémon Game Population report to get more info on how limited the Base set cards are.
3. Buying Raw vs. Graded
Thanks to modern technology, getting clear photos of cards is easier than ever. That said, until you hold a card, you dont know how clean it really is. Graded cards are the safest indicator that youre getting what you want. When buying graded cards, think of the price paid for the grading and that there is no wait time besides shipping. There is much less risk buying graded cards, but raw can be the best bet to make profits faster. You never know what you can find in a binder someone is selling, but be careful and do your best to inspect those cards.
4. Surface, corners, edges, creases & centering
5. Your negotiation tactics
6. Nostalgic elements
No 5 1999 Pokmon Super Secret Battle No 1 Trainer Card Psa 10
The card was designed by Hideki Kazam displaying the outline of Mewtwo on the left filled in with a holographic shine. On the right is a Pokéball with the words Pocket Monsters Trading Card Game surrounding it and Super Secret Battle printed below. The card reads The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournaments champion is recognized here, and this honor is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Secret Super Battle. According to Heritage Auctions there were seven regional tournaments in which the winners received this card along with the location to compete in a secret tournament. Hence the name: Super Secret Battle. There are only seven examples graded through PSA with six of the cards in PSA Gem-Mint 10 condition. Only a select few players ever earned this card which helped it reach its $90,000 APR.
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Why Go For Psa
Without a doubt, PSA is the biggest name when it comes to grading and authentication services. Collectors have flocked to this company to have their respective cards graded. One good reason for this trend is because a PSA-graded card, more often than not, sells higher than its BGS counterpart.
Lets take a look at one of the hottest cards in the marketDallas Mavericks star Luka Doncics 2018 Prizm base rookie card. A PSA 10 of this card was last sold on eBay for $1,350. Meanwhile, a BGS 9.5, which is widely considered as its direct competitor, only goes for $900 recently. Thats a $450-difference PSA fans enjoy over those who opted for BGS. Its also a trend thats prevalent in other sports card markets.
BGS vs PSA? The numbers dont lie.
Of course, getting a pristine 10 is the best-case scenario when choosing BGS. A Doncic Prizm rookie card with that kind of grade was recently sold on eBay for $8,950. The thing is, its pretty hard to get that grade from BGS while its a little easier with PSA. The same goes for buying a graded 10 card as well, with PSA coming out on top of BGS.
Why Grade Your Pokemon Cards
There are a few reasons as to why grading your cards would be beneficial, but those reasons tend to fall under two plans for what you will do with the cards once they are graded. This section is broken up into those two sections and I will cover the question above in detail throughout them.
There are also further decisions you need to make in the grading process and those are dependent on which of these two avenues you are going down. I am sure you will see what I mean.
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The Future Of Pokmon Cards
Given this is vintage, the original high graded cards, sealed boxes and packs are scarce. The probability for further profits is strong. Due to demand, desire and drive, the Pokémon Game appears to be safe. Over $10 Billion in card sales since 1996 is staggering.
Long term investing has paid off in a short term for collectors in 2020. So far, the only people losing are the ones who sell too soon. Its a winning proposition due to Pokémon culture being bigger than any competing market. They flat out win. Television, video games, cards, it’s still going strong. The children collecting today know all about the original cards and they covet them. Can you name the top 10 sports cards to own pre-1980? The children collecting today can name the top Pokémon Cards from 1999.
During this recession, prices have only gone up. That was bound to happen regardless, but the speed at which prices have soared is impressive. The only concern moving forward is liquidity drying up, but that would impact the entire card market and more.
The first generation of collectors is dropping record money on these cards because all the indicators show Pokémon is still wildly undervalued. The new investors who research and make rational decisions should see major profits moving forward. If you are selling, make sure you pay close attention to detail.
Inside The Hateful Pokmon Card Grading Scene
When Peter Graham noticed that people were going nuts for Pokémon cards again that grown men were sweeping packs into their shopping trolleys and pulling out guns to fend off Weedle-crazed muggers that Logan Paul had paid $150,000 for a single Charizard card, the one he wore around his neck before fighting Floyd Mayweather he thought of his childhood.
Graham, who is 30 and speaks with the controlled affability of a salesman, remembered how he used to zip through the playground, clutching an elastic band full of cards. And like the more worldly kids back then the ones who ended every school day with the best trades he saw this new craze as a business opportunity. And so he entered a new world. A world where he spends twelve happy hours a day examining and talking about Pokémon cards. And a world where his days are sometimes filled with furious, virulent abuse.
A Pokémon cards condition is determined by its grading this is the process by which a card is certified as real, rated on a scale of one to ten, and sealed in a transparent box known as a slab, protected for all eternity against sticky fingers and the elements. Grading is a billion-dollar industry dominated by three American players PSA, Beckett and CGC and a good rating from one of these big firms can send a cards value soaring.
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What Grades Can A Card Get
So you are sending off your card to PSA or another company that works with them to get your cards graded, but what do the scores mean?
PSA operate a ten point grading scale, when a card is sent in to them for evaluation theyll check the cards colouring, corners, edges, centring, authenticity and everything else about it and after that theyll give it a score between 1 and 10, 10 being the best quality card, 1 being the worst quality card. Lets take a look at what those scores mean specifically:-
There are some circumstances that will result in a card not receiving any grade on the above scale, these could be anything from obvious signs of doctoring, trimming or just general non-authenticity.
Ultimately if you are getting cards graded, you will want to be confident of getting good grades, whilst there are greater experts on the subject than myself, personally if I am paying to have a card graded and having it sent off to the states etc, I want to know that its going to grade reasonably well.
Psa Graded Pokemon Cards
Lets take a look at some examples of PSA Graded Pokemon Cards that were stocking right now, and talk you through what all the information means and how a PSA graded card looks when you get it back.
Lets take a look at the cards information online using the barcode number on the front . Our Buzzwole GX 104/111 got a grade of Gem Mint PSA 10, the best a card can get. But anyone could write that on a case and make it look like that right? Fortunately there is a way to verify absolute PSA authenticity and grades, so Im heading over to and Im putting in 41498839 which is that cards unique identifier with PSA. Heres the info it produces:-
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Take Hd Photos Of Your Cards
For your safety, make sure you take a high-definition photo of your cards and keep it as a reference once your cards are graded and returned. This would be your insurance policy if something goes wrong during the card grading process.
Now that you know more about card grading, would you have your beloved Pokemon cards graded and sold, or would you rather keep them in the album where you kept them for the longest time?
An Introduction To Pokemon Tcg Psa Grading
I hope that everyone kicked off the New Year in a great way! Welcome back to my collecting article series here at ChannelFireball where I cover all things collecting in the Pokemon Trading Card game. My latest article was a holiday special, where I covered the greatest winter themed Pokemon cards, check it out if you havent! Before that, however, I covered some important topics including CGC card grading and more. In that article, I mentioned that similarly structured articles on PSA and BGS grading were on that way. This article is a deep dive into the world of PSA card grading. Whether you have heard of it before or not, sell cards or collect them, I am sure this article will have something for you! I have a lot to talk about, so lets get started with a look at the company itself. For more reading check out the rest of my line!
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How To Submit Your Card To Psa
Your first step is to visit PSAcard.com. In the upper righthand corner of the site, youll see a green circular button that reads Submit .
Once you click the button, youll be brought to a Sign-In screen. If you dont already have a PSA account, youll need to create one.
Following your sign in, youll fill out the following information:
- The type of item you are submitting
- The service you are requesting
- The Declared Value of the card you are submitting
- A description of each card that you are submitting
- Your shipping and billing information
And with this, youre ready to submit your card to PSA for an official grade, or whichever service you are seeking.
How To Get Cards Graded By Psa In 2021
PSA, shorthand for Professional Sports Authenticator, is a premier brand in sports card grading. Despite the controversy over rising prices, it offers a wide array of valuable services including:
- Single card grading
- Price appraisals
For our purposes, were delving into how PSA conducts its card grading process. The more familiar you are with this process and its benefits, the better equipped youll be to submit your own cards and packs to PSA for grades and appraisals.
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How Will My Cards Be Graded
Each of these card grading companies has its own grading scores and sub-grades or qualifiers. And although their ratings are almost the same, each one would still hold different values in the marketplace. Meaning, a GEM-MT 10 Charizard graded by PSA would sell higher than a Pristine 10 Charizard from CGC. This is because PSA is the more trusted and reputable grading company between the two.
You can check out the different grading scales and sub-grades on these links:
In a nutshell, your Pokemon cards will be graded on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being the lowest card grade you can receive.
Grade 1 cards are those that are damaged and have been worn out through time, whether by extensive playing or improper storage. Usually, these cards dont have any value, unless theyre extremely rare. However, even if thats the case, dont expect to get good returns from it.
Grade 10 cards on the other hand are those in mint condition. This means that there are no creases and discoloration, plus its print and cutting are impeccable.
Getting a Grade 10 card is close to impossible because youll not only have to preserve the quality of the card for a long time but also have a card with perfect printing and cutting. This means that even if you took good care of your cards if the manufacturers made a mistake in printing or cutting, you still wont get a Grade 10 rating.
Pokemon Card Grading Companies
There are three established Pokemon card grading services that are widely accepted among collectors.
Note: All of these companies are based in the US.
PSA have been working over the past few months to tackle their huge backlog of cards to be graded. As of July 2021 they were able to open up their most expensive service for Express Grading. This costs $200 per card, and clearly, is only worth it for cards of considerable value. PSA has stated their commitment to reopening all services, but of course this is likely to take some time. You can read their latest update here: here. You can also view their earlier update here: .
As of June 7th 2021, Beckett also suspended their grading services to tackle their growing backlog.
CGC also have significant wait times. Read more here.
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