How To Get Cards Graded
Step 1. Submitting Your Order
In the online shop you are able to choose between grading, certification, or authentication! For submissions of more than 150 cards, please use the Bulk Submission Form below to save even more.
Step 2. Packing & Shipping Your Cards
To receive your cards back quickly and safely, we strongly recommend preparing your card in transparent sleeves, then in top-loaders or card savers.
Weigh your mail package and purchase a shipping label for your cards with the delivery service of your choice!
How Do Psa Grade Their Cards
To help you understand why PSA-graded cards are worth so much, lets go over how they grade their cards and their grading system.
They employ a simple grading scale that spans from 1-10:
PR 1 Mint 9GEM-MT 10
Now, the higher grades mean that the cards are in better condition than lower-graded cards. This increases their value massively, and it helps potential buyers know what shape the cards are in, and if theyre worth buying. Also, higher PSA grades almost always dictate higher prices than BGS high grades.
There is a lack of half-grades like with BGS, though. This means that there can be some frustration if you feel your card deserves a 10, but only receives a 9, for example. However, a PSA 9 card is almost always worth more than a BGS 9.5, for instance.
PSA grades their cards based on some strict requirements and qualifiers.
Pokemon Card Grading Scale
There are four key factors that effect the grade of your Pokemon cards:
This refers to how well centered the artwork on the card is. Grading services tend to be stricter with centering on the front of the card, compared to the back. They will also work off certain centering ratios to determine the grade of the card.
This refers to the condition of the corners. Anything like whitening, nicks, or unsymmetrical cutting can affect the grade of a card.
This refers to the condition of the edges of the card. Again, whitening, nicks and edgewear can affect the grade.
This refers to the condition of the surface of the card. Scratches, nicks print lines and even holographic bleed can affect the grade.
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Best Pokemon Card Grading Service
More and more collectors are sending their cards to get graded by different companies. Its important to pick a trustworthy grading service so a potential buyer knows that the card is truly authenticated and graded. Here, well compare some of the top grading services for Pokemon cards. This information will help you when choosing which grading service is better. Each of these services have their pros and cons but which grading service is best for Pokemon cards?
The Key Factors To Get A High Grade On Pokemon Cards
- Corners: This refers to the condition of the corners. Anything like whitening, nicks, or unsymmetrical cutting can affect the grade of a card.
- Centering: How well centered the artwork on the card is. Grading services tend to be stricter with centering on the front of the card, compared to the back. They will also work off certain centering ratios to determine the grade of the card.
- Edges: refers to the condition of the edges of the card. Again, whitening, nicks and edgewear can affect the grade.
- Surface:refers to the condition of the surface of the card. Scratches, nicks print lines and even holographic bleed can affect the grade.
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Grading Your Cards Here Are Your Options
Of the many grading options available, PSA, BGS, and CGC are three of the best and most reputable, but which is better, and what are the differences between the three?
The modern card market is dominated by marvels like online auctions and virtual collections, but the process of getting an item graded is the same as ever.
Youll need to send over the cards you want to be appraised, and wait for a period of time while they certify the authenticity and quality of your items. Especially now, their has been a massive influx in demand as well as complications due to Covid-19. So with all that, many options are 4 to 6 times the typical time requirement.
Services like Beckett, PSA, and CGC grew to be popular as cards became more and more valuable. CGC has a reputation for being used on Comic Books, the first C in CBC, but in recent years has begun making the transition over to playing and collectable cards.
Buying a graded card is a great way to avoid being stung by a counterfeit card, and its increasingly important online where many collectibles are traded sight unseen.
Another important reason for getting cards graded is to avoid potential counterfeits.
Heres an in-depth guide with everything you could possibly want to know about CGC, PSA, and BGS, including pros and cons, which should help you to decide which is better for your collection when grading cards.
Superior Display And Security
A large label allows for detailed card descriptions and excellent readability. If requested, CGC Trading Cards provides Sub-Grades, which give a more nuanced description of a cards condition, and these are easily accommodated on the CGC Trading Cards label. The label also features microprinting, UV ink and holographic foil to prevent against counterfeiting.
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Alternatives For Grading Pokemon Cards In The Uk
As demand for PSA, Beckett and CGC shot up massively this past year, the desire for alternative Pokemon card grading services increased.
People wanted their graded encapsulated quickly, cost-effectively and locally.
Now I want to take this opportunity to say a massive shout-out to their entrepreneurs who took a risk, started their own grading companies and have a strong desire to serve the Pokemon community.
But, the big players have taken years to build their reputation among collectors, so this begs the question
Should you wait for the likes of PSA, Beckett & CGC to reopen and speed up or should you try these new grading companies that have sprouted up?
Heres my take
When to Hold Out For The Bigger Companies to Open
- You have vintage Pokemon cards in near mint or better condition even more so if Holographic, 1st Edition, Error Cards, or rare Promos.
- Previous cards have sold for a considerable amount of money the same card graded by a lesser known company wont be as valuable.
- You have a valuable card and youre not looking for flip it quickly.
When to Try a New Grading Company
Ultimately, it comes down to you as a collector. If you like the idea of simply having your cards graded, protected and scored, then absolutely go for it and try these new companies.
But if you have cards that have high potential value, then Id probably wait.
Current Psa Grading Wait Time
PSA tends to take ages at the best of times. While they recently released the following statement on their website: PSA is experiencing a high volume of submissions, and as a result, submission processing times have been impacted. PSA is currently experiencing extensive delays, from the time of delivery to the time of order processing entry.
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S To Take Before Sending Your Card In
PSA requires you to include two copies of your completed submission form with the card that you are mailing in. Go ahead and print three copies, two to be included in the package and one for your own records.
You may also choose to utilize one of the methods for cleaning your cards without damaging them. Doing so requires immense care, and may not be worth doing if you are concerned that you could damage the card in any way.
Where Should I Get My Cards Graded
Currently, three official card grading companies are trusted by card collectors worldwide. They are Beckett Grading Services , Certified Guaranty Company , and Professional Sports Authenticator . Having your cards graded by any of these companies would give your card a seal of legitimacy that can drive up its resale price.
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Who Is The Best Pokemon Grading Company In The Uk
Ive spent a considerable amount of time and money grading cards with as many of the new UK grading companies as I could.
I wanted to get a feel for:
- Customer Service How good their communication was, and their ability to solve customer problems
- Grading consistency How accurately they kept to their own grading standards
- Grading Transparency Why a card got the Grade it did
- Slab and label design How much thought has gone into the design process
- Turnaround times Did they stick to the times they advertised
- Resale Values Despite being new to the market, do they have the potential to add value to your cards
After much deliberation, my number one recommended UK Pokemon card grading company is
Tree Frog Grading
and these are the reasons
Im sending my cards to Tree Frog Grading, and I think fellow collectors would be happy with the results should they do the same
What Are The Card Grading Services
The three big players out there for you to use: They are PSA and BGS and Certified Guaranty Company .
- CGCis the new kid on the block as far as grading Pokemon cards. But their company has been around for over 20 years. CGC was mostly known as a Comic Book Grading Company, and just started grading cards in the summer of 2020. They use their famous blue label for grading comics and cards. I have used CGCs services for over 10 years for grading comics, and I recently started using them for Pokemon and Magic: the Gathering cards. They have the fastest turnaround times right now, and are also the least expensive to use. They are considered very strict graders by many collectors. They also offer subgrades on their cards. Here is a link if you want to test the waters with CGC. I have been happy with CGC, and find them very reliable. CGCs bulk submissions require a 50 card minimum, and are $9 per card. Their turnaround time is currently 90 working days.
All 3 services are great and trustworthy. You really cant go wrong with any of them. I personally use both CGC and PSA for Pokemon cards. But I would trust all 3 with my cards. PSA grades currently seem to have the highest realized value right now when selling. CGC is the new kid on the block, with the cheapest price and fastest turnaround times. BGS and CGC both offer subgrades on their cards, which is awesome for very valuable cards! You can see examples of subgrades on this page. I wish PSA offered subgrades like CGC and BGS.
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How To Grade The Edges
Edges need to be sharp and have solid color. There shouldnt be any flaking, whitening, dents, dings or un-even color. If there is 1 minor error you should still consider getting the card graded.
When inspecting the edges, use lots of light and consider using a magnifying lamp. A jewelers loupe works great as well. Inspecting the edges with the naked eye is done by seasoned Pokemon collectors because they know what to look for.
The Importance Of Sub
Despite PSAs dominance, theres a reason why theres space in the market for the likes of Beckett and CGC they provide sub-grades where PSA do not.
If you dont know, sub-grades display how the card graded in the four key areas:
This gives the owner much more detail with regard to how mint the card actually is.
A card graded a PSA 10, could actually vary quite drastically if it were graded by Beckett or CGC.
A perfect Beckett card is actually called a Black Label, and CGCs version is called Perfect.
Should a card achieve this status, it value significantly increases. This is particularly the case with Beckett Black Label cards.
Below is a piece from my collection. Note the subgrades! Its not quite Perfect, but CGC still class as it Pristine which is pretty cool!
Now Im well-aware that their graded cards dont sell on the secondary market for the same prices as well-established US companies do.
Reputation and adoption by the masses will take years to achieve. But if they dont properly understand the importance of differentiation and adding value, I would guess that some of these companies will cease to exist in the short-to-medium term.
In my opinion, any UK Pokemon card grading company that doesnt offer sub-grades is missing a trick.
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The Power Of Fast Turnaround Times
Even when PSA, Beckett and CGC are able to offer lower prices again, theyre never going to be able to match the rapid turnaround times that UK grading companies can. Were talking days and weeks, compared to months and even years!
When new Pokemon sets are released, there is a rush and a buzz on marketplaces like eBay.
If you can pull a sought-after chase card, grade it quickly , then the potential to flip it for a solid profit is very real.
If you were to wait for an established US grading company, by the time you got the card back, the set has lost its buzz and your anticipated profit may not be as high as you think. In fact, many people who had the same idea as you, waited to grade it, and now the graded population of the card is so high, its value has been driven right down.
Power and profit goes to the first movers in the market, and UK grading companies give you the ability to do that.
Its a cool model.
Third Party Ticket Providers
PSA will begin authenticating and grading tickets from Ticketmaster, TicketTron, Tickets.com and other select 3rd party ticket providers for sporting events. Special designations may be added to labels to distinguish 3rd party ticket providers. PSA will not be processing any print-at-home tickets.
Due to the printing process and type of paper stock used on some tickets, fading of the ink may occur, which could affect the grade if re-submitted under one of our review or reholder services. As a reminder, tickets are not covered by the PSA Financial Guaranty of Grade & Authenticity, nor is PSA responsible for any type of fading that may occur once a ticket is encapsulated in a PSA holder.
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Pokemon Cards And Gambling
Whilst some Pokemon games have changed due to new gambling rules in 2007, the trading of Pokemon cards does not fall under the definition of gambling. Even if you find the in your latest pack of trading cards, this is not considered a gamble, you are simply adding to your collection. Despite this, the probability is that when buying a pack of cards, the value of single cards when added together will be more than the cost of the pack.
What Else Can We Do
- Certificates of Authenticity Free with every submission!
- Access to an incredible database built by PokeHudd
- Amazing Art Collaborations!
- .And much more to come in the future
Thank you for reading this far, we hope you can see just how passionate we are about this project at our core we are just collectors with a vision that collecting can be about collecting once again
We are not selling a service that promises to make you money by flipping, we believe that grading with us gives your card the purest grade & the cleanest presentation
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank everyone who has put their trust in us, and we truly hope we live up to your expectations
When I was 9 years old, my mum said to me you can remember the names of all 151 Pokémon but you cant remember your times tables? that will never come in handy when you are older Look whos laughing now Mum
Keep Collecting George, Glen & Lauren
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Our Grading Process Is What Makes Us Different
PCG is one of the fastest growing and the most dependable Pokemon card grading company today. Each card ranked, does not just reflect a number, it reflects an authentic valuation which is widely trusted in the industry. Our technological advancements and strong evaluating standards, far out-weigh the competition.
1. Authentication and Passive Grading
In the first step of the grading process, the card being graded, is placed on a 3rd Scanner which uses an AI technology to render the authenticity and pin point imperfections, if any, by comparing it to a perfect version of that specific card.
After the authentication process is completed, the application balances all the collected data to present us with a preliminary percentile. This is the foundation of PCG grading structure, making it the most authentic and reliable grading service in the market today.
2. Expert Grading
Although technology is the root of our service, these high standards are not established by machines alone. Our company is built by experts, and we go back to our experts to be the final judge of it all.
After the card has passed the authentication and passive grading stage, it is then, handed to our group of certified Pokemon card experts. Here it is further examined and re-graded, in all aspects, to make sure it is fairly appraised and quality is assured.
3. Data Collection and Time Capsule