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how to grade pokemon cards

how to grade pokemon cards

Send your cards to these companies to know their status and prices

So you have some Pokémon cards that are in great condition, but how do you know how much they’re really worth? Getting your cards professionally graded is the best way to preserve their quality when you want to sell them online or keep them safe in your collection. There are many grading companies available, and we’ll help walk you through the best options. Keep reading to learn what to expect throughout the process of grading your Pokémon card.

[Edit]things you should know

  • For the most reliable grading services, send your cards to Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Beckett Collectibles or CGC Cards.
  • Order grading services typically cost $25–50 USD per card, but they can vary depending on the value of the card.
  • Give the grading service about 2-3 weeks to grade your Pokémon cards and send them back.


[Edit]card grading companies

  1. Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) {endbold} PSA is considered the standard for grading Pokémon cards, so it is the most commonly used service. PSA is graded on a scale of 1–10, where 1 is the worst and 10 is the perfect situation. PSA will inspect your card for any marks, misprints, defects or damages.[1]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 1.jpg
    • How much does it cost?: PSA grading starts at around $25 USD per card for cards under $499 USD. If you want a quicker turnaround time or have a higher-value card, it can cost up to $75 USD or more per card. You will be charged after PSA has processed your Pokémon Card.
    • If you want to grade 20 or more Pokémon cards at the same time, choose the Bulk Grading option, which is $15 USD per card.
  2. Beckett Collectibles {endbold} Beckett has been named one of the best grading services by collectors, so it is extremely prestigious. Beckett uses a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best possible situation. Beckett also provides “subgrades” for corners, centered images, surface quality, and edge quality.[2]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 2.jpg
    • How much does it cost?: Expect to pay around $18–22 USD per card. If you don’t want to subgrade, the cost is about $2–4 USD less per card. If you want faster turnaround times, there are more expensive tiers available. You must pay for your card before you can get the grade.[3]
  3. CGC Cards {endBold} CGC Cards provides professional certification and grading for Pokémon cards. When you send your cards in to be evaluated, they’ll grade them on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest quality. For an additional fee, the CGC also offers sub-grades to check corners, centering designs, edges, and surface quality.[4]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 3.jpg
    • How much does it cost?: CGC charges approximately $25–35 USD per card for most cards. If you have cards worth more than $1,000 USD, it can cost $70 USD or more per card. You don’t need to pay until your cards go through the grading process.[5]
  4. ACE Grading{endbold} ACE Grading is a new grading service based in the United Kingdom. While they aren’t as prestigious or vetted as other services, ACE offers custom grading labels that match the colors and design on your Pokémon cards to make them more visible in your collection. ACE rates your cards on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being mint condition.[6]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 4.jpg
    • How much does it cost?: Ace charges around £10–30 ($12–36 USD) per card depending on how quickly you want your cards back and if you want a custom label. You will not pay until the grading services are finished.[7]

[Edit]card grading process

  1. You sort out damaged, valuable cards to be graded. Before you send any cards, sift through your collection and find the cards that deserve to be graded. Set aside any generic cards or duplicates you have. Eliminate any cards that are already damaged or have typographical errors, as they will get a lower grade.[8]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 5.jpg
  2. You send your cards to a grading service. Start an online submission with the grading service you’re using, and list all the cards you’re sending. Pack your cards in semi-rigid sleeves, stack them, and secure them between 2 pieces of cardboard so your cards don’t deform. t be damaged. Before sending your cards, place your cards in a box with a packing label and some bubble wrap.[9]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 6.jpg
    • Ask your local hobby shops if they will send Pokémon cards to you for grading services.
  3. The service checks whether your cards are authentic or not. When the grading service receives your cards, they will carefully inspect your cards to ensure authenticity. If they suspect that the card is fake or tampered with, then those cards will not be graded.[10]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 7.jpg
  4. The service inspects and assigns a grade to each card. The service will carefully inspect the condition of the card to determine grade and value. They can see if the print is centered, if the corners are unbalanced, if the edges are damaged, and if the image has any visible imperfections. After inspection, they’ll grade your card on a scale of 1-10.[11]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 8.jpg
  5. The service encapsulates and labels your card. To preserve the quality of your cards, services seal them in small plastic cases and label the top. Label numbers describe the set and name of the Pokémon card, along with the grade. All your grading information is right on the label so it’s easy to see at a glance.[12]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 9.jpg

[Edit]How long does it take to grade a Pokémon card?

  1. It usually takes 2-3 weeks, but it depends on the service. Check the turnaround time listed with the service you are using for an accurate time estimate. While most services can receive your card back in 20-30 days, it can take up to 2 months to send your card back from the grading company.
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 10.jpg
    • Many services offer return services within a week at an additional cost. Most reputable grading services require quick turnaround times for cards valued over $2,500.

[Edit]Why Should You Grade Pokémon Cards?

  1. You learn how much your cards are worth to collectors. It’s hard to sell to collectors if you don’t have graded cards because people are worried about being scammed. Once you figure out the grade of your card, it’s easy to check how many cards sold online. That way, you can sell your cards for the same price and the buyer knows they’re legit.[13]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 11.jpg
    • While you can professionally grade any card, save it for cards that are high-value. Check whether your cards are first-edition or if they have holographic images to determine whether they are valuable.
  2. Your cards stay in good shape. After a service has professionally graded your card, they encapsulate it in a clear case to preserve the quality and protect it from any further damage. Because your card’s value is based on its condition, grading your cards ensures that they’ll be safe in your collection or when you’re selling them.[14]
    Get a Pokemon Card Graded Step 12.jpg
    • If you want to protect cards on a budget, load them into top-loading sleeves.


  • Ask the staff at local trading card and hobby shops for recommendations on where they carry cards. They can refer you to a reputable service in your area.
  • Check with hobby or card-collecting conventions to see if they have any in-person grading services where you can take your cards.[15]


  1. https://youtu.be/38jX8p8adNY?t=149
  2. https://www.beckett.com/grading
  3. https://www.beckett.com/grading/bgs_submission_form
  4. https://www.cgccards.com/card-grading/grading-process/
  5. https://www.cgccards.com/submit/services-fees/cgc/
  6. https://acegrading.com/grading-scale
  7. https://acegrading.com/pricing
  8. https://youtu.be/INHKph9yn00?t=164
  9. https://resources.psacard.com/PSA-How-To-Submit.pdf?v=2021d
  10. https://www.cgccards.com/card-grading/grading-process/
  11. https://www.cgccards.com/card-grading/grading-process/
  12. https://www.psacard.com/services/tradingcardgrading/grading
  13. https://youtu.be/ij22BehudyY?t=78
  14. https://youtu.be/-73ZfMQcbvM?t=47
  15. https://resources.psacard.com/PSA-How-To-Submit.pdf?v=2021d


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