Collecting is a major aspect to the Pokémon Trading Card Game alongside battling, and getting cards graded is an important process for collectors. In getting cards graded, their value and security are preserved, which helps collections or resale value. The grading process can be very strict and rigorous, however, and cards that do not get high marks are essentially worthless. This makes grading cards high-risk high reward, as cards that get 9s or 10s have great value.
While every company has slight differences, for the most part the same grading rules are followed. Card condition is a key factor, avoiding scratches, bends and color fading is the first step to every card. Other factors are usually outside the control of the collector, like the focus and positioning of the card. Even a card that had minor misprints can bring a Pokémon TCG card grade from 10 to 9.
The three best companies to use when getting Pokémon cards graded are PSA, Beckett, and CGC. These are all trusted grading companies that have decades of experience. The hierarchy of them vary from person to person, but PSA is usually the standard. However, a Beckett Gem Mint 10 usually has a higher ceiling then a PSA 10. CGC may not be as common as the other two, but still holds great credibility in the collector scene. In general, all three services are great choices that come down to collector preference and price.
All three companies offer bulk grading, or the ability to just send in a handful of cards. For PSA, grading options per card include $25, $40, $75, $150, $300, and $600. The higher the price, the faster the Pokémon TCG graded cards will return, but the value of the cards also have to be higher. Beckett grading prices per card are $22, $40, $140, $400, and $500. CGC has the cheapest and quickest grading, starting at $15, and moving up to $25, $35, $70, and $150. Becket and CGC follow similar rules to PSA in that higher prices will return quicker but require high value cards.
The choice to grade Pokémon cards is a big decision, as getting the right card, and then sending it in, can often be expensive. However, a card with a good grade can turn a great profit, whether a collector looks to sell it immediately or in the future, when the cards value may rise even more. Though the process can take a while, and may be expensive, the companies above are the most solid choices for collectors looking to get Pokémon Trading Card Game grades.
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