How Do I Get My Trading Cards Graded?

In the world of trading cards, the desire to showcase and preserve their value is paramount. As collectors seek to elevate their collections, one adage rings true: ‘Quality is not an act, it is a habit.’

For those looking to have their trading cards graded, this article serves as a comprehensive guide. From understanding submission types to delving into the intricacies of PSA grading, we provide expert insights, step-by-step instructions, and essential considerations to ensure a successful grading process.

Join us on this journey to elevate your trading card collection and belong among the ranks of esteemed collectors.

Key Takeaways

  • There are different types of submission options for getting trading cards graded, including standard or bulk submission, express submission, economy submission, and premium submission.
  • PSA grading is a widely recognized and respected method of evaluating the condition and authenticity of trading cards, provided by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA).
  • PSA grading involves authentication, assessing centering and alignment, examining surface quality, and inspecting corners and edges to assign a grade to the card.
  • The condition of the card, including corners, edges, centering, surface, and overall appearance, is crucial in determining its value and grade. Thoroughly inspecting the card for imperfections before submitting it for grading is important.

Submission Types


There are multiple submission types available for grading trading cards. When it comes to getting your trading cards graded, it is important to understand the different options available to you.

The most common submission type is the standard or bulk submission. This is ideal for collectors who have a large number of cards that they want to get graded at once.

Another option is the express submission, which offers a quicker turnaround time for grading. This is suitable for collectors who are in a hurry to get their cards graded.

Additionally, there is the economy submission, which is a cost-effective option for collectors who are on a budget.

Finally, there is the premium submission, which provides enhanced services such as autograph authentication and special labeling.

Understanding these submission types will help you choose the option that best suits your needs when getting your trading cards graded.

What Is PSA Grading

PSA grading is a widely recognized and respected method of evaluating the condition and authenticity of trading cards. Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) is a third-party grading and authentication company that has been in operation since 1991. They employ a team of experts who carefully examine each trading card to determine its condition, assigning it a grade on a scale from 1 to 10.

The PSA grading process takes into account factors such as centering, corners, edges, and surface quality, as well as any potential alterations or counterfeits. By encapsulating the card in a tamper-evident holder with a unique certification number, PSA ensures the card’s protection and authenticity.

Understanding what PSA grading is will provide collectors with confidence in the value and legitimacy of their trading cards. Now let’s delve into how PSA grading works.

How PSA Grading Works

How PSA Grading Works

The grading process employed by PSA involves a meticulous examination of various factors to determine the condition and authenticity of trading cards. Here is how PSA grading works:

  1. Authentication: PSA experts carefully inspect the card to confirm its legitimacy and detect any signs of tampering or alteration.
  2. Centering: The card’s centering and alignment are assessed to ensure it meets industry standards.
  3. Surface quality: PSA examines the card’s surface for any imperfections such as scratches, stains, or printing defects.
  4. Corners and edges: The corners and edges of the card are inspected for wear, dings, or any signs of damage.

By evaluating these aspects, PSA assigns a grade to the card, indicating its overall condition and value.

Now, let’s move on to the massively important details to consider before having your sports cards graded.

4 Massively Important Details to Consider Before Having Your Sports Cards Graded

One crucial detail to consider before having your sports cards graded is the card’s condition, as even minor flaws can significantly impact its value and grade. When it comes to grading, every aspect of the card’s condition is evaluated, including the corners, edges, centering, surface, and overall appearance.

Any signs of wear, such as creases, scratches, or dings, can lower the card’s grade and subsequently its worth. Additionally, the presence of stains, discoloration, or fading can further diminish its value. It is essential to thoroughly inspect your card for any imperfections before submitting it for grading to ensure you are aware of its true condition.

Taking the time to carefully assess your card’s condition will help you make informed decisions and maximize its potential value in the grading process, ultimately enhancing your overall trading card experience.


To ensure a smooth and efficient grading process, collectors should follow a series of steps to get their trading cards graded. Here are four essential steps to consider:

  1. Research grading companies: Start by researching reputable grading companies that have a proven track record in the industry. Look for companies that offer reliable services and have a good reputation among collectors.
  2. Prepare your cards: Before submitting your cards for grading, ensure they are in the best condition possible. Remove any dirt or fingerprints and store them in protective sleeves or holders to prevent further damage during the grading process.
  3. Choose the grading service level: Different grading companies offer various service levels with varying turnaround times and prices. Consider your budget and timeline when selecting the grading service level that suits your needs.
  4. Submit your cards: Once you have chosen the grading company and service level, follow their submission guidelines to send your cards for grading. Make sure to include all necessary paperwork and payment information.

Expert Q&A

Expert Q&A

During the expert Q&A session, collectors can gain valuable insights and advice from industry professionals regarding the grading process for Trading Cards Graded in Person. This interactive session allows collectors to ask questions and receive expert guidance on topics such as card authentication, grading criteria, and the overall value of their collections.

Here is a helpful table summarizing some common questions asked during expert Q&A sessions:

Question Answer
How do I determine if my trading card is authentic? Look for specific markings, holograms, or serial numbers that indicate authenticity. Consult with a reputable grading service for confirmation.
What are the criteria for grading trading cards? Grading criteria include centering, corners, edges, and surface condition. Cards are graded on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest grade.
How does card grading affect the value of my collection? Higher graded cards are generally more valuable due to their rarity and condition. Grading provides a standardized assessment that collectors and buyers can rely on for determining value.


With these helpful tips, collectors can navigate the trading card grading process more effectively and maximize the value of their collections. Here are four key tips to consider:

  1. Research grading companies: Before submitting your trading cards, take the time to research different grading companies. Look for reputable companies with a track record of accurate and consistent grading.
  2. Understand grading criteria: Familiarize yourself with the grading criteria used by the company you choose. This will help you assess the condition of your cards and determine their potential grade.
  3. Protect your cards during shipping: When sending your cards for grading, ensure they are properly protected. Use top loaders, sleeves, and secure packaging to minimize the risk of any damage during transit.
  4. Document your cards: Take detailed photos or videos of your cards before sending them for grading. This serves as evidence of the card’s condition and can protect you in case of any disputes.

By following these tips, collectors can enhance their trading card grading experience and increase the value of their collections. To learn more about the trading card grading process, please refer to the next section on ‘references’.


While conducting research on trading card grading companies, it is important to gather references from reliable sources to ensure accurate and trustworthy information. References serve as a valuable tool in evaluating the credibility and reputation of grading companies.

One reliable source of references is fellow collectors or enthusiasts who have used the services of grading companies. They can provide firsthand experiences and insights into the quality of service, turnaround time, and overall satisfaction.

Online forums and communities dedicated to trading card collecting can also be excellent sources of references, as members often share their experiences and recommendations.

Additionally, professional organizations and industry publications can provide references to reputable grading companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Get Trading Cards Graded by Psa?

The time it takes to get trading cards graded by PSA can vary depending on factors such as the current volume of submissions and the grading service level chosen. It is best to check with PSA directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Are There Any Specific Requirements for Submitting Trading Cards for Grading?

When submitting trading cards for grading, it is important to adhere to specific requirements. These may include factors such as card condition, authentication, and packaging guidelines. Following these requirements ensures a smooth and accurate grading process.

Can I Submit Trading Cards That Have Been Altered or Restored for Grading?

Yes, it is possible to submit trading cards that have been altered or restored for grading. However, the condition of the card and the extent of the alterations will play a significant role in determining its final grade.

Is PSA Grading Only Available for Sports Trading Cards?

PSA grading is not limited to sports trading cards. They also grade non-sports cards, such as Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering. Their expertise extends to a wide range of collectible trading cards.

What Is the Cost of Grading Trading Cards With Psa?

The cost of grading trading cards with PSA varies depending on several factors such as the type of card, its value, and the desired turnaround time. It is best to visit PSA’s website or contact them directly for specific pricing information.


In conclusion, getting your trading cards graded can be a valuable process for collectors and investors.

By understanding the different submission types and how PSA grading works, you can make informed decisions about which cards to have graded and the potential value they may hold.

Remember to consider important details, follow the necessary steps, and seek expert advice when needed.

With careful planning and attention to detail, you can enhance the value and preservation of your trading card collection.

So, ‘seal the deal’ and get your cards graded today!

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