Any PSA luck with ungraded cards you bought off ebay?

There’s a card I’m looking at that looks to be fantastic condition but I’ve never bought one hoping to get it graded. I was hoping someone with experience could weigh in.

I’m not sure if it’s better to go with a graded 9 for twice the price, or roll the dice on an ungraded.

gambling by buying raw cards these days has less room for error. you can buy 2 cards and try get a 9 but no guarantee. On the otherhand you can outright buy a 9 …guaranteed for the same price as 2 without

Depends on the price of the card and the pictures. Can’t tell EVERYTHING from the pictures, but I am sure like myself, thousands of people have had tremendous luck buying raw and grading. Remember there are shipping costs, time and fees with grading.

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Is it 0% chance of getting a 10?

I was just giving an example in your case, but i guess a 9 is easier to achieve than a 10. It depends on the pictures and your judgement whether buying 2 cards and hoping for a 10/9 is worth it over outright purchasing a 9.

Sometimes(well probably most of the time imo depending on the seller) pictures dont show the real condition of a card so if you think your judgement is good enough to assume the rough grade…go for it.
The face it is only double the price leaves little room for error when guessing, that is all i am saying. If it was buy 5+ for the price then grade yourself but 2 doesnt give much wiggle.Atleast you arent hoping for a 10 :stuck_out_tongue: it is down to you. I just thought id share my opinion…I have heard plenty of people grading raw cards chasing specific grades. Sometimes it is best to just outright buy what you want…albeit not as fun and exciting.
Does that make sense? :stuck_out_tongue:

Most sellers just provide pictures of the standard front and back, so you cant always judge how clean the holofoil front is. Usually just message the seller to see if there are any scratches on the holofoil, and make you decision on purchasing based on that. For example I recently bought a neo genesis slowking that had good centering and back, asked the seller on how scratched the holo was and he replied along the lines of “I have looked carefully and see no scratches, I pulled these in a pack and put into a sleeve immediately”.

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Agreed really tough to tell the holo, that’s the biggest wild card. If you can get seller to take pics of holo at lots of angles, will provide a lot better blueprint for grade.

It can be worrisome when they say “I see no scratches” compared to saying “there are no scratches”.

I would go with the graded 9. I have had bad luck with “mint” singles on eBay. Always have holo scratches with my experience. If you wanna roll the dice though, go for it! You never know!

It also depends on who the seller is. Experienced tcg sellers are normally more accurate on their condition estimates. Even for them though you may want to deduct 1 or 2 grades.

I’ve always done very well with eBay purchases that were graded.

It’s simple, stay away from potato quality photos. Make sure there’s always a back photo. Look for key terms like “Always in a sleeve”. Stay away from descriptions that are vague, with the seller obviously trying to tip toe around the condition.

and then it’s easy :blush:

Gotta risk it for the biscuit

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these were highlights from my first submission back in may, all except the tyranitar were raw cards purchased on ebay

28942686 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Game 38 Poliwhirl 1st Edition Card
28942691 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Game 58 Pikachu Red Cheeks-Shadowless Card
28942692 MINT 9 1999 Pokemon Game 2 Blastoise-Holo “Stage” Error Card
28942699 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Game 10 Mewtwo-Holo Card
28942700 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Game 12 Ninetales-Holo Card
28942701 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Game 12 Ninetales-Holo Card
28942702 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Game 13 Poliwrath-Holo Card
28942704 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Game 15 Venusaur-Holo Card
28942706 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Jungle 3 Flareon-Holo Card
28942708 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Fossil 12 Moltres-Holo 1st Edition Card
28942709 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Fossil 4 Dragonite-Holo 1st Edition Card
28942716 GEM MINT 10 1999 Pokemon Game Promo 58 Pikachu Australia Poketour Card
28942717 GEM MINT 10 2000 Pokemon Japanese Promo 10 Meowth Pokemon Stamp Rally Card
28942718 GEM MINT 10 2002 Pokemon Neo Destiny 107 Shining Charizard Card
28942719 GEM MINT 10 2001 Pokemon Neo Revelation 1st Edition 65 Shining Gyarados-Holo Card
28942720 GEM MINT 10 2002 Pokemon Neo Destiny 106 Shining Celebi 1st Edition Card
28942721 GEM MINT 10 2002 Pokemon Neo Destiny 110 Shining Noctowl 1st Edition Card
28942722 GEM MINT 10 2002 Pokemon Neo Destiny 111 Shining Raichu 1st Edition Card
28942723 GEM MINT 10 2002 Pokemon Neo Destiny 113 Shining Tyranitar 1st Edition Card
28942724 GEM MINT 10 2003 Pokemon Skyridge 145 Celebi-Reverse Foil Card
28942725 MINT 9 2003 Pokemon Skyridge 145 Celebi-Holo Card
28942726 GEM MINT 10 2003 Pokemon Skyridge 149 HO-Oh-Holo Card
28942727 GEM MINT 10 2004 Pokemon EX Fire Red Leaf Green 105 Charizard EX-Holo Card
28942728 MINT 9 2005 Pokemon EX Deoxys 105 Latias-Holo Gold Star Card
28942729 MINT 9 2006 Pokemon EX Legend Maker 91 Regirock-Holo Gold Star


If you’re paying around PSA 8 money, it’s a calculated risk. You have a small chance there’s a problem and it’s like a 7, a good chance it’s a 8-9 and a small chance you hit the jackpot and get a 10.

Plus lets say it doesn’t look mint enough you can probably just flip it back for what you paid. Unless it has some hidden crease or dent then you just return it. :blush:

As others have said, just be selective and only buy when you’re condident the card is in the condition you’re looking for. Gary’s advice of paying 1-2 grades down is spot on. That obviously varies on the kind of card and the value it has.

Every NM card I bought off Ebay got a PSA 10


Damn thats either good luck, or the seller had some scans or good pictures or you asked to send more pictures. Its hard to judge off pictures. I think close up scans are the best bet, but that is very NICE :blush:

@teamrocketop I am sure it wasn’t good luck but great due diligence on the part of @acebren.

I have bought hundreds of cards and many large collections off eBay and have overall great success when it comes to grading them. You will have some wins and some losses though but if you are good at it you can assemble a collection for much much cheaper than buying them all graded if you have the time.

With eBay it is all so inconsistent. I have bought collections described as “pristine” that were all 7’s and 8’s and I have bought “nice” cards that were gem mint 10’s. You really need to get good photos of front and back ideally or just be ready to take some risks. Some of my best buys were large WOTC collections that I was essentially paying light played money for cards that ended up being gem mint. Many other times though they have come to actually be lp and then you are stuck flipping some cards for almost no money. The nice thing about it is that usually when you win you win big and when you lose it is very little if done right.


Ebay is an amalgamation of numerous sellers. There is no one standard for condition.

In general, majority of ungraded cards are not PSA mint. Can you get lucky, absolutely. Can you increase your probability due to experience, sure, but it still is nowhere near the majority, or even a strong minority. The examples in this thread are people who know what they are doing and sniping the exceptions.


Here is a demonstration of how it can work out. One of my more recent buys that I have grades back for. I was actually looking for all 3 of these gold stars for myself in PSA 9 condition as well as some of the ex’s. I figured any 10’s would be money in the bank but unfortunately I didn’t hit them. I got good photos from this seller and was confident I would be mostly 9 territory and because of that I was able to bid higher than everyone else and make out pretty well. Without those photos this would have been a huge risk. The regular holos will all be graded at some point too and then this set has a bit of value just in the c/u/r as well with a card like admin in there.



Described as Mint/NM which according to PSA would be 8’s and probably not have been a good buy at all. I got back photos from the seller separately which weren’t included in the original listing on the big money cards and felt safe going for it due to that reason. I had hoped for a few 10’s on these money cards here but still made out decent considering I have all those extra ungraded cards some more of which will be graded and may get 10’s. Did I hit it huge? No, but I’ll make a few hundred at least I’m sure accounting for what I sell and what goes into my collection. Had I hit a 10 on any of the gold stars or even on a few ex’s this could have been a big payday though and just goes to show if done properly the risk for loss is minimal and the potential gain is huge.

I got a decent chunck of PSA9’s 1st Edition Base set Holos from buying ungraded cards on ebay. In total I got 7 PSA9 german Charizards/Blastoise/Venusaur and one PSA6 that was really hard to see.
In general I avoid sellers that use potato quality pictures or advertise their cards as a guaranted PSA10 (then why would you not grade yourself for that guaranted PSA10?..). I think most seller are honest about the condition of the card, atleast that’s the case for the cheaper german cards.