Are Near Mint Cards from Troll and Toad Actually Near Mint?

This has been brought up countless times on the forum and Discord so I have started a series to put the complicated answer in numbers.

Video Length Warning - I didn’t realize it would take me over an hour to inspect them all on camera. lol
Feel free to speed it up or click through.

This order contained 439 singles that were listed as NM. Most of these were between the $0.35 and $3.00 price tag with very few exceptions.

~4% of the cards were heavily played to damaged
~22% of the cards were what I would consider lightly played


There were a lot more lightly played cards than a typical order because of the top scuffing that showed up on a lot of them.

Most of the cards are fine when you have a large sample size. It can be deceiving to order a small amount of cards and happen to receive bad ones.


I’ve found there are significantly more issues with damaged cards the more valuable they are.
There also seems to be an issue with cards sent in a toploader with NM written on the penny sleeve. I always shudder when I see those.


It’s tough because they don’t call anything higher than Near Mint and that can technically mean anything from a psa 7 to 10

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Except that they do have a guide on their website as to what they consider near mint.

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I think troll and toad is a great resource for trying to fill a binder or for “placeholder” cards. But it really depends on what you collect and how picky you are about condition. I do NOT recommend them for reverse holos, particularly e-reader WOTC or early EX-era cards. The cards are usually very scuffed and scratched, and I suspect some of it is a result of the way they are stored and handled at troll and toad. I wish they would have a MINT designation, because as someone pointed out their near mint can be a range of PSA 5-10 quality, with 5 and 10 being outliers, 7 being the mean, and plenty of 6s and 8s. That’s based on my own experience with them through the years.


the “near mint” card example looks like a lightly played example.

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I’ve had 2 NM cards come form them looking like Played examples. And that is their own played example I’m referencing. Front’s were sand papered as well. The cards were Regice Gold Star, and Vaporeon Gold Star. Both were in the infancy of my collecting days about 10+ years ago. Returned both, and won’t go with them again. It’s not worth the hassle of debating whether or not it’s worth it given the massive disparity in possible qualities for NM. But, I’m salty, so it’s naturally a biased opinion with small sample size.

Only time I’ll buy from them is if they are at a tournament or convention with a booth. Got some solid deals then.

I believe I’m pretty well-equipped to respond to this – I’ve purchased thousands (if not tens of thousands) of ‘NM’ cards off of Troll and Toad over the past 8-9 months. So I have a pretty large sample-size. Here’s the gist: 25-30% of the ‘NM’ cards are PSA ~8 quality or higher (aka ~25% make it into my sets). Most are in the 7 range (and sometimes lower since they occasionally miss small creases/dents). The cards I purchase off of them, for reference, are primarily e-Series and EX Series holos and reverse holos.

On rare occasions, you’ll receive PSA 9/10 quality cards off of them. I have many examples of this. Contrary to what someone else stated, they tend to be better on condition for more expensive cards. For $50+ cards, the chance of getting a PSA ~8+ cards increases considerably (in my experience). Basically, I just order from them when the price is low enough to justify the high-risk. Overall, I don’t mind Troll and Toad. If you order from them expecting NM cards, you’re (probably) going to have a bad time. There are way better vendors, but Troll and Toad gets the best stock of any vendor bar none.

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Very much so. The issue is that people expect otherwise when they clearly lay out what to expect.

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I find the opposite of this to be true. Might be in part that I have ordered far more inexpensive cards from them than expensive.

From my experience no, I’d rather buy off ebay and pay a little extra if they have more pictures of the condition

For more expensive cards, sure. It is not cost effective or practical for inexpensive singles that you might need for a set. Tossing or reselling the lesser condition ones is still cheaper and easier than hunting down the cards you need on ebay. Most of the inexpensive stuff will never be listed because shipping will be 3x the cost of the card or even more.

Yea whenever I buy off troll and toad it’s HR or Shinies that I’m wanting to grade, shooting for PSA 10’s. I’ve never bought a PSA 10 quality on Troll and Toad that said NM. On eBay pictures tell a thousand words.

T&T is great for completing binder sets of Non-Holo commons, uncommons, and rares. That’s about it.

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Short answer: no. I’ve found that their evaluation of the quality of cards is based on guidelines from a parallel dimension where up is down and left is right. I’ve been sent cards of the wrong language before, and they’re only response is “oh sorry, here’s a 2 buck refund”.


I’ve literally never been sent a card in a different language from them lol (and I’ve ordered many, many thousands of cards from them). The only time I received the incorrect version of a card was a reverse holo FRLG Slowbro instead of a holo. But that was once out of so many orders that it didn’t really bother me. I find that T&T is super accurate for everything except condition lol. I agree that condition is a crapshoot with them, but everyone knows that going in.

Buying NM cards from Troll&Toad feels like a gamble…

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They sent me a Spanish Magmar EX when I ordered an English one lol. For what it’s worth, I agree with @jonandek that they are good to fill binders and get rough cards, but for getting NM/mint cards they’re a crapshoot, you may as well roll the dice. I’ve had much better luck with individual sellers on eBay,

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Strangely enough, just yesterday I received a small batch of cards from Troll and Toad that are all in the PSA 8/9 range. Nice surprise. It feels a little like I just won a hot hand in Vegas though and that I should just quit while I’m ahead. The gambling example someone mentioned is a pretty good summary of how I think about it

EDIT: I neglected to mention that the cards are PSA 8/9 range AFTER cleaning. they all had surface dirt I’m assuming from the way Troll and Toad handled and stored them, including on the holo surface which can be risky to clean


I’m telling you – it happens. It’s basically just a matter of if the price is cheap enough to be worth the risk. I’ve received so many hilariously weak ‘NM’ cards from Troll and Toad, but I have gotten some really amazing cards off of them. For instance, I have two Sandstorm Mawile holos off at PSA – one of which I literally pulled out of a pack within the past month and the other one being from Troll and Toad. And in all honesty, I think both will get 10s. When I was packing them up to send to Ludkins, I tried to figure out which was which but I couldn’t. But that’s a once in a blue moon occurrence.

But I also got super lucky yesterday with them. Received Expedition Arbok and Ninetales holos that I bought from them for dirt cheap (Arbok was like $20 and Ninetales was $35 or $40, IIRC – I have stock notifications set up luckily or I would’ve missed them). And they are the two strongest condition Expedition holos out of the now 23 in my set (several of which were PSA 8s I cracked). It’s situations like this that make the stacks of PSA 6-quality cards I’ve gotten from them totally worth it lol.

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