Black Label Bubble? 🫧

(Video being referenced: Pokemon Card Auctions Of The Week! Overwhelming Amount Of Black Label Cards! - YouTube)

Ok I know what everyone is going to say "Just because there is an increase in demand, doesn’t mean there is a “bubble” going on.
Yes I agree, but it does kind of feel off that a card that would sell normally on eBay for $5 in its raw version and $40 with a PSA 10, is selling for over $400 with a black colored BGS label… (2:49 in video link above)

Same thing with a $600 card as a PSA 10 is selling as a BGS 10 Black label for over $4,600… (3:52)

Seems a little too silly to me…

Hey I could just be a “hater” and don’t understand the coveted perfect grade from BGS.

If that is the case, then I am staying as far away from BGS as possible since I don’t understand the “why” behind it all.

Now this could have been always the case with Black Labels and I hadn’t jumped on the honey pot sooner :honey_pot:

But If people are willing to pay 10x the price for modern card in Japanese, then hell, I need to send all my Japanese Vstar Universe into get graded with BGS and flip on ebay. I would do that 100 times over, make a couple 100K, and retire happily.

Saying all this, it seems too slimy and unrealistic that there are collector’s out there forking over their hard earned cash for modern high-pop garbage for a label on it.

What I mean to say is that it seems unsustainable. I would predict that there will be a time, as more and more Black Labels sell for ridiculous prices, where everyone and their mother are submitting anything and everything into BGS to get as many Black Labels as possible and fire selling them into the market. I mean why not? It’s potentially free money.

Hell I could see a bunch of people cracking PSA slabs (if they haven’t started already) and submitting directly to BGS to play that game.

Obviously a Black Label is still a hard grade to get, but with the 100’s of cards possibly being submitted, there has been a moderate success rate with BL’s in recent times. Some pope are saying it now is easier to get a BL. That could be the case or just “Survivorship Bias”.

We all know Japanese quality is above all things and there could be a very high success rate for just Japanese. Where people just focus on submitting Japanese and nothing else to BGS.

Either way, I see this as an unsustainable path the Black label is going down and will see what happens to all this supply of BL’s in the near future…

Your thoughts?

Also Thank you @smpratt for the personal video:



Let me just say, I’ve never seen this poketuber before but that video was godly. Straight to the point, matter of fact, boom boom boom. The best Pokemon auction recap I’ve ever seen.


Black label 3rd print fossil is now whirling away in my mind. Not a set just one.


Aren’t black labels being 5-10x the price of PSA 10s the norm? Especially if it’s one of the first black labels to sell, they tend to sell closer to that 10x price.


Hey Hobbyists,

Be careful out there, it’s time for a bubble bath…


Not just you, I don’t fully understand Black Label demand either.

I assume the demand just comes from another top-end delineator between the massive inventory of modern cards and the associated perceived/speculated value based on it’s difficulty to achieve among the highest BGS grades (which really has yet to be fully determined with modern cards as they continue to be printed and submitted for grading). I guess the exception to this would be the top-end collector who is just made of money and wants all Black Label cards regardless of cost, but this is definitely not the majority of people buying Pokemon cards in my estimation (at least at these price points). Ultimately, if more and more cards end up as Black Labels in theory the price should drop unless there is just wild demand for them, although I have a hard time believing people will continue to spill that kind of money consistently for ultra modern cards. Don’t get me wrong, they’re cool if you’re a top tier condition collector, but not 10x a PSA 10 cool, at least to me.

Funny enough, I have read comments of people saying they are willing to pay that kind of money not only due to difficulty to achieve but also because the color of the label matches the colors of the card (like the Gold Giratina VStar at 2:40 in the video), so yeaaahhhhhh… Just for reference on that individual card: it has a PSA 10 population of 1255, and has 56 BGS Black Labels, 145 Pristine 10s, and 117 Gem Mint 9.5s, altogether making up 96% of the BGS population. So…worth $1,075 for that Black Label from BGS? Collect what you like I guess. That said, the sales prices disagree with my understanding, so if you have some PSA 10s you’re trying to offload, let the cracking commence and profits ensue!

Honestly this is wise advice in general, both in Pokemon buying but really in any costly endeavor or investment: it is never a wise decision to pour money into something you don’t understand (at least in my opinion), regardless of what other people have to say. At a very minimum, it leaves you in a state of unease if you don’t understand it, and at worst it gives your money the chance to be flushed down the drain.


Joking aside, I agree that some modern black labels are hitting prices that don’t seem sustainable to me. My guess is that after a while, some of these people will learn to buy the card and not the slab, especially given some of the recent black labels I’ve seen are questionable.

Time will tell, but I’d be surprised if the supply and demand curve on these didn’t see an adjustment in the future.


Wow 2020 throwback! :bath:


buy pokemon uno cards, grade for black labels, profit


Certainly for very cheap cards (under 20) people are gonna notice the premium black labels are fetching and chase that harder, resulting in more black labels. If a card worth less than 3 dollars can get 200+ dollars as a black label, that’s a pretty damn good incentive to gamble on sending cards to BGS that cost basically nothing on the chance of getting that black label.

I suspect we will continue to see the modern high end set chase cards grab a large premium for the first few black labels out the gate and settle for much less later, like the hidden fates charizard. For low end cards, I feel enough people will catch on and flood the market with them that black labels will retrace. I mean seriously, a 2 dollar card getting 200+ as a black label in insane and I don’t see that lasting.


Who is buying this stuff? Would love to see what black labels our friends have. My very short version of thoughts on grading in general is having a 1 to 10 scale is too much. It creates too much overlap. My idea would be to have 1 to 5 with a 6th for exceptional mint cards that literally are top top top.


It seems like BGS has taken a page out of CGCs book and has started to give out more black labels/perfect 10s to juice business and subs


Most Black Labels fetch 5x-10x a PSA 10 price depending on the card and species, and this hasn’t changed that much. So in terms of inflated value, they have been that way for a long time and will continue to be for highly desirable cards.

I find it hard to believe that collectors will stop caring about Black Labels. In my head, there is considerable overlap between Pokemon clout chasers and Black Label buyers. As long as the BGS Black Label continues to get positive attention on social media, there will always be a hungry crowd looking for the next flex.


Well said and thought out. Who knows, this maybe just a continuation of how things have always been. I just feel that more and more people are being made aware of this huge opportunity with BGS. And just like with vintage back in 2020, if there is influencers, the people will come (to dump everything they have onto it until no one makes any money) lol

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wait where’d that guy go


Idk probably in his fortress of tinfoil


I feel like I’ve harped on black labels ad nauseum over the years. I could rant about this forever


Black Labels = flex culture.

It’s not even about condition anymore.


In Pokemon, there’s something for every level of disposable income. If rare card clout isn’t your thing, rare grade clout could be.

I don’t mind if BGS black label collectors are happy to pay high prices. More power to them.


“Rare grade” is exactly why it’s so silly. The value proposition of grading is to standardize condition. BL is just an RNG slot machine

But I also agree people are free to pay whatever they want for these