Got voucher grades back, devastated... *10/14 - Wild Update*

Honestly…the grades were probably right. Until you submit quite a bit, know what to look for and have experience, you can miss certain things. I would get them back and take a look, but for a first time grader, most of the time expectations are too high.


Your best bet is to send them back in for review if you’re that confident in your pre-grades. Otherwise, at the end of the day you paid for an opinion.

Cards graded through the higher tier are probably more accurate than otherwise. Not that they can’t or don’t make mistakes.

As far as the upcharge, I’ve never denied an upcharge but since the work is already done I’d imagine you would owe them for that work. I’m curious what the result would be (?)


Post pictures when you get them back and we’ll get a better sense of if you may have a missed an indent/crease somewhere or if you plain got an unlucky grader. I had a Shining Mewtwo get a 6 once I expected a 10 on and it took me like a month to find a grain of sand size indent on the card surface. Was all the more confusing because the other shinings from the same submission were all 9-10.

I wouldn’t bother sending them back to PSA for review, will take ages and likely get you nowhere, personally would crack all and send to BGS, but it depends on time and money constraints.

Is there anything from the submission you can quickly sell to cover grading costs at a different company? Or maybe people will here will be willing to buy for a higher price than the grade would usually get if they are seriously all so inaccurate.

It’s sadly a massive headache expecting a certain $$$ amount based on grades, I get it wrong every time, either I’m too conservative or too lenient.


@mtajaj32 Ouch! So sorry to hear that. Please let us know what happens if you deny the upcharge. So sorry to hear about the financial burden! As far as the grades I have no advice or opinion without seeing the cards in person.

What’s a Gold Star Rayquaza worth in a 6 anyways? I want to grab one eventually and with real pricey cards the grade isn’t always a big factor for me. I just like clean cards mainly clean front. No crease’s etc. Whitening is to be expected on lower grades.

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Everytime i have submitted the voucher grades i have gotten maybe one seemingly fair grade and the rest that get bumped when i send them back in again. Take that for what you will. I am not one for psa conspiracies, just what has happened to me.


I just want to point out that, you shouldn’t put so much reliance on the cards being able to pay off your school debt and rent. It’s probably a bad idea especially when you haven’t got the grades back.

You might & should consider other avenues as well to better help pay those debts off.


If you are in a bind and need quick money, check if your county needs poll workers for the upcoming election. There is currently a shortage and it’s a job you can usually sign up for fast. Here in NY you get $200+ per day of early voting.


Several members here have mentioned that they feel PSA has placed a higher level of scrutiny on voucher submissions when it comes to declared value. That is, if you’re submitting a mint card that would be worth ~$1000, PSA will more likely come back with an upcharge if the card was submitted as part of a voucher submission as opposed to say, a $20 economy submission.

As far as whether PSA grades tougher for a voucher submission, nobody knows that for certain. The people who are the strongest supporters of PSA will say things like “graders don’t know the service level of the cards they’re grading” or “there’s no way PSA would be coordinated enough to grade bulk/vouchers more harshly than express+ submissions”. Objectively, we do know that PSA is outputting fewer 10s than they used to across the board, and the change seems to have happened sometime in 2020. There has been no public disclosure from PSA as far as why the grading has become tougher. Anecdotally, I am hearing from others (and experiencing myself), that lower service levels seem to be giving worse grades than what I used to receive for comparable cards. Personally, I believe that they have made internal policy changes that have resulted in harsher or lower grades overall for lower service levels, and I believe that these policy changes are related to their financial guarantee.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know for sure that they are grading bulk/vouchers harder than other service levels.

You’re in a tough situation, for sure. You attempted a gambit that has, currently, failed. PSA is not perfect, and their grades are not always consistent among all graders. Recently I heard that PSA’s been given a bit of a joke acronym by the sports community: Please Submit Again. There’s no guarantee that your grades will go up if you cracked and resubmitted, and there’s no guarantee that your grades will go up if you do a review.

If you’re truly crunched for time, and you truly believe your cards are mint, a better option may be to crack the cards out of the case and sell them raw. A mint card in a PSA 9 case will probably always fetch more than a raw ungraded mint card, but if you feel that the PSA 7 or whatever you received should have been a 9, the mint ungraded price is probably more than the price you’d receive for a PSA 7.

If the above doesn’t sound like a good idea, and the options are between:

  1. PSA, crack and resubmit
  2. PSA, send in for review
  3. BGS, crack and submit
  4. CGC, crack and submit

I’d go with option #2. PSA will bump grades in reviews if the grader feels they should be bumped. However, I don’t think BGS or CGC are good options if you’re trying to maximize value. CGC in particular appears to be a very harsh grader.

You’d probably have to ask if they cased it already. That 6 means there’s likely a dent or crease in the card if you looked it over and it was otherwise clean. You will probably get some comments here that your lack of experience with grading may be part of the reason your expectations don’t match reality, and that may partially true. It does take quite some time in the hobby to get a good understanding of what makes a 6 vs 7 vs 8 vs 9/10 when it comes to pokemon cards. When you get the cards back, you might want to take a few pics of an example that you feel they graded wrong and ask again here about what the community thinks.

To end this, I can 100% sympathize with your frustration. Grading can be very frustrating, from the cost, to the risk of shipment, to the opaqueness of the process, and to the (sometimes) disappointing results. All the best to you and hope you are able to reach a positive outcome.


Sounds like you tried to flip and got the short end of the stick. It happens. unfortunate. Think through next steps in calm collected fashions. GL!

If you are betting your finances and livelihood on this, thats just silly. Gotta ask yourself if the cards were stolen tomorrow, would you be financially ruined. If yes, take some free community college financial classes.


The whole “PSA is grading harsher now” conspiracy has been completely debunked. It’s also 100% true that for the vast majority of Pokemon cards, i.e. for the stuff submitted at bulk/voucher level, PSA graders do not know what service level the card is submitted at. Any conspiracies there are just not consistent with reality.

When something like this happens, people like to look to put the blame on someone or something besides themselves. That’s where the whole 4xxx cert thing started, people couldn’t pregrade correctly and finding mint WOTC holos in 2020 isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Instead of looking at themselves and market/time forces out of their control, they blamed PSA.

Missing things like creases, dents, and holo scratches is very easy. I do it all the time on my cards and I use high-powered lights and have been in the grading game for 6 years with very strong results. Sometimes it takes me 3-4 reviews of a card before I see what’s wrong. Even then, I get burned fairly consistently on my subs.

PSA isn’t infallible, far from it. I’ve had multiple cards upgraded through both review and cracking and resubmitting. Sometimes no matter how hard I look I can’t find what’s wrong with a card, I’ve had PSA 6s-7s that I think should be 9s or 10s. Grading is subjective and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. Especially here where you’re submitting a small number of cards, just getting unlucky on a card or two can have an outsized effect on your overall results.

To me the biggest problem here is that regardless of whether PSA made a mistake or you did, you’ve put yourself in a position where some minimum-wage Billy at PSA can have a significant impact on your financial outlook. Times are tough, but if you are overextending yourself to pay for grading fees and can’t take the financial hit from less-than-ideal grades, I wonder if you would have been better off selling them raw and letting someone else take the grader’s gamble.


I must have missed that debunking article. Have a link?


Based on your description of the situation, several cards have been graded below what you expect, which in my experience makes it more likely that you failed to notice miniscule imperfections than the graders being wrong 14 times in a single submission. I submit constantly and still get my fair share of PSA 6’s that looked like 10’s at first.

More importantly though, despite not being able to achieve your expected results, you can still get some money for these cards so if I was in your apparently desperate situation, I would definitely prioritize reducing debt and paying off bills over chasing grade reviews.

It is hard to make good decisions under financial duress, and you may be setting yourself up for yet another disappointment when what you actually need is positive change. Paying your debt partially may not be ideal, but it is a step in the right direction.

Once you get the cards back though, make sure you analyse them carefully and try to understand where things may have gone wrong as that will give you experience for future instances.

In the end only you know what’s best for your specific situation, but ‘chasing losses’ when you are already in a difficult financial situation sounds like the worst plan possible.


This thread is where we really go through the debate. There are other threads like this where it’s not as clear but shows it’s been argued about for awhile.

I summarize the arguments in this video:

Here is PFM’s video where he scrapes the population report and finds a small decrease in awarded 10s. However, as I note in my video, in order for the decrease in awarded 10s to signify a grading “harshness” change, we would need to assume that the condition of submitted cards remains the same across years, which is highly unlikely.


This is the submission with the Mewtwo I was talking about. I still have no idea why the Charizard got a 7. If it was dented like the Mewtwo it would’ve gotten a 6 and I never found anything wrong with it after searching for ages. Probably should’ve cracked and regraded but sold at the time. Unfortunately a similar issue may have happened with your Rayquaza… these were all from the same set and I had expected all to get 9 or 10.


It hasn’t been “debunked” just certain people’s opinions.


Your best bet at this point is to either sell them as is if you are really in a financial bind or crack them out and resubmit. Reviewing a card is generally going to get you the same results. Look over the cards again to see if you can figure out where the damages are if you got a bunch of PSA 6’s when you thought they were 9’s its very likely the culprit is a hard to see crease or bend.

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based on what you are saying, you will probably be better off spending your energy on something else to make up for the shortfall of the 3-5k you mentioned with the lower grades. i don’t see PSA giving you 1 grade back on every single card even if there are some misgrades. that odd doesn’t sound very good.

i don’t know your personal situation, but if you don’t have any crazy circumstances, i think looking elsewhere to find that extra cash you really need is probably best. you won’t get anything resolved with PSA in a month, and it sounds like you need to sell your cards too…

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Sorry to hear that.
But as most of the replies on this thread, its gonna be a smack of harsh reality coming your way.
I second @buckna 's reply

Exactly. How do you even prove this? Even if it were true, PSA would never claim so…doesn’t make ANY business sense.

You should submit to BGS. they might give you higher grades and better premium, since no one knows if a BGS 8 is better than PSA 6…

but time is against you and it’ll cost way more to submit now without PSA voucher.