More PSA 9 Cards vs Fewer PSA 10 Cards?

The PSA 9 1st Ed Charizard vs PSA 9 Shadowless Holo Set thread got me thinking about this…

Would you rather have more cards in PSA 9 or fewer in PSA 10?

Take a set like 1st Ed Jungle, for example. If you could afford the complete holo set in 9 or just your favorite 3-4 cards in 10, which would you rather have?

I know this is largely personal preference, and some people can afford all the 10s anyways - but I’m just curious to hear peoples thoughts on this. Or more generally, how do you balance more cards vs higher grade cards in your collection.

Apologies if this has been discussed before, I couldn’t find it. If so, please point me in that direction.

For my personal collection, Quality >>> Quantity. I know if I buy or get a PSA 9 or below version of something, that I’m going to want the PSA 10 version or whatever is considered the “highest” quality, lol.


Less 10s. Less storage cost and more enjoyable, personally, to own a few top quality cards than a bunch of MINT 9 cards.

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I agree with a few 10s as well. I only have six that are in my permanent collection that I do not imagine moving anytime soon. The few exceptions I’d make are for things like 1st edition base set, where a 10 can be incredibly cost prohibitive. I would not be unhappy with a PSA 9 Charizard from that set. :blush:

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i suppose if you want the set in 10s but can only afford some of them, all depends on time if u want the cards now then gets the 9s but if you can only afford some 10s a month msybe get them over a period of months rather than straight away

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Buy 9’s and crack them until they are 10’s.

I’m joking of course but I think in most cases I’d choose 9’s because of the implications of my previous statement.


Fewer 10s. They are overrated IMO. I only collect the few earliest sets though. I have never had a card come back 10 and not be able to find some kind of flaw with it, so I just don’t understand the premium price we are putting on those cards.

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-Japanese and newer Pokemon cards, I prefer quality( psa 10)

-Wotc, I prefer Quantity (psa9s). As I both enjoy complete set collecting and don’t have the budget to afford the high value psa 10 cards (charizard, typholosion 17,etc) as well as all the grades have to be matching, I don’t mind at all collecting wotc psa 9s




I’m not picky when it comes to 9s and 10s. Id rather have the card and worry about getting a better copy whenever the opportunity presents itself. It also leverages your collection by having a lot more cards in hand you won’t miss out on price hikes when they occur. I’m early in my collecting career though where I’m still missing lots of cards. I may feel differently in the future.


Thanks for your answers everyone. I appreciate your thoughts :blush:

It depends on the set for me.

Base Set - I’m forced to go with 9s bc I don’t have enough disposable income at this moment in time to manage 10s in either 1st Edition OR Shadowless. 9s are just fine though.

Every other WOTC set - 10s only

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I would prefer 9’s. I mainly collect 9’s because of the reasons you said. I would prefer to have more of the cards i want then not many 10’s. The difference from 9’s to 10’s is not much imo… To me 9’s are pack fresh so the condition is more then good enough for me.


This topic has appeared in a couple of past threads, if you’re interested I can probably dig them up.

I think it really comes down to how broad your goals are and how much disposable funds you have. For me, there are so many cards I want, I’d be infeasible to only purchase 10s on my budget. I actually had this crisis of choosing between 9s and 10s a few times but in the end, I am happy I went with 9s.

Here are some of the virtues of 9s:

  • you are still getting a pack-fresh card
  • having a “weak 9” is not really a big deal since you’ve already settled for less-than-perfect (I’ve seen many struggle with the “weak 10” problem)
  • you can basically get 3-5 copies of a given card in 9 for the price of a 10
  • auctions for 9s tend to fly under the radar more often
  • don’t have to worry about those expensive low pop 10s when set collecting

The problem with 9 collecting:

  • you’re settling for less-than-the-best
  • 10s will always be more desirable and worth more

I agree with everything besides the 10’s are more desirable. In most cases yes but I’ve had a lot of trouble selling lower pop 10’s. Such as b&w secret rares, full arts etc because no one wants to pay what they’re worth and don’t realize how rare they are. But then in a 9 they’re so cheap and so many past sales so they usually settle for a 9. But say wotc 10’s obviously they’re much more desirable.


I understand what you’re saying but I think that says more about the desirability of the particular card than the grade. Technically a card is only worth what someone is willing to pay. There might be a smaller market for people looking for 10s on certain cards but if a 10 were truly less desirable it would sell at the same price or less than what a 9 goes for.


from an investment standpoint, it’s slightly smarter to have more 9s, as those will be more liquid and move faster because your potential buyer pool is probably larger. big cards will require big players to buy, as those might be a select pool of buyers. but 10s will likely increase in value (%-wise) more than 9s. in the end, this will depend on you.

from a collecting standpoint, I do want the rarer and minter cards. psa 10 set shouldn’t be something that should be easily achieved, so the chase is the best part. once you have them all, it’s not as interesting anymore. not that I have a full set, but just speaking from similar experience in other things. :blush:


Less 10s. When I grade myself I of course hope to get as many 10s as possible. I often buy 9s though as they are cheaper and it would be difficult to afford my favorite cards if I only bought 10s. And in the end 9s are very clean cards as well, when it comes to Japanese cards the only issue with a 9 might be a centering issue. So in my eyes that’s still very minty. Recently I even purchased a few 8s because they were cards that I wanted to have in a PSA case. Sure, storage is becoming a problem but I like to have most of my cards on display anyways.

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i really appreciate art work and like getting a god quantity of holos from the sets i like. therefore from a financial perspective i like to buy 9s as it allows me to feed my appetite for more cards without breaking the bank. obviously i prefer 10s and on the odd occasion may lash out on one (or a bonus when i grade one) but honestly my collection has a mix of 9s and 10s and they all look great.


It really depends on the cards for me. For more common ones like 1st Ed Jungle, I would focus on 10s.

On more sought after sets or big cards like Charizard, I would probably favor more 9s. For example, I’d take 10 Shadowless 9 Charizards for the price of one 10, it’s a no brainer IMO and I would probably end up with 1 or 2 Gem worthy cards in the process. I’m not a cracker, but @peacock has a very good point.