PSA procedures, 3rd party auditing?

Making this thread at the suggestion of @smpratte out of curiosity and because the other thread was straying from the original topic to an extent.

Does PSA have any kind of certification or 3rd party verification of its processes? Most of us have probably seen the youtube video. The ruler they showed on isntagram was a surprise and troubling to some. I am in the US and my company is ISO 9001 certified which basically gives customers some kind of 3rd party verification that we have processes in place to provide repeatable products and services, and we also have processes in place for when inevitable issues arise. What PSA provides is a fairly basic service, but still is there any external auditing or verification of the general process that they use in handling of the cards?

What does PSA do upon the inevitable occurence that a PSA employee damages a card. A receiver, a stockroom boy, a grader etc. Anyone. It MUST happen. 25,000,000 cards all handled multiple times. Has anyone ever heard of a case?

@hisoka107 can you share your experiences with your crobat and how that went down? Phone call? Email? How did the reimbursement process work etc. I understand that the card was basically destroyed, has there ever been a case of someone being contacted for bent corners of cards or scratches? “Little things” if we can call them that. We know due to the sheer volume that they must happen I am curious if anyone had heard of it.


I believe this topic highlights the core of individuals frustration with PSA; we do not know the exact grading and handling process. Thus, individuals are left to speculate what could have happened when a mistake occurs. I think the best overall advice is: You should contact and peruse PSA if you believe they indeed damaged an item.

Unfortunately, the PSA process is not well known to the general public. However, I am sure if enough people inquired about their exact grading process, they would provide one of those good old happy go lucky videos. In all seriousness, it would help better understand the handling of cards. At least have a reference point to better deduce possible damage.

Since we live in the social media day and age, where people can message companies directly, I don’t think it would be too farfetch’d to request a video of the grading process.

I personally can’t comment on the auditing aspect.

I do know that when I received cards damaged from transit, (both chipped cases) I sent them back in and they were re-holdered for free. I also sent back cards for another individual that were encapsulated backwards. They also correct mis-labels for free as well. These were all cut and dry, and have never had experience with a more subjective situation.

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For coin grading companies there is another third party company that verifies if your coin’s grade was graded accurately. Coins get a sticker on the grading case that give the grade approval. I’ve said this many times and it gets ignored but PSA is very accurate however what are the quantifiable deductions that makes a card a 9 and not a 10. You see factory wear that one grader thought still had the eye appeal but another card with the same corner wear but is centered no surface damage get a 9.

Someone broke it down simply for me. What one grader believes is a 9 to 10 is different from what another grader believes is a 9 or 10. If we are complaining about 9 to a 10 then PSA is accurate but that slight difference in grade makes for hundreds to thousands of dollars difference (or for us with strict collection goals a big headache).

Back to the question about third party verification and who regulates PSA. You can say argue what you want but none of us truly knows what’s going on. I think 90% of the time all things are working as they should be.

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@fourthstartcg I think it sounds crazy but there are plenty of people out there who refuse to buy without that sticker.
When you’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars difference between grades I’m sure they’ll want to verify it wasn’t wrong.


Grade-ception. We need that third level shit going on here. I am going to open a company to verify CAC-verified-PCGS labels. I think PSA has ties with PCGS, right? Wonder if CAC will ever get into the card world with PSA.

@hisoka107 can you touch on what happened with your crobat? I would be interested into how/when you were contacted and how that process went.

I believe I was called and notified and given a $25 dollar voucher. Since my Latias got a PSA 10 and this was from the same box I’m sure it would have gotten a 10. It went from a 9-10 to a 4. Not really much to say about what happened or a process. its just hey we fucked up here’s some money.

@hisoka107 did you get the card as well? What was the nature of the damage? A scan/picture would be helpful if you could provide.

It would be interesting to hear if they ever admitted to a bent/dinged corner or a holo scratch or something on a gem card that put it into the 6-8 range.

Lets all get together and open up a grading service fuck it. Chrome bordered labels and super strict judging. Lets do it!

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you get the card back PSA doesn’t keep your cards. There really isn’t much to the story I think you’re expecting something more. This card happened a long time ago. I don’t think they will admit do slightly damaging a card that was dropped 1 or 2 points. Dropping 5 to 6 points is hard to see.

The card was damaged in the PSA capsulation process. there was a 1 inch wide spot from the bottom of the back of the card where it looked like someone tried to peel the back off. about a 1 square inch white spot.

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hahah black lable upccc grade 10 the yellow of the card has to be 45/55 no little white dot shit (a bad 10) will be a thing of past

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can you tell me the differnce between 9s and 10s apart from the price most of the time you can regrade the 9 and gets a 10 surly with such a massive differnce of price there must be some type of standard but doesnt look like it we dont only need the process i would say no about the training process :blush:

The difference is centering and whitening on the corners. Some people resend their 9’s hoping that the next grader will neglect one or the two and up it a grade. Sometimes they do sometimes they don’t.

thats what i mean sometimes they do sometimes they dont thats just not right when your talking about this much money dioffernce

I want to start a company that’ll verify the accuracy of the CAC review…lol.


How about a computerized lazer grading machine that can measure, weigh, test for coloring chipping etc. Wouldn’t that that be possible?


haha prohaps you should and do you know anything about PSA training methods and y graders are so differnt i assume theres standardised training

so that most 10s are 10s and 9s are 9s with maybe the odd few but happens so much theres not muhc in a 9 and 10 sometimes but that could mean a bug differnce to price E.G shadowless charizard or shadowless 1st edition charizard

Yes, there’s standardized training which partially accounts for the amazing consistency in opinions/results. Plus all the graders are long term employees who get spot checked and cross compared often.

Many newer Pokemon people think grading started the day they signed up. This has been going on for sports cards before many of you were born. These arguments are just as old.
Collectors Universe has been grading since I believe 1986 with PSA being added in 1993.
Those of us who have been along for the ride for a long time with sports and non sports cards are very happy with the journey. For those who aren’t…go back to binders which are just as fun.

Now don’t misinterpret my words as saying mistakes don’t happen or that there aren’t gray areas or border lines in the process cause they do and there are. All people as well as company’s make mistakes. Heck, even Apple lost an iPhone 4 prior to announcement.

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