Recent PSA Submission grades and comments from PSA

I guess the rumor around the youtube/instagram pokemon community is that PSA has completely flipped their standards and are now being ridiculous with new submissions. At first I completely ignored this because PSA has always had a pretty good standard when it comes to grading cards. I mean, look at the pop. count for Typhlosion/Slowking 1st edition neo holos

This comment from an instagrammer named scott_wright123 caught me off guard though. Instead of submitting his next batch of PSA ready cards, he’s been thinking that he’ll just sell them raw because of all the recent PSA controversy. Someone asked him, “Hasn’t the grading got ALOT stricter from last month or something? I had fresh pulls to sub from base set and now is thinking it’s not worth it.”

He replied, “Yeah it has. The problem is they are basically saying any grade they have given out before they became much stricter are now useless grades and PSA wouldn’t stand by them. On top of that loads of people are getting 5-6s on cards that would normally get 9-10s. That’s unbelievable.”

Has anyone recently experienced anything like this with PSA?

This is in sour grapes because I’m pretty frustrated. I was thinking about doing a large PSA submission with cards I’ve accumulated over the past year that seem to be in Mint/Gem Mint condition, but now I’m thinking I’ll have to grade them through BGS which sucks because I much prefer PSA(also PSA prices generally are higher for resale value than BGS) other than Black Labels of course which are insanely hard to obtain

edit : other reports I’ve been seeing are PSA sending out damaged cases and sometimes the cards themselves being damaged within the case


Haven’t had a sub since August so I can’t speak from experience as of lately, but just watching some returns videos the grades look a little rough.


You are basing this off of the youtube/instagram community which are about as far from objective analysts as possible. Not only are you doing that, you are taking literal charizardballer69’s assessments of PSA’s OVERALL grading standards as objective fact. PSA never does enough for instagram: their standards are too lenient, then they’re too harsh, then they’re damaging cases or damaging cards, there will always be a problem.

Is this to say that PSA is perfect? No, far from it. Very rarely they will damage cards or assign a grade where there is significant consensus that it should be different. But you don’t hear about the 99.99% of the time they do their job right. Their goal should be to eliminate all errors, but some will inevitably happen. It’s the risk you take when you do anything with cards.

In my opinion, nobody except the business-level submitters (not Jimmy flipping out of his basement, I mean Ludkins-level) could ever be in a position where they could make a judgement as to say that PSA’s grading standards have become “harsher” or “more lenient.” Nobody submitting 50 or 100 cards here and there has enough data to even make that claim. I’ve been collecting PSA cards for years and I hear some version of this every now and then. A year ago it was that the grades were too lenient and you needed to get up-close scans of the card, “buy the card not the grade” was popularized because of this perceived lenience. Two to three years ago PSA was being too harsh. Some people who aggregated submissions alongside others even claimed PSA had some sort of clairvoyance to give their co-submitters undeserved 10s but were being overly harsh on the cards they submitted. It’s a never-ending cycle. Again, does this mean PSA has rock-solid grading standards that are evenly applied across (likely) hundreds of human graders? Of course not. What’s much more likely is that there are small percentages of cards that are assigned grades higher or lower than what they perhaps should be. Based on those odds, every now and then you’ll get really lucky or get shafted, even if you submit the exact same condition cards every time.


Their bulk service has been noticeably more harsh. I’m the last person to jump on any Psa bandwagon. The recent bulk submissions are the harshest I’ve experienced in 10+ years. I only mind the change in relation to consistency. The other service levels have been consistent in my experience.


So pay for a higher service level, and get softer grades. Seems like a good business model to me!

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The whole conversation feels grimey. I just want a clean card to have a fair grade and whether it is bulk or not, a grade should be assigned correctly. No one knows the service of a graded card, so it just sounds silly.

Hoping for good luck with my next submission!


I can only speak for my submissions, but my last one that came back a few weeks ago was on the mark with what I had them at. A few actually came back better then expected. I wouldn’t go off the Instagram complaints. The ones that are the most unhappy make the most noise.

Consistency is key when establishing a relationship with a consumer but PSA seems to have forgotten about that

I’m not taking every instagram/youtube comment as fact but I’ve watched enough videos recently and seen enough cards that surely should be higher grades than they’re given which is ridiculous because it seems like PSA is just fishing for mass regrades to make more money off of us

I read a comment just now saying “I know someone who works at psa, sometimes graders having a bad day give out less grades, sometimes graders who are also collectors purposely give lesser grades so that the market wont have as many 10s out there”

Obviously the commentator can’t validate that because that would put the guy he knows out of a job, so who knows whether or not the comment is completely true. If the comment is true though, it’s ridiculous that someone having a “bad day” can make your three month long submission have a $500 less evaluation because an employee wasn’t happy on that day they inspected your card. PSA needs to take care of their employees(better salary/hours/etc) and stop hiring random joe schmos that would grade based on a pop count and not the individual condition of a card

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That’s great man, and we’re all hoping it’s just a bunch of noise lol

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This is the answer to most if not all of PSA’s problems!


@23lugia23, I havnt heard any of these claims myself, except for when @smpratte talked about grading some Japanese promos (I believe there was a Marill Togepi etc which were printed onto sheets via coro coro comics but correct me if wrong) a few weeks back where the results were less than desired, but other than that I have not heard much on any harsher standard myself. In fact, like @shoe, I received a few cards back from my submission through Ludkins and got way better results than expected (Gem 10s on A shiny Charmander and Charmelon from Hidden Fates which I was sure were coming back as 9s as well as a 10 for another card) but Id like to look into this more too being I just submitted a bunch more cards this week.

Are there any larger businesses speaking on this by any chance as well? I see Scotts comment about the bulk service, but im curious if any larger company has seen these issues rise or if it could just be a fluke. I mean, The holiday season just passed so maybe things were rushed quicker resulting in some poor grades (I heard somewhere PSA tries to get things graded before the end of the year because of memberships or something to that degree) but yeah this is all things id like to look into as well before making a judgement

That’s awesome on the hidden fates but the majority of problems being reported(as far as I’ve seen) is that PSA is population controlling wotc holos hard. Basically even the best pack fresh wotc cards I guess are being snubbed which of course is angering people because the difference between a wotc 9 and 10 in price is so large at times and it seems like PSA is handing out 9s like candy to these pack fresh holos

Also people are reporting damages to their older cards which just seems more like PSA being careless while grading, but this has been random and happened even years ago to people like Pokesoup who documents every card before he ships them out to PSA

Again though you can’t properly tell whether or not these youtubers/instagrammers are telling the truth because a photo/video won’t give you the whole rundown on a card and its errors so I’ll just have to see for myself how a PSA submission will go in the near future


Ah ok I gotcha. So, moreso this issue youre saying stands with WOTC cards as opposed to newer modern i gathered from this, which if thats the case is still concerning (obviously lol). Luckily Ive been taking pictures of all my cards before I send them in, so this should help me when my new return comes in (I had two Pokemon Center promos that should grade at a 9 normally, as suggested by both myself and Ludkins with the only wear being some very minimal edge wear), but im still interested to look more into this. Id love to hear what others could speak on though as well just because I too would like to know prior to sending in older cards just to be on the safe side (I have a bunch of southern island I have to send in down the road and would hate to have them bumped for these reasons).

Good luck my dude, I’m sure your older cards will also grade well. This is pure speculation but like you, I’m really hoping they aren’t holding outrageous standards for older cards compared to newer cards. They should be held to the same standard, and if anything, they should be a little bit more lenient towards wotc cards as the print quality was no where near the sun and moon era for english cards. True gem mint cards from that era which are still ungraded are very hard to come across.

tldr ; They really should just be grading everything all the same like in the past but if they were to make a change, it shouldn’t be to make stricter marks on older cards, if anything they should be slightly more lenient towards older holos lol

My returns of all levels have stayed very steady, consistency wise.
Maybe some here have just gotten a little unlucky? I don’t know.
I just figure since subs are up nearly 200% (Thank you CLCT :wink:, complaints will follow suit.


I wonder if the IMMACULATE condition of Hidden Fates (compounded by the large amount of it being submitted) has skewed the average grader’s opinion of what a gem mint English card should look like.

Imagine grading 100 Hidden Fates cards and then switching over to a WOTC order


That’s exactly what I was thinking lol

Heres a link to a thread I made of a card from my last submission. I dont know how PSA did this to my card, but they did damage it. TCA has had several cards damaged recently too, he goes over them in his return videos on YouTube. And I can definitely say something has changed at PSA, my last submission had the trashest grades on super nice cards I’ve ever gotten.

I’ve decided my next submission is not going to have any hidden fates. I feel like that set has ruined pokemon tcg grading. My last sub my only 10’s were basically from this set. Got absolutely destroyed with 9’s on everything else. I only submit if cards have a real shot at a 10 and I usually do really well so it felt different this time around.

Gotta spend money to make money!