Hi all, a bit of a beginner question maybe but I’m wondering what the general consensus is on how PSA grades compare to the common LP and NM conditions on TCGPlayer etc.
For example, I recently found a PSA 6 card for sale at a price significantly below the raw “Lightly Played” price on TCGPlayer. I think this is a good buy but not certain. Where is the PSA grade cutoff between LP and NM etc? Thanks!
TCGplayer has their own standards laid out here: help.tcgplayer.com/hc/en-us/articles/221430307-How-can-I-tell-what-condition-a-card-is-in-
According to tcgplayer standards, they suggest near mint to be what I would consider psa 8-10 quality. Lightly played maybe 5-7. From my own experience, some sellers tend to “overgrade” their cards on tcgplayer. Kind of a toss up with tcgplayer and Pokemon cards in my opinion. I buy cards <$50 from tcgplayer. Anything over that I personally prefer to rely on photos.
From what I see, LP can score a 5-7. Some people like to call a beat card without creases light played, but it isn’t gonna score a 7. A 7 should have edge wear but not enough to be obvious if you flip the card around real quick.
In general, I see LP as PSA 6 because LP can include a crease (according to some collectors) and PSA 6 is the highest obtainable grade with a crease. But that being said, your LP and my LP are very likely different definitions.
If you and I were to sort 100 cards, we would likely conclude a different number of LP cards from the pile. There are so many times when collectors say “LP-” or “LP+” while more lenient collectors would probably say “NM” and pickier collectors would probably say “MP”.
So yeah I would say the range will be 5-7, although you will get a different grade opinion from different collectors based on their personal standards.
Anything from a 1-10
TCG Player is like opening a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.
I always get great reviews for the cards I sell and I grade my cards usually as one of five categories…
Damaged: Card has deep creases or bends. Looks like crap even in a binder… PSA 1-3 quality
Played: Possible creases and significant wear/scratches. PSA 3-5 quality
Light Play: Light edge wear and scratching… Whitening is obvious on backside, but not all around the card or continuous along a side. No bends or creases. PSA 5-7 quality
Near Mint: Possible light scratching and minimal edge whitening. Whitening is limited to a couple spots and not continuous. PSA 7-8 quality
Near Mint to Mint: No edge wear or only a dot in 1-2 spots tops. No scratching at all. PSA 8-10 quality
Grading is subjective when it comes to categorizing LP and NM especially. For example if I sell/buy a Magic the Gathering card that has a couple bits of edge wear then its an “LP” card (even though by PSA standards its a PSA 8/9). If I sell a vintage Pokemon card that has the same edge wear its “Near Mint - Mint”. Age of a card affects how people perceive grades and I think this bias should be eliminated but it never will be. All of this is just to say that when you buy from TCGplayer - you will get LP cards in the NM category ALL THE TIME and vice versa (lots of sellers cover their butt by undergrading their card to ensure a happy buyer). This means you could buy an LP vintage pokemon card from a seller that primarily sells MTG and get a fantastic condition card. You just never know. There is no concise answer to your question and you can always return the card if you disagree with the sellers analysis of condition.
Also here is my (probably) unpopular opinion.
PSA 6-7 Moderately played
PSA 8 Light Played
PSA 9 NM/M
PSA 10 Mint/Gem
I will never consider a card with clear edge wear and surface scratches (most 8’s) to be NM/M. Boggles my mind how they can classify a 7 as NM…